As expected, the military police reacted with brutality in the protest held on Friday (9/1) in São Paulo, for the freezing of bus fare. At least 50 people were arrested and an unknown number of people were injured by shrapnel thrown by soldiers.
Called by the Free Pass Movement, MPL, (PasserLivre) the “Great 1st Act Against Rate“(1º Grande Ato Contra a Tarifa) assembled up to 30,000 people, according to organizers, or 5000 people (according to the PM‘s accounts).
It is a multitude of people, since the act took place during full school holidays. Much of the protesters carried flags of parties and youth organizations linked to the left (Together, The Street, Lift People, PSTU, PCO, besides the MPL itself).
The concentration held at Ramos de Azevedo square, opposite the Municipal Theater, however, already saw himself as the Government and the City “were prepared” to discuss the issue of urban mobility and, specifically, the increase in bus fares and subway, increased by São Paulo last Tuesday, of R $ 3 to R $ 3.50.
Instead of public discussion or consultation with users (key stakeholders in the public transport quality), once again, the only face of the state that appeared before the demonstrators was the strong hand of repressive state apparatus.
According to Major Larry Scott Almeida, who has had charge of the PM of the operation, at least 800 police officers were deployed to the act.
Many attended dressed in black and gray exoskeleton, like the “robocop armor“. Other -between 110 and 150 homens–, call members “troop arm“, trained to immobilize people with ‘nonlethal’ forms, surrounded the act. As is also usual in the police, many soldiers were without the IDs mandatory in uniforms.
All the police attended the event in riot gear, including armored vehicle – Centurion (war equipment), helicopters, concussion bombs, pepper gas bombs, rubber bullets.
A bad sign.
The demonstration, which had decided to march to the cyclist square, on Avenida Paulista, walking peacefully by Consolation Avenue, sound to the “Evil Fanfare“, the band that always accompanies the acts of the MPL, when a group of black blocs began to destroy bins and throwing stones at a bank branch. Then the masked protesters left escaping to neighbouring streets, blasting windows of car dealerships.
It was the password to the police start a widespread beatings, attacking all the protesters indiscriminately and even some pedestrians who passed by. Tear gas and stun grenades prevented workers from coming out of the reach of subway stations and bus stops service.
At 21h a jester in the Consolation Avenue declared the act ended. But promised new manifestation, next Friday.
The Passer Lirve movement against transport rate increase has been successful: in 2015, it extinguished the current agreements between current bus dealers and companies in the first quarter of the bidding for the establishment of new bases of concessions to be opened. It’s a whole new battlefield that opens up the discussion of urban mobility, which will depend on the heat of the streets and build the capacity of movements, again, public victories.
Translated from Ninja – click to read this article in Portuguese All images via Media Ninja
— Revolution News (@NewsRevo) January 9, 2015
During the events in Rio held in conjunction with the protest in Sao Paulo a woman is assaulted and dragged by the PM.