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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Americas | International | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
Pinheirinho Occupation, Sao Paulo resisting eviction now
The mega-operation of the police to vacate the Pinheirinho has started. Police helicopters are flying around and throwing leaflets urging residents to retreat without resistance. The residents are firm and organised to resist the eviction.
Leaflets from the residents read "A physical presence there is crucial at this time. The campaign of legal moes is very important, but the physical presence there is crucial at this time. Eviction can happen at any time. Tomorrow we want as many leaders and activists in this activity. We call on all organizations and movements to go out tomorrow to the city of San Jose Campos and collaborate in this act of resistance at Pinheirinho. This is our fight. 100% Pinheirinho!"
The Military Police Command is preparing a mega-operation with the riot police to comply with a court repossession. Favela Pinheirinho, one of the largest in the state of São Paulo, located in Sao Jose dos Campos. About 9,000 residents in danger of losing their homes are willing to resist any attempt to move out.
The repossession order was signed by Judge Marcia Loureiro, the 6th. Civil Court of Sao Jose dos Campos, in the midst of settlement negotiations already initiated by federal, state and municipal levels. There is a disagreement between the spheres of government in the hands of the Municipality of Sao Jose dos Campos, who refuses to sign the Occupation Program. The eviction would be the be the first step in the regularisation of the area.
The federal government has said it is willing to negotiate a settlement, but depends on the action of the City to amend the zoning of the area for Special Zone of Social Interest and prepare an urban project for the Occupation. It also depends on the judge Marcia Loureiro suspend the order of reinstatement.
Occupation leaders say that if the military police invade the Occupation, there will be strong resistance and serious risk of confrontation. Last week, residents came to occupy the Presidente Dutra Highway in protest against the threat of eviction. This week, the protest was in front of City Hall. Residents chained themselves to the fence of City Hall and there was confrontation with the Home Guard, who used batons to quell the demonstration.
Given the situation, residents are preparing for resistance, forming barricades and arming themselves with pieces of wood to defend the raid.
"If the military police to invade the area, the country runs the risk of witnessing a great tragedy, repeating stories like Carajas in 1996 and Occupation Real Dream in Goiânia in 2005, when dozens of people died in conflict with the police. " The residents of Pinheirinho will not leave their homes and are willing to fight.
Pinheirinho was occupied eight years ago and belongs to the estate of Selecta S / A, owned by financial speculator Naji Nahas. Before being occupied, it was a land that was abandoned for 30 years, with over 1 million square meters. The estate of Selecta has a debt of more than $ 15 million in taxes to the municipality of Sao Jose dos Campos.
Today the State authorised 2000 police to evict the long term land occupation of Pinheirinho, near Sao Paulo in Brazil. Despite a 15 day truce demanded by a Federal judge last week, the police went in this morning in a surprise attack
Here is the older story from last week with some background on Pinheirinho:
A solidarity demo was held this evening in Sao Paulo and blocked the main Paulista Avenue for a while. Another solidarity demo has been called in Sao Jose dos Campos, the town where Pinheirinho is located.
The official version of the eviction reports that one man was shot and taken to hospital during the poilice assault on Pinheirinho. The 1st Shock Battalion of Police (ROTA) from St Paulo were at the forefront of the eviction although there were cops gathered from 33 other municipalities in the State.
During the eviction, there was some resistance as people fought back from behind barricades which had been torched to prevent the police coming in to Pinheirinho and also some stone throwing at the police from the roadside. The police has arrived using teargas and firing rubber rounds. At some point in the eviction a media truck from TV Vanguarda, a subsidiary of the shit Globo empire was set on fire.
All day rumours have been circulating from the eviction about deaths during the cops assault. It's hard to follow the real news from within as mobile and telephones were cut off before the cops came in. Being Brazil, this would not be the first massacre at a land occupation. Mainstream Brazilian media is also famously right-wing.
An estimated 5500 families live at Pinheirinho, on land owned by a bankrupt businessman. Despite a wearying round of intervention by judges at the federal level to put the eviction on hold, the State decided to make it's move today.
More news to come. Please spread the word. Solidarity actions welcome worldwide.
Video here (in Portuguese):