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The People Woke Up | Occupied Stories

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The People Woke Up

The People Woke Up
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São Paulo, Brazil–A year ago I left everything that I loved, built and cherished when I left New York City. My US visa was expired and had to forcibly go back to Brasil to nothing waiting for me.

The Arab Spring, the Spanish and Greek revolutionaries taking squares and talking about direct democracy, and Occupy Wall Street of course: the world lit on fire.

This was back in 2011, when Brasil [including] was swept by OWS.

Then in late 2012, months after the Occupies of Brasil and USA were ejected from their communal squares, my shoes brought me back to São Paulo, a city of concrete, disparity, rain and gray. The speed and violence/the uncertainty of going and coming back/the neoliberal shrine…

Rio was still on my mind. And New York. But now all I had was São Paulo, working on the frontlines of our precarious public hospitals. Working as a physician with homeless populations and the poor city elderly gave me a clear view how much the city was in severe pain. Nobody on top or on the mainstream media seemed aware or to care; then, in early 2013 a streak of violent

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assassinations took the city by assault amidst the climate of municipal elections; everybody in São Paulo terrorized. If we kept quiet or fragmented, we would be fucked.

The 20-cent fare raise attempted by the elected Workers Party (our Democrats) on the price of public transportation was the last drop.

The spark ignited this huge powder keg to its ultimate becoming, a popular revolt. Now, though, an interesting phenomenon happens, and the radical left-wing messages of the beginning are small among the many-fold messages, some of them racist or pushed by right wing media, taking the stage. All flags are out now and the multitude parade avenues like Carnival samba schools. Every bloc in the march is a different political inclination, and the way we chant feels like how we do in soccer stadiums.

Everybody has an opinion and wants to be heard. The diversity of messages flooding the streets and front pages sends a clear message to politicians that things won’t ever be the same again.

Brasil finally remembered how to riot, and the powers that be are a little afraid. the social contract has been broken.

Communa.

-Alexandre Carvalho-

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