There is a lot of uncertainty as to what lies ahead and how long we will live in these forms of conditioning. While it is important to protect those at risk and to try to peak in infection so as not to put too much pressure on the NHS, we must strive to continue living trying to control normality.
Let us be aware that there is no heroic, individualized act that can get rid of the virus collectively, nor that there will be an individualized act that can get rid of the virus individually. Analyzing the way in which society reacts should not imply an accusatory glance towards the other, it should not turn us into customs officers or put us to defend strong restrictions on collective or individual freedoms. This is the path of the extreme right and of fascist populism.
Rupture and cooperation
It is important to appreciate that the Festa do Avante! it took place with the presence of thousands of people safe and without outbreaks, just as it is important to ensure that the celebration of 10/13 in Fátima takes place. Not being a Catholic, I realize the importance that this moment has for people who want to participate physically, even more, in this context. Are you in danger? Sure, but what we should be concerned about is creating the conditions for this to happen and we don’t waste our energy fighting for its cancellation. Understand, in 2018 there were 5652 pedestrians hit on the roads of Portugal and I don’t remember anyone who defended the end of the roads or cars.
I believe there are three major critical points that will be revealed in the coming months: housing, schools and urban planning in large cities. The housing problem is known and I will not attempt to describe it. It is not difficult for us to predict that the territories in which housing is the most precarious will be the most prone to the uncontrolled spread of the virus. The recent announcement of a large social housing production program being to be developed, it is important to realize that it does not solve the immediate problem and that it can only be solved by involving the immense number empty houses that still exist in cities under increased real estate pressure and regularization. rental market.
Schools will, of course, be another hotbed of epidemics and chains of transmission. Resorting to solutions for strong conditioning of movement indoors will create a problem outdoors and give a false image of the space of safety and freedom that the school should be. Schools that evolve towards less centralized models and wish to involve the school community will find it easier to manage and find local solutions to problems. Schools which maintain very hierarchical decision-making structures and which attempt to force the imposition of rules decided by a few will tend to turn out to be a powder keg of a school community in tension.
If, in Lisbon and Porto, measures promoting soft mobility or pedestrianization (which must be welcomed!) Have been announced, they still correspond to fragile urban tests which often generate more problems and tensions than solutions to problems. future and with a structural impact. In terms of town planning too, it is necessary to introduce the dimension of participation in the structural decisions of the city, not only as rhetoric or to comply with legal procedures, involving and empowering the different communities. This will necessarily imply greater sharing of decisions and greater transparency on the part of public entities, but also less influence of many entities that, even today, despite so many urban disasters that have occurred over the years , dominate agendas, meetings and meetings. with the best figures of town planning in cities.
In short, by keeping the current model of individualizing decisions and responses, it will lead everyone to test self-protection measures and the instruments to take them will depend on the privileged place they occupy in society. Decision-making and power structures will be more centralized, less understood by the general population and will tend to be imposed by greater policing.
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The constitution of a collective and common response, conceived with and to support the State, between different communities and involving all those who are available for it, is decisive, structural and structuring for creating new forms of decision, new structures of decision-making power and new responses.
It should be noted that everything I wrote on a collective or cooperative response to this historic moment should not be confused with that advocated by António Barreto in his article in P2 of 9/20. I am far from supporting a solution of corporate cooperativism between what is called the central block and the structures that hold economic power, which in fact is not new in our reality of the last 40 years. What I am defending, in fact, involves building greater grassroots and decentralized cooperation – corresponding to the involvement of more people in decision-making structures – and their respective empowerment and responsibility. I have little interest in working from the bias, corsets or drawers identified by Barreto – of which, oddly enough, only one stands out – or in perpetuating the power of an informal senatorial homeland of white men from age and tenderness independence, which often share seats on the boards of the country’s financial structures.
I finish by writing that the two possible paths are written on the same line but represent opposing forces, so they will not be reconcilable. The choice of one implies the withdrawal of the other. I believe that what I propose represents a deepening of democracy, in the terms still described in the Constitution today, and the best way to contain and annihilate the worsening inequalities and to guarantee access for all and of all to the forms and the means of decision, without distinction of class. , age, sex, race, citizenship, territory of origin, religion, political or ideological beliefs.