Logbook I Day 12 I How to squat a river


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But after all, how can we save Jamor?

Better than anyone else to answer this question are Margarida and José from the Let’s Save the Jamor initiative.

 

Let’s Save the Jamor emerged as a movement of citizens and residents, peaceful and non-partisan, having since acquired the status of Environmental Nongovernmental Organization. The movement aims to withdraw the Plano de Pormenor da Margem Direita da Foz do Rio Jamor (Detail Plan of the Right Bank of Rio Jamor’s mouth) and its replacement by alternative solutions that are environmentally adequate, socially and economically fair.”

The explanation of its webpage, as well as the shares they are making in social networks, made us think of the obligation to contact this group of activists who, in recent years, have practically in an isolated form, fought against the Goliath which is the real estate market trying to dominate the Cruz Quebrada area. On a beautiful winter morning, pleasantly installed on a terrace at the Jamor National Sports Centre, we quickly passed the initial presentations to get to the point that most interested everyone: how to save a river?

Margarida and José were very clear. A river is saved with commitment and much love. A river is saved with attention and persistence. Who wants to save a river, and especially a river in an urban context, as in the case of Jamor, must be obstinate, almost obsessed. For many are the opposing forces: autarchic powers (read City Hall of Oeiras) more interested in the financial return than in the environmental preservation of the territories; managing entities of an important riverside area (read National Sports Centre of Jamor) more committed to power and capital struggles, than to democratically managing a space that belongs to all of us; entities responsible for the development of river basin rehabilitation plans (read Parques de Sintra – Monte da Lua and the green and blue axis) more committed to tourism speculation than to preserve and enhance existing social and environmental realities. It was combined a future huge interview, itinerant along the banks of the river, where Margarida and Jose will explain everything about the hottest themes of the last part of Jamor!

Right at the end of the conversation, two little gin cups appeared by magic on the table. Then we discovered that it was not magic, it was the nice José Carvalho, a sportsman and also an activist from Let’s save Jamor, who brought them, and informed us with a beautiful smile: “It’s Jamor’s little gingham!”. Cheers! And the truth is that a “ginginha” before lunch gave right to a beautiful nap after that…

 

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