Brazil Black Bloc battle bastard bullies

The story of the unsung heroes: Black Bloc Brazil

by Esther Solano Gallego, from ROAR with thanks

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Despised by many, hailed by some: the Black Bloc in Brazil uses its “performative violence” to draw attention to the everyday struggles of millions.

Article by Esther Solano Gallego and Paulo Rogério Lugoboni Filho. Illustration by Luciano Cunha, creator of O Doutrinador.

It was in the first weeks of the massive anti-government protests that started in June 2013 and shook Brazilian society to its very foundations that the Black Bloc made its first appearance on the protest scene. Demonstrations took place in dozens of cities across the country, but the black-clad youngsters who covered their faces and linked arms at the front-line of the marches, ready for any confrontation with the security forces, made their appearance mainly on the streets of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.anon brasil

While being denounced by some for their violent tactics, actively looking for confrontations with the police and smashing banks and other symbols of global capitalism, those joining the Black Bloc in a protest could also count on some support from fellow protesters. During last year’s education crisis in October, which drew thousands of indignant teachers to the streets, the Black Bloc was present to protect them from the police violence.

In response, the SEPE Teacher’s Union declared its unconditional support for the Black Bloc, claiming that many have been protected by the masked youngsters from the excessive use of force by the police. Even though the SEPE has now retracted its support for the Black Bloc, and popular opinion has turned against it due to its negative depiction in the mainstream media, this strategy of radical anti-authoritarianism is still alive and kicking on the streets of Brazil today.

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Continue reading “Brazil Black Bloc battle bastard bullies”

my Brazilian ‘Person of the Year’

Mayara Vivian is one of a protest movement that sparked off a mass rebellion in Brazil in 2013.

She’s 24 years old, studies geography at the University of Sao Paulo, has butterfly tattoos, and works nights as a waitress in a bar in the popular Vila Madalena neighbourhood of Sao Paulo.

She’s Mayara Vivian, and she’s my Brazil Person of the Year for 2013. Continue reading “my Brazilian ‘Person of the Year’”