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Sunday, October 26 2008 @ 11:47 PM CDT, Infoshop

Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil – The armed arm of Brazil’s Paraná State, the Military Policy (like state troopers in USA), does another service for contractors and land speculators and acted against a Homeless Worker’s Movement (Movimento dos Sem-Teto, the urban counterpart of Landless Toiler’s Movement, MST) squat at Curitiba. Onlast Thursday (25/October/2008), 1,100 troopers evicted in a brutal way (even for them) a thousand and five hundred homeless families who squatted an unbuilt tract of urban land at Curitiba’s outskirts.

State troopers violently evict a 1,500 families’ squat in southern Brazil

By Max Malinovsky for “Worker’s Cause” (Original Version in
Portuguese at http://www.pco.org.br/conoticias/ler_materia.php?mat=9931)

By demand of real estate companies, 1100 military policemen (state
troopers) actedon a court order and violently evicted the families
from an squat at Fazendinha Quarter, in Curitiba city, Paraná State,
Brazil.

2008, October 25th

Curitiba, Paraná State, Brazil – The armed arm of Brazil’s Paraná
State, the Military Policy (like state troopers in USA), does
another service for contractors and land speculators andacted
against a Homeless Worker’s Movement (Movimento dos Sem-Teto, the
urban counterpart of Landless Toiler’s Movement, MST) squat at
Curitiba. Onlast Thursday (25/October/2008), 1,100 troopers evicted
in a brutal way (even for them) a thousand and five hundred
homeless families who squatted an unbuilt tract of urban land at
Curitiba’s outskirts.

The ununsed land strip belongs to Varuna Real Estate Enterprises
company, but has been unbuilt for years. On September the 6th, 600
homeless families had occupied the land. Ten days later, the squat
already had approximately 1,500 families, or about six thousand
people. The area has about 10 ‘alqueires’, the equivalent to 242,000
square meters or 0,6 acres (roughly a 491 x 491 meters or 500 x 500
yards square).

The families already had organized several protests around tjhe
squat and in Curitiba’s downtown, asking for a peaceful solution for
their impasse. The homeless workers asked that Brazil’s Urban
Statute Law (which rules for expropriation of the unproductive
urban land, that serves only for real estate speculation) to be
enforced. But, as usual, it amounted to nothing.

To prevent eviction, the sqaut dwellers had organized a row of lying
people in the soil, but it did not stop the advance of
riot police, which attacked them with tear gas and rubber bullets,
injuring 3 people. To defend themselves and their makeshif huts, the
homeless built up barricades with burning tires and and rocks, but
nothing stop the cops’ fury, as Mrs. Maria das Graças Silva de
Souza, 54, just elected president of the Dwellers ‘ association
formed by the squatters, tell us:

“They had really arrived at the place at 7:00 a.M., just after dawn,
and waited for superior orders to go in. When my watch struck 9:00
a.M., they already had entered the area, shooting rubber bullets and
throwing gas bombs at us, men, women and children,
without warning. They had promised us that the eviction would be
peaceful, and that’s not what happened. Many people were wounded and
we are sure not only rubber bullets were used”. (Online State
Newspaper, 23/10/08). This action was not precipitated, as the
bourgeois press says. The PMs acted in a planned way. Aroud 5 a.M.
you already had patrol cars going around in the squat’s
neighbourhood strets.

Courts in Brazil is servile to the powerful elites and decide
systematically against the poorer population. This police action
of “ownership reintegration” was endorsed by Justice. The Varuna’s
bosses had already got, on September 15th, the court order of
eviction of squatters. Judge Julia Maria Tesseroli ruled that the
homeless families had to leave the area in five days. But most of
them had nowhere to go, had they obeyed her; so they preferred to
take their chances there with thier neighbours, better than go back
to the streets. So the bosses asked, and were granted, a forceful
eviction.

The typical police violence in this action left three people
wounded, including a journalist that followed the police and a
8-years-old boy dweller, who suffered skin burns out of tear gars
leakage. MP Colonel Scheremeta, who commanded the repression forces,
considered the result of the operation as “the extremely positive”
(as told to Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, 24/10/2008). The MPs still
surrounds the area to make sure it is emptied and to prevent new
squats.

Paraná State’s Public Safety Department Secretary, Luiz Fernando
Delazari, said he “repudiated the police violence agaisnt the
journalist and would investigate it” (State Newspaper online,
23/10/08). However, not a word of conmdenation was uttered about the
violent eviction of 1,500 families, or about the arrest of the
homeless worker’s movement mlitants for “ressiting police action”.

The squatting grows in Brazil as a desperate way out for hundreds of
thousands of workers who cannot afford rent or find a place in the
already overcrowded urban “favelas” (makeshift slums) in major
cities. Other tens of millions of Brazilians live in poor
neighbourhoods with an apalling lack of infra-structure (even
compared to American ghettos), victimized by floods (for their
huts’s areas are close to rivers and open sewers, or lack drainage,
or both), paying rents they income can’t stand and without proper
food, jobs, schooling and health services. And then even social-
democrat administrations like Lula’s PT (Worker’s Party) follow a
conservative agenda, using public money to save brazilian banks from
bankruptcy, and postponing social betterment for “after the crisis”.

Legislators and courts come along in defense of real estate
speculation. Urban land is getting expensive in Brazil, but
middle-class buyers don’t want ‘favelas’ near their homes, and most
poor people are led to live in the outskirts of major cities, a far
way – by bus, only 10 percent of the population has a car – from
their jobs. And as long as state security forces’ violence cannot be
resisted in equal terms by its victims, this reality is unlikely to
change.

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