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Indignation for Pinheirinho

by Ricardo Gomes and Zé Max Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 at 5:50 PM

30 January 2012 (Brazil-Rio de Janeiro) Pedro Rios Leão´s Hunger strike Translated from the original Portuguese by Kevin Lynch — There is a brilliant commentary from Paulo Halm (brazilian movie maker) below. Because, if it was Yoani Sánchez handcuffed to a post in Havana and on hunger strike in front of the ´Palace of the Revolution´ asking from the world justice and democracy, Globo (and all of the mainstream press), in the face of any embargo, would send a correspondent to Cuba sending live feeds from the locale or going even further still without and loosing the realism, would make, let us see.... a reality TV show! But no, my friends, Pedro is only a Brazilian asking for justice and democracy in the most democratic country in South America, the location of Rio +20, the Olympic Games as well as being the 5th largest economy in the world. Paulo Halm said: “If Pedro Rios Leão was Cuban, today he would be on the front page of O Globo newspaper and would be called a martyr for liberty by Mervais and Leitões (brazilian journalists). It would be a theme and story highlighted on the national news provoking tears of solidarity from Patricia Poeta (another brazilian journalist). On Globo news, Willian Waack and Arnold Jabor, in unison, would call him a hero and even Pedro Bial would arrange a space on Big Brother Brazil in order to write a small poem in homage to the warrior. But, unfortunately, the boy is not Cuban. Pedro Rios Leão is Brazilian and is on hunger strike in front of TV Globo in protest against the station’s coverage of the massacre of the impoverished population of Pinheirinho by the military police of São Paulo. His protest is and will be solemnly ignored. How does that old song go, 'The pain of the people doesn’t appear in the newspaper', much less on TV.” Image by Guilherme Kanno (

Indignation for Pinh...
pedro_poema.jpg, image/jpeg, 960x642

January 30

This Sunday was anything but a typical day. One week ago, at daybreak, in Pinheirinho, we saw the New Year greetings from the Sao Paulo state government and the Police state that governs us. 2012 has barely begun and it has already received a wave of political militancy that is much more than the mere indignation of Facebook, marches, commiserations and an ephemeral revolt.

Not even one month has passed and yet we continue to fulfill the silly tradition of wishing each other, doped with blindness and morphine, a happy and prosperous new year, as if a longed for happiness, the full happiness, needed the poor representation of plastic shopping and hidden friends gathered for evening soirees in condominiums.

How many Pinheirinhos will be necessary in order to breakout of the Truman show and realise that life is neither pretty nor beautiful and much less happy?

There is much that we need to do politically.

The hunger strike commenced yesterday night. Where is it located? In Jardim Botânico in front of the Rede Globo (Brazilian TV and Newspaper Empire) network buildings. The reason is simple: for full media coverage that considers, as criminal, the gravity of the events in Pinheirinho.

So far there is nothing new here. We know what our media represents and who it serves. But the new time, this time asks for something new from us, a new media with new rights and a new journalism. Do it yourself become the new media.

The name of our militant is Pedro Rios Leão – “Caboclo Menino” for those who are closest to Occupy Rio movement. Last Monday Pedro packed his rucksack and left for São José dos Campos (in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo). He lived through and chronicled the massacre and the extent of the barbarism that pursued.

If all of us are Pinheirinho, Pedro is also Pinheirinho. He has handcuffed himself in front of the Rede Globo building in an expression of an autonomous and radical attitude – that some will judge as inconsequential – bringing the Political and the necessary strength and resistance closer to us and to his own body – he is putting his own body on the line.

“For me, I don’t care what will happen. What matters is what is happening now.”

We are with him.

Pedro doesn’t need our pity, preoccupation and worry or a pat on the back much less our incredulity or you turning your nose. He has with himself everything that he needs, in the precariousness of what we are.

Water, books, a thin mattress, paint, posters as well as a Flamengo shirt and an unshaved beard accompany his anger, hatred and his madness! Because, those that are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are in fact those that actually do.

Never forget Pinheirinho.

If the last century has a lesson to teach us, more than just being a moral palace and memorial of everything that was utopia or barbarism, then it is that the tributes and homage, stone monuments, the museums, ephemeris, cenotaphs and the praise to dead are not for us to remember but rather for us to forget.

Pedro, today, with his body that is torn and worn, has become a piece of graffiti on the walls of Rede Globo. A dissonant street corner and a tear in a glass window, the whip and scourge on a canvass by Van Gogh for a dirty aesthetic or the debauchery of the prose of Rimbaud towards a new poetic. A voice that says to whomever passes here that you don’t see me. But I am right here.

Never forget. Never forget Pinheirinho.

— Original in Portuguese

— Canal de vídeos do Pedro

— Justiça não é pacificação, João Telésforo

— Mil Pinheirinhos contra a comiseração desgraçada, Bruno Cava

— Dez mentiras que Cercam o Pinheirinho, Hugo Albuquerque

— O massacre de Pinheirinho e o Futuro da luta, Idelber Avelar

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