Criminalization of the housing movement in Brazil

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.

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