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Crowd occupied Boca Maldita on January 12, 1984 (Photo: Reproduction)

No one knows for sure how many rose up against the dictatorship that day. Reports range from 30 to 80 protesters. The fact is that, on Thursday, January 12, 1984, a crowd occupied a space known as Boca Maldita, in Curitiba, to demand direct elections for president. It was the first big rally for Diretas Já.

The dictatorship struggled. The main opposition leaders took turns on the platform, starting with deputy Ulysses Guimarães, president of the PMDB, a party that at the time opposed the military. It was also the debut rally of the announcer Osmar Santos, whose voice would soon be identified as a symbol of the campaign.

Boca Maldita, the epicenter of the rally, corresponds to the surroundings of Rua XV de Novembro and Praça Osório, in the center of the city. The place has been known as a space for free opinion since December 13, 1956, when patrons of cafes and restaurants in the region founded the brotherhood of Cavaleiros da Boca Maldita in Curitiba.

The brotherhood's motto is “I see nothing, hear nothing, speak nothing”. In practice, everything sees, everything hears, everything speaks. Since 1956, no political demonstration in Curitiba has passed Boca Maldita. It could not be different at a time when the city is preparing for the clash between former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and judge Sergio Moro.

The space for the historic uprising against the dictatorship was allocated by the security forces to supporters of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The shadow of Judge Sergio Moro and Minister Edson Fachin, of the Federal Supreme Court, is also present at the scene. In 2015, both were sacred knights of the brotherhood at a dinner that takes place every December 13 since 1956. Detail: to this day, women do not enter the party. Luckily, Boca Maldita on the streets is a public space.

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