The cameraman whose head was hit during the police repression of protests Thursday in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is still in the hospital in an induced coma, and the surgery he was given went well. The mainstream media blames the attack against him specifically on the Black Bloc protesters, in what seems to be TV vigilante justice, aimed at demonizing them and diverting the attention from those responsible for causing the violence in the first place – the riot police – to protesters themselves for opposing the unjust bus fare hike. For the capitalist class in Brazil, it is important that Black Bloc be demonized and stigmatized, because otherwise many more ordinary people would join. It is a classic manipulation technique used by those in power against the people they oppress. Mainstream media are simply doing the dirty work of the state and police. There is a controversy about who threw the artifact which hit the cameraman, which the media are using as propaganda against Black Bloc. There is no outrage or discussion that police attacked civilians and protestors firing at them tear gas grenades and other ammunition inside the Central Station of Rio de Janeiro, during the February 6th protests against a bus fare increase. Here is a list of just some of the victims of state terrorism and violence unleashed against anti-capitalist protestors just in the past weeks. 4 anarchists have been already arrested yesterday on what their comrades call “absurd accusations.”
An old man – a street vendor, who got so scared by police firing weapons at people that he ran away in terror and was hit by a bus – has died. He lost both his legs, and died hours later at the hospital. His death has not been noticed by the mainstream media in Brazil, because they are too busy washing the blood off the hands of the riot police.
Another person – see below – was killed as a result of the smearing campaign against protestors and of police repression in the January 25th protests against the World Cup. There are two people killed in the bloody repression employed against civilians in Brazil. Mainstream media seems not to notice the repression itself, but it is more concerned to save the face of those responsible for it.
On Thursday, the riot police attacked civilians who were protesting an unjust bus fare increase inside the central station, where they fired anti-protest ammunition. Police were deployed at these protests with the intent to crush them, and can be seen not wearing identification numbers on their uniforms in this picture.
After the panic police created in the Central station, people ran out. TV cameraman Santiago Ilídio Andrade was filming when he was hit by an explosive. Seconds before, uniformed police PMERJ were filmed using all sorts of ammunition to scare and disperse protesters, including such types of weapons.
As this video filmed by BBC shows, at second 0:31 you see a riot policeman firing at people. At second 0:33 there are artifacts exploding, you could see people running away scared. Mainstream media suggests protesters attacked themselves.
Seconds later, one of these artifacts which was laying on the ground – it is not known who threw it there – exploded and took off and hit the cameraman in the head. Mainstream media stooped so low that they claimed there was no evidence that police ever fired ammunition or such explosives. They lied, of course. There is such proof, as the picture below shows police using the same type of ammunition that hit the TV cameraman.
After the cameraman got injured, mainstream media launched an incredible mystification and stigmatization campaign against the Black Bloc, to incite the population against them and destroy their credibility. They created so much pressure that one person who said he was in the BB said he was involved in lifting the artifact from the ground and giving it to a person who asked for it from him, because he thought that it belonged to them. It is has not been shown that the person the BB spoke about is the one that threw the artifact. While mainstream media are demonizing the Black Bloc, and police are attacking, beating and arresting them; the state is also spying on them, and hunts them down to stop any opposition to higher bus fare rates or FIFA’s bloody World Cup. Police use many tactics to smother any opposition. Not only do they spy on them, but also infiltrate and arrest them. State repression has already resulted in 200 Black Bloc participants – who were already identified by police in Sao Paulo – staying away from the protests of January 25th against the World Cup for fear they would be sued, said Esther Solano, an academic who studies the group. However, new members emerged to take their place. “While the government does not address the key issues, people will continue to protest,” said Alcadapini, Professor at FGV. “Nothing has changed since June (2013).”
Lately, protesters say they have seen the police using such weapons to disperse peaceful protesters. Mainstream media were not enraged when cops pulled out loaded guns to evict poor people and destroy their homes for the stadium where the multi-billion dollar lucrative circus of the government and FIFA will take place in June. They are not enraged that police beat up pregnant women, old people and even kids.
They are attacking one of the most energetic and credible – because they are horizontal, leaderless and de-centralized, not to mention anti-capitalist, anti-sexist, anti-racist and anti-fascist – group, to make it easier for one of the most brutal police and criminal police in the world to engage in their destruction.
Hellcome to the World Cup: resistance to FIFA’s crimes against Brazilians is “terrorism”
As civil disobedience is mounting in Brazil, and new decentralized protests are spreading against FIFA’s World Cup and increasing costs of life for working people, the government has unleashed a demonizing campaign aimed at dehumanizing all protestors – not just BB – to make the crimes against them acceptable to the public. Activists have created some sarcastic videos about the media’s fascism – here in Portuguese and here in German.
The violent stigmatization and smearing campaign by the government and the mainstream media aims to criminalize those who oppose the World Cup’s forced evictions at gun point, enriching private contractors from public money needed for schools, hospitals, the poor, and those who resist military police brutality and violence.
As this editorialist from anovademocracia.com.br explains, this is a “a real terrorist crusade against popular mobilizations which has the support of the monopoly of the press,” who are smearing people opposing the World Cup as “vandals,” “thugs” and “criminals.” The state and media violence and demonization of protestors can already be held responsible for a death: during the Brazil-wide protests against the World Cup, in Sao Paulo, a man rammed into a crowd of demonstrators and a boy was killed.
The crimes committed against poor people in the name of FIFA’s mega-event and huge profits are rationalized and painted as acceptable by the bourgeoisie: “removal of slums, rampant police crackdown on the protests, the militarized attacks against poor neighborhoods, orgy with public money, etc.”
This campaign is preparing the terrain for public acceptance of the Cup Laws, which will be enforced starting March 12th. These laws will consider any opposition to the World Cup as “an act of terrorism.” Nevertheless, this editorialist could not be more clear about what they actually are: these laws are in fact “the real terrorism against legitimate popular demands.” These laws will make possible the immediate arrest and imprisonment of all victims of the capitalist state repression in the name of the World Cup: “The real crime of terror, especially against the poorest, are not “so important” to the “infame authorities” committed to the profits of the big bourgeoisie.”
However, the government won’t call it terrorism when the contractors who’ll make huge profits from the megalomaniac stadium of the World Cup are using slaves to build it – thousands of people who fled to Brazil from Haiti in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the 2010 earthquake and other disasters and massacres committed against Haitians by the UN – are used as slave labourers in the building of the stadiums.
Racism in Brazil is rampant, as this horrific attack against a black undocumented young man has proven. He was assaulted, left naked and his neck caught in a bike lock in Flamengo (south of Rio), and the woman who tried to help him was later harassed and threatened on social media networks.
But no one will hear FIFA utter a word about the criminal racism displayed by the government of Brazil, their brothers in money.
Javier Poves, former Atletico Madrid and currently part Sporting Gijon, has hung up his boots and quit playing. “Professional football is only about money and corruption. It is capitalism, and capitalism is death. I do not want to be part of a system that is based on people who earn money from the death of others, “said Javier Poves. Is this football player going to be considered “a terrorist” too?
If you’re a football fan that plans to travel to Brazil for the cup, and you think the military police will protect you in Brazil, you’ll likely want to reconsider. Unless you’re someone very important, police won’t hesitate to attack you as well. When you check in, get used to the rubber bullets (or worse) and to mad, insane, violent Military Police (who are trained to beat people by the the “democratic” European Union). As this video shows, you could could be in your hotel, when the military police decide to take it under siege, just like they did on January 25th. This video has been put together by Jornal Urbano Mídia Independente:
@caranovanocongr: “NOTICE TO FOREIGN TOURISTS: THERE WILL BE VIOLENT PROTESTS DURING THE WORLD CUP IN BRAZIL.” #NAOVAITERCOPA:
In English: “Since travel warnings have recently been issued for threats of violence (The US Embassy in Russia has issued a travel warning for the Sochi Olympics, and the US Embassy in Germany has issued a travel warning for Hamburg because of the police violence during dangerzone protests), activists are asking the US and other countries who are accomplices in this racist, economic and social war on the poor to issue a travel warning in Brazil during the World Cup as well. One would think they would find police’s violence against defenseless people of Brazil troublesome and potentially dangerous for travelers. They are clearly putting people at risk by ignoring such brutal and violent cops.”
Here it is in Portugese:
“Desde que os alertas de viagens foram recentemente emitidos para as ameaças de possiveis violências (A Embaixada dos EUA na Rússia emitiu um alerta de viagem para os Jogos Olímpicos de Sochi, e da Embaixada dos EUA na Alemanha emitiu um alerta de viagem para Hamburgo por causa da violência da polícia durante as áreas de risco de protestos) , os ativistas estão pedindo os EUA e outros países que são cúmplices nesta guerra racista, econômica e social sobre os pobres para emitir um alerta de viagem antes da Copa do Mundo no Brasil também. Logicamente, embaixadas estrangeiras podem achar que a violência da polícia contra pessoas indefesas do Brasil, possa ser algo problemático e potencialmente perigoso para os viajantes. O governo dos EUA emitiram recentemente alertas de viagem para revoltas no Brasil e no Reino Unido já emitiram avisos sobre os protestos contra a copa do mundo. Muitas embaixadas estão colocando claramente as pessoas em risco, ignorando a violência e brutalidade policial.”
You can post your warnings in any language on this page and they will be translated and spread around. If capitalists get away with what they’re doing in Brazil, they will do it everywhere.
It’s no accident that a German newspaper has thanked Brazilians for standing up to “FIFA, an anti-democratic entity”. It’s true that FIFA hates democracy, they prefer “iron fist” tyrants to keep their profits coming in.
mamzbondok: ”Deep holes on the wall give a hint to the kind of bullets used by police against protestors.”
Supporting the World Cup and FIFA means supporting a racist, social and economic war against poor defenseless people. Be aware of that. This documentary proves how the capitalist class and the state attacked and destroyed the communities of Vidigal, Vila Autódromo, Providência, the port region of Rio and the surroundings of the Maracanã stadium. “These communities have been recognized as some of the most affected by real estate speculation, a phenomenon in which housing prices are increasing due to preparation for the major world events to be hosted in Rio: the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016. As a result of the rising prices, Rio residents, primarily the poorest residents are being forced to move to distant suburbs that lack infrastructure and services and are dominated by heavily armed militia.”
This is what FIFA gets away with, watch with care, police violence:
If you like football, take a stand against FIFA’s World Cup. It’s not just football, it’s capitalism.