[OPE-L] Brazil Massacre: Protest at Brazilian Consulate

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sat Mar 05 2005 - 07:54:10 EST

Besides going to the Eastern Economics Association conference
meetings yesterday, I also went to a small protest at the Brazilian
Consulate and the Brazilian Embassy to the United Nations.   The
protest concerned an eviction of squatters from Goiania in which
military police killed 20, 50 are still missing, and
3,000 homes were destroyed.  (see below).  There were, I was
told, protests in various countries yesterday against this

Does anyone on the list know more about the regional politics
and economics of this struggle?  Is this reaction a coordinated
campaign in Brazil or an isolated event by right-wing forces,
including land developers and banks, in just one region of
Brazil?   What blaim, if any, does the Lula administration bear
for this eviction and massacre?

In solidarity, Jerry


Four days after US nun Dorothy Stang was killed in the Brazilian Amazon on
 order of landowners angered by her support for rural workers, Military
Police in Goiás state attacked an encampment of urban landless in the city
 of Goiania, killing at least two squatters and arresting more than 800,
including a reporter for New York Indymedia. While Stang's murder garnered
 wide press attention in the US, the bloody Feb. 16 Goiania assault has
been  largely ignored by the US media, though it captured headlines in

Come out in solidarity against repression in Brazil!
Support NYC IMC journalist arrested in Brazil!

FRIDAY, March 4
3 pm ­ 4 pm
The Brazilian Consulate General in New York City
1185 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue, bet. 46th & 47th St.), 21st
Floor New York, NY 10036

February 16th, New York City Independent Media Center journalist Brad
Will was arrested while videotaping the Goiás (Brazil) state police’s
violent eviction of a peaceful, autonomous land occupation in the city of
Goiânia, central Brazil. He was beaten, kicked, smacked and hurt, and his
camera was stolen. Brad reports that they are doing nothing to return it,
and an eyewitness says they smashed it. It is reported that up to 50
people  remain missing, and 20 bodies lie in the morgue unidentified after
police  razed the settlement of 3,000 homes to the ground.

According to the Brazilian Constitution, land must be productive and have
a  social function. If land is idle, the government is supposed to take it
 away it from the owners and redistribute it to those who need it and will
 use it. The government has been slow to do this, so urban and rural
squatters in Brazil carry out occupations of idle land to press the
government to follow the Constitution. Homeless people in the city of
Goiânia created the Sonho Real settlement in June 2004 on land which was
deliberately kept empty by a real estate speculator. On Feb. 16, the Goiás
 state military police attacked the encampment, killing at least two
squatters, wounding many others and arresting 800 people. The families of
Sonho Real have nowhere to go and are being subjected to ongoing abuse by

The national government, under the presidency of Lula da Silva, has been
negotiating with the International Monetary Fund, which requires the
uprooting of poor people from their lands. In general, the IMF demands
that  confiscated lands be privatized and turned into export zones under
the  IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP).

We demand that the Brazilian government honor the Constitution’s pledge to
 the Brazilian people.

This Friday, the squatters of Goiânia march for justice and to reclaim
land  that is theirs by legal right. We are calling on the Brazilian
government  to restore the rights of the people of Sonho Real, return the
land to the  “uprooted of Goiânia,” prosecute and imprison the police
responsible for  the brutal and illegal massacre, and  immediately begin a
federal  investigation.

The community of Sonho Real and its allies in Goiânia are calling for
autonomous actions at Brazilian embassies and consulates throughout the
world on Friday March 4th as they march to demand justice. We in New York
City answer their call!

Please join us!

Brazilian Consulate phone: (917) 777-7777; 917-417-8097, 917-417-8662
Fax:  212- 827-0225
(Dial 0 after message and you'll be switched to an operator. Ask politely
where you might leave a message regarding the assault on the homeless
encampment in Goiânia, Brazil)

We ask the follow actions be taken in respect to the case of the
occupation  of Sonho Real (trans., “Real Dream,” the name the squatters
gave to their  encampment representing their dream for permanent housing),
in Parque Oeste  Industrial, Goiânia, Brazil:

(pronounced: Sonyo re-ow, parke westche induustree-ow, goy-AH-nia braa-zil)

1. The government of Brazil must allow a federal investigation into the
illegal police repression
2. Immediately prosecute and jail the police responsible for the violence
3. Land must be restored to the rightful residents who were displaced on
February 16, and all property taken from them or destroyed in the raid
must  be returned or compensated for.

The international community is watching this situation very closely. We
demand that appropriate actions be taken by the Brazilian authorities to
right this injustice.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ IN

President of Brazil
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Endereço Pça. dos Três Poderes, Palácio do Planalto
4º andar - 70.150-900 Braslia - DF
Telefone: (61) 411 1225
E-mail: sg@planalto.gov.br

Governor of the State of Goiás
Marconi Ferreira Perillo Júnior
Telefone (62) 213-1456 r. 231
Fax (62) 213-1479 ou 213-1481
E-mail: governador@palacio.go.gov.br

Secretary for Public Security - Secretário de Segurança Pública
Jonathas Silva
Telefone (62) 265-1000 ou 265-1050
Fax (62) 265-1001 ou 265-1002
E-mail: Isabela@go.gov.br

Mayor of Goiânia
Iris Rezende Machado
Telefone: 0800 6460 156.
E-mail: 156@goiania.go.gov.br

United Nations in Brazil

International Human Rights Commission
Mail: Petitions Team Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva 1211
Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters)
E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org

International Comission for Human Rights
Mail: Commission/Sub-Commission Team (1503 Procedure)
Support Services Branch
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: + 41 22 917 9011
E-mail: 1503@ohchr.org

Permanent Mission of Brazil to the UN
747 Third Avenue  9th Floor,
New York, NY 10017-2803  USA
Phone: (212) 372-2600  ::   Fax: (212) 371-5716
E-mail: delbrasonu@delbrasonu.org



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