For Your Entertainment (FYE)
“But who really are these protesters who plan to run riot at the World Cup as soon as the inaugural game kicks off on June 12? ”
“”It is the 10 percent of the demonstration that don’t run from police, who are not scared. Nobody owns it,” said the protester, who identified himself only as AM because of the risks of arrest.”
” The tactic, AM explained, consists of militant protesters, often masked and wearing dark colors, swelling together in a block during demonstrations. They break into runs, jump and shout, helping to provoke confrontation. And when police inevitably react, they are not scared to hit back.
“It is the violence that has always been in the slums of Brazil but now has come to the center of town,” said AM, a 32-year-old native of Sao Paulo.”
“Protesters inside the Black Blocs can actually have different political positions, he adds. But many, including him, are drawn to a form of anarchism, which he asserts is not left- or right-wing but against the entire system.”
“Like many in Brazil, AM is angry at the government’s spending some $11 billion on the World Cup while the country has dilapidated schools and hospitals. However, he also sees the protests as a chance to confront the wider problems in Latin America’s biggest nation. He views the movement against the cup as part of a global wave of protests being played out from Egypt to Spain to Oakland.”
“The Black Bloc tactic actually has its roots as far back as the 1980s in Germany, when squatters and anti-nuclear protesters mobbed together to confront police, and were dubbed “der schwarze block.”
It was taken on by protesters around the new millennium in the anti-globalization movement that disrupted World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings such as that in Seattle.”
“Many of those filling the blocs’ ranks are teenagers or in their early 20s, often from the middle and emerging lower-middle class, according to AM.
“The new generation is very radical,” the protester says. “Many have no children, serious jobs or responsibilities and they are not scared to confront the police head on.””
“However, many protesters condemn all the political parties, pouring scorn on the opposition as well as the government.
“The protests come from young people who are very disappointed with all politicians,” says Esther Solano, a social scientist who has been studying the Black Blocs. “The level of apathy among young people towards party politics here in Brazil is incredible.”
Solano concedes that a problem with the radical protests is they are not offering any clear alternative.
“It is a negative protest. They know what they don’t want but not what they want,” Solano said. “But this is because it is a historic moment of change. Many people are fed up with the old system but a new system hasn’t been built yet.”
Maybe this sounds familiar to “Baby Boomers” who may remember Europe May 1968 Events and the “Chicago 68” Democratic National Convention (DNC) USA “Yippie” movement…..
“The May 1968 events in France were a volatile period of civil unrest punctuated by massive general strikes and the occupation of factories and universities across France. It was the largest general strike ever attempted in France, and the first ever nation-wide wildcat general strike. At the height of its fervor, the unrest virtually brought the entire advanced capitalist economy of France to a dramatic halt.The events had a resounding impact on French society that would be felt for decades to come.”
“The Youth International Party, whose members were commonly called Yippies, was a radically youth-oriented and countercultural revolutionaryoffshoot of the free speech and anti-war movements of the 1960s. It was founded on December 31, 1967. They employed theatrical gestures, such as advancing a pig (“Pigasus the Immortal”) as a candidate for President in 1968, to mock the social status quo. They have been described as a highly theatrical, anti-authoritarian and anarchist youth movement of “symbolic politics”.
Since they were well known for street theater and politically themed pranks, many of the “old school” political left either ignored or denounced them. According to ABC News, “The group was known for street theater pranks and was once referred to as the ‘Groucho Marxists‘.”
Maybe even the slogans of the time could seem familiar today…….
“Je suis Marxiste—tendance Groucho. (“I’m a Marxist—of the Groucho variety.”)
Cela nous concerne tous. (“This concerns everyone.”)
Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible. (“Be realistic, ask the impossible.”)
“When the National Assembly becomes a bourgeois theater, all the bourgeois theaters should be turned into national assemblies.” (Written above the entrance of the occupied Odéon Theater)
Sous les pavés, la plage! (“Under the cobblestones, the beach.”)
“I love you!!! Oh, say it with paving stones!!!”
“Read Reich and act accordingly!” (University of Frankfurt; similar Reichian slogans were scrawled on the walls of the Sorbonne, and in Berlin students threw copies of Reich’s The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933) at the police).”