As members of Articulação Recife pelo Transporte, we fight for fair and sound public transportation, and we believe that the consecutive rises in bus fares, year after year and way above what citizens can afford, is not only an issue of money. Fare rises is part of the system that dictates who can get around the city and where they are allowed to go. Who will have access to education, to health and, on top of that, to leisure. As a matter of fact, this system defines who can afford public transportation and who can't. It is what we call Right to the City. Who are those that can enjoy the city to its maximum? And who are those that can't?
The way we see it, it is a form of making it difficult, or impossible for people who live in poor areas of the city to have access to those that are considered "noble". It is a way of limiting the commute of a certain portion of the population, and to define where they can or can't be. Indeed, many of those who suffer the most from the effects of this segregation are part of the black youth, who not only aren't allowed in certain places due to expensive and restraining fares, but are also denied the right to manifest their artistic expressions.
As a matter of fact, there has been a great ammount of denounces against the practice of "Passinho" in public spaces of Recife's so-called "noble areas", such as Jaqueira Park, in the city's North zone. Also known as Brazilian Footwork, Passinho is a dance expression originated from brega-funk, and it took on particular traits from our region, hence it became a trademark for many young boys and girls who live in poor areas of Recife's metropolitan area, especially black ones. Be that as it may, people who do Passinho are being chased after by local authorities in areas that are supposedly public. This leaves us with some questions: are they really public or are they exclusive for white upper-class families? Who can access these spaces? And who is being left out?
We believe that the attempts to prohibit Passinho in "noble" public areas and the rise of bus fares are part of the same system that wishes to keep the black youth from occupying the city. Hence, Articulação Recife pelo Transporte is against any form of restraining Passinho, and in favor of its free practice in any public spaces of Recife's metropolitan area. Moreover, we believe that black boys and girls and Passinho should be welcome anywhere they wish!
Let us occupy the streets and all public spaces with our Passinho!
Let us occupy the whole city!