Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> World Cup, the Internet & the New Brasilian Insurrection
Alexandre Carvalho on Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:32:02 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> World Cup, the Internet & the New Brasilian Insurrection

World Cup, the Internet & the New Brasilian Insurrection - by Atchu

Sao Paulo, 06/11/2014

tonight at midnight we should know if the subway workers union will strike
again, effectively cutting off the main form of transportation to the
opening game Stadium, the red subway line, which travels East through the
city taking people from the epicenter of Sao Paulo near Av. Paulista to
where the game will take place, at Corinthians-Itaquera.

The police created a 2 km radius "freeze-zone" around the Stadium to
protect against protestors, but the greatest weakness in the security
detail might not be from stereotyped black-blocs or cardboard signs, but
rather an auspicious conjoining of forces. the radicalized labor movement,
students and specially the Passe-Livre anarchyvists #together might be an
explosive formula to put down the state-capitalist goliath.

During their first strike about a week ago, the metroviarios demanded
"padrao FIFA" (FIFA Standard) transportation for the people, as well as
better salaries and working conditions. many stations were closed or
picketed, causing city-wide chaos in traffic costing people's medical
appointments, schools had to close earlier, a mayhem.

The Judicial branch intervened, siding with the right-wing governor and the
financial class that simply can't afford this Copa do Mundo to fail and
dictated that the strike was "abusive" and therefore the union was
sentenced to terminate the strike or face a daily fine of R$ 500,000 per
day, about US$ 220,000 per day.

Choked financially, the union scheduled an emergency general assembly to
decide the future of the movement this Wednesday, specially eager to
discuss solidarity measures for reinstatement of the 42 workers fired in
the beginning of the strike last week for using the PA system to promote
the strike.

This event radicalized the workers. With the solidarity of other important
issue-based social movements, like Passe Livre, the transportation-issue
movement that sparked the June demonstrations of 2013, they  threatened to
strike again on the opening day of the World Cup if subway management and
the governor did not hire their comrades back by midnight this Wednesday.
With no indication that Geraldo Alckmin, the Governor of Sao Paulo, will
back down and accept this demand, another strike is imminent. Or at least a
huge mess on the making when the anarchist black-blocs do what they do very
well: direct action.

Without the red line, the main artery that communicates the downtown area
with Corinthians-Itaquera where the game will be, the vicinities of the
Stadium might turn out to be a living hell, since other road alternatives
aren't capable to absorb the extra amount of traffic coming and going to
the newly founded Stadium if the subway line is somehow compromised.

For the Governor, the only way to avoid the shame of players being
parachuted by choppers in the stadium and playing for empty stands is to
use the riot police to guarantee safe passage. right-of-way either to the
workers crossing the picket line if the strike happens or to clear road
blocks made by protestors. He already used this tactic, and nothing
suggests he won't do it again.

The key advantage that labor and radicalized youth have in this scenario is
the impossibility for police to kettle an entire railroad track heading
east to the Stadium connecting downtown Sao Paulo to the outskirt of the
city. 300 or so radicalized workers and/or protestors could burn piles of
trash or tires on the tracks and effectively stopping the trains. if shit
goes South sa the saying goes, radicals might jump in groups on the tracks
to force the trains to a halt.

this might be another David vs Goliath story. the next few hours will tell.



Alexandre Machado de Sant'Anna Carvalho, M.D./MPH
#OWS Revolutionary Games
 {AT} revplay www.revolutionarygames.net
2009 Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship
"Imagine Impossibilities" - James Joyce

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} kein.org