Outside, an autumn chill descended on Vila Mimosa's main street – Rua Sotero dos Reis – and rain hammered down onto a sign promising "streeptease". Inside, hundreds of drunken men packed this sprawling warren of brothels and bars for another evening of shouted conversations and fleeting encounters with the 3,500 or so local prostitutes.
But the rowdy 24-hour parties that have made this labyrinth of excess notorious across Brazil may soon fall silent, as Rio de Janeiro prepares for a multi-billion dollar facelift in the run up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
Ok all you babblers,
I have heard from many people who read the original version of this piece. In response to all your thoughts, I significantly reworked it to include new ideas that people shared with me and to clarify the most important ways we need to build solidarity right now.
Given the ongoing need for unity as we continue to work to get our friends out of jail, get all the charges dropped, and build the movement from within, seems like a good time to post this new and updated version.
Toronto and Vancouver: On legitimate and illegitimate protest
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
Frederick Douglass, 1857
This page grows out of dialogue with many community members between the Vancouver Olympics in February and the Toronto G8/G20 in June. It needs saying.