Uma Flor no Asfalto / A Flower on the Asphalt

A Flor e a Naúsea, Galeria de Tai Machado, Flickr

English version immediately below:

O que se segue é uma tradução do texto “2014: Impactos da Copa do Mundo” pela ocupação Flor do Asfalto no Rio de Janeiro.

Gente de língua portuguesa clique aqui ou aqui para a versão original.


What follows is a translation from brazilian portuguese of the text “2014: Impact of the World Cup in Brazil” by the Asphalt Flower squat in Rio de Janeiro. Click here or here for the original version.

[The Asphalt Flower squat, a political and cultural libertarian space situated in Rio de Janeiro is under risk of eviction. On June 21st the squat was “visited” by a judicial authority with a building repossession warrant. Follows a note from the squat.]**


To all friends, flowers and thorns…

The 2014 world cup, the 2016 olympic games, Rio de Janeiro is preparing for new deals, new enterprises. The city of contrasts needs more masks hiding misery, inequality, injustice. First step: remove the poor from the centre. The means are unscrupulous, unmeasurable. They can be squat evictions, mysterious fires (like the one that happened at the street vendor market near Central Station and in many squats and communities), choque de ordem (Order Blitz)¹, social control is reinforced, several slums in the south and central areas were chosen to be controlled by the UPP’s² (Unidades de Polícia “Pacificadora” = “Pacifying” Police Units) and in the harbour zone we face a project (wonder harbour) of  “revitalization” where economic interests talk louder: the construction of the biggest aquarium in Latin America, 50 floor sky scrapers, banks, a museum, parking for yatches, and a variety of excentric investments. The current reality of the area is very different, but we are feeling these processes in our own skins. Our squat is located in the area where they plan these megalomaniac projects (“There was a flower on the way. In the middle of the path there was a flower”). A space of 2500 square meters, divided in two parts, one part home to more than 20 families and the other part housing a self-managed anarchist space called The Asphalt Flower, which exists for nearly 4 years.
Besides being a home for individuals of affinity, it is also a cultural space. Many events, workshops, conversations, happened and continue to happen. There is a library, a silk-screen printing shop, a herbarium, studio, bike shop, a small agroforestry with about 70 species (some in extinction), a food cooperative, a communal kitchen and many other things.

On June 21st, monday, we were visited by an officer of (in)justice, who arrived with a repossession warrant (with one month’s notice), destined to an architecture firm which did business in the building many years ago. He encountered families, children and individuals that live here and realized there was no company to evict. The matter is that now this information needs to be delivered to the judge of the 27th federal civil court, who will decide if an eviction order should be issued. This could take weeks, months or it can happen at any moment… all is very uncertain.

We also know that the situation we are going through is not isolated, it is happening in the context of a reality where the interests of the rich weight more, and other squats in the region and the center have been through or are facing now the same problem.

We believe that the strength and solidarity among the non-priviliged, mutual support, are our most fundamental weapons!

All squat is a barricade!

Death to the State, Long Live Anarchy!

The Asphalt Flower resists!

More infos:

[1] Choque de Ordem (Order Blitz) – Social “cleaning” policy exercised by Rio de Janeiro’s city hall which includes repression of street vendors, the homeless, and eviction of squats and communities.

[2] UPP (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora – Pacifying Police Unit) – Military Police units who are invading and settling in growing numbers in the slums with the objective of enlarging state control over the poor and the slum population.

A Flor do Asfalto, Galeria de Luiz Baltar, Flickr


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