Last night (Sunday) saw the Ocupa dos Povos re-gather itself after a very bumpy start. Tragedy struck early on in this occupation when a young student who had travelled from Rio Grande do Sol, was struck by a car and killed. She was crossing a very busy and fast road in Rio close to the occupy site, and just didn’t make it across. She had travelled from a state south of Rio and was camping at the occupation with her partner/friend.

This tragedy really tested the resolve of this gathering. This occupation is unique in that it is a collection of occupy movements from across Brazil, each sharing and teaching other vital skills and of course celebrating and sharing. There was little celebrating yesterday, and just before ten, a General Assembly was called. This assembly spoke for ages on whether this conversation should be broadcast live (for live streaming and reports ,go to www.ocupario.org). The Assembly eventually agreed to switch off the transmission when they spoke about the action they had performed earlier.

The action happened just before sunset, with the crowd occupying the street  that their comrade had died on, blocking traffic and setting fire to a few tires. This disruption was met quickly with the elite police force. The authorities ordered the crowd to disperse or face the consequences. this crowd decided to move to the Cupula dos Povos just down the road. Here alliances were made.

Shortly after the General Assembly had broken into working groups, we had a visit from The ‘Queen Mother’, Dr Delois Blakely. She brought us powerful message, translated instantaneously into Portuguese. Her message was for the partner and friends of the fallen comrade, a word of power and love that helped create a sense of togetherness that had not been experienced by myself since the opening night at the occupation site.

She called for the reverence of the occupy site as a sacred space, and for the actions of the camp to echo and recognize the loss of a compadre’.

 

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