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"Rolezinhos" expose social racism in Brazil, says Lutheran Foundation

"Rolezinhos" – gatherings of young people from less favored social classes in shopping centers organized through social networks – “show just how much Brazil is a territory of inequality," denounces the Lutheran Foundation for Diaconia (FLD) that has manifested its support for the youth of the country threatened by police lethality, racism, and capitalism.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The "rolezinhos" began last December, when young people from the east area of São Paulo, mostly black and poor, started to meet in shopping centers of this capital city, motivated by the prohibition of “funk” dancing in public places.


According to the FLD, in several of those situations the police have used rubber pellets, clubs and pepper spray to disperse the youth justifying their actions as prevention of possible "raids." The managements of the shopping centers have been closing the spaces used for “rolezinhos,” denying access to those who already have a minimum of rights.


“It is right that having access to a shopping center does not mean access to citizenship or much less to defend that this is a space for the whole population. Shopping centers are consumption places, merely that. Whoever has the money for consumption is welcome and whoever does not is out," says the FLD, adding that: “Democratizing access to the shopping center is, at the very least, to increase even more the number of people alienated by capitalism."


The young people from the periphery of the capital city of the State of São Paulo “are doing and saying much from the capitalist temple called shopping center. They are showing that classist and racist spaces like this need to disappear because they do not promote social equality for the people, because they open the breach between the poor and rich," says the FLD. They show why the security forces are afraid, since "the State beats, kills and marks the lives of the youth for a long time now."


For the FLD, children, adolescents, youth, senior citizens, handicapped persons, need streets, squares, theaters, libraries, cinemas, parks, skating rings, and bicycle lanes that are equally open to all who come, to all who would like to! The FLD statement concludes by pointing out that nothing is learned inside a shopping center and that “violence, racism and economic discrimination against the youth are inhuman and criminal."


Photo: Rolezinho (Lutheran Foundation for Diaconia, FLD, Brazil)


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