Giant landsquat in Brasil

Anita Garibaldi

Has been more than one month of resistance from one of the biggest occupation in South America. A land of 1.139.000 m2 in the city of Guarulhos, SP, Brazil, was occupied by more than 9.000 families(and 1.500 who still waiting to have a spot at the camp). The name of the camp is Anita Garibaldi and was made by the MTST(Movement of Homeless Workers) with the support of the MST(The Landless Movement). At the 4th day of occupation the owner asked a legal petition to get the land back, the homeless are following the process with the help of voluntaries lawyers from the section of Human Rights at the OAB(The Brazilian Lawyers Organization). For 50 years the land was used for a sugar-cane plantation. Then Mr. Claudio Malva Valente bought it and never used the land again. The result was that the place became a spot for rape, murder, drugs etc. One of the people who helped organized the occupation, Joao Santana, said that it was planned in four months. During the first month of occupation they did two demonstrations, one at May 28th, when they made a march from the camp to the Center City passing by a construction where the government are building a new prison. The second one was on June 17th inside of the camp with the support of people from another cities, unions and some political parties. He also explained the way they organize themselves inside of the camp. To be part of the camp you have to get on a list where the families will be called, the priority is for those who where evict or other cases where the person doesn't have any other condition of living. This list also avoid those people who show up, set up a tend and then they come back to their houses to wait for the legal process, people who already owned their houses and want to take advanced of the occupation. The camp was divided in 300 groups, with 39 families which. All tends has the number of the group and the individual number as well. Every group has a general coordinator person, and 4 different sections that helps to organize the group. One of the goals, said Joao Santana, is to keep everybody active so they can fell part of the struggle as well. Every group has a collective kitchen and bathroom, but there is also the community pharmacy and kitchen, where all the donations goes first and later distributed to the groups, giving priority to the ones who needs the most.. The people who is responsible for the health section gets from the group information about what the group needs and passes it to the community pharmacy and kitchen, who will give to them what they need. The people who is responsible for the section of infrastructure works with the construction of the tends, bathroom and kitchen, and also does collectives works when is necessary. The section of security is represented by the people who takes care of the security of the group and of the collective- and also helps with the rotation in front of the entrance of the camp. The secretary section is responsible for taking notes at the meetings and pass the information to the rest of the group. There is also the people who takes care of the trash, and a spot for it. They have open meetings where they discuss issues about the occupation and also make important announcements. In the middle of the camp some sheds were build for meetings and exchange of information and also to discuss new project. As the Hidroponia Project, maybe the most important one, which is a type of urban agriculture. The intention is to make a community where all the basic necessities from the people will be supplied, housing, work and food. Most of the children from the camp goes to publics schools from the neighborhood. One day more then 1.300 children at the age of 0 to 5 were vaccinate by the Secretary of Health from the city who showed up at the camp after a calling made by the homeless. Even knowing all this wonderful job that they are doing at the camp, they still need a lot of support. They food, water, medicine, clothes, wood, plastic etc. Any kind of support is more than welcome. Please if you want to help get in touch with IMC-Brasil and Resistencia Popular, two of the many groups who are helping the occupation: IMC-Brasil: Resistencia Popular-SP:


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