World Cup 2014 – The Protests Are Back In The Streets

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A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches where individuals wear black clothing, scarves, sunglasses, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing and face-protecting items. It’s clear that the clothing is used to conceal marchers’ identities and hinder criminal prosecution. It is also used to protect their faces and eyes from items such as pepper-spray which law enforcement often uses to stun. The tactic allows the group to appear as one large unified mass, and promotes solidarity. Black bloc participants are often associated with anarchism.(Wiki)

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Recently Black Bloc Paulista (from the city of São Paulo) promised to radicalise protests during the World Cup Football.

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Even after the use of firework, which caused the death of cameraman Santiago Andrade in a protest in Rio de Janeiro, the supporters of the black bloc tactic, in São Paulo, promise to radicalise their demonstrations against the World Cup and don’t even dismiss attacks on delegations of foreign football teams.

“Our tactic was never to hurt civilians, but if nobody is listening, we’re going to scare the gringo. (gringo is the disdainful term for an American, but is commonly used for every foreigner). We don’t want to injure people, but if we need to, a Molotov cocktail in a bus of a delegation or hotel where the teams will stay, we will do it”, said in an interview with the daily newspaper Estado, Pedro (not his real name), a fan of the tactic in São Paulo.

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According to him, the actions are discussed by black blocs, which are organized in what they call cells, small groups of up to 30 people participating in the protests together. “We avoid talking on Facebook. Such strategies require personal contact or by Whatsapp. To give you this interview, I had to consult the other members of the cell”, he said.

In São Paulo, there are at least ten cells. “In total, that should be about 300 participants who are actually active, but during the World Cup, I’m sure the number will be higher. I guess it will be more than a thousand”, he says.

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According to the protester, the goal is to show foreigners that the country has no security and convince them to give up staying in Brazil. “If a selection feel that there is a life-threatening situation, do you think they will want to stay here? We’re not against the World Cup or against football. Our fight is for better education and better health care”, said the young resident of Itaquera on the east side of the city.

Peter also revealed that although the supporters of the black bloc tactic don’t have regular meetings or leadership, they are preparing together for the protests against the World Cup, even with physical training. “Everyone must get ready because the Military Police will come in with great force. We are preparing to practice martial arts like Krav Maga, Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai”, he said.

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The next big demonstration against the World Cup is scheduled for Saturday, Febr. 22, in cities across the country. At Facebook, over 10 thousand people have confirmed their presence at the demonstration in São Paulo.

Unlike the street protests in June last year, which had as main coordinator Movimento Passe Livre (MPL), protests against the World Cup don’t have a single organiser, and unite the most diverse social movements from health care militants till the so called hacker activists such as members of Anonymous. These groups formed the collective “If You Do Not Have Rights, You Will Not Have The World Cup”.

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For IG , part of the movement against the 2014 World Cup, who discloses the activities on the social networks, the current protests attracts many protesters from the June last year actions, who feel “abandoned” after the MPL achieved the reduction of bus fares in various cities across the country.

“I felt like an orphan because the MPL abandoned the streets. And so other horizontal protests appeared, which created affinity groups. The protests are now horizontal, popular and without interference from political parties and trade unions”, he said.

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Protesters against the World Cup promise to act on several fronts, even off the streets. “What I can say is that we will support street protests with virtual actions, about which I can’t say much at this moment”, confirms a member of Anonymous. The invasion of official websites is on the board.

source: Estadão