L. AMERICA: p09 Why Ecuador offered asylum to Assange
SPORT: p13 Aug 28th - Sept 03rd 2012
From Stoke Mandeville to London 2012
www.brazilianpost.co.uk â€˘ Issue n. 70
Lights, Camera, Action!
London will welcome the 4th Brazilian Film Festival between the 21th and 25th September at Odeon Panton Street, Leicester Square. The event is a production of Circuito Inffinito de Festivais
Read more on page 2 >>
02 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012
Front Page Brazilian Film Festival
Brazilian Cine on the London’s screen London will welcome the 4th Brazilian Film Festival between the 21th and 25th September at Odeon Panton Street, Leicester Square. The event is a production of Circuito Inffinito de Festivais, who have been taking the best of Brazil’s contemporary cinematographic culture to different parts of the world since 1990, and today takes place in nine major world cities: Miami, New York, Vancouver, London, Rome, Madri, Barcelona, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Behind this fantastic mega-festival are a trio of female Brazilain producers: Adriana Dutra, Cláudia Dutra and Viviane Spinelli. Four years ago, they followed the suggestion of the Brazilian Government, who had been watching Inffinito’s work, and added London to their route. “London is a fantastic city and received us with open arms”, Adriana Dutra celebrates the support of the British capital where 80 per cent of audiences at screenings are british. Beyond the harvest of the best Brazilian films, the festival also opens up business possibilities for Brazilian companies, opening up the international market for products, services and tourism. “The Festival intends to open business opportunities to the Brazilian audiovisual sector in English territory. We are building a platform for the effective communication between producers on both sides. The Festival is on the right way, and our partnership with BAFTA [British Academy of Film and Television Arts] is consequence of our efforts”, evaluates the producer. Selection Process Films are evaluated and selected for the event based on the following requirements and can be short and feature films of the 35mm or HD format, completed and/or launched for the Brazilian public in the last year and produced by Brazilian filmmakers/directors or released in Brazil for at least three years. Each year the Circuito Inffinito elects a Group of Trustees, formed with professionals from the audiovisual sector in Brazil, to make the selection based on their artistic criteria and specifics for each catergory. This year the group of trustees, who included, producers Paula Barreto and Ruth Albuquerque, the Oi Futuro cultural director Maria Arlete Gonçalves and the dramatist and filmmaker Domingos de Oliveira received and selected from around 300 films submitted. “We are going to showcase the best films
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Adriana Dutra, one of the foundres of Inffinito Festival, at the opening day of Brazilian Film Festival 2011. from 2011/2012, for every film this will be it’s premier in the UK. This year’s selection includes excellent documentaries, comedies and fiction films. We think that the public will be delighted with the quality of Brazilian cinema”, Adriana told us. Program The format of the Festival is the same as in previous events in London: a short film is screened before each feature film. The festival will bring a concentrated schedule of great Brazilian Films to London. The event will open on 21th September at 6.30 pm with the films “I will Raffre my Heart” and “Captains of the Sand” and will close on Tuesday 25th with, Xingu, directed by Cao Hamburger (director of: The year my parents went out in vacation).
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Your can read more details about the films being screened at the festival in our guide on page 22.
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Brazil | 03 Interview
Culture for few people Expansion of cultural services is still a big challenge to Brazil By Guilherme Reis Only 14% of Brazilians go to the cinema at least once a month; 92% of the population have never visited a museum; 93% have never been to an art exhibition, while a further 78% have never attended a dance performance, this probably largely owing to the fact that 92% of Brazilian cities do not have a cinema, theatre or museum. This data was produced by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) and makes clear the size of the challenge that Brazil faces to adapt cultural services in a universal scale, providing access and promoting creative production outside of major economic metropolises. Brazilian history has been marred by what has become known as “concentration”. Public money always falls into the hands oligarchs and big business conglomerates, especially the financial and media sectors. In the cultural sector, this concentration becomes evident when analysing the Incentive Law, better known as Rouanet Law (see our map). Created in 1991, the law established mechanisms that enabled businesses and citizens to donate a portion of the income tax to cultural activities. But, if on the one hand the law spurred cultural industry that has naturally grown close to the business sector, on the other hand this created artistic production that is reliant on the wider economy and even today is threatened by the lack of state investment needed to meet the challenges of infrastructure, research and access. In an exclusive interview for The Brazilian Post, political scientist and member of the National Cultural Policy, Manoel de Souza Neto, spoke about the origins of cultural concentration of funds in Brazil, on the relationship between civil society and government, Rouanet Law and the possible solutions for the sector, such as Points of Culture - an initiative that aims to democratise access to culture by encouraging the community production. What stimulated and/or stimulates the concentration of culture funding in Brazil? The Incentive Law was a tool created with the objective of providing production and cultural enjoyment, but was quickly distorted due to the neoliberal model of state, which began to dominate Brazil in the 1990s. In this model the state ‘washed its hands’ and surrendered to market decisions. Rouanet Law is an instrument of power maintenance and social exclusion. The
model itself is exclusionary; that is the paradoxical function of incentive laws that encourage the cultural production and generate a dichotomy between culture and market, favouring the social and economic privileged fields and acting to the detriment of communities, ethnic groups, artists and peripheral cultures, precisely those most in need. The market, chiefly sponsors, make decisions; they are always the biggest beneficiaries and, due to a sponsorship system that just allows companies with estimated profit, only large companies are sponsors and further funding is still needed from the government itself. The marketing and advertising world take the form of intermediary agents in the model, this has generated a tapered illegal currency exchange. Political advertising agencies, marketing departments and commissions require “extras” to release resources, forcing art makers to pay bribes: criminalising the artist, who is just hostage to “class” installed at the centre of power. The exclusion occurs via structural and linguistic rules that eliminate the vast majority that do not hold the knowledge of the cultural market and policy, budgets, advertising services, or fail to occupy privileged spaces, for bureaucratic reasons, and finally by not being part of networks of power relations. If the former Ministers of Culture Gilberto Gil and Juca Ferreira tried to support a culture model in three dimensions civic, economic and symbolic - the current Minister Ana de Hollanda only talks about the creative economy and strengthening of copyright laws in order to hinder access.. How do evaluate the last 20 years of Rouanet Law and what needs to be changed to democratize access to culture? Over time the collection of laws professionalised and democratised production in some sense, but in another it has violated the public policy role envisaged in the Constitution because it failes to guarantee access or promote cultural diversity. The distribution of Rouanet resources already exceeds more than 10 billion reais (£30 billion) since the 1990s, reaching today more than one billion reais a year, but in fact 95% of sponsorships still comes from government enterprises. Many important projects such as the preservation of museums, book publishing, broadcasting of events and cultural activities were supported, but the balance is negative because of the concentration of funds that have actually widened social inequalities in Brazil. The issue of concentration of beneficiaries per square meter aggravates the problem, since the data shows that 80% of the funds are in the Rio-Sao Paulo axe - 3% of total cultural project proponents capture 50% of sponsorships. Another 20% of applicants are left with the remaining funds, and
almost 80% of the creators of cultural proposals are encouraged to pick up anything. This is an unbelievable concentration, where 3% has to be divided to more than 100 people, companies or institutions in the country. Even with the success of national cinema, the production generated by the Incentive Law does not reach 10% of the population, and this figure is optimistic because it includes major blockbusters. What measures are successful examples in an attempt to decentralize investments in this area? The Points of Culture are one of these initiatives? Points of Culture became a major instrument of decentralization of resources, benefiting more than 2,000 small communities in direct cultural facilities. The Ministry of Culture, with the participation of civil society, created the so-called empowerment and governance through spheres of participation, generating weights and counterweights in the surveillance policies, through collaboration and advice. This not only opened a dialogue but also through conferences, councils, boards and sectorial meetings of popular cultures, changed in the relationship between civil society and government, a ministry that grew from a few to a representative of the entire Brazilian culture. Only established in 2010, this still has a way to go.
In the area of budget in the last decade, the creation of the National Culture Fund, with sector funds, generated the stimulus for the creation of state and local funds in order to reduce distortions. The National Culture System in construction put cultural public policies together, relieving stranded regions by archaic views. With the weakening of the Points of Culture program, there was a clear setback, a disruption of a government project. How has civil society been organised to strengthen the relationship with the government in this area? The dialogue took place on a large scale in the management of former ministers Gilberto Gil and Juca Ferreira, but was interrupted by the management of Ana de Hollanda. Neither the National Council of Culture (CNPC) managed to maintain dialogue with the main dome. Currently there is a climate of symbolic violence evident in the air against civil society. During the last decade Brazil could observe the progress of civil movements have organised forums, collectives and other organisations in all segments. Participation in committees, chambers, advice, seminars and conferences mobilised around Brazil’s Ministry of Culture. Unfortunately all this is at risk because there are other types of mobilisation of interest groups.
Brazil | 04 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012
Brazilian Court suspends Belo Monte dam construction A federal appeals court in Brazil ordered the construction of the hydroelectric project of Belo Monte to be suspended until indigenous groups have been properly consulted about the project. The judgment may prove only a temporary reprieve but it is seen as a scathing verdict on the government’s efforts to rush forward with the Xingu River project in the Amazon, which - despite controversy - is one of the pillars of Brazil’s efforts to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. About 12,000 construction workers are due to start working on the dam this year, which is eventually expected to produce 11,000 megawatts of electricity (the third biggest hydro-electric generating capacity in the world after China’s Three Gorges and Brazil’s Itaipu dams), but the project has faced strong legal challenges and protests by conservationists and local tribes. “The court’s decision highlights the urgent need for the Brazilian government and Congress to respect the federal constitution and international agreements on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding projects that put their livelihoods and territories at risk. Human rights and environmental protection cannot be subordinated to narrow business interests”, said the author of the ruling, federal judge Souza Prudente. Belo Monte will flood an area of 500 square kilometres along the Xingu and force the relocation of 16,000 people, according to the government. NGOs have warned that this figure of displacement may rise to as much as 40,000. Some of our readers will remember our own cov-
erage of the Belo Monte construction and interviews with those opposing the project earlier this summer. Opponents including representatives of the Juruna, Arara and Xikrin tribes, as well as international conservation groups, the makers of NAME OF DOCUMENTARY and celebrities such as Avatar director James Cameron and actress Sigourney Weaver have welcomed the ruling. But the battle is far from over. The Norte Energia consortium, which is building the dam, will have an opportunity to appeal, a motion they have successfully invoked in previous projects. Environmental and human rights groups are
calling on the government to accept this judgement as final. “This latest court ruling vindicates what indigenous people, human rights activists and the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office have been demanding all along. We hope that president Dilma’s attorney general and the head judge of the federal court will not try to subvert this important decision, as they have done in similar situations in the past”, said Brent Millikan of International Rivers. Slowing the momentum of a $16bn project is bound to run up against many powerful interests and the Brazilian government, who have made the expansion
of hydro-power one of it priorities and is unlikely to back away from this flagship dam. But one of its main justifications - the production of non-fossil fuel energy to reduce the impact of global warming, may be undercut by other trends. In a new report, the National Institute for Space Research has revealed that carbon emissions from deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell by 57% between 2004 and 2011 as a result of improved measures to tackle illegal land clearances. If such gains could be built upon and more effort put into wind and solar energy, the pressure to harness Brazil’s river might ease.
Oxford University announces 13 scholarships for Brazilian Students The Science without Borders program, created by the Brazilian federal government to encourage the exchange of Brazilian university students with many countries of the world, has won over one of the most prestigious universities in the world: the University of Oxford, UK. According to Andrew Hamilton, vice chancellor at Oxford, the agreement that formalizes the entry in the Oxford program was signed at an event of the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development in Brasilia. Hamilton explained that it will offer 13 scholarships per year, funded by the government of Brazil. Considered the best university in the UK and the fourth best in the world, according to the 2011 ranking in the Times Higher Education, Oxford is the first institution of higher education in the English language, founded nearly 900 years ago. It was also the first in the world, according to Hamilton, to establish a Center
of Brazilian Studies in the 1990s. Despite this however, only 30 Brazilian students are currentlyenrolled at the institution, the vast majority in post graduate courses. The vice-chancellor said that relations between the institution and Brazil have intensified in recent years with the growth of collaborations in research and commitment to strengthen partnerships, including offering internships at Oxford businesses. Hamilton explained that the main links between researchers from Oxford and Brazil are in the disciplines of modern languages, political, environmental, geology and structural genome, among others but that attracting undergraduate as well as research students still remains a challenge at the University.
Community Ouro Preto Orchestra honors quartet at Liverpool Beatles Week 2012 Many historians believe the theory that the gold mined at Brazil’s Ouro Preto was essential in the “support” of the British Industrial Revolution. In fact, this outlook still echoes through the historic streets of the mining town today. Some centuries after the event that changed the course of humanity, Liverpool, one of the cradles of industrial England, received a new gem coming from the former Villa Rica. In celebration of Beatles Week 2012 The Orchestra of Ouro Preto presented a reinterpretation of part of the work by the Liverpool band, uniting the worlds of classical and popular music. The event, which brought together fans and bands from over 40 countries around the world also opened up a space for classical music in the event’s schedule. The invitation to join Beatles Week, arose from the success of The Beatles Concert Series, a challenge proposed by the chancellor of the Federal University of Ouro Preto and readily accepted by the young Maestro Rodrigo Toffolo (aged 34), the Artistic Director and conductor of the Orchestra Ouro Preto,. With arrangements by violinist 25-year-old Matthew Freire, the show toured several cities in the state of Minas Gerais, with a vibrant sound
that told musical biography of the Beatles, in an unusual combination: a marriage between an orchestra and a rock band. The Orchestra’s repertoire covers the entire period of The Beatles’ artistic production including hits that have long been part of the collective imagination - Help, Because, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane, Let
Festival seeks housing for artists Aimed at improving integration between artists and the public, the organisers of CASA Latin American Theatre Festival (716 September) are looking for people who live in London and are willing to give a room or a place to accommodate artists involved in the festival. In return you will receive two free tickets to the per-
formance that the artist you home is appearing in, £ 10 per day for expenses, invitation to events and Friends of CASA, of course, the opportunity to exchange creative experiences. Read more about the festival on page 15. LINK OR DETAILS OF HOW TO GET INVOLVED?
It Be and With a Little Help From My Friends, the latter a dialogue between the version Beatle and one immortalized by Joe Cocker at Woodstock. “We were very happy to hear of the invitation to attend the festival, which gave us assurance in the quality of the work that we are developing and, above all, demonstrates that the boundaries be-
tween classical and popular music are tenuous, that classical music is not difficult understanding”, Toffolo said, remembering that the Beatles equally flirted with the scholarly in exploring the trajectory of banda. See more photos of the event on The Brazilian Post facebook (www.facebook.com / thebrazilianpost).
Community | 06 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012 http://hilarious-consequences.blogspot.co.uk http://www.steaknightcomics.com/steaknightcomics.com/RRR_BOOKS.html
OMBUDSMAN This is your chance to let the Brazilian Post’s team know what you think. Send your feedback and get involved! Send your emails to email@example.com
“I do not think Brazilian athletes will reach top positions just because they are competing in Brazil. I think the government and the olympic committee will find a way to have a good structure. But we have to improve our organization”. - Lais Canonico, Londrina - PR
TRADITIONAL AND MODERN BRAZILIAN & CARIBBEAN CUISINE
Francine Mendonça: ‘my dream came true’ By Romulus Seitenfus As a child sitting in her uncle’s house as a child, she would spend time looking at the framed pictures of far-away Swiss lakes and in those moments was born her dream of breaking geographical boundaries. Time passed, but the desire to conquer the world remained intact and as she vowed to make her dreams a reality. She planned to study English in the United States but a
chance visit to London changed the life of businesswoman Francine Mendonça. Francine arrived in the British capital with a thousand dollars in her pocket and buckets of the persistent Brazilian optimism. In only a short time and few experiences in London Francine began to develop her second language skills, these efforts and opportunites taken began to shape the fate of the woman who would go on to change the history of thousands of Brazilians. “Of the thousand dollars I had brought with me, I had only £5 left in my pocket, at that point my only option was to stay in London and work. A Brazilian colleague was leaving the British capital for a while and offered me to take her place in a cleaning job. I started working, saved money and was soon able to make my first trip to Paris”, she told The Brazilian Post. Francine recalls how thrilled she was when she had news that she could prolong the expiration her UK visa. “It was a miracle of God! Legally, as a Brazilian, I would have the right to stay for a month in Europe with the letter of the English school, but when I arrived back in London on my trip to Paris, I went to apply for immigration visa. I had limited cash, a credit card, a letter from school with a course of English paid for a month and return ticket to Brazil via New York, but the destination was North Carolina. The immigration officer started questioning me, I told him that my goal was to study English in the United States. He said I’d be better off here and stamped my passport with a student visa valid for one year. That
decision was not a mistake. I get goose bumps when I remember. In that moment the official, changed my destiny, my life changed. Today I work with them”, she says proudly. The Brazilian born in Crystal, in Rio Grande do Sul State, then began helping others to achieve enrolment at the English Language School. Francine did not charge the students but the school began to remunerate her as she began to bring in even more students. She says that this unfolded into several different exercises to help others. “It was by helping others that I discovered my destiny and the financial return was a rally happy consequence”. A graduate in journalism and accountancy, her English had improved during this time and Francine began seeking
employment in journalism, at one point working as the editor of the Brazilian News. But she craved to return to helping those who had come to London. Ten years ago Francine founded LondonHelp4U, an organization that facilitates and supports Brazilians to living and studying in the British capital. In this time Francine has used her expertise to help over 16,000 Brazilians to living in the country to apply for permanent residence or British visas. Asked about her ideology, beliefs and goals, Francine syas she wants to lead her customers to realize their dreams. “Believing in your dream is believing in yourself. Most people think that dreams cannot be achieved. I insist to them that they can do it. Afterall, my dream really did come true.”
ID A book: Songs of Solomon - A beautiful story of a street child in Brazil - Sarah Carvalho. A song: Simply the best - Tina Turner. A drink: Champagne. A dish: Barbecue. A bar: Sandersons Hotel. A restaurant: Ciao Bella. A place to visit: Israel. A place to return: Rome. A place to be: London. A moment to remember: Arriving in London in 1997. Like to read minds or be invisible? Both. If you could go back in time, who would you choose to hug: My brother. Things that you like: Simplicity, honesty, good mood. Things you hate: Hypocrisy and lies. Biggest fear: Death. What attracts you in a person? Intelligence. What is the easiest defect to forgive? Ignorance. Your heart belongs to: My fiancé. An amazing cultural product: The show Pinna Bauch. Wardrobe essential: Dresses. How do you imagine your life in ten years? Being a mother, continuing to live in London as a businesswoman, helping each one that knocks on my door. The most important achievement of your life: Professional recognition. A dream fulfilled: My company LondonHelp4U. Happiness: Being alive, going to work each day and helping people reach their dreams. A sadness: Knowing that a good friend has cancer. Something that you miss: Childhood. The best gift you received: Life. The best gift you ever gave: My best wishes to everyone I’ve ever helped. Can not live without: Sparkling mineral water. Someone I should know: Sarah Carvalho, great woman who works on behalf of our street children in Brazil. She has dedicated her life to charity Happy Child. Family: Love! A talent that would like to have and have not: Public speaking. A beautiful woman: I. A handsome man: All. The most beautiful city you’ve been to: Rio de Janeiro. Things you love in London: Freedom of expression and security. Things you hate about London: The traffic and pollution. A vanity: Red lipstick. A dream: Having a child.
08 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012 In September
Jorge and Mateus celebrate career at the Royal Albert Hall
The highly traditional Royal Albert Hall, which has been hosting great names in international music for 141 years, will soon be turned green and yellow. On 20th September the venue will host its first concert by Brazilian artists, who will become one of the handful of music celebrities that have had the honor of playing there. The artists in question are the duo Jorge and Mateus, who will celebrate seven years of their career with a special DVD recording live in the British capital. “We are very excited and we expect the best. Playing at the Royal Albert Hall, which will certainly have a major Brazilian audience, will be one of the most
memorable moments of our career and something we’ll never forget “, said Jorge. While the pair are highly enthusiastic to be playing at such a prestigious location, this is not the first time that the duo have performed in London. “We’ve played twice in London and have found that the Brazilian public have responded really well,” said Mateus, pointing out: “The city holds the story of many bands and many musical styles. London is one of the major birthplaces of the world art. The charm of playing here is due to the global importance of the city, its history and also, most importantly the fact that we can play to the large Brazilian com-
munity living in the UK capital”. Regardless the concert repertoire, Jorge and Mateus promise a retrospective of major successes over the seven years of their career plus some new compositions, but nothing specific has been disclosed. “We are planning something, but it’s a surprise!”, said Jorge. Expectation The duo realize there is a rsting on them as the first singers to record a DVD of their distinctive Brazilian music in the famous venue. “Expectations are high. The simple fact of being the first singers to record a “sertanejo” DVD at the Royal Albert Hall is already generating great
interest. Furthermore, the repertoire is a passage for our seven years together. A summary of all the best we’ve done so far”, said the duo. In addition to believing that the Brazilian public will be receptive to the project, the pair also see this as a great opportunity showcase Brazil’s musical diversity and culture. “We also have the aim of spreading Brazilian music in other parts of the world, making the most of the current great global interest in Brazilian culture,”. For more information about tickets, visit www.royalaberthall.com or check The Brazilian Post’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thebrazilianpost).
Latin America Diplomacy
Why Ecuador offered asylum to Assange Britain’s threat to invade the Ecuadorian embassy in London was the last straw By Guilherme Reis The decision of the government of Ecuador to offer political asylum to Australian journalist Julian Assange was reasonable and somewhat predictable. Creator and editor in chief of Wikileaks, responsible for the leak of more than 5,000 secret diplomatic documents of the United States, Assange has been at the the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than two months and officially received asylum after a series of events that put under doubt the reasons why the UK wishes to extradite him to Sweden, where the Australian is accused of sexual abuse. The last straw was the unprecedented threat made by the UK to invade the embassy of Ecuador if Assange was not delivered to the British authorities. Such an invasion would be an extreme act and would directly violate diplomatic conventions, that embassies are immune territories. In a letter send to the Embasy of Ecuador British Authorities said,“You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr. Assange in the current premises of the Embassy. We sincerely hope that we do not reach that
point, but if you are not capable of resolving Mr. Assange’s presence in your premises, this is an open option for us”. Moreover, Sweden has no legitimate grounds for extradition because the opportunity to question Assange in Britain has been offered repeatedly, Assange has also said he is hapy to answer police questions in Sweden if they can ensure that he will not face extradtion to the US once there. This brings us to the central question of this diplomatic crisis: the possibility that Assange, once in Sweden, will be extradited to the United States, where he could be tried for his activities as head of WikiLeaks, for which there is evidence. There is an ongoing investigation in the U.S. over Assange and Wikileaks, where Bradley Manning, a former employee of the U.S. military accused of leaking data to the site has been imprisoned indefinitely without a trial and held in solitary confinement. Politicians like Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein believe that Assange should be prosecuted for espionage, which potentially could potentially see him face life imprisonment or the death penalty. So given what we know, the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa acted the right way to protect Assange from political persecution by the United States and the same would have been done by any other South American nation. After formal-
ising the asylum, Unasur (Union of South American Nations) declared unanimous support for Ecuador’s actions and repudiated the threat of the British government. It is important to note that Unasur includes both leftist and right governments. The position of British Prime Minister David Cameron was rebuked by conservatives leaders, as Chilean President Sebastian Piñera and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, as well by so-called “radicals”, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. This episode makes even more clear something that has been developing for a while, that Latin American countries no longer blindly submit to the interests of the United States and European countries. In this case, a progressive country in Latin America, besides taking the British government on, has appeared as a protector of someone who has come to represent freedom of speech, alternative media and the rupture of secret diplomatic mechanisms. It now remains to be seen whether the UK (which has given political asylum to the bloodiest dictators of Latin America, Chile’s Augusto Pinochet), allows safe passage to permit Assange to travel to Ecuador or continues to be a puppet of the United States in a diplomatic crisis in which the British government seems to have no easy means to exit.
UK turned into a stage by Assange By Kate Rintoul Olympic hype and August vacations had meant that news about Julian Assange’s stay at the Ecuador Embassy had been a minor story. Flash forward a few days and this case has unearthed mass debate in the media over highly contentious issues of rape and the strength of British jurisdiction. Julian Assange has been wanted for questioning by Swedish Police for two years since two former WikiLeaks colleagues brought complaints of sexual misconduct and later rape against him. As his own lawyers have stated, this is a “highly nuanced” case, it also happens to involve all the things the British media love: seamy sex with multiple partners, polarising characters, politics and a Swedish crayfish party. Unlike most rape cases that are treated with sensitivity, all the lurid details of this case, including the name of one of the accusers have been widely reported online and now in mainstream media. In another twist to the opera that is be-
coming the WikiLeaks founders life, Assange wandered into Ecuador’s London Embassy completely out of the blue (the ambassador had to call home to organise an air bed to be brought) and has been there for since late June. Assange has now been granted political asylum in Ecuador – this news has just added to the British media’s fixation with this story. Decades of under-reporting and focus on negative stories (including countless articles on Brazilian favelas), the British media have painted South America as a conglomerate of colourful but troubled countries prone to stints of dictatorships but where the chance of a good steak is always close at hand. Writing in the Daily Mail about Assange’s media speech on 19th August, Melanie Phillips, said: “Posing as a champion of justice and human rights, Assange made a theatrical statement from the balcony of the Ecuador embassy in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge, for all the world like an Eva Peron of the ether…Not since the Argentines invaded the Falklands has Britain had its tail so humiliating-
ly tweaked by a Latin American dictatorship.” At a time of heightened relations between Argentina and the UK it’s great to see journalistic responsibility and seriousness applied to this story. In the face of such negative press following Assange supporter, MP of Bradford West (also a subject of disproportionate media coverage), George Galloway felt the need to take to the Internet in a recorded message in which he gave his take on the subtle complexities between rape and “bad manners”. In some ways Galloway’s eccentric entrance into this story has helped Assange as it’s taken attention away from debates over embassies and extradition and instead got everyone discussing rape providing for some, a welcomed excuse to trawl back to the lurid details of this case. While various MPs, lawyers and celebrities battle out their views on sexual misconduct, the British government are facing a tricky decision. After a letter to the Ecuador embassy that seemed to indicate the British authorities would revoke embassy convention and enter the
building, was leaked, the government has faced anger both at home and in Ecuador. David Cameron had taken a clear approach, as outlined by his spokesman, “We will not grant safe passage for Mr Assange. Under our law, having exhausted all the options of appeal, we are obliged to extradite him to Sweden. It is our intention to carry out that obligation. We will continue talking to the Ecuadorean government and others to try and find a diplomatic solution here”. Ecuador officials have said there had been no contact with the Foreign Office since Thursday16th July, when Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa announced he was granting Assange asylum. British law officials have apparently written again to the embassy but it seems all were waiting for the outcome of an emergency meeting of Latin American leaders. Until we have any word from them it seems that all that the British can do is continue lambasting each other and waiting to see what twist will happen in the next act, all while Assange watches on his beloved MacBook.
10 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012
Hacktivism and protest online ‘The way to resist, if the control of society has changed, also needs to change’ By Guilherme Reis Depending on who is using the term, ‘hacktivism’ can be a politically constructive form of civil disobedience or an undefined anti-establishment gesture, it may be applied to signal a political anti-capitalist protest, anti-spam activists, or to describe security experts and advocates of open source. Hacktivism critics fear that the lack of a clear agenda and transparency can turn it into an immature political gesture, while others believe hacktivism is an increasingly relevant actor in a situation of online crisis. Whatever your point of view, hacktivism groups have been active on the Internet for few years and, with the help of social networks, have spread their ideas, troubling big companies and governments all over the world with their philosophy of unfettered access to information and
concerns about online security and privacy. The group, Anonymous is perhaps the best known. With its Guy Fawkes masks (taken from the dystopian modern film classic, V for Vendetta), the collective has been growing in popularity since 2008, in which time it has become increasingly associated with collaborative and international hacktivism, and direct action and protests – mainly putting websites offline with the goal of promoting Internet freedom and right to free speech. Anonymous also has links to Wikileaks, founded by former hacker Julian Assange (read more about his case on page 9), which was responsible for the biggest leak of American state-held secrets of all time. To better understand this universe of hacker activism, that is much closer to us than we might suppose, The Brazilian Post spoke with Brazilian journalist Murilo Machado, co-author of the books “Free software, hacker culture and the ecosystem of collaboration” and “Perspectives of network”. When did the term hacktivism appear? How did hacker culture begin to assume political positions?
Individuals appearing in public as Anonymous, wearing Guy Fawkes masks I consider the rise of computer hackers a social phenomenon that was political since its birth in the 1960s, with the notion that technology should not be completely dominated by companies. Hacktivism arose in the second half of the 1990s, with several records of hacking that was exclusively targeted for political purposes, especially in political protests. Some researchers point to 1998 as the emergence of the term hacktivism. The first major action was perhaps the huge network of collaboration that had gathered around the Zapatisa movement in Mexico, with the group Electronic Disturbance undertaking actions such as attempting to overthrow the site of the country’s stock exchange. Is it possible to point out differences and similarities between hacktivists groups? It’s complicated. Within the Anonymous group alone there are infinite sub-groups, but in common, among all hacktivists groups, there is the notion that the traditional ways of doing politics and means of protesting are outdated. The sources of power in our society have changed from the previous reality, in which power was held and controlled by political parties. The source of control today is information – this change has meant that our means of resistance also had to adapt. How do you rate these forms of protest and respond to accusations that they just want to make noise on issues or are in fact criminal? Once you have an order or set of laws that were socially produced to maintain this system, everything that questions the system at some point will be labeled as opportunistic. There will always be an attempt to trivialize protest ahead of criminalsing those responsible. For most hackers, when they take action to overthrows a site, there is no need to steal passwords or personal data, they simply
flood the server’s access so it stops working. These actions may be illegal but we need to make moral judgments on each case as there is ethical and political motivation. In some cases the customers might be affected, but when you hold a protest in an important public space, for example, you affect people the same way. How does Julian Assange fit into the world of hacktivism? Has Wikileaks given hacktivism wider support in society? I believe so. Wikileaks and hacktivism want the same thing, which is the full and unrestricted access to information, whatever it may be. There can be no such thing as a state secret, we have to ask who defines what is to be kept secret and what is not? Information needs to be known. People need to know what is being done in democratically elected regimes. How do you think hacktivists groups will evolve? Technological saturation has reached a point at which hackers are now, and will continue being, political actors of huge relevance. All of the world’s information is digitized and must of us do not know how to deal with this information because we have a very limited technical knowledge. We just download anti virus software to protect ourselves against supposed threats, but every day we are being watched by companies and governments. We do not know how to surf the internet anonymously. You wouldn’t go out wearing a shirt with your address clearly written on it, but when you access your email, if you’re not careful, you’re practically doing just that, saying what yours interests are, what you buy, which sites you visit. We do not worry about this technical knowledge, but hackers, who we have been told to distrust have always been very concerned about these issues.
CHRISIANO HOLANDA firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIEFINGS… Morgan Funds in Facebook Bet U.S. mutual funds run by Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter in Facebook’s initial public offering, have shown a high level of exposure to shares in the social network. Volkswagen Grows in Europe Volkswagen grabbed a bigger slice of Europe’s shrinking car market in July, as the German auto giant’s strong finances, bulging portfolio of brands and growing international reach set it apart from mass-market rivals. Alzheimer’s Drug Disappoints A closely watched Alzheimer’s drug from Eli Lilly failed to work in two late-stage clinical trials in patients with mild to moderate levels of the disease.
Cost of life is expensive in euro zone’s weakest nations In these troubled countries, labor costs have risen too highly, which is why wages needed to fall. But equally so have the cost of groceries, transportation, housing and dozens of other goods and services. Fast-rising prices in the crisis-hit countries have sapped their economic competitiveness during the first decade of the euro, eventually causing growth to suffer and unemployment to rise. Has the problem been fixed? Not really. Going into the third year of the region’s debt crisis, prices in the euro-zone “periphery”—southern Europe, Ireland and the Baltic countries, which peg their currencies to the euro—are still too high. That is a big problem for policy makers hoping economic growth can return to the periphery in a year or two. Why the focus on prices? The euro zone’s first decade saw inflation in the periphery run consistently higher than in Germany—transforming Germany into the
bloc’s low-cost production center. To regain competitiveness after the crisis, prices in the periphery needed to fall relative to Germany and the other strong euro-zone countries, such as the Netherlands and Austria. For some countries, such as Greece, that probably meant outright deflation. For others, such as Spain, it probably meant just a significantly lower inflation rate than Germany. Has that happened? Looking at Inflation rates across the euro zone shows that Inflation (adjusted for changes in taxes, which have one-off impacts on the price level) is running at 1.8% in beleaguered Spain and 1.9% in still-growing Germany. The problem is even more acute in Greece. Private-sector wages have already fallen sharply—the latest official data, from the third quarter of last year, showed about a 14% drop from their peak in 2010 and wage agreements negotiat-
Britain’s high-street banks: the stairs are still on fire! “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”, says Shakespeare’s Polonius. It seems that consumers and banks have taken different parts of his advice. The public want to borrow less and high-street banks are lending less. That is what we can take away from batch of figures from the British Bankers Association. Followers of the Polonian adage may have forgotten that Polonius was a madman who spouts twaddle, his daughter goes bonkers and chucks herself in a lake, and his son kills himself with his own sword. The process of deleveraging can be just as maddening. Let’s look at the borrowing bit first. Brits are heaping up saving, paying off debts and borrowing less. Customers’ deposits are up 5% on last year. People’s demand for loans and overdrafts has dropped 7% since last year. Though people are spending 4% more on their credit cards than
last year, this is offset by repayments. Similarly, though mortgage lending is up 0.8% on last year, more are opting to repay their mortgages. The story is one of saving. Is this a result of higher mortgage rates and so on? To judge by the headlines, you would
think so. Yesterday, Santander was accused of “profiteering” after it wrote to its customers with news that it planned to hike the standard variable rate from 4.24% to 4.75%. (Some sites reported this as a 12% hike. Calm down, dear. It’s still only half a percentage point.) In fact, we haven’t seen hugely higher rates. The average standard variable rate in July was 0.15% more than last year. For the British government this is maddening. People are still heaping up savings; banks still don’t want to lend more to businesses. We still hear that giant gurgling noise as demand drains away. All ministers’ plans—to goad banks to lend more, to re-inflate the economy, to boost confidence—have all failed and failed utterly. Hence their desperation on what to do: Nationalize RBS? Force lending? Or try something more radical?
ed this year have resulted in double-digit wage declines for a number of sectors. But what has happened to inflation? It has been positive for most of the two years, and counting, since Greece was bailed out by the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund; and it has been consistently higher than expected, even adjusting for the new taxes the government has put in place as part of austerity measures ordered by Greece’s international creditors. The problem, Greek authorities say, is that Greek businesses haven’t been passing lower wage costs to prices. That has limited competitiveness gains in the Greek economy and has destroyed the purchasing power of Greek consumers, who have seen their wages fall sharply without a corresponding fall in the price of everyday goods.
Rain batters U.K. high streets, selectively Potential shoppers in the three months to July voted with their feet and kept well away from the shops, according to data from the British Retail Consortium. Footfall in the three months to July was 2.3% lower than a year ago, worse than the 2.0% fall in the previous quarter. And it wasn’t just down at heel shopping precincts that lost out. Shoppers stayed away from high streets and out of town malls as well. But Britain’s “nation of shopkeepers” refuse to blame the fall in shopper interest on themselves, ‘Heavens no. It wasn’t us’ you can almost hear them say. It was the weather. Did we hear you say “jobs fears” and “falling disposable incomes”? Now that’s bound to impact on spending. But it doesn’t explain why fashion retailers Next PLC raised its full-year outlook on the back of a recently reported hike in sales and profits. Other chains with U.K. outlets include Zara and H&M have also done well. They haven’t blamed the weather or come up with any other excuses. Perhaps they are simply selling what customers want at prices they can afford to pay.
12 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012
by Tico Silvério
Blake, the slumbering ‘Beast’ Tite won the Libertadores and now thinks he’s God The new and highly expected Libertadores’ title seems to have affected the Corinthians coach. Tite, who before conquering America often faced having his work criticised and, was sometimes, even fired, now thinks he is a philosopher of football, firing his own criticism and bad commentaries on all sides. Chelsea and Neymar were his latest targets. After the controversial defeat against Santos, Tite did not skimp words and came to label Neymar as a “bad example” in football. As for Chelsea, theoretically Corinthians rival in contention for the world title at the end of the year,
Tite said the team won the Champions League practicing “anti football”, especially against Barcelona. To this I ask, Mr. Tite, tell me which club in the world will play in attack against Barcelona? Santos tried and everyone knows what was the result. Playing against Boca Juniors may be difficult, but facing Messi, Xavi and Iniesta. is another story. So do not be fooled, because even with a Libertadores under your belt, in the history in football you are still young and making enemies is not a good idea.
Ronaldinho in the good ‘mineiro’ style
If initially Ronaldinho’s choice to go to Atletico-MG aroused doubts about the future of his career, today, with the team’s leadership in the Brazilian Championship and away from controversies, Ron-
aldinho has shown to critics that the move to Minas Gerais (State where the people is called as “mineiros”) was one of the player’s best choices in recent years. With the best record in the 1st round of the history of national championship, Atlético-MG is commanding the championship and is, without doubt, the overwhelming favourite to win the “Brasileirão” 2012. With a mix of young and experienced players as well as good players that were discredited, including Ronaldinho himself, Atletico-MG is in great position to break the fast of 41 years since last winning of the national championship. Ronaldinho has a great part in the current momentum of the club. With goals, assists, and without polemics and parties, the player has been very important in the team coached by Cuca. With the good “mineiro” style, the always smiling Ronaldinho is proving he still has a lot to give to football.
Usain Bolt is for many the big name in the history of athletics. And with the Olympic championship in London 2012, the Jamaican record holder in the 100m, 200m and 4x100 got what he most wanted, to become a living legend. His fantastic performances, matched with his good humour and charisma, made the 26 year-old athlete an idol and global source of a lot of money from his sponsors. But despite all the noise that Bolt has caused in the sports world, another name of unbelievable Jamaican team deserves more attention. Johan Blake, or simply the “Beast” is the guy who appeared always appeared behind Boltin photos from London 2012. At just 22 years old, the current world champion of the 100 meters is undoubtedly the greatest adversary of king of the tracks. However, even having amazing blast, astonishing speed and an insatiable appetite for victories, Blake still lives in the shadow of Bolt. In spite of a perceived lack of charisma, in the question of tal-
ent the young Jamaican leaves nothing to be desired, being perhaps the only one able to dethrone Usain Bolt. So remember his name as he will probably be the next to become a living legend.
Sport | 13
From Stoke Mandeville to London 2012 By ﾃ］gela Espinosa They are going to rekindle the flame of overcoming adversity through sport: 4,200 paralympic athletes coming from 160 countries will star in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. From 29 August 29 to 9 September, the city will host these games that were born at the request of the British government after World War II. Originally created for the purpose of helping all those veterans and civilians injured during the war between 1939 and 1945, the first incarnation of a Paralympic Games appeared in London Olympics Games in 1948, organized by Dr. Ludwig Guttman. In 1944, the German neurologist Guttman opened the National Spinal Injuries Centre in Stoke Mandeville Hospital - Buckinghamshire, UK. It was at this centre that Guttman introduced sport as a form of recreation and as a way aiding the recovery and rehabilitation of patients. Over time, the rehabilitation of those wounded in World War II went from being recreational activity to seeing them able to compete in sports competitions. Within the 1948 games held in London, the first competition for athletes with spinal cord injuries was organized and held on the same day of the inauguration of the Olympics , originally named as the Stoke Mandeville Games by Guttman. Participants included 14 wounded soldiers and two ex-wives of soldiers who competed in archery. The event, which was held annually, became international in 1952 when Dutch athletes participated together with British. Until 1952 the Stoke Mandeville Games
were organised by Guttman and employees of the hospital, a team of doctors, coaches, physiotherapists and administrators who decided on the rules, classifications etc. In 1958, the International Stoke Mandeville Committe was founded and was responsible for the organisation of the Games until an international federation was created years later. The Stoke Mandeville Games had to wait until Rome 1960 to officially become the Paralympic Games, with 400 athletes from 23 countries competing. Also that year a working group to study international problems that people with disabilities faced during sports activity was created. The result was the creation in 1964 of the International Sport Organization for the Disabled (IOSD), which offered opportunities to all those athletes who had been excluded fro the former Stoke Mandeville Games, this included the blind, amputees and people with cerebral palsy or paraplegia. The IOSD goal was include all disabilities in the Games, the organisation fought to include amputees and blind athletes in Toronto 1976, and those with cerebral palsy in Arnhem (Netherlands) in 1980. However, in parallel to this, some organisations oriented for athletes with cerebral palsy and blindness also appeared; they finally joined forces to create the International Co-coodinating Comittee Sports for the Disabled in the World in 1982. Finally, in September 1989 in Dusserldorf, the International Paralympic Committee was founded to act as the world body that directs the Paralympic movement and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Wheelchair Basketball at the Beijing Games (2008)
Archery in Stoke Mandeville Games (1948)
Opening of the Paralympic Games in Rome (1960)
Sport | 14 | Aug 28th – Sept 03rd 2012
UK Sport confirms ambition of second and more medals UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, has confirmed its expectations on the performances of Britain’s Paralympic athletes at the London 2012 Paralympic Games which get underway this week. Britain’s Paralympians have a tough act to follow given the sensational achievements of the Olympic team, who finished in third place with 65 medals overall. UK Sport confirmed that the goal will be to go one better and retain the second place in the medal table, a target the British Team have upheld at the past three Paralympic. The overall target is to win at least 103 medals from at least 12 different sports. Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Chair of UK Sport, said: “British Paralympic sport is better-resourced and in a stronger position than ever before. We are able to confirm that our goal of holding second place in the Paralympic medal table at our home Games remains on track, in line with our intentions set out back in 2006 when extra funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport was secured”. Britain’s Paralympic campaign towards London 2012 (2009 – 2013) has been backed by over £49 million of National Lottery, Government Exchequer and Team 2012 funds from UK Sport, underpinned by support programmes (new to this funding cycle) in the areas of research and innovation, talent and coach development. Baroness Campbell continued: “The fantastic news we received from the Prime Minister that funding for elite sport is to be maintained into the Rio cycle is a wonderful endorsement for the achieve-
ments of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to date, and it is great to be able to say with confidence, ahead of the Paralympic Games, that the era post-2012 will truly mark a new beginning for Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK”. Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: “After a fantastic Olympics all eyes will be on our Paralympic athletes. Every member of ParalympicsGB will be going all-out to deliver their best ever result, and I wish the team the very best of luck”. Dianne Thompson CBE, CEO of Camelot
Group (company responsible for the National Lottery), said: “After the stunning achievements of our National Lotteryfunded Olympians, we’re really looking forward to the prospect of our Paralympians also excelling at a home Games. National Lottery players have funded nine out of 10 of the athletes who will have competed for Team GB and ParalympicsGB at London 2012, providing them with truly life-changing support – so they should feel justifiably proud of their unique role in the nation’s outstanding sporting success. Since The National Lottery started funding elite Paralympic
sport in 1997, our athletes have consistently delivered on the world stage and we’re sure it will be no different during what promises to be an incredible 11 days of sport”. Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “ParalympicsGB is going into these Home Games better prepared through support from the National Lottery than ever before, and we are all ready to give everything to achieve our target of second in the medal table. Equally important is the fantastic news that our athletes will be competing in fully-booked venues”.
In Beijing wave, Brazil wants to shine at London 2012 The Brazil team arrives for the London 2012 Paralympic Games with the expectation of making history and improving on their performances in Beijing 2008. Four years ago, the Brazilian team broke all records with a total of 47 medals - 16 gold, 14 silver and 17 bronze, securing ninth place in the medal table. In London, Brazil will be represented by 182 athletes (115 men and 67 women) and 16 companions of athletes. One of the best medal hopes is the swimmer Daniel Dias, a true Paralympics superhuman. In 2008, Dias was the most successful Brazilian athlete, with a total of nine medals, four of them gold. Other hopes lie in athletics as Brazil in-
tends to be among the top seven in the general mode. In Beijing, the Brazilian delegation won 15 medals, four golds, four silvers and seven bronzes. Brazil also stands out in football 5 male - gold in Athens and Beijing, the Brazilian team will try to maintain this record for their third championship in London. Preparing for the Games Team Brazil’s preparation for the London Games began in 2008 in Beijing, with the participation of new athletes. Besides World Cups and international competitions, new materials and modern examinations were delivered helping to assess strengths and correct any weaknesses.
In 2010, the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) received the commission to create a plan for the long term development of Paralympic sports in Brazil from President Lula. With goals and actions to be achieved by 2016, the detailed and thorough plan began to take shape in 2011 with the transfer of nearly 20 million reais (around £60 million) by the Sports Ministry to the campaign. In 2011, the CPB, in partnership with the Government of the State of São Paulo and the city of Rio de Janeiro, created the Team Sao Paulo and Team Rio, designed to give better structure and conditions for athletes with real medal chances in London and Rio 2106.
The CPB was able to more than double the investment in Paralympic Sport in London cycle compared to Beijing, jumping from approximately 77 million to about 165 million reais, thanks to a partnership with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Sport, Caixa Economica Federal, Infraero, and the State Government of São Paulo and the city of Rio de Janeiro. This set of partnerships and investments are extremely important in Team Brazil’s achievement of ambitious goals and potential of CPB: to win seventh place in the medals table in London 2012 and fifth in 2016.
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