On the night of June 24 this year, the state’s military police invaded the Maré complex of favelas with its full war apparatus: armored cars, choppers and rifles. The police occupied the territory inhabited by around 150.000 people and unleashed a night of terror. Apart from the siege, where “no one goes out, no one comes in”, electric and phone lines were cut off, hundreds of homes invaded with no warrants and, depending on who you talk to, between 9 and 14 residents were summarily executed by the police.
An unprecedented wave of mass protest rocked multiple Brazilian cities beginning in June, 2013, and shows no sign of letting up. In this special two-part series, Raúl Zibechi argues that the huge mobilizations were not simply a demand for reduced bus fares -- as portrayed in mainstream media -- but the product of a decade of grassroots, anti-capitalist organizing. He dispels the myth that it was a spontaneous protest fueled by social networks, investigates the radical social movements behind the countrywide uprising, and explores the forms of organizing based on horizontalism, consensus and direct action.
"People have the illusion that they will profit from the World Cup events, but the truth is that they will be brutally suppressed," said Roberto Morales, deputy adviser to Marcelo Freixo of the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), a year and a half before the Confederations [soccer] Cup. (Zibechi, 2012b) Morales participates in the Comitê Popular da Copa (Popular Committee for the World Cup) that was created during the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007, when local people began to resist forced relocation to make way for games' facilities.
President Nicolas Maduro, the self-appointed “President Worker,” continues his campaign of criminalization against the SIDOR strikers. In a ceremony held at the Campo de Carabobo on Saturday October 5th, he showcased a group of armed workers to face down what he has called “economic warfare.” As could be seen on state television, groups of workers from Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and CORPOELEC, sporting uniforms of blue and red shirts, raised their rifles at the event.
Translated From O Dia Rio – The State Union of Education Professionals (Sepe) stated during assembly on Wednesday, unconditional support for the Black Blocs with respect to clashes with police occurred at the protest Monday. Was no vote on the matter during the meeting at the Municipal Club in Tijuca, Rio’s North Zone, which also defined the strike continuity of the category.
Rio de Janeiro — Thousands marched in Rio de Janeiro to support teachers seeking pay hikes before masked anarchists turned to violence, setting fires, breaking into buildings and smashing a City Hall gate. The demonstration took place over several hours and was peaceful at first.
A nationwide strike in Colombia—which started as a rural peasant uprising and spread to miners, teachers, medical professionals, truckers, and students—reached its 7th day Sunday as at least 200,000 people blocked roads and launched protests against a U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement and devastating policies of poverty and privatization pushed by US-backed right-wing President Juan Manuel Santos.
It isn’t easy to write about the demonstrations in Brazil that began in June 2013. Any attempt at analysis evaporated as the context changed dramatically from one day to the next. What began as a struggle for the reduction of the public transit fare hike became an outcry against police brutality. Then, after huge numbers of people joined the protests in the streets, the message dissolved into a fog of abstractions. When the corporate media realized how serious the threat of violence and property damage was, given the size and intensity of the demonstrations, they did an about-face, supporting the protesters and criticizing the violence of the police. Political figures, artists, and intellectual partisans of the status quo changed their tune, arguing that the demonstrations were legitimate, a fundamental "democratic right,” and represented the will of “all.” Finally, after a historic victory, the fare increase was repealed in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and over a dozen other major cities.
Merida, 21st August 2013 (http://Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Monday, 300 workers from Lacteos Los Andes rallied outside the Venezuelan national assembly in order to request administrative and financial intervention into the company. The nationalised Lacteos Los Andes processes and pasteurises milk, and produces yoghurt, juices, chicha (sweet rice drink), chocolate milk, oat milk, and jelly. It employs 3,375 people, and its products are distributed around the country through bread shops, corner shops, supermarkets, and the state owned PDVAL.
The members of Organização Anarquista Socialismo Libertário (Libertarian Socialism Anarchist Organisation, OASL) have participated in the struggles against the rising tariffs in Sao Paulo, both in the capital as well as in cities like Mogi das Cruzes, Marilia and Franca, in the growing movement that has gripped the country. The membership of other organisations linked to the Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (Brazilian Anarchist Coordination, CAB) has, in other states, also helped to build the struggles. Below, two militants of OASL, Pablo Pamplona and Thiago Calixto*, who have been participating in the struggles, respond to a few questions about the recent process of mobilisations in the country. OASL is a member of Anarkismo.