By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Zona Norte (North Zone) residents of Rio and their supporters will head to the beaches Ipanema and Leblon today for the day-long “Farofaço – We’ll invade OUR beach!” event. Staged by the group Ocupa Alemão (Occupy Alemão) in reaction to increased policing on Zona Sul (South Zone) beaches and the buses that travel from that area to the iconic beaches.
The State and city government increased policing on the famous beaches after two waves of robberies swept Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon on November 15th and 20th.
“This happened on holidays. This takes away the tranquility of the people,” said State Secretary of Safety José Mariano Beltrame at the time. “[…] These are people who come from other areas with the purpose of committing petty thefts and burglaries. What we have to do is present the police to the population.”
Because the thieves were mainly identified as Zona Norte residents, patrols were added to buses traveling from those areas. Passengers can now be stopped, searched and required to show identification, an act of discrimination and intimidation according to may Zona Norte residents desperate for some cool relief to the rising temperatures of summer.
“Summer has arrived and we are suffering from the approaching heat,” reads the “Farofaço – We’ll invade OUR beach!” event page. “And like good Cariocas we enjoy rest on the weekend on the beach. After all, we also work and pay taxes! And it will not be the guys from Zona Sul and Beltrame that will tell us what should be our fun!”
“Oh do not forget your cell phones and cameras! Because we have our technologies and guarantee this: we do not need to steal from anyone,” the event’s Facebook page concludes. The event was promoted through Facebook with over 1,500 confirmed attendees as of Saturday night.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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