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(en) Brazil, Rhizome - January 18, 2013 - SÃo Paul metropolitan boiling, against all increases! (By Caio Ferreira Martins) (pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 28 Jan 2013 13:18:35 +0200

These struggles brought experiences of radical mobilization to cities, which have yielded achievements and will certainly be marked in memory of the population. By Caio Martins Ferreira ---- After the municipal elections, public transport back on the agenda of the day - now no longer in campaign promises, but in the decrees of the mayors authorizing increases in the passage. In the metropolitan area of ââSÃo Paulo, the price of the bus [bus] has risen to at least 18 cities. In most of these places, people organized themselves to protest. In these organizations, there are generally one or another person who has participated in demonstrations or activities of the Movement Passe Livre (MPL) in SÃo Paulo, and then who comes into contact with the movement for support. To the extent possible, the MPL has tried to strengthen these street fights, always with the Fanfare of MAL ("Autonomous Libertarian Movement"), a rebel battery that gives the cadence of the demonstrations.


Reelected in Cotia, Mayor Carlos Camargo decreed in November increased bus fare to $ 2.60. In response, local activists organized a Committee of Struggle for Public Transport and called for a demonstration against the increase in the city center. The event brought together only 40 people, but still had power, animated by great fanfare and with support of the local population - which was visible when shopkeepers booed an MP [military police member] who showed his gun to intimidate the protesters.

After the act, the Committee decided that it was necessary to deepen the debate with the people in the communities and conduct meetings to discuss the plight of transport - in Cotia, while students are entitled to a free pass (achieved with a lot of fight in years 90), there are 15 neighborhoods in the city do not have access to public transport. A first activity with the MPL happened in the CDHU Jd. SÃo Miguel.


After the increase in the rate of R $ 3.00 to R $ 3.30 in early December in Osasco, a group of students scored a cram school demonstration by Facebook. Of the more than a thousand confirmed, only 50 attended. Protesters who were, in general, had only previously participated in the protests against corruption in the city - acts that, driven by right-wing groups in general tend to be timid, limited to the display of signs at the crosswalk [pedestrian crossing] . In this context, the intervention of the MAL Fanfare introduced a new aesthetic element, which raised the political experience to another level, giving greater strength and confidence to act on the protesters.

In jester, there was a meeting that decided to take the street and go to City Hall. But upon arriving at City Hall, the parade find the doors closed. Decides to return, but this time making the trip through the Autonomists Viaduct - a major route of entry of Osasco. Enthusiastic about the strength of the act, over the bridge, the protesters decided to sit down and block the flow of cars. Only half an hour later comes the PM [Military Police] demanding the release of transit. You made a deal and march resumes its way back.

The second act was soon summoned to the next day in order to escrachar [insulting collectively] the mayor and his secretaries publicly during the delivery of a broad reform. The inauguration of the event, however, was cleared yesterday. But the event happened the same way and, even under heavy rain, 60 people marched to the Terminal Vila Iara.

Over those two days, was noticeable growth of the movement: an act that started as a Facebook event and maybe even have left the assembly point gained strength and radicalization about to block a bridge for half an hour and invade a terminal . The Fanfare and MPL certainly played a role in the beginning of this process, but in the end they were already completely expendable because the protesters themselves took the organization act. In 2013, the group reunited marked pamphlets, and another protest is being organized.

TaboÃo Sierra

"U.S. $ 3.30 is robbery," said a graffiti in front of the City Council of TaboÃo in early 2013. With the same slogan, local activists called for a demonstration against the increase, which brought together nearly 100 people and was received at City Hall by Secretary of Communication. The demonstrators rejected the proposal that the Secretary was formed a negotiating committee and demanded that any conversation was made with all present there. The secretary gave in and got the proposal of a meeting between the Movement, the City and transport companies. To confirm the proposal, a second demonstration also took place the next day, and the meeting was scheduled for June 22.

On day 16, however, Mayor Fernando Fernandes went public to announce the repeal of the tariff increase, which again cost  3.00. The rationale for the measure is that, under the contract with the City Traffic Pirajussara, there should be an interval of at least one year between each increase and, in the case of the last adjustment, this rule was not respected.

The reversal of the increase was expected by many activists because Fernandes had promised to lower the price of the bus during the election campaign. This does not diminish the achievement of the struggle: the pressure exerted by movements certainly had an important bearing on the decision of the mayor. But the movement remains alert to any political maneuver and not let his guard down: a new act is scheduled for the 22th, to demand a guarantee that the increase will not happen again.

Maua and ABC

In Maua, where bus fares went up 40 cents in late 2012, the mobilization was built more solid. In addition to an intensive outreach work with collage lambes and leafleting around the city, the organizers (who are identified by the virtual community "Yes Politics, Not rascality") sought support not only the MPL and fanfare, but other organized groups in region, as Apeoesp, OAB, the student movement, and even anarcho-punks militants PT (same party of the mayor).

Result: The first act against the increase in Maua, on day 5, almost a thousand people gathered. Unprepared to manage a march of this size, the police took a "olÃ" of the protesters, who locked the entrance of the Central Terminal, halting the flow of buses. Worried about radicalization after one hour lockout, organizers called the act from the top car sound, to follow-up and shut up in the square of the Bible. Seeing the strength of the movement in Maua, but unhappy with the lack of space in the organization and sound car, student Trotskyist currents called the meeting of a Committee Against Unified Increases in the ABCD Region and Maua, overlapping the areas of organization existing in each municipality. The meeting came a day before a demonstration against the increase in Sao Bernardo that was already being called by the activist group Anonymous ABC.

On the day of the act, the presence of organized currents noted more clearly, generating an endless controversy Anonymous meeting after claim of the presence of party flags. Under steady rain, 80 people marched and panfletaram the streets of Sao Bernardo packed with songs of Fanfare. The march stormed the municipal terminal, but civil guards pushed the protesters out, preventing the flow of buses were locked.

On the 12th, Saturday the second act took place against the increase in Maua, equally strong. The act followed by the access road to Terminal Center, whose entrance was protected by a line of GCMs [Metropolitan Civil Guard] with shields and batons. Reluctantly car sound, protesters rushed towards the terminal, excited by fireworks launched by the punks and the music of Fanfare. The blockade lasted for nearly two hours, the tension grew with the police - on the front line, already felt the pepper gas - while the microphone to thank the organizers insisted on "the PM [Military Police], who is here for us protect. "

Began the repression: the GCMs moved ahead with batons, followed by guards on horseback, while behind the PM Tactical Force launched shrapnel bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets. The sound truck fled, some of the protesters ran and others remained, throwing rocks at guards. Ceased pumps, the act regrouped around Fanfare, who played "Macho Macho Man" to the police. We recorded 20 injured and 3 detained. In the meeting, it was decided to march to the police station, demanding the release of fellow.

The city had stopped. In downtown streets, dumpsters face, stones and shells on the floor trading closed doors and people had gathered on the sidewalks watching the parade, which was still firmly under the rain. They received pamphlets expressing solidarity, "they steal in driving and if we complain, catch." Protesters followed by a circuitous route, as police still blocking some roads until they arrived in front of the police station [squad]. They sang: "Or loosen the hold three or all at once." Suddenly, a car pulls Force Tactical sopetÃo of the corner and four cops [cops] to jump out at gunpoint. Some protesters begin to run, but the Fanfare not retreat and act remains united. No repression. Companions who were inside the police arrive with the news: the three would be released and those who were in the emergency room already spent well.

And Saint Paul?

Demonstrations also took place in other cities of the metropolis, as Barueri, Carapicuiba and Franco da Rocha, where the fight was regionalized, involving Caieiras and Francisco Morato. In the state capital, the possibility of an increase in the bus fare is placed since the end of 2012, when the House passed a budget predicting a cut of $ 300 million in compensation for tariff subsidy in public transport. During the vote on the budget, the MPL has come to mobilize, with street actions and interventions in public hearings.

The mayor-elect Fernando Haddad was always emphatic that his only commitment is to not increase above inflation. More recently, declared that the passage should rise in the first half, perhaps between May and June, to avoid the impact on inflation, at the request of the Minister of Finance.

This situation has generated a different scenario of recent years, when the increase in SÃo Paulo preceded (and justified) increases in neighboring municipalities. In those years, was the fight against the increase in Sao Paulo that has stimulated the development of struggles in other cities. This time, we have the reverse: the metropolitan struggles are generating a climate of tension even before the passage up in the capital. Regardless of how much able to stand firm and strengthen the battle that lies ahead in SÃo Paulo, these movements are important in themselves. His struggles brought experiences of radical mobilization to the cities, which have yielded marked achievements and will certainly be in memory of the population.

Note on the Author

Caio Martins Ferreira is militant Movement Free Pass.
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