On Thursday 14th June, the ‘Peoples Occupation’ assembled in a park close to Cinelandia and walked to the final site to set up camp. Perched on the edge of the motor lanes that run along the beach, the camp is close to both Flamengo and the Cupula Dos Povos (Peoples Summit). A small group of local Rio occupiers, joined by representatives of many Occupy movements from around Brazil have come together to create a presence and representation of the Occupy ideals and ethic.

The crowd of 20-30 people settled down in the park and soon the tents were up. just as soon, the first batch of policemen arrived. These were from the ‘brown’ squad, municipal police as far as i could tell. they were pretty friendly and spoke to the crowd. All conversations were in Portuguese, not a language i understand at all. the issue these police raised was over the tents and the fact that they were on the walkway. The communities’ response was that the tens were being used to store equipment and were not for living or sleeping in. the policemen were not convinced, indicating that the tents would have to go down. While all of this was happening, the ‘blue’ (military) police car arrived on the scene. The mood and atmosphere immediately became more charged, with the blues and browns talking to each other before the ‘blue’ left. Seems as though it was agreed that this was a municipal issue.

The rest of the night that i was there, was spent in smaller discussions with the police. i left to catch the Metro before midnight and returned Friday after a visit to the Cupula dos Povos. Friday night saw the camp facing many obstacles and obstructions. braving many emotional moments already, the movement is shifting, un-certain of its shape and fighting to keep the dream alive. they remain strong and as united as the circumstances allow.

 

Saturday is the General Assembly (held in a particular Brazilian/Rio way). Here the camp will discuss and vote on key issues, as well as hear report backs from working groups.

Now, more than ever, the Occupy centers of the world will do well to send messages of support and solidarity to this movement, engaged with a beast as powerful as Rio+20. now more than ever, people must use the tools and skills they have acquired to stand for what they believe, together, as one. inter across our Earth, we are all truly citizens of the Earth

 

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