Social Movements august 2013
THE TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF: Priscila Bellini JORNALISTS: Leticia Naísa Ana Clara Abreu Ana Carolina dos Santos Lebre Khaled Youness Murilo Carnelosso POETRY: Beatriz Guimarães ILLUSTRATION: Matheus Bagaiolo DESIGN: Nathalia Lampiasi Leonardo Rodrigues PHOTOGRAPHY: Gabriela Batista 432 - Enzo e Thaís Brunno Marchetti TRANSLATION: Priscila Bellini Olívia Mota Caio Barrocal REVISION : Priscila Bellini
Illustrations by Matheus Bagaiolo p. 4 The power of the media on groupthink p. 8
Don’t burry my heart at the Wounded Knee p. 12
Guimarães p. 15
The uncertainty march p. 18
Egypt: Correction of the diversion p. 20
Protests MPL p. 22
For democratic media It’s hard to identify what the recent protests in June were. Definitely, the social movements have been there for years, as well as political parties and nonpartisan groups which, for decades, were violently repressed. What could make this wave of protests different from others? In order to help clarifying what might be the answer for many question we already have about the protests, the Contexto magazine, in the first edition, tries to elucidate the main aspects of the protests throughout the country. Youth must understand the variables of the political game – and guaranteeing it is part of what Contexto defines as democracy. Right-wing political parties, the way the media has been showing what’s happening in Brazil, and protests around the world: the understanding of the whole situation is a matter of necessity, before giving any opinion about it. What does the waking giant has to learn from those who had never slept? In this edition, you will find articles about different questions regarding the “waking of the giant”, as well as many pictures taken during the protests, by Gabriela Batista and 432. You will also find inspiring poems by Beatriz Guimarães and the work of Matheus Bagaiolo, about politics and culture. All the articles were written by youth who joined the team and translated thanks to the help of translator who joined Contexto team as well. We must thank all the members of the team, who were really supportive, and those who help us, even those who did it indirectly. We also thank YALLAH (Youth Allied to Lead,
Learn And Help) and Qatar Foundation International, whose support was essential to make it all happen, since the beginning, with the Service Project Grant and all the supportive (and patient!) members of QFI. This team made Contexto a magazine which brings discussions and important topics, nationally and internationally. This same team invites you to join the project and understand what’s happening around the world, and learn more about it – if you’re Brazilian, Qatari, American… Everyone is welcome. Join our discussions, suggest topics, write, send, illustrate. Your work is welcome, your opinion is welcome, you are welcome. The main goal of Contexto is fighting for democratic media - and establishing dialogue between people from different cultures, different contexts.
Priscila Bellini Editor in chief Bem-vindo à Contexto! Welcome! Ahla wa sahla!
Correndo da correria
Matheus Bagaiolo studies Journalism at PUCSP and presents his work related to politics and culture in the first edition of Contexto. More work can be seen in http://www.raphaelli7. blogspot.com.br Sobre Adorno august 2013
The power of the media on groupthink
By Murilo Carnelosso de Jesus
The influence of the media in the profile and acceptance of the protests that have spread across the country shows the power of the media in shaping public opinion. Brazil is going through one of its most outstanding political moments in its recent history. The manifestations, which had their fuse because of the raise in the public transportation taxes, had repercussions during the protests organized by “Movimento Passe Livre” (MPL - Free Pass Movement) hardly repressed in Sao Paulo by the military police. Right after that, the movements spread to many Brazilian cities, leading thousands of people to the streets. The people who went to the streets claimed their rights in the biggest protests that the country went through, since the impeachment of Fernando Collor de Mello, the president of Brazil in 1992. However, what started because of the raise in the transportation taxes – in case of Sao Paulo, a raise of twenty cents (from R$3,00 to R$3,20)soon took the most varied forms. The agenda of the manifestations had diversified, protesters now also asked for more investments in public services, as health and education, criticized the abusive spending with soccer stadiums, disapproved the politicians work and asked for the end of corruption. Why so many different banners, and sometimes so distant, were raised? How, from day to night, so many people went to the streets to shout out against everything and everyone? Many factors explain that situation, in example of the general dissatisfaction of the population before the conditions of life in Brazilian big cities, besides the lack of credulity on the politicians actions. One crucial factor to this turn around was the acting of big communication companies covering the manifestations. The changing on the positioning of the great media about the protests, which so far were hardly criticized by the same vehicles and repressed by the police forces, coincided with the subsequent massive adherence of the population to the manifestations and the plurality 8
demand that appeared in the streets.
The First Protests São Paulo, city which was the center of the rebellions that spread through the country, had its First Great Act against the Pass organized by MOL on June 6th. It is estimated that around 2 and 4 thousand people participated on the protest, and it ended with confrontations with the police that used nonlethal weapons to repress the protesters. “It ended in vandalism and depredation protest organized by groups of students against the raise on the transportation taxes in Sao Paulo” The Shock Troops of the Military Police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to liberate one of the main routes of the city, Paulista Avenue”: that was how Jornal da Globo started its news, later that night. On the next day, another act had been organized by MPL, with the same repressive ending and the same repercussion. “To protes against the raise of the public transportation tax in Sao Paulo, groups of students caused caos in the biggest city of the country. When they closed Marginal Pinheiros, at the time to come back home, the police had to use teargas to break the block”, announced one more time the night news
of TV Globo. The third day of protests in the most populous city of Brazil occurred on June 11th, and official sources diverge between 3 and 12 thousand the number of participants. Even with the multiplication of reports on the Internet delating the police officers abuse against the protesters that were practicing their free right to express themselves, the journalistic coverage of the big vehicles continued to treat the movement as something irresponsible and controlled by vandals. The headline of the newspaper Folha de São Paulo of the following day said “Against the tax, protesters vandalize downtown and Paulista”. The other newspaper of big currency in the city, O Estado de São Paulo, did not fall behind on the headline “Biggest protest against the tax has bombs and depredation”. On their coverage, total attention to the damage caused in the city, all supposedly caused by the protesters, who were in confronta-
tion with the police. However, the protest of this day caused an unusual reaction from different communication parts and journalists, which made hard comments on the following days. “Behind all the confusion, there is the Movimento Passe Livre, which is including making a pool of money to set the vandals free from jail”, commented Raquel Sheherazade, on Jornal do SBT of June 12th, about the financial help that MPL seek for to pay the bail of arrested protesters by exaggerated explanations,
as conspiracy. The journalist Arnaldo Jabor, on the other hand, described the young people who went to the streets as the “violent caricature of the caricature of a Socialism from the 50’, that the Old Opposition still defends here”. And ended in a scathing way: “really, these rebels of the middle class do not worth 20 cents”. June 13th deserves a very special attention, because it would mark the manifestations turnaround. After three protests in Sao Paulo and with the fourth act announced to the beginning of that Thursday night, the city dawned with its two main newspapers printing the headlines “Return to Paulista” and “That’s enough time”, he first one, published at Folha de São Paulo, besides criticizing the cause of the protest, saying that the vindication of reverting the raise of the bus tax was nothing but an “excuse, and of the most despicable ones”, put almost as an honor question to deny the access to Paulista Avenue to the protesters. “It is time to put an end on this. City Hall and Military Police need to make worth the restrictions that already exist to protests on Paulista Avenue”, suggested the text, which also demanded the “law force” to restrain the “vandals”. The second one, authored by the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, was even more radical. Claimed for a rigorous action from the Military Police, that until that moment “acted with moderation”, according to the newspaper. Among of one of its suggestions, asks to the governor Geraldo Alckmin to “determine that the Military Police acts with the maximum severity to restrain the anger of the protesters, before it takes over the city”. And they got what they asked. Numbers point out to at least 100 people got hurt that night in Sao Paulo – among them several journalists from big communication vehicles. Including the reporter of Folha, Giuliana Vallone, hit in the eye by a rubber bullet shoot by Rota, elite squad of the Sao Paulo police – and 300 protesters were arrested. august 2013
More than 100 of these arrests were done “to investigate”, in other words, no accusation. Many of them, among them the reporter Piero Locatelli, from Carta Capital magazine, were arrested because they were porting vinegar, illegal substance that reduces the effects of the bombs thrown by the police forces. The flagrant police distemper turned the midiatic opinion about the protests that took the streets of Sao Paulo over and over. The text of the columnist Elio Gaspari, who writes for Folha de São Paulo and O Globo, with self-explanatory title “The Military Police began the battle at Maria Antônia”, is one of the marks of this process. He threw open that the situation was not as simple as the news were saying. In this case, the police had, deliberately, attacked the protesters who were there in peace. Jornal da Globo started their news that night saying that “intense police repression prevented on this Thursday that protests spread through all Sao Paulo downtown against the transportation tax”. The big press started to realize that violence was not coming from the protesters, and that the disastrous police acting collaborated to that.
“And now, José?” The following days were marked by more reports of police truculence at the fatidic Thursday, and by the change on the press posture before the protests. The same two big newspapers from Sao Paulo, which two 10
days earlier had demanded total repression of the manifestations, began to transform their speech and brought, on their Saturday edition pages, editorials that criticized staunchly the policial acting and pointed out to a supposed diversification on the protests claims. Folha de São Paulo, that denominated the policemen as “caos agents”, highlighted on its text that “Sao Paulo’s Military Police starred, the night before yesterday, an spectacle unpreparedness, truculence and lack of control”. O Estado de São Paulo, in its trying to “understand the manifestations”, highlighted the fact that “some protesters” declared that “other participants of the protests are already bringing up, side by side to the raise of the public transpor-
tation taxes, problems on health and education”. This was the environment, reassuring many times on the newspapers, of resentment with the police action and emergence of more causes on the protests – that at this point were not only in Sao Paulo, occurring also in cities like Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro, Maceió, Brasília – which propitiated the exponential growth of the number of protesters at the marches that followed. It was not “only” the decrease on the public transportation taxes. If until then the number of protesters in each city was not more than 5 or 10 thousand, on this day crowds went to the streets. It was more than 100 thousand people in Rio de Janeiro, 65 thousand in Sao Paulo, 10 thousand in Rio Grande do Sul, and in Curitiba, 13 thousand in Belém, besides other manifestations in almost all main cities in the country. All of this was based on official numbers, questioned by alternative media and by social networks users. Since then, newspapers started to position themselves in favor of the protests and to distinguish the protesters. “Sao Paulo also had a huge pacific manifestation and after the riot provoked by a SMALL group in front of Palácio dos Bandeirantes”, said at Jornal da Globo on June 17th. Now, there was the legitimate and pacific majority and the minority scourer, the vandals. However, the media did not encouraged thousands of people to go to the streets from day to night only. Other claim – that were not only the public transportation tax – strengthened manifestations Brazil apart, much due to the media influence. “In the heat of much anxiety, the question about the taxes became a miff. Protests emerged deeper and even more legitimate.. People now marched against violence, corruption, injustice, the system, the waste of public money on stadiums to the World Cup”, said Rachel Sheherzade. Arnaldo Jabor, besides apologizing for the earlier week comments, also gave his opinion on which cases were fair to fight for. “A new politics is needed, reinventing itself, but with concrete objectives. For example, the fight against PEC 37, that will be voted next week to limit Public Ministry that defends society”, said the journalist that until the week before had given hard critics on the protesters. Again, the media voice rapidly reverberated through the streets. After the revocation on the raise of public transportation taxes in many cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the protesters
continued on the streets. The following days, protests against the spending on soccer stadiums multiplied and became a routine on the outsides of the constructions that protected the Confederations Cup games, in cities as Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Belo Horizonte. Another endless amount of vindications was being heard in the middle of the crowds – mainly generic causes, like the end of corruption, and the absolute renouncement to the political group and any other party organization. The protesters were proud to self-denominate them nonpartisan, but they behave as against partisan, denying the presence of any flag from political and social organizations. The big manifestations continued, always reported by the same way for the press. The “pacific majority” fought for “legitimate” causes, like the “end of corruption”, and rejected the politicians and everything that reminded of them. There were big manifestations organized during the Confederations Cup, demanding explanations about the expenses on the event stadiums. On the other hand, other small protests continued to happen at the suburb, but without the same repercussion as in the protests downtown. It is undeniable the influence that media had in the manifestations course. If before the rebels were “vandals”, according to the approach of the big communication vehicles, the population also saw them as “rioters that disturbed the time to come back home”. When these same great press organs related the police abuse and, if they did not position themselves fast, at least they stopped criticizing blindly the protests, thousands went to the streets. The more a cause was suggested and pointed out on the newspapers’ pages and in the voice of the television analysts, more it was heard among the popular screams on the big protests. Thus the great media influenced one more time the public opinion.
Picture by Ruy Sposati
Don’t bury my Wounded Knee
By Ana Carolina dos Santos Lebre
Before the riots began, indigenous people had already raised their voices against the conservative government’s proposals.
As if they were preparing the area for the big riots that happened in June, a month before, on May 15th, indigenous people of “Terena” ethnic group occupied Buruti, a farm in Sidrolândia (Mato Grosso do Sul – Brazil). The place had already been delimited as indigenous territory, and was in the process to be formalized. However, judicial procedure had already taken over 13 years and indigenous people decided they wouldn’t wait anymore. Without a warning or a sign, the Federal Police and the Battalion of Special Operations (Cigcol) started a process of repossession and overran the place, taking 15 indigenous people arrested for acting violently and disrespecting 12
the authorities. Native Oziel Gabriel was killed on the morning of May 30th and other 28 “Terena” were shot with rubber bullets. The death of Oziel, nevertheless, ended up motivating the uprising of “Terena”group, which,had already occupied 3 thousand hectares of “Esperança farm” by the dawn of May 31st, area known as Aquidiana, close to the indigenous area in Buriti. Interviewed about what happened to indigenous people, Lindomar Terena said “these actions of the Terena communities happened because Brazilian government isn’t interested in solving the indigenous issues. Retaking the lands is our last resource in order to have the
laws and our rights respected. Terena people are not the only ones who suffer hoping to have their rights respected. Practically, the situation is the same for “Guarani-Kaiowá” people and the other indigenous groups that live in Mato Grosso do Sul (second Brazilian state with more natives in it’s population). Without lands and without jobs, only two alternatives are left for these groups: slavery or suicide. About a Thousand of Guarani-Kaiowá chose the second alternative these last months. Since the time of Brazilian dictatorship, when the government motivated the ocupation of the Midwest, indigenous people are confined to small areas which are called “indigenous reserves”, these areas are nothing more than lands disappropriated by the government. These areas are very different from other areas called “indigenous territory” which have historical and cultural value for the ethnic group that lives in it, appropriate lands for these natives to fully exercise their culture and their beliefs (for example, Buriti territory). Government’s measures in the 70’s granted these areas to large landowners. Today’s measures are not so different form this. Large farmers and members of the agribusiness sector strongly push Brazilian Congress. On May 28th, during a meeting with Brazilian Presidential Chief of Staff Minister Gleisi Hoffmann, the landowners defended the Project that submits the decision of limiting indigenous areas to agencies like Embrapa (Brazilian company to agriculture and development, freely translated from original portuguese), the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrar-
May 2nd, 2013 – Ocupation of Belo Monte hydroelectric plant’s work site: indigenous protest against the consequences of the construction of Belo Monte. Picture by Ruy Sposati
ian Development (MDA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA). Furthermore, congressional block from the rural areas, pushes the government to implement the ordinance 419 which narrows the performance of FUNAI (National Foundation for Indigenous) and environmental agencies – in addition to PEC 215, a Constitutional Amendment Bill that grants to the Congress the power of limiting indigenous areas (currently, the responsability over these lands are of FUNAI and the Ministry Of Justice). In order to prevent further conflict between the indigenous and the farmers, the government decided to suspend the limitation of land until more studies are completed. According to Cimi (Indigenous Missionary Council, freely translated from portuguese), the changes proposed by the government and defended by the large farmers when it comes to lands, hold the structures of dominance of the latifundia and make it very hard for the natives to have access to their traditional occupations. In a speech to “Rede Brasil Atual” (a radio channel), Cimi’s executive secretary Cleber Cesar Buzzato claims that the government is only giving attention to the agribusiness sector. Given this situation, indigenous people
organize themselves in order to ensure their rights. In Paraná, early in July, after the suspension of the process of indigenous’ lands limitation, leaders of lots of ethnic groups occupied PT(Workers’Party)’s headquarters in Curitiba. At the same time, popular organizations such as MST (Movement of the Landless Rural Workers, freely translated) organized a march supporting the fight and the claims of indigenous people. Indigenous’ uprising called a lot of attention. On July 10th, president Dilma got together with leaders of all Brazilian indigenous groups in order to discuss about their lands and some other topics related to their rights, like the access to health treatments and hospitals. During the meeting, the Aty Guasu (Guarani-Kaiowá General Assembly, freely translated) claimed that the invasions happened because the government neglects indigenous’ rights and lands, which are still controled by the large farmers. Aty Guasu handed a letter to president Dilma in which they say: “The farmers are still illegally getting richer august 2013
with these indigenous lands”. Discussions didn’t bring considerable progress even with a promisse Dilma made in order to lessen the conflicts – which doesn’t really result in a better situation to indigeous’ rights and politics. Discussions are still in their way. The commission of the National Council of Justice (CNJ) will publish the final report in the beggining of August. Indigenous’ leaders said that they won’t occupy the lands until the report is published and that they’ll discuss the subject on August 9th during the 3rd General Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of Mato Grosso do Sul that will happen after the analysis of CNJ’s report. Situation in recent months, Brazil went through a wave of demonstrations and downtimes. Young people stood up, workers stopped their tasks on July 11th and indigenous groups got together against the old colonialist logic, which has been deliberately considering indigenous people bar-
riers of a twisted logic of development. They said no! Among the subjects that made indigenous people say “no”, are their land’s expropriation, the dispossession of their culture and the genocide. They occupied what is rightfully theirs, they stopped the construction of Belo Monte hydroelectric plant for more than two weeks and made the world see Maracanã not only as a stadium but as a place of conservation of indigenous’ history and beliefs. They left their confinement and now they require that the government will listen to them, answer them and look them directly in the eyes.
“Back in the o ld days, when the good guy and married th won against th e good girl, no e bandit one was a wors tive, the indige e bandit than th ne. When the e napeaceful settle the new prom rs were talking ised land, the about camera show tains nearby ed the tops of and they were the mounright there: th e hated silho uettes.”
the Foreword to the Brazilia n edition of Bury My H eart At Woun ded Knee.
PROSE AND POETRY
Beatriz s e ã r a m i Gu
timeassian (,) rn a P e th – Genetics radox less (,) pa re: s hurt mo ing What doe dock, leav e th n o t, a The sailbo ye or any greeting? db o o g er? or no s last long t a Wh doe nd s has an e y a lw a ty au ou awake ‘Cause be dreams, y e th ll a r ember and afte can’t rem u o y , h g u tho nly gloom - ms were o a re d r u o if y w it’s ou see ho y n e h w l Beautifu born ne, lready go a is n e h st and sad w emories la m e th t u b e: what we’r and that’s . mes chromoso
Water (III) There’s fresh water Salt water, too and even the tasteless one The best one certainly is the slightly salty, softly sweet of a woman quenching another woman’s thirst.
Beatriz Guimarães studies Literary Studies at Unicamp, and is also part of the team of the website Fala Cultura.
Intern war The Egyptian revolution hasn’t come to women By Letícia Naísa On July 3, 2013, Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi was deposed by the army, causing another wave of protests in the country’s public squares. At least 88 people have been killed, according to Amnesty International (consulted until the closing of this article), and the country’s constitution was suspended temporarily. The atmosphere of war was settled in the country between pro-and anti Mursi. Unfortunately, this war extends to the field of gender: at least 200 women have been raped during demonstrations since June 28, according to Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s researcher in Cairo. Tahrir Square, symbol of the biggest demonstrations in Egypt, also staged countless hours of horror for women, since the beginning of the Arab Spring, in 2011. The case that drew the attention at the time was the American journalist Lara Logan, who was covering the fall of Mubarak for CBS. “All I could feel was their hands raping me,” said the reporter in an interview months later. Besides Logan, other journalists were also attacked while they were covering the protests. The organization Reporters Without Borders (RWB) advised international media organizations not to send female reporters to the protests and conflicts, in order to prevent cases of sexual violence, which caused quite a controversy
and made RWB adapted its text and only indicated that the safety of reporters was increased. Fear in the Square If foreign journalists were victims of many attacks while covering the protests, what can we say about the Egyptian women trying to express themselves? Testimonies of dozens of women who were victims of rape have appeared in major international media. The journalist Hanan Razek, BBC, gave voice to some of these women in the documentary “Women of Tahrir Square.” They tell how they were assaulted and humiliated by military cops, that made them feel guilty because they had occupied the streets - and they arrived to receive threats. Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American journalist, published an article in Foreign Policy magazine in 2012 titled “Why do they hate us?”, questioning the standards that diminish women in the Arab World. In her opinion, women’s revolution should be a revolution apart from the Arab Spring. The journalist and professor at the Federal University of Bahia, Maira Kubík Mano, agrees that women’s revolution is still unfinished matter in the world, even in times of mobilization, because women’s claims remain in the background when compared to the struggle for change regarding the political system. In her opinion, “it’s not because, in the Arab Spring or Brazilian Autumn, people are taking the streets, that this automatically means that they stop being sexist or homo-lesbotransphobic”. Mona highlights that in Egypt, women have to take “virginity tests” and still have their genitals mutilated – although the practice has already been banned. According to 2008 data, 83% of Egyptian women said they had already been raped. The origins of misogyny are closely linked to the way women are treated for centuries. “Violence against women does not come from nowhere. It is practiced and repeated daily for millennia, including for religious leaders. Violence -
not only physical but also psychological. It creates an atmosphere, in societies, of permissiveness, where women are ‘naturally’ considered inferior or man’s property and, therefore, should be treated as such. In Islam, Christianity or Judaism. What does not necessarily speak against religion, but yet the way they are interpreted and conducted” says Maíra “ I met women who fought for the reinterpretation of the Quran. They called themselves Muslims, but said that the holy book was not being treated properly and that he alone did not preach any kind of oppression of women. “ This vision of women in the country “allows” cases of rape and aggression in Tahrir Square happen without major consequences for offenders, and victims are considered guilty. During an interview for BBC, youth
It will be necessary that these women stay strong in order to face the double revolution and be heard. Maíra shrugged: “It’s easy for me to talk about the situation in Egyp when I’m in home, and say that they should go to the streets and expose themselves. However, I believe this is the only way to change society. Women as well as gays, lesbians and transgender people, who are notoriously oppressed must be the protagonists of change. No one else can understand better the matter of oppression than a woman who was humiliated, abused, raped – she knows how much you need that it never happens again. “I will speak a cliché phrase, but it’s real: unity is strength. Women have to unite, fight together. They need to understand that they are a key point of revolution that can occur in their countries. Because if we do not get rid of sexism, racism and all prejudice, we will not have a society of equals, truly democratic, where everyone can express their opinions and fight for the political space. It is necessary for women to continue in the streets. “ However, so that they do not avoid the protests, members of rescue groups encourage women not to be silent about the abuses. So testimonies of activists have emerged on the internet and in the newspapers: they must not remain silent. The organization Nazra for Feminist Studies published four anonymous testimonies of women victims of violence in Tahrir Square - and musician Yasmine El Baramawy gave her testi-
Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian-American journalist, addressed the issue of rape in protests in Egypt
said that they “can’t avoid” rapes, “you are here and see a girl dressed indecently, what will you do?”, said one guy to the correspondent reporter Aleem Maqbool. Many of them said they went to the square to look at women. Cry for help Given this scenario, human rights organizations and other groups in Egypt have created groups of volunteers to help women who were victims of aggressions and rapes during the demonstrations. Dozens of cases were already computed. Men dressed in yellow created a corridor to protect the activists during the protest in last July 9th. Since January, various organizations like Operation Anti Sexual Harassment (OpAntiSH) have been helping rescue women during protests. Volunteers write pamphlets with emergency numbers for women in cases of assault and enter the crowd to pick women who are being raped. Tahrir activists Bodyguard, another organization created to take care of women who were raped also provide medical and psychological care to victims. These measures are necessary because they are taking risks, but end up perpetuating the fear to go out and fight for their ideals.
mony to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo about the day she was raped while protesting in November 2012: “They raped me in many ways with their hands. Not the penis. A man came from behind and raped me with a knife. Another woman had her vagina and anus opened with a knife – this was much worse. What happens is not only a sexual assault. They are violent crimes. They humiliate women. They abused me in Tahrir and then took me to a corner nearby the square. They continued abusing me. I was dragged to another street, then later and they put me on top of a car and continued raping me”. These are stories of women who were humiliated, had their clothes torn and their bodies touched by strangers. These are stories that will never be erased from their memories, their bodies and even from the floor of the Tahrir Square.
The uncertainty march By Ana Clara Pires de Abreu After wave of protests in June, right-wing political parties seem to take the streets. The scenario is dissatisfaction; politics, mostly. More than a million people took over the streets of the main Brazilian capitals. Singing the Brazilian national anthem, manifesting for freedom and order, against corruption and populist measures. June, 2013? No, it was March, 1964. The Family March with God for Freedom, the one that came before the famous civilian coup of 64 – and it was the conservatism voice in support to the military intervention. The protest all around Brazil since the mid June present some similarities with the ones from 1964, at first sight. The current context is completely different from the situation of the decade of 60 and a new dictatorship probably is not at ambush. Still, these similar traces reveal the undeniable: the right took the streets again. Which is not wrong: the act of manifesting against or in favor of something, go to the streets and fight for what, facing you believe, is not an exclusivity of the left, it is an inherent right – or it should be – to all and any citizen, regardless on their political position? However, against some causes and behavior of the protesters, a series of analysis were brought up. Maybe the biggest question is the sudden change of positioning of the great communication vehicles, in its majority allied to the conservatives sections. , In the beginning of June, when the protests organized by the MPL (Movimento Passe Livre – Free Pass Movement) started to gain contrast in the great media, the media positioned themselves against the movement, recriminating it. Instead protesters, “vandals”; instead of protests, “riot”. The journalist and annotator Arnaldo Jabor even said that the rebels did 18
not “even worth 20 cents” – mocking the cause. The phrase generated controversy, the police repression to the supposed “rioters”, and to some journalists covering what happened did not get the approval of the public opinion. In the gap of some days, the movement grew exponentially; about two weeks, the number of people on the streets went to 2 thousand for more than 1 million, spread all over the country. Finally, instead of critics, apologies. Instead of hoots, applauses. Even the extreme right began to support a movement based, at the beginning, on vindications clearly left. This sudden “change of sides” lead, even unconsciously, thousands of people to the streets – which gave a bigger dimension to the protests, the dimension of a “giant”. In a first moment it was just advantages, everything seemed to be progressing well, more and more people were adhering to the protests organized by the MPL and Brazil was gaining international support. But such a sudden growth and, in a certain way, abrupt brought some unexpected changes by those who integrated the movement before it appears on television. Other vindications were put in discussion, many of right caliber and, some, extremely hollow and less politicized. A different behavior began to be adopted by the new protesters. The giant awoke did not remember of those who never slept – and ignored the social movements and parties that fought for the protests’ causes in years. The emergence of new proposals
acronyms as CCC (Comando de Caça aos Comunistas – Communists Hunting Commando). The right, in fact, was taking over the streets. Anti-party allied to Nationalism
One of the main vindications discussed which a big part of the protesters adhered was the “end of corruption”. Under a superficial look, nothing seems to be strange in that proposal; after all, there is no one in favor of “robbery”. However, the cause has nothing to add in practice. Also many banners for the impeachment of several candidates were raised, leaving aside all the political and bureaucratic process that those dispositions would bring. For Pablo Ortellado, professor of Public Politics Management of USP, the change of politics adopted by the media “on one hand, gave this enormous dimension to the movement, but on the other side, generated a huge propagation of causes which is causing a confuse process, that we do not know where it is going, actually”. It was so many new ideas, the vindications that emerged, the changes wished, that even the initial proposal of the decrease on the taxes seem to lose a little bit of its relevance. In Paris, the protests organizers accused the Brazilian right of “kidnapping of progressives causes brought up by popular movements”. It was many the reports of protesters with attitude claimed as neo-fascist and prejudiced vindications. In Sao Paulo, after such changes on the protests profile, MPL released a note announcing that they would not call for new acts. “The suspension of new acts is for two simple reasons. We will have to analyze and make a deep reflection with people that are our allies. Nothing is done by chance. The second thing is that a lot of people from the right, with causes that we totally disagree, are taking advantages from the acts”, explained an integrant of MPL, about the course the protests were taking at the end of June. The abortion criminalization and the reducing of the age of criminal were among the ideas brought up by the conservatives, besides the use of old
“The anti-party rancidity is a negative component, undemocratic”, said, in an interview, the national president of PT, Rui Falcão, when relating the violence of the protesters against the representatives of the party during the protests. The cases of attacks to representatives of the left parties, such as the social movements, marked the last manifestations. There were many reports of banners taken by force and burned, hoots before popular vindications shouts and even physical aggression to the parties representatives. Something to think about of the protesters that before vandalism acts shouted “no violence”. Before this situation, MPL published in its official page on Facebook a note rejecting these actions “the same way we reject police violence”. In the same note, MPL put itself like “a social nonpartisan movement, but not anti-party”, and said that “since the first protests, these organizations took over at the mobilization. Opportunism is to try to exclude them from the fight that we built together”. In counterpoint to MPL, the new protesters let it clear: no political parties, The only feeling that could unite them would be “the proud of being Brazilian”. Instead of social flags, emerges the Brazilian flag. Instead of shouts for improvement, the Brazilian national anthem. It is fool patriotism on the streets again. This time, the year is 2013 – but would it be such an absurd to think of 1964?
Egypt: correction of the diversion By Khaled Yuness
Protests lead Egypt to a new transition after Morsi’s fall Conrad Hilton once said “success seems to be connected with actions. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but do not quit”. This quote perfectly describes the situation in Egypt. Egyptians did make a lot of mistakes. Some of them were huge and led to disastrous results, leading to the situation the country is currently in. However, it is normal for anyone to make mistakes - as long as the mistake is corrected. That’s exactly what the Egyptians did: they corrected the diversion in their historic revolution, shocking the whole world and rewriting history for the second time in just one year. What happened, exactly? In the beginning of 2011, Egyptians did the first historic event by going out to the street protesting against the Mubarak’s regime. Everyone in the whole world thought that achieving anything against Mubarak’s regime was just a dream - because this regime spent 30 years ensuring that he will never fall. The Egyptians, however, shocked the whole world by overthrowing Mubarak’s regime in just 18 days. Mubarak left the country under the control of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to guide the transitional period until the presidential elections. A lot of mistakes were done, like electing the president before writing the new constitution. Most of that was done for the hope that it could bring stability to the period and let it pass smoothly. At this period, the Muslim Brotherhood stated that they would take just 25% of the newly elected parliament - but they took most of it, in contradiction to what was agreed with the other parties in Egypt, justifying it that they would not nominate a candidate for the presidential elections. After some time, Egyptians were surprised by the 20
Brotherhood’s decision to nominee not one, but two candidates for the presidential elections. At this period, signs of individuality came to the surface. But, due to lack of organizing between the different revolutionary parties, and nomination of more than one candidate, it led to the shattering of the votes - which was another huge mistake. The runoff came to be between General Ahmed Shafee, who was a well known symbol of the old regime, and the second candidate was the one of the Muslim brotherhood, Dr. Mohamed Morsi. If the first one was elected, that would have meant directly the returning of Mubarak’s regime. What did a lot of people do? They chose Dr. Mohamed Morsi, just to prevent the returning of the old regime, following the rule of “the least bad thing”. In June of 2012, the transitional period ruled by the SCAF ended and the newly elected president by the first free democratic elections, Dr. Mohamed Morsi, took the responsibility of ruling the country. Derived by a lot of enthusiasm and hope of a better future, thinking that the revolution finally succeeded, a lot of people celebrated the winning of Dr. Morsi, supporting him for a better future. Dr. Morsi started his presidency with a very enthusiastic speech at Al-Tahrir Square and his speech included that he would do his best to develop the country, a national reconciliation between all Egyptian parties and there would be no elimination for anyone. “The legitimacy is and always will be yours: give it whoever you want, and prevent it from whoever you want”, he said. Mohamed Morsi, in his election program, stated that he would solve five major problems in Egypt. The problems were security vacuum, traffic congestion, fuel shortage, bread scarcities and poor public sanitation – all of that in 100 days. At the beginning, Egyptians were supporting him to do what he promised but, unfortunately, Dr. Morsi
failed to rule the country and led the people into an endless hurricane of problems. Dr. Morsi started his period with some disturbing decisions, like designating the inexperienced Dr. Hisham Kandeel as the prime minister of Egypt, relieving most of the SCAF who ruled the transitional period - including ex-Minister of Defense and the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, Hussein Tantawy, of their duties - and designating a new SCAF. At this time, there was a minor opposition, but insufficient and ineffective, because it was still the first 100 days and everyone was supporting Dr. Morsi in what he did to help solving the five key issues, as promised. Disturbance and instability arose due to a lot of factors. Talking in the name of Islam, as if they were sent by God, and ruining its image by doing everything Islam prevented Muslims to do, the electing program was just a show to get votes. They had no practical ways to make it happen in reality, concentrating on infiltrating the country by placing Muslim Brotherhood members in all key positions in the country. Dr. Mohamed Morsi was not the real leader of the country - he was just a front for the real leaders, Dr. Mohamed Badi, Chief in General of the Muslim Brotherhood and his vice chief Mr. Khirat Elshater. The constitutional declaration at late November 2012 by which he gave himself unlimited powers, including the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his actions and decisions by anyone, stimulated the deterioration of most of Egyptian relations with other nations - including the whole Arab World and most of African countries. Dividing the whole country in to two groups fighting, a civil war was imminent - which didnâ€™t happen in Egyptâ€™s darkest moments during Mubarakâ€™s era.
In June of 2013, after one year of Mr. Morsi alleged presidency, massive numbers of protesters emerged in the streets and squares in whole Egypt. The demands were simple: early presidential elections to continue the newly born democratic process - and stepping down of Mr. Morsi and the whole Muslim Brotherhood of power in Egypt. Egyptians thought that Mr. Morsi would do for the first time what he promised while he was a candidate: that he would step down, if asked to do so by the people. Instead, he refused to listen to the huge amount of protesters (estimated to be 30 million) and started to talk about the constitutional legitimacy. Due to the huge deterioration, the Armed Forces announced two warnings to all parties in Egypt: to find out a solution to fulfill the Egyptians demands, otherwise it would step in and build a road map to guide the period. But when the time limit set by the army passed without any sort of solution for the problem, the army stepped in along with Dr. Mohamed Elbradai, declaring some steps for the new transitional period, relieving Dr. Morsi of his presidency. Designating the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Mr. Adly Mansour, as acting president of Egypt, they suspended the work with the new constitution. There are three important things that must be declared. First, that the Muslim Brotherhood does not represent Islam and they are far from representing it in any way. The second is that what happened in Egypt was a not a military coup it was a civilian coup, supported by the Armed Forces. The last one is: 30th June protests are not a new revolution - it is a continuation of the 25th January revolution, by correcting the diversion that happened in its path. In the end, Egyptians have learned from their mistakes, and will work for a better future for everyone without any elimination or retaliation.
By: Gabriela Batista
By: 432 - Enzo e ThaĂs
A Contexto é uma revista online escrita por jovens do mundo todo, lançada no Brasil com a ajuda da Qatar Foundation International. Com matérias sobre política, movimentos sociais e cultura, a publicação mensal é escrita por quem se interessa por debates e quer entender melhor a mídia e as questões abordadas. Tudo isso em inglês, português e árabe! Quer escrever pra Contexto? Manda inbox pra gente! Você participa dos debates e conta com uma ajudinha na hora de desenvolver as pautas - sem neura de participar de uma edição ou outra obrigatoriamente. Se você é designer, ilustrador, escreve poesias e quer c o l a b o r a r ou divulgar seu trabalho, mande seu portfólio. Participe, faça parte desse projeto!
Published on Aug 11, 2013
Contexto is a monthly magazine about politics, social movements and culture. Written by youth from all over the world, in Portuguese, Englis...