Since the beginning of the 1st Autonomous Feminist Book Fair in Porto Alegre we have suffered persecution via chauvinist and fascist aggression, threats, provocations and hostile presences which were noted and addressed at all times. But what happened on Sunday night (01.11.15) deserves a specific mention as it points to state violence that expresses the institutional misogyny that systematically targets women.
On Sunday night an art event was taking place that was attended by about 20 women when a car arrived with two policemen who were supposedly investigating a noise complaint. They filmed and intimidated the women who they were talking to which generated protective responses among the other women who organized themselves and began filming the situation. Soon more vehicles arrived with more police officers who immediately became aggressive and racist and tried to prevent one of us from filming which then triggered a series of violent assaults by the police in which nine women were injured – four of them seriously and requiring medical attention.
Many attacks occurred simultaneously, with the police even drawing guns – one of them pulled out a gun and threatened several of us saying “I’ll burn you.” One of the women warned the police that she was pregnant, however this was not relevant to them. Two residents who were in the square at the time of the incident were also beaten with batons by the police. Women who were filming were specifically attacked and two mobile phones were stolen by the police. Some of the women who tried to flee were chased and knocked to the ground and then aggressively attacked by the police with batons and kicks. Other women tried to protect them by using their bodies as shields and attempting to move them away. This scenario continued with the women being beaten with batons until they made it to the vicinity of the Hospital Clinic where the police finally dispersed.
Ensuring all our comrades were safe and none were left behind, we gathered together to write this report to call for solidarity from all people who are able to support us at this time. The fair is scheduled to continue on Monday (02.11.15) at the same place where these attacks occurred. Given that there will be women who arrive without knowing what happened, we need to be present and need all possible support. We will begin the day with a discussion about the situation. We need the presence of as many people as possible to ensure the continuity of the fair on it’s last day. This is how we fight back, we are not silent and continue resisting together not only in the struggle in the streets and public spaces but also against a system that does not allow the self-organization of women and feels threatened by our unyielding existence. This event has unmasked increased misogyny and hatred and we feel that this needs to be confronted for the survival of all of us who live in this world war against women.
(via Contra Info)