Let our actions be the guardians of our dreams

7 Dec. 2008

Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience
is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands and commands of an occupying power without resorting to physical violence.

Yesterday, I joined Bicicletada, a group of people passionate about cycling, who ride in São Paulo and in other cities for pleasure and as a means of transportation, with no one leader. As they ride, they question why bikers don’t have the same rights as drivers to come and go, once taking certain streets and roads can be dangerous or even prohibited, even though everybody knows cyclers use a lot less space and don’t emit greenhouse gases.

In this context, the idea was to go from São Paulo to Santos by bike, so we could swim in the ocean after the effort of accomplishing the 80km journey. The plan attracted about 200 cyclers and started early in the morning.

Unfortunately, the police didn’t allow us to pass the 41st km, claiming they were concerned about the group’s safety and that the tunnels are not prepared to receive walkers and bikers.

As negotiation continued, my frustration gave way to the satisfaction of being part of a civil disobedience movement. Everybody from the group kept talking, bringing up the arguments, always with respect and determined not to cause any violence. The police was as peaceful and patient.

We ended up needing to come back to São Paulo without swimming in Santos’ sea. But the media, the company that takes care of the road and even the police seemed to have understood and even agreed with the importance of the discussion.

Leaving from São Paulo

My friends and I

Stopped by the police for the first time

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