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(en) Brazil: Two Thousand Homeless Families to be Evicted

From David Christian <dckomatlcom.net@mindspring.com>
Date Sun, 5 Jan 2003 14:43:00 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Two thousand homeless families in Guarulhos, Brazil are facing the
risk of eviction on Monday morning. Your international solidarity may
be decisive.

The camp in Osasco.
Their story begins on July 2002 when a group of a few hundred families
squatted an abandoned urban area in Osasco, near Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The 50 hectares area in a fancy neighborhood used as a clandestine
garbage field was soon occupied by ten thousand poor people living in
simple tents.

The city government and the rich neighbors immediately started a
campaign accusing them of stealing land and bringing thiefs and drug
dealers to the neighborhood. After a 5 months campaign, they were
evicted. The owner of the area and the city government
broughtbulldozers protected by riot police who violently destroyed
people's houses. One could see workers, women with children and the
elderly crying over their destroyed houses filled with poor furniture
and their personal possesions.

Osasco camp evicted. Bulldozers destroy houses.

Building the new camp in Guarulhos.
The homeless managed to get a deal with the state government and were
transferred to a state unused area in Guarulhos - still near Sao Paulo
but over 20 miles away from their former houses and jobs. But once the
buses transferring them arrived, they had again to face the police.
The city government of Guarulhos (controlled by the PT, the "Worker's"
Party) had called the city police to prevent them from getting into
the area. 

City government argued that the city has no structure to host the
families and that their transferring violated urban legislation. After
long negotiations they managed to get in.

But the city government went to the courts and a judge just decided
for a new dramatic eviction, due to next Monday, January the 6th. The
homeless have no option but to resist. Riot police will arrive early
in the morning and people fear a massacre as families can't leave
because they simply have nowhere to go. Local activists are mobilizing
to join the homeless.

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