Patriot's Day

Image: Joel dos Santos
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By FLAVIO AGUIAR*

City council dirty the history of Porto Alegre

The decision of the City Council of Porto Alegre, proclaiming the 8th of January as “Patriot's Day”, in commemoration of the attempted coup d'état on that nefarious and nefarious day of 2023, decidedly dirty, defiled and trashed (pardon the animals concerned) the history of the city. This is the worst city council the city has ever had. To top it all off, the worst mayor the city has ever had, this one right there, washed his hands of the mess: he neither signed nor vetoed it, he just let it go, in the best tradition of Pontius Pilate.

Porto Alegre has history. Made history. In it grew the libertarian culture broth that was part of the Farroupilha Revolution, with Father Chagas, Pedro Boticário and many others at that moment when progressive ideas crossed the streets of the then modest town. Taken back by the imperials, it was the scene of brutal and relentless repression.

Much later, it was the scene of an unusual movement. When the republic was proclaimed, supporters of the new order went around the city, renaming places: in this way the city was covered with names such as “Rua da República” and “Praça Marechal Deodoro”, although it continues to retain the friendly and popular name of “Praça da Matriz”, about political conflicts.

In Porto Alegre, for better or for worse, the 30 Revolution began, introducing Brazil into the spaces of modernity in the XNUMXth century, despite the resistance of the bourgeoisie in other states, such as São Paulo, which, deep down, he did not want Brazil to truly industrialize or enjoy an active, urban working class.

Porto Alegre had famous conservative mayors, like Loureiro da Silva, and progressive ones, like Leonel Brizola. This, when governor of the state, designed the first effective agrarian reform in the country.

It was the scene of the first successful resistance to a military and reactionary coup, with the formation of the Legality Network, in 1961, with the leadership of Leonel Brizola.

It was the last resistance capital to fall under the heel of the 1964 coup. It was the state capital where the ecological movements were born in Brazil, in 1972, with the defense of the trees on João Pessoa Avenue, in front of the Faculty of Law.

Subsequently, it was the seat of progressive city halls that introduced the Participatory Budget in the Brazilian political context, received international recognition and awards, and opened the city space for the creation of the World Social Forum, when it received the informal title of “capital of the XNUMXst century”.

There's more to name. But this is enough to show how much history this idiotic decision by the Chamber of Councilors and the Pontius-Pylactic omission of the current mayor are spitting out, enshrining the transformation on 8/1/23 of the Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasília into the latrine of extreme political movements. coup right wing, anti-democratic, stupid, violent and as many other adjectives as you can imagine.

In the past people used to say: “they will not pass”. Today, following Mario Quintana's lesson, we say: “they will pass. We, little bird”.

* Flavio Aguiar, journalist and writer, is a retired professor of Brazilian literature at USP. Author, among other books, of Chronicles of the World Upside Down (boitempo).


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