The Popular Horizontal Assembly of Belo Horizonte (Assembleia Popular Horizontal) was the first assembly to emerge from the current Brazilian movement, in June 18th. The number of attendants was about 1000 people in the last sessions.
The assembly adopts a methodology inspired by the 15M, with the hand signs, working groups and so on. It’s inclusive and horizontal in the sense that participation is open to everyone. But’s it’s not consensual (we vote), neither nonpartisan (the movement is “suprapartisan”, they would say) nor non violent. Violence against property and the police is not encouraged, but it’s also not condemned.
I’d say that the composition of the assembly is somewhat similar to the World Social Forum, with members from left-wing political parties, unions, social movements, autonomous collectives, occupiers and individuals with no group affiliation working together. Because of this “left” orientation, the federal government of Dilma Roussef is spared from harsh critics.
Although the majority of the people going to the streets rejects violence and the political parties, no one was able to organize a true nonpartisan and non violent movement, and we got caught in a “left versus right”, “pacifists versus vandals” scenario. In Belo Horizonte, the parties have successfully defended their “legitimacy” to show their banners in the demonstrations. On the other hand, the demos (some with more than 100.000 marching) are crowded with people carrying the Brazilian flag and singing the national anthem. Not to mention a few fascists.
There is this very negative polarization. People mistake non violence for passivity. There’s little space for civil disobedience and non violent direct action. A young man died last Wednesday in another street battle with the police.
But, all things considered, a month ago no one would ever dream that this movement could happen in Brazil. Change is already taking place.
Right now, the assembly is occupying the legislative chamber of Belo Horizonte, and we won’t leave until the bus fare is lowered (they voted today to lower only 10 cents).
https://www.facebook.com/AssembleiaPopularBH (I know, I also hate this Brazilian facebook addiction).
Bruno – Occupy Belo Horizonte
Popular Forum in Taksim to protest police violence in Lice #DirenLice
Popular Forum in Abbasaga Park: