Tag Archives: jogos olimpicos

The Hijacking of the Olympic Games / O Sequestro dos Jogos Olímpicos

Space Hijackers on the Spoil Your Ballots battle bus

Four years ago, I left London. I had lived there for the previous four years. First in Brixton and then in Hackney. I met the people who really mattered in the city at the time I was there. Brian Haw, tireless protestor against sanctions and war in Afghanistan and Iraq, way before september 11. I met some members of Jean Charles Menezes‘ family, the Brazilian murdered by the Met Police, who somehow, in spite of being on surveillance, confused him with one of the suicide bombers whose attempt to explode the tube had failed the previous day. I grew disgusted with the city and the control and surveillance and highly patronizing authority figures, but I certainly met dozens of interesting people. Squatters, hackers, migrants and artivists. People that mattered, people concerned with the state of things and who try to make a difference. Obstructed by media constructed stereotypes that show them as troublemakers, they are resilient. In the end, look at our bankers and politicians. Who are the troublemakers? Who are the terrorists?

Serious people with serious principles, serious ethics and high ideals matter. People combining art, performance and activism are necessary.

Today, four years later from down here in the tropics, I think of them, those who are still there, seeing Hackney smashed under the speculation of the house market because of the f****** olympics. While mainstream media focuses on the event that starts tomorrow, the Space Hijackers have taken upon themselves the responsibility of being the Official Protestors of the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Space Hijackers action in Brick Lane, East London

The Space Hijackers have been hijacking spaces since 1999 and they did start by partying as if it was 1999 with the Circle Line Party, an event on that London tube line, with loud music, light and dancing … at least while in the tunnel. As the train got to the station,  everybody got back to their seats in silence. Then they moved on to hijack other spaces. Among many actions, were a cricket game, between two opposing anarchist and capitalist teams, in the heart of London’s financial district. There was also a party, cop uniform mandatory, in front of the Bank of England. And they even took their DSEi tank for a spin, during the G-20 talks.

Now they are taking back Hackney, reclaiming the public space as usual, calling off the bulldozers of the market. Their use of the Olympic logo got them banned from twitter. And, for their great delight, they got an email from the police wondering about their plans are for the Olympics.

I am most interested too and I will follow Space Hijackers’ action with the same interest as the british police.

I can’t wait to find out where Agent Unstoppable is planning to remove his trousers!

Activist group The Space Hijackers have announced their aquisition of a tank which they intend to use as a vehicle for protest at the Defence Systems and Equipment International arms fair which opens in London’s EXEL centre on 11th Sept they are keeping they will then be selling it to the highest bidder and will take no responsibility for how it is used after they sell it which is how they claim arms dealers opperate for more phone interview contact Robin Grizly Pioneer 0787 606 7703

Passaram quatro anos desde que deixei Londres. Tinha vivido lá nos quatro anos anteriores. Primeiro em Brixton e depois em Hackney. Conheci gente realmente importante como Brian Haw, incansável na luta contra as sanções e guerras no Afeganistão e Iraque, desde antes do 11 de setembro. Conheci familiares de Jean Charles Menezes, o brasileiro assassinado pela policia metropolitana, que sabe-se lá como, e apesar de estar de vigia, o confundiu com um dos homens suicidas que tinham tentando explodir o metrô no dia anterior. Fui ficando gradualmente enojada com aquela cidade, o controle, a vigilância e a atitude condescendente das autoridades, mas também conheci dezenas de pessoas interessantes. Ocupas, hackers, migrantes, artivistas. Gente que importa, gente preocupada com o estado das coisas, gente que tenta marcar a diferença. Obstruídos pelos estereótipos que a mídia criou que os retratam como desordeiros, eles resistem. E no final, vejam só os nossos banqueiros e os nossos políticos. Quem são os desordeiros? Quem são os terroristas?

Gente séria, com princípios sérios, ética e altos ideais importa. Gente que combina arte, performance e ativismo é precisa.

Hoje, quatro anos depois aqui nos trópicos, penso neles, aqueles que permaneceram, vendo hackney ser esmagado pelos bulldozers do mercado. E tudo por causa da merda dos Jogos Olímpicos. Enquanto a mídia corporativa foca no evento que começa amanhã, o grupo Space Hijackers tomou para si, a grande responsabilidade de ser o Reclamante Oficial dos Jogos Olímpicos de Londres em 2012.

Mayday – a celebration of the police state by the Space Hijackers

Os Space Hijackers sequestram espaços desde 1999 e começaram festejando como se fosse mesmo 1999 com a festa da Circle Line, um evento naquela linha de metrô londrina, que tinha tudo – música bombando, luzes psicodélicas e dança… Pelo menos enquanto dentro do túnel. Chegando à estação todos se sentam em silêncio. Depois foram sequestrar outros espaços. Entre as muitas ações, houve um jogo de cricket entre as duas equipes oponentes de anarquistas e capitalistas, que teve lugar no coração do distrito financeiro da capital inglesa. Houve ainda uma festa de traje de policia obrigatório, em frente do Banco da Inglaterra. E chegaram a levar o seu tanque DSEi para dar uma volta durante o encontro da G-20.

E agora reclamam o espaço público como sempre, desta vez em Hackney onde atuam as máquinas de construção do mercado. Usaram o logo dos jogos Olímpicos e foram expulsos do twitter. E para sua grande alegria receberam um e-mail da polícia, interessada nos planos que têm para o evento olímpico.

Eu também fiquei muito interessada e vou seguir as ações dos Space Hijackers, com a mesma atenção que a policia britânica.

Mal posso esperar para descobrir onde o Agente Imparável vai tirar as calças!

Free hackney from the Olympics 2012. The Space Hijackers.



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