Criminalization of the housing movement in Brazil

25/07/2019 admin 0

Last June 24th four activists for housing were arrested in São Paulo, Brasil, while seventeen others linked to the movement for squatting were put under arrest; fifteen more are threatened of detention. The arbitrariousness of the operation is another signal of the steady drift towards fascism of the state of Brazil, that is, the complete subjugation of public institutions to the interest of big landowners and investors.

The activists were members of housing movements that squatted and returned to the common huge buildings in central São Paulo; they were accused of  criminal association and extortion, something that was also employed in other countries to criminalize squatting, but not yet in Brazil. For their defense, a new organization was created: the «Popular committee in defense of political prisoners and  popular movements«, whose members are activists, worker union members, artists, journalists, lawyers and other people concerned by the criminalization of social struggles.

Given the  previous cases of extreme repression perpetrated by Brazilian authorities against social movements, that include extrajudiciary killings such as Marielle Franco‘s death in March 2018, it is extremely important that all people concerned to the right to housing and to the city in all the world mobilize to denounce these arrests, to claim liberty for the prisoners, and the end of arbitrary persecutions against activists.

City Life Vida Urbana: How evicted turn into activists

23/03/2016 admin 0
Boston has today the highest income divide of the US: evictions invariably hit latinos or afroamerican neighborhoods. City Life / Vida Urbana since the 1970s keeps building a network of mutual aid among those who suffer the consequences of these housing policies, also through the use of theater, rituals, symbols.

Root shock: how the destruction of black communities hurt the US

01/04/2014 admin 0
Mindy Fullilove calls "root shock" the trauma suffered by 1600 Afro-American communities displaced from the city centres of the US since 1949. In her book "Root Shock" (2004) she uses the metaphor of transplantation, a trauma after which, if repeated, many plants can't recover. Even the transition from the pleasure of jazz, born in the old ghettos, to the anger of rap, product of the new peripheries, is a manifestation of root shock; it is a trauma for those who suffer it, and for society as a whole.

Tijuana’s Flowers of the Rancho

24/10/2012 admin 0
Our friend Anna BOSCH had been giving a workshop in participatory photography at Rancho Las Flores, a spontaneous settlement in Tijuana: shanties and self-made houses less than 1km from the most frequently crossed international border in the world. In few cities the inhabitants are so heavily influenced by images built from outside: Tijuana is represented alternately as borderland or as "center of the universe"; as a city without law, or as a "perfect place" for US tourists.
Sin imagen

Memory of Reclaimed Urban Space in New York

22/03/2012 admin 0
Lower East Side, the small, enigmatic and still resistant neighborhood in Manhattan, (NYC), still keeps the marks of a long history of squatting and counterculture, evidenced by many spaces such as housing projects, social centers and community gardens. The neighborhood is undergoing a strong gentirification process in which squatting has played a special role through recuperation of spaces and local social life. One of these spots provides accomodation for an interesting project of retrieval of the historical live heritage of the neighborhood. MORUS, or Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, is a small but dynamic museum meant to present squatting and its influence on the neighborhood in an innovatory form, at the same time underlining its live traces. Its promoters intend to show how community and grassroot organizations in East Village helped to transform abandoned buildings and empty lots in spaces for a vibrant community as well as contagious for those who visit it from outside.
Sin imagen

Recipes to eliminate poverty in Buenos Aires

14/12/2010 admin 0
On december 8th, 2010, the Metropolitan and Federal Police attacked the 200 families who had settled in Parque Iberoamericano (Buenos Aires), as if it was an enemy army: the operation ended with two deaths and many injured. Then, the local gobernment and mass media promoted xenophobia, presenting the abandoned park as "squatted" by bolivians and paraguayans linked with drug dealing: so racist groups from the neighborhoods, together with violent hooligans - patotas de barrabravas , close and often directly hired by the local government- continued the job, killing two more of the settlers.