Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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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

Mexico: Students Walk Out In Mass Protest Over Curriculum Changes

[The declining quality and conditions of education are being challenged throughout the world–from Puerto Rico, to Brazil, to Jadavpur University in India, students in Hong Kong, Colorado, many places.  What spurs people into action at each location differs, but they all turn into challenges to a bourgeois electoral system that cuts short on meeting the needs and interests of students.  Here, the latest from Mexico. — Frontlines ed.]

9/25/2014

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About 15,000 Students or more from the National Polytechnic Institute marched on the Interior Circuit northbound to the Zacatenco unit, to address the Directorate General of IPN.

On Thursday, the Unity Professional Interdisciplinary Engineering and Social and Administrative Sciences UPIICSA ) joined the strike along with the College of Engineering and Architecture (ESIA ).

From an early hour, students from different campuses CECYT concentrated outside various schools to join the mobilization.

Continue reading

Brazil: Popular Organizations Building a Campaign…Against the Elections

‘Do not Vote! Down with the electoral farce!’

 

ANovaDemocraciaYear XIII, No. 138, 2nd half of September 2014

 RAFAEL GOMES PENELAS

In recent weeks, popular organizations organized numerous activities for rejection of the 2014 electoral farce.  With pamphlets, public events, debates, graffiti and collage poster campaigns to boycott the elections, activists took to the streets of many capitals and cities of the interior of Brazil. In the first two weeks of September, A Nova Democracia received several photos, videos and stories of some of these initiatives.

RIO DE JANEIRO

http://www.anovademocracia.com.br/138/10b.jpg

Morro Hat Mangueira, Rio

The Independent (FIP-RJ) Popular Front, which brings together various organizations of struggle, led the campaign in the state capital. From late August until mid-September, pamphlets were distributed in several cities in Central Brazil. About 8000 pamphlets were distributed at the entrances to the main train station in Rio. Some of these upheavals were accompanied by a large banner of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People (FRDDP) proclaiming the right to  “Do not vote! Down with the electoral farce! ‘.

The Independent (FIP-RJ) Popular Front, which brings together various organizations of struggle, led the campaign in the state capital. From late August until mid-September, pamphlets were distributed in several cities in Central Brazil. About 8000 pamphlets were distributed at the entrances to the main train station in Rio. Some of these upheavals were accompanied by a large banner of the Revolutionary Front for the Defence of the People (FRDDP) proclaiming the right to  “Do not vote! Down with the electoral farce! ‘.

Continue reading

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

Strikes at Foxconn factory in Brazil halt iPhone production

Funcionários da empresa Foxconn continuam em greve nesta quarta-feira (Foto: Sandro Zeppi/TV TEM)

Up to 3,500 employees for the Brazilian arm of Apple’s iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn allegedly went on strike late last week, causing a factory-wide shutdown of production. The strike is still reportedly in effect at the factory in Jundiai, Brazil.

Harry Tunnecliffe, Macworld Australia
18 September, 2014

9to5Mac has received a number of tips and translated local news reports concerning the matter, and claim that every single production line had stopped when the strike was first enacted last Thursday. Workers are reportedly demanding changes to work and pay policies, and as part of the strike, have blocked other employees from entering the site. This would explain the complete halt to production.

Funcionários da empresa Foxconn continuam em greve nesta quarta-feira (Foto: Sandro Zeppi/TV TEM)The strike comes at a critical time for Apple, as despite record production levels, Foxconn are struggling to keep up with the amount of pre-orders that have already taken place – which are achieving record numbers.

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

Brazil: During World Cup Protests, “Free Saibaba” Banners Fly

Even as popular resistance to the FIFA-excused theft of public resources continued to grow, activists demonstrated on June 12, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, demanding the immediate release of the professor in India, Dr. GN Saibaba, who was abducted and arrested by the Indian fascist state on May 9.
GN Saibaba is Delhi University professor of English literature, an active defender of the rights of the people and democracy. Demand the Operation Green Hunt (the war of the Indian State Against the People in India)! Freedom for all political prisoners!

 

Police Repression of Indigenous Protest Against Brazil’s World Cup

05/27/2014

The whole area around the stadium is isolated from nearby roads and traffic was diverted; rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas were released
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BRASILIA – Hundreds of indigenous people and thousands of supporters peacefully marched towards the National Mane Garrincha Stadium in protest of the upcoming World Cup in an effort to block the roads. 

They were met by riot police and Military Cavalry Police of the Federal District on the afternoon of Tuesday the 27th. The demonstration, which had the support of hundreds of Indians left the Pilot Road, but was surrounded by police personnel about 100 meters from the arena to receive seven games of the World Cup 2014.

Police blocked the march and soon were using tear gas, sound grenades and rubber bullets on people to violently disperse the protest march.indio-flecha-andre-dusek-292

The march was peaceful, the protesters chanted slogans and carrying signs against FIFA’s World Cup until, by being surrounded by police on the horses that blocked lanes of the Monumental Axis. Riot police then responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and sound grenades.

The whole area around the stadium is isolated from nearby roads and traffic was diverted. There were reports of injuries, but no confirmed information at time of publishing.

Continue reading

Angry Rebellions against World Cup

“Social unrest mars 2014 World Cup”

The Mercury, 23 May 2014

The city of São Paulo has been at the centre of repeated protests against the government’s R114bn spending, writes Lizzie Dearden

viral world cup

Paulo Ito, a street artist, painted the mural of a starving child with only a football to eat on a school in São Paulo on May 10 and a photo of the artwork has since been shared more than 50 000 times on Facebook alone.

The city has been at the centre of repeated and sometimes violent protests against the government’s R114 billion spending on the World Cup when the money is so badly needed elsewhere.

“People already have the feeling and that image condensed this feeling,” Paulo Ito told slate.com.

“The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,” he said.

Continue reading

Brazil: No World Cup?

Members of the Landless Workers Movement protest against the money spent on the World Cup near Arena Corinthians, which will host the tournament’s first match in São Paulo, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

[The great journalist Eduardo Galeano once wrote, “There are visible and invisible dictators. The power structure of world football is monarchical. It’s the most secret kingdom in the world.”  It is a cultural and economic “kingdom” that, along with Olympics and other mega-capitalist-profit and xenophobic-promotion projects, hijacks national budgets, leaving millions starving in the streets….and rising in rebellion in hundreds of city streets.  Here, David Zirin, the journalist whose career has focused on the politics of sport, the misuse of sport’s popularity, and the history of athlete’s activism, tells what is building up in Brazil with the approach of the FIFA World Cup. — Frontlines ed.]

‘There Will Be No World Cup’: Brazil on the Brink

Dave Zirin, The Nation blog, on May 15, 2014
For people just tuning in, the idea that people in Brazil would be protesting the 2014 World Cup makes about as much sense as New Yorkers’ rebelling against pizza. And yet here we are, less than one month before the start of the Cup, and demonstrations bear the slogan #NãoVaiTerCopa, or “There will be no Cup.”

Protests, strikes and direct actions have been flaring up across the country as the 2014 FIFA World Cup approaches. Most notably, as many as 10,000 people in São Paolo under the banner of Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, or MTST, has occupied a major lot next to Arena Corinthians, site of the World Cup’s opening match. They call their occupation “The People’s Cup” and point out that the nearly half a billion dollars that went into building the “FIFA quality stadium” next door could have been used to combat poverty or improve healthcare. The slogan “we want FIFA quality hospitals and schools” still rings out as it did a year ago, when during the Confederation’s Cup, Brazil saw its largest protests in a generation. Now there is an even sharper desperation as the cup approaches. Maria das Dores Cirqueira, 44, a coordinator for the MTST, told the Los Angeles Times, “When the government told us we would host the World Cup, we hoped there would be improvements for us. But they aren’t putting on a Cup for the people, they’re putting on a Cup for the gringos.” 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

Edward Snowden: “NSA Surveillance Is About Power, Not ‘Safety'”

By Edward Snowden

17 December, 2013
[Countercurrents.org published this note introducing Edward Snowden’s open letter to the people of Brazil. “This letter was published today in the Brazilian newspaper A Folha in Portuguese and this original text was provided via the Facebook page of Glenn Greenwald’s husband David Miranda.”]

Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live.

My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those. Continue reading

Chile: Police Special Forces Evict Mapuche Community From Contested Lands

By • Oct 21, 2013

 

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Welcome to the Temucuicui Autonomous Community” Photo by Donmatas1 on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In the early morning of Wednesday, October 9, riot police and members of the Group of Special Operations (GOPE in Spanish), an elite, special unit of the Chilean Police, raided the Temucuicui Autonomous Community [es], an indigenous Mapuche community located near the town of Ercilla in the Araucania Region of Southern Chile.A self-denominated “autonomous” community, Temucuicui has occupied what they consider to be ancestral lands for over two years. They have resisted several eviction attempts, and their resistance has landed many community leaders and members in jail.

The land where the community lives is part of what the Mapuche call “Wallmapu”, meaning Mapuche country, where clashes between police forces and Mapuche activists are common. Currently, these lands are contested, but legally owned by landowners Rene Urban, Martin Ruf and the Zeit family. Continue reading

Chile: Indigenous groups mark Columbus Day with protests

October 13, 2013, Al Jazeera

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Some of the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police after the main, peaceful march earlier Saturday.  Luis Hidalgo/AP

Protesters clashed with police in Chile’s capital Saturday during an anti-Columbus Day march organized by Indigenous groups, with activists calling for the return of ancestral lands and the right to self-determination on the 521-year anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.

Demonstrators in Santiago threw rocks and other objects at police who responded with water cannons. At least 10 protesters were detained by police, local media reported.

More than 15,000 people participated in the march, organized by the country’s largest indigenous group, the Mapuches, who have been in a long struggle with the government over ancestral land taken from them during colonization.

While Columbus Day celebrations took place across Latin America, the Mapuche affirmed, “we have nothing to celebrate”, according to the Santiago Times.

A press release by the group complained of mistreatment by the state, particularly against Mapuche political prisoners, and on-going land disputes in the south. Continue reading