Monday, May 16, 2011

Protest brings together people in favor of a subway station in the Higienopolis neighborhood

On Saturday, May 14th, there was a demonstration to support the construction of a metro station at the intersection of Avenida Angelica and Sergipe Street in bairro Higienópolis, a wealthy neighborhood in the city of Sao Paulo. The event happened because the neighborhood’s residential association opposes the chosen location of the new station, and they had previously produced a petition with 3,500 names to insist that the new station be built near Pacaembu Stadium.

When questioned on the subject, Higienópolis resident Guiomar Ferreira 56, declared she was against the station being built in her neighborhood. She said the station would detract from the “tradition” of the neighborhood, and would attract "drug addicts, beggars, and 'a different kind of people'." The offensive way she described poor people (gente diferenciada) became a hit on Facebook, and became the name of a barbecue organized by Daniel Saraiva to raise awareness on the discrimination being seen in this debate. This protest in support of the new station was held in front of one of the high-end malls in São Paulo.

The Protest Barbecue
The barbecue garnered a large and peaceful crowd. The 700-1000 people who attended expressed their views peacefully and creatively. People came on their bicycles, others came dressed up as clowns, and there was even a short stand-up comedy skit (check out the video in Portuguese) mocking the prejudiced views of Higienópolis residents who are against the new metro station’s location.

One goal of the barbecue was to show the peaceful nature of poor residents of the region. An actual barbecue grill was placed on a corner of the intersection where the underground train station is set to be built. The protest did not cause any damage or turmoil and was considered a success.

1 comment:

  1. The actual reason the subway station was moved to Pacaembu, is because there is another station too close to the same corner, only 600 meters away at Consolacao street.
    The Higienopolis woman's opinion or the local residents movement against the subway station had nothing to do with the city's decision to move the station away from that specific corner.
    This is a big misunderstanding inflamed by people who have nothing better to do, in my opinion.