We attend a meeting in an occupied house in the city center of Porto Alegre. Around 20 persons are gathered to recollect and discuss a series of arrests that happened some days before in connection with the occupation of public schools. A very young guy speaks intensely in portugese; he is maybe 16 or 17 years old. Others are also his age and some are around 40 or 50….teachers maybe?
I don’t understand anything. I just follow the discussion as it moves from one to the other. Sincere engaged voices. Without the content the meeting talks about solidarity. These people share an engagement and a collaborative will to protest. They are provoced. Maybe this is the foundation of a civil society: The will to engage with others to improve whatever conditions we are up against. To come together and change things for the better. Without this collective will, there might be no society.
As Isabel hastely transcribes for us: the young guy calls his 24 hours in jail ‘a sacrifice , he is willing to offer’.