Brazil Election held under Police and Military Arms, and with Growing Popular Boycott

[The Brazilian national election was held last week, and nearly half a million police and military were deployed to enforce the farce of democracy.  Meanwhile, a popular boycott of the election developed in the cities and in the countryside. — Frontlines ed.]

Don’t Vote, Boycott the Electoral Farce!-Brazil

In recent weeks, popular organizations organized numerous activities for rejection of the 2014 electoral farce.

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RIO DE JANEIRO

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The Independent (FIP-RJ) Popular Front, which brings together various organizations of struggle, led the campaign in the state capital. On days 4 and 28/8, 17/9 and 11 pamphlets were handed out. In each of them, about 8000 pamphlets were distributed at the entrances to the main train station in Rio. Some of these actions were accompanied by a large banner of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People (FRDDP) the rights to the phrase “Do not vote! Below the electoral farce! ‘.

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Clashes erupt in Brazil as police evict squatters from high-rise

NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES — A bus burns Tuesday after being set ablaze during clashes between riot police and people squatting in a building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

by VINCENT BEVINS, Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2014

Clashes between police and squatters resisting eviction paralyzed Sao Paulo on Tuesday morning, as streets were emptied and the center of South America’s largest city was filled with tear gas and smoke from at least one torched city bus.

Large-scale demonstrations and street conflicts have taken place periodically across Brazil since June 2013, but had largely subsided since the beginning of the World Cup soccer tournament this June.

Chaos returned on Tuesday, however, after the forced eviction of members of the FLM, or Front to Fight for Housing, one of the many groups living in abandoned buildings in the city’s center. More than 70 people were arrested in the melee.

“All of a sudden this morning, this neighborhood was like something out of a terror film,” said Ylma Calixto, 38, who works across the street from the site of the eviction. “The people living in that building, they had nowhere else to go, and so when the police came, they fought back the way I guess they thought they should.” Continue reading

Reaching for “World-Class” Glory, the Brazilian State Unleashes a Reign of Terror in the Favelas

[In Brazil, the international promotion of a global sporting event, the FIFA World Cup of 2014, has driven a “sophisticated, cosmetic” PR and brutal policing and counter-insurgency program.   In this article, The Guardian describes the deadly repression of the poor, and  the “charm-the-tourists” propaganda campaign of the Brazilian state. — Frontlines ed.]

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Brazil’s favelas are in big trouble, despite the World Cup marketing push

, theguardian.com, Sunday 18 May 2014
'In Rio de Janeiro, the number of deaths in conflict with the police rose by 69% from 2013 to 2014.'

‘In Rio de Janeiro, the number of deaths in conflict with the police rose by 69% from 2013 to 2014.’ Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

This week, a study by Amnesty International revealed that 80% of Brazilians are afraid of being tortured by their own police force on arrest. In a survey across 21 countries, Brazil was found to be the country where people feel most unsafe in the hands of authorities, almost twice the international average of 44%.

In Rio de Janeiro this fear is very real. Although the media has reported the efforts to pacify favelas across the city, armed violence has once again escalated in the city – weeks before it will receive thousands of football fans for the 2014 World Cup.

Back in 2008 favela residents dreamed of a life without violence as the government unveiled a project to build Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) in which policemen would be stationed to take back territory controlled by drug gangs for decades. Today the failures of this programme are starting to show – and a corrupt and violent police force is the main cause. Continue reading

Brazil’s infectious anthem: When millions sing the alarm, Enough!

CHEGA   —   Enough!

(Não é pelos vinte centavos)   —   (We will arrive, but Not by twenty cents)

Cada um fazendo a sua parte, vamos construir um país melhor. Uma homenagem de Seu Jorge, Gabriel Moura e Pretinho da Serrinha a todos os Brasileiros……(Each one doing its part, we are going to build a better country.)

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Published On: July 22, 2013

Brazilian Music in New York

Brazil Summerfest opened in New York City this past weekend. This is the third summer that lovers of Brazilian music have organized the festival to celebrate it in New York. The annual festival is a treat for the tens of thousands of Brazilians who live in and near New York City, not to mention the millions of international tourists who come to New York every summer.

This year’s festival includes performances by Gaby Amarantos, Marcelo D2, Toninho Horta, Tulipa Ruiz, and others. They will perform at outdoor locations like Central Park’s SummerStage and the South Street Seaport, as well as clubs like Joe’s Pub.

Certainly the biggest name on the list of performers is Jorge Mário da Silva, the 43-year-old singer and songwriter known as Seu Jorge. When asked about this year’s festival and what makes it special, Seu Jorge was quick to point out that all the musicians and artists from Brazil have been affected by the mass demonstrations that have erupted recently in Brazil. The street protests have inspired him to write a song.

“If this thing had happened in Jamaica, certainly Bob Marley would do something, wouldn’t he? And if something like this were happening in Nigeria, wouldn’t Fela Kuti have written some song?” Seu Jorge remarked.  “The idea was to write a song that would lead people to sing for their rights,” continued Seu Jorge, who is known in the US not only as an international ambassador of Brazilian music, but also as an actor in the Wes Anderson film, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Continue reading

Brazil: Soldiers Sent to Indigenous Occupied Land

By Emily Tarbuck | The Argentina Independent | June 6, 2013The Brazilian government has announced that it will send around 200 soldiers to land occupied by indigenous groups in Mato Grosso do Sul.The move comes after a member of the Terena indigenous group was killed whilst police attempted to evict the occupiers last week. The groups believe the land belongs to their indigenous ancestral territory, which is currently recognised as the property of local politician, Ricardo Bacha, and have occupied the land for over two weeks. Continue reading

Indigenous Brazilians use web to fight for rights

Brazil’s ‘lost report’ into genocide surfaces after 40 years

Figueiredo report reveals alleged crimes against indigenous tribes from 1940s to 1980s and sheds light on current land policy

and Jan Rocha, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 29 May 2013

Figueiredo report, Brazil

[Umutima shaman in 1957: the Figueiredo report caused an outcry after it revealed crimes against Brazil’s indigenous population. Photograph: José Idoyaga/Survival]

A “lost” report into genocide, torture, rape and enslavement of indigenous tribes during Brazil‘s military dictatorship has been rediscovered, raising fresh questions about whether the government has made amends and punished those responsible.

The 7,000-page Figueiredo report has not been seen for more than 40 years, but extracts acquired by the Guardian reveal hundreds of alleged crimes and perpetrators.

Submitted in 1967 by the public prosecutor Jader de Figueiredo Correia, the document details horrific abuse by the Indian Protection Service (widely known as the SPI), which was set up to improve the livelihoods of indigenous communities but often ended up as a mechanism to rob them of land or wipe them out with guns or poison.

The document caused an international storm when it was released, leading two years later to the foundation of the tribal rights organisation Survival International. Brazil, however, failed to jail a single person despite initial charges against 134 officials alleged to be involved in more than 1,000 crimes. Continue reading