Ein brasilianischer Freund schrieb mir vor einigen Wochen, er wäre von der Polizei bei einer der Demonstrationen verhaftet worden und ich bat ihn, seine Geschichte auf Englisch für euch zugänglich zu machen, was er netterweise nun auch getan hat. Ich habe den Text zwecks Authentizität so belassen, wie er mir geschickt wurde. Wenige Menschen, die nicht selbst in einem Land leben, können sich eine Vorstellung davon machen, was hinter den Kulissen eines Vorzeigelandes wirklich passieren kann, und gerade im Vorfeld der WM halte ich es für meine Aufgabe, euch auch diese von den offiziellen Stellen ignorierten Schicksale aufzuzeigen. Danke, Francisco, für deine Zeit und Offenheit!

Dear niki’s friends,

I am Francisco Lopes, a Brazilian student, citizen of São Paulo and I have 20 years old. I have been participating of the manifestations that shook my country since June and I saw some things that can be interesting for you.

The manifestations started in urban centers, as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Porto Alegre, and the demands were mostly about the life in big cities. Our cities has many problems with the public services. Our public schools are very inefficient and does not allow to the child or teenager to have a good development. The public health system, that was reached because of manifestations in the 80’s, still doesn’t work in a proper way. And the public transport, the one that started that manifestations at June, is very expensive, crowded and slowly.

There are other problems, that we demanded, as the demilitarization of the police, that is very violent and kills lots of young people, in the majority of cases, when then are poor. Or About the habitation, that is very expensive right now, and far away for the working’s neighborhoods.

People went to the street to demand it and to show that they were not satisfied with our political system right now. It’s very hard to feel that there is some correlation between the people demands and the political parties. We believe that some o the reasons are the huge concentration of media in the hand of few families, and the condition of receiving money from the banks to be able to be elected.

It happened too because of the sequence of corruption scandals, what have been happening in the whole history of Brasil, but the media finally decide to show up because it is the labor party (PT – Lula’s Party) in the presidency. And because of the world cup and the Olympic games, that many Brazilians, as I do, see those events as a waste of money and a big chance for corruption in many levels.

Those were the mainly motifs. At the beginning, the police in those 3 cities were attacking the manifestants with no mercy, but, unfortunately for the São Paulo government, at 13/06 the police used so much violence that many media workers and citizens were hurt by them, some of them got blind. After this day, the media changed their side and became an apologist of the manifestations. We thought that it was great, that we had gained the media. But we discovered that it wasn’t 100% right.

The media changed the profile of the manifestant. Everybody went to the street to complain, and sometimes it wasn’t a socialist or democratic call. The social movements, as well as the student movement, was in a dangerous situation, because the people that came to the street was so upset about politic that thought they were the same as people in government.

It was a very weird situation until the end of the confederations cup. Ever political party was in a critical situation. And we came back home for a while, to see where were we going to.

Some manifestations kept happening, mostly in Rio de Janeiro, were the government of the province disrespect the human rights many times, and is making a lot of reforms in the city that prejudice the workers and the poor people. São Paulo came back to the street 2 or 3 weeks ago to support Rio and to complain with São Paulo’s government about the violence of the police, against the manifestants, and against the poor people every day.

Right now, São Paulo is in a critical moment again, because we just discovered that the constructions of the metropolitans trains were full of corruption. At least 500 million dollars has been given to the companies that constructed in the last 20 years, and the politicians in power, in the case, all of the PSDB, mainly opposition of PT (Labor Party), and 30% of this money came back to the hands of the politicians. The big media tried as much as possible to don’t say a word about it. But the internet activism and our pressure in the streets broke the silence.

I was in one of those manifestations in São Paulo day 30/7, and things went out of my control. A group of anarchists teenagers, called Black Bloc, started to destroy banks and cars concessionaries, wich is very good choices, because 50% of our tax goes to the banks, and the car is the worse problem to us in São Paulo. The police started to attack us with moral effect bombs and with gas. We kept going in the direction of our main avenue, the Av. Paulista. Less than 1 kilometer from there, the police decided to block our way with a lot of bombs. I was already very tired and with difficulty to breath and I decided to come back home. I should have dinner with my mother and grandparents in less than 1 hour.

Walking way of the conflict, 4 police officers ran in my direction and told me to get down, I did it. At the moment I was in the floor, they started to hit me a lot, and I did no resistance at all. And one of them took me away without saying a word. When the media came closer, I asked him what was happening, why I was hit, where was he taking me to, what were the accusations, but I got no answer.

I was took to a wall were they checked me to see if I was with something illegal. But I wasn’t. I was dressed as a regular citizen, with no bag, no drugs, no fire, nothing. And I am not a member of black blocs and I didn’t throw any rock. But it all didn’t matter.

They accused me whit other 4 guys that I have never seen before to be a criminal group, to have threw a rock in a police officer car, to have resisted to the prison and to have offended the officers.

We were in prison for 4 days. In those days we have been undressed many times, we had to listen the opinion of everybody about our lives, we had to divide two meals with 17 prisoners, without a spoon or something. They cut my hair and my sobrancelha. We stayed in terrible conditions of hygiene, with cold and lot of pressure by the officers all the time. At the fourth day we were able to go back home, but only by paying a thousand dollars.

Well, to me it wasn’t a lot of money, but for other 3 manifestants that went into this adventure with me it was a lot. One of them is a girl, and she stayed alone all the time. We are innocent of all the accusations they made. None of us was member of black blocs or were throwing rocks. And now, we are going to respond a criminal process and we may have some difficulties in the future, to get a public job, for example.

This was a repression of the military police, ordered by the government of São Paulo, and supported by the big media. They have a lot of power in Brasil, but the people won’t give up easily.

More or less, that’s what I had to say. I hope it may be interesting for you that want to know something more about Brasil and what’s going on over there.

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