Note from BW of Brazil: Black people, black hair and Military Police, all common topics on the blog. Brazilian society is infamous for its degradation of afro textured hair as well as the people with whom this hair is associated with. While recent years have brought about a movement and expression of pride in cabelo crespo (kinky/curly hair), the stigma remains. Brutal treatment by the society in general and by the Military Police in particular is also infamous as today’s posts mixes the hatred for black hair and disrespect of black citizens in one of the country’s largest cities, this time on Brazil’s recent Independence Day (September 7th). Below, journalist Marcos Romão introduces the news shared by Markin Cardoso about the aggressive treatment by the police of another black man.
by Marcos Romão
Hello OAB when a Rasta is arrested, the first torture and aggression after detainment is cutting their hair. Is it Constitutional? Another guy was arrested for political reasons, now in Belo Horizonte. It is, Markim Cardoso, I have warned, that racism is making a comeback. Cutting the hair of us blacks is a secular action of slaveholders and racists. They don’t only want to beat us, they want to capture our soul. Now they prohibit masks (1), but our activism and black hair have been prohibited for a long time. It’s a question for the OAB (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil or Brazilian Lawyer’s Guild). Is it legal to forcibly cut hair that is part of our body and our identity? Can you file lawsuits for compensation and for moral and physical damages?
FREE LEONARDO!! RACIST AND FASCIST MILITARY POLICE!!!
by Markin Cardoso
Our comrade Leonardo Martins was arrested and beaten by dozens of cowardly military police, on the morning of September 7 (Brazil’s Independence Day), at Praça da Liberdade during the anti-military demonstration. Leo was attacked by about 6 police (ALL WHITE) who beat him with batons. Léo, badly wounded, was dragged by his dreads and tortured for minutes on end, to be placed inside a vehicle that had left the area without giving further details.
Leonardo was missing for hours without the right to a lawyer or contact with friends and family. At night we discovered that he was in the police station of the JK building in Belo Horizonte, close to 60 others detained. Most of the detained were released overnight, but 16 of them were still under arrested and charged with “conspiracy”, “contempt of authority” and “resisting arrest”, Léo is among them.
These charges from the PMMG (Polícia Militar de Minas Gerais or Military Police of Minas Gerais) are absurd lies and we know very well that Leonardo is being arrested because he is a BLACK FIGHTER!
Léo is a history student at UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais/Federal University of Minas Gerais) and is active in the Movimento Negro (black movement) of Minas Gerais. He participates in the Coletivo de Estudantes Negros (Collective of Black Students) at UFMG, CEN (Coletivo de Entidades Negras (CEN or Collective of Black Entities), and his arrest, torture and beatings were arbitrary and are ACTS OF EXPLICIT RACISM of police (WHICH WERE ALL WHITE) who arrested him.
Leonardo is now stuck in CERESP (Centro de Remanejamento dos Presos OR Center of Relocation of Prisoners), WHERE HE HAD DREADS FORCIBLY CUT and is quarantined. Which means he will not able to receive any visits for 30 days.
We request the help of ALL in contacting lawyers and to pressure the public defender. The name of the public defender that was on the scene is Maria Auxiliadora and her cell number is: 8488-2254.
IT TAKES A LOT OF MOBILIZATION TO DEMAND THE FREEDOM OF OUR DETAINED COMRADES!
RELEASE OUR DETAINED POLITICAL PRISONERS!
EVERY PADDY WAGON IS A BIT OF SLAVESHIP!
FOR THE END OF THE RACIST AND FASCIST PM (Polícia Militar/Military Police) (2)!!
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS!
FREEDOM FOR LEONARDO MARTINS AND ALL PRISONERS IN DEMONSTRATIONS HELD ON SEPTEMBER 7!!
YOUNG, BLACK, STUDENT, WORKER AND MILITANT OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS – VICTIM OF RACISM, BRUTALLY ASSAULTED BY POLICE ARRESTED FOR PARTICIPATING IN PROTESTS SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 IN BH. LEONARDO WAS TORTURED, HIS ARM WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED AND HIS DREADLOCKS WERE CUT.
- DOWN WITH THE SUPPRESSION! FOR THE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND SPEECH!
- FOR THE END OF THE CRIMINALIZATION OF THE POOR! FOR THE END OF THE CRIMINALIZATION OF STUDENTS’ STRUGGLE, OF THE STRUGGLE OF CITY WORKERS, OF THE LAND AND THE POPULAR MOVEMENT STRUGGLE!
- FOR THE END OF TORTURE AND EXECUTIONS! FOR THE END OF THE GENOCIDE OF YOUTH, BLACKS, INDIANS AND POOR!
- DOWN WITH UPPs (3), POLICE AND MILITARY INVASIONS OF THE MORROS (favelas/poor communities), UNIVERSITIES, OCCUPATIONS AND FAVELAS!
- FOR THE END OF REPRESSIVE APPARATUS!
- FOR THE IMMEDIATE END OF THE MUNICIPAL GUARD!
- FOR IMMEDIATE END OF MILITARY POLICE AND THE IMMEDIATE END OF NATIONAL GUARD SECURITY!
Belo Horizonte, September 8, 2013
Helena Greco Institute for Human Rights and Citizenship
Protest in Belo Horizonte on September 7, 2013 (Brazilian Independence Day)
1. In reference to the anti-capitalists protests groups known as Black Blocs. After a number of protests by militants of this group, who are known to dress in black and wear black masks, police in various cities have prohibited the use of masks in public protests.
2. The brutality of Brazil’s Military Police is a frequent topic on this blog (see here) and citizens have long called for the end of the militarization of police throughout the country (see here and here).
3. UPPs have been discussed on a number of posts on this blog (see here). UPP stands for Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, Pacifying Police Unit or Police Pacification Unit), abbreviated UPP, is a law enforcement and social services program pioneered in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which aims at reclaiming territories, more commonly favelas, controlled by gangs of drug dealers. The program was created and implemented by State Public Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame, with the backing of Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral. The stated goal of Rio’s government is to install 40 UPPs by 2014. Source: Wiki.