From Brazil to Ferguson, Black Lives Matter

12/18/2014

Under the banner Ferguson is Here! #fergusonéaqui Thousands took the streets in Sao Paulo, Brazil in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests in the US.Foto: Midia NINJAToday’s event in Sao Paulo was to highlight the systemic police violence, the high rate of murders and the judicial injustices suffered when these crimes against black communities go unpunished.

In a report by the Brazilian Forum of Public Safety published on Nov. 9th 2014, Brazilian police killed 2,212 people in 2013.  Twice as many blacks as whites in Brazil were victims of police violence in 2009, according to a recent study by economist Daniel Cerqueira.

Another study by the University of Sao Carlos showed that even as blacks comprised 34 percent of the population of Sao Paulo, they numbered 58 percent of those killed by police.

 

Brazil: Cleomar, Leader of Poor Peasants League in Northern Minas and Bahia is killed in ambush

By CEBRASPO, 23 October 2014

On Wednesday, the peasant Cleomar, coordinator of Liga dos Camponeses Pobres do Norte de Minas e Bahia (Poor Peasants League of Northern Minas and Bahia) was ambushed and killed in Pedra Maria da Cruz, near the Área Revolucionário Unidos com Deus Venceremos, where he lived, worked and struggled with his comrades. Cleomar organized collective honey production in the area, and part of this production he and his fellow workers protested the political repression in Rio de Janeiro, which made him very happy. Recently, Cleomar attended the Congress of the International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL) held in Rio de Janeiro.

We demand investigation and punishment of the perpetrators and masterminds of this crime against the people!
Comrade Cleomar! Presente!
We reproduce below statement from the National Commission of the Poor Peasants League:

Leader of the League of Poor Peasants of Northern Mines and Bahia is murdered in Pedras de Maria da Cruz
Belo Horizonte, October 23, 2014
Comrade Cleomar, Coordinator of Poor Peasants League of North Gerais and Bahia, was cowardly assassinated October 22, 2014, after passing the “cancela do cascalho” (“gate of gravel”) and entering the path to get to the Área Revolucionária Unidos com Deus Venceremos, where he lived, worked and fought for the piece of land along with other companeros.
His body was found pierced by gunfire, according to the first report of his companion who was quite distraught.
We are sending this announcement to all who support and accompany the struggle for land, to denounce this crime of landlordism and this rotten and murderous state, while the Poor Peasants League North Mine is gathering all the information and preparing an honorable farewell to this martyr of the struggle of the people.
We urge everyone to be present at the farewell to this comrade, (despite the distance).
Cleomar was humble, dedicated, responsible, hardworking, combative, intelligent, patient, insightful, politicized. He was a husband and exemplary, respectful, affectionate father.
Cleomar often received death threats, and constantly denounced the authorities, whose attacks continued.

The murder of comrade Cleomar continues the hundreds of attacks and ambushes against peasants struggling for land: at roadblocks, where the companeros must stop; and after hearing the Public Prosecutor, on 09 October, about large landowners closing roads, preventing access to water from artesian wells by the municipal CDR, being evicted from lands occupied by INCRA, but which never received a hearing for justice, was back to square one, as has happened in thousands of cases in this country in recent years.  Cleomar denounced the landowners threats against him, and called for the peasants’ union, vazanteiros, fishermen and Maroons against landlordism to conquer the land.

Cleomar was popular in many areas, Cleomar organized the production of honey by a collective group, and imagine the happiness that he got when he saw “his” honey helping political prisoners protesters in Rio de Janeiro … Cleomar had participated in the early years of the Congress of the International Association of People’s Lawyers, and his interest in the struggles of other people was contagious. Cleomar fought not only for land, Cleomar wanted power for the worker-peasant alliance!
We lift high his name, and uphold and popularize the fight of comrade Cleomar, martyr of our people!
We are filled with pain and anger, hatred, and the spirit of revenge! Against the killers and those responsible for the murder of Cleomar —  First, landowners and their gunmen; Second, this state and its officers and managers, opportunistic scoundrels, who could have prevented the death of the comrade, if they did at least one percent of the Brazilian constitution that says this … Cleomar exposed the Incra and urged people to go and see those who lied and deceived and covered up the crimes.
Pain and anger, hatred, revenge. We demand justice!
Honor and glory to the martyrs of our people!
Long live the struggle for land! Viva Agrarian Revolution!
Comrade Cleomar, Presente!

 

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! ‘.

Continue reading

Brazil: Campaign to Defend Against the Threats and Attacks on People’s Lawyer Dr. Ermogenes

URGENT ACTION IN DEFENSE OF BRAZILIAN PEOPLE’S LAWYER Dr. ERMOGENES

Sat Sep 20, 2014

Dr. Ermogenes Jacinto de Souza is a well-known People’s Advocate and a

member of Brazilian Association of People’s Lawyers. He has spent his

professional life defending the poor peasants who have struggled for their

legitimate right to have lands in the State of Rondônia, in Brazilian

Amazon. This area of Brazil has witnessed significant number of murders

planned, ordered and executed by Landlords or their mercenaries.

 

No one forgets the murder of Renato Nathan a teacher and Élcio Machado,

Gilson Gonçalves peasants and dozens of others. The Landlords commit these

atrocities and criminal acts due to lack of rule of law and accountability

in the State of Rondônia. Murder, with total impunity is the fact of life in

Rondônia. The State authorities have failed to act. The Judiciary including

prosecutors and police have been busy dancing to the Landlord’ s tunes. They

are institutionally corrupt and server and assist the landlord to continue

their land grabbing strategies. Dr. Ermogenes have been threatened and

severely restricted in performing his duties as a lawyer. Continue reading

Brazil: World Cup’s Nationalist Hype Fails to Curb Struggle Against Displacement

Dispatches From Brazil’s World Cup:  Real Estate Frenzy Provokes ‘Psychological Attack’ to Oust Favela Residents
Dave Zirin, The Nation, on June 18, 2014
Graffiti on the walls of Vila Autódromo. On the Brazilian flag, instead of "order and progress", "freedom" is written across the iconic blue globe. June 17, 2014. (Photo by the author)

Graffiti on the walls of Vila Autódromo. On the Brazilian flag, instead of “order and progress”, “freedom” is written across the iconic blue globe. June 17, 2014. (Photo by the author)

 

Before returning to the favela Vila Autódromo for the first time since 2012, I had already been told that the community would not look the same. As a friend said to me, “It will resemble a perfect smile with several teeth knocked out.” Vila Autódromo is situated just yards away from the site of the 2016 Rio Olympic village, and Olympic planners as well as construction interests have long targeted this close-knit community for demolition. Located on an achingly beautiful lake, where glittering new high-rise condominiums have sprouted “seemingly overnight”, the city’s business and political leaders see prime real estate, with pesky favelados in the way of their development dreams.

Despite a fierce resistance to their removal that has stymied the efforts of Olympic planners, I had heard before arriving that 150 of the 500 families living in Vila Autódromo had left. I expected many of their homes, places I had visited, to now be piles of rubble. What I did not expect was the absence of trees. 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

“Housing Not Stadiums” protest in Brazil

[Urban reform movement in Brazil reflects the massive popular anger at the mis-allocation of the country’s resources, shown in the displacements of peoples and the huge stadium construction projects for the World Cup championships to be held in Brazil in June. — Frontlines ed.]

Wave of anti-government protests begins in Brazil

May 15, 2014
Associated Press

SAO PAULO (AP) — Protesters began a wave of demonstrations around Brazil on Thursday, burning tires and blocking highways to draw attention to housing and education needs before next month’s World Cup.

In Sao Paulo, the country’s biggest city, demonstrators blocked two key roads into the city and hundreds protested near one of the stadiums built for soccer’s premier tournament. Continue reading