June 30th is the last day of the validity of the determination of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that suspended, because of the pandemic, evictions in Brazil. From the next day, according to the Zero Eviction Campaign, around 142,385 families across Brazil are at risk of being placed on the street. That equates to about half a million people.
Demanding the extension of this deadline until the end of the year, social movements from the countryside and the city are calling for acts throughout Brazil this Tuesday (21). According to Benedito Barbosa, from the Union of Housing Movements of São Paulo (UMM-SP), there will be demonstrations in all regions of the country. “In the Northeast, people are also taking advantage of the São João festivities to put the theme: June festivals against evictions”, he says.
Among the organizers of the protests, articulated around the Zero Eviction Campaign, are the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), the Popular Fight Movement, the Popular Brigades, the UMM and the Struggles in Neighborhoods, Towns and Favelas (MLB).
“The framework of the mobilizations is important for us to also send a message from the streets to the STF and thus try to sensitize Minister Luís Roberto Barroso” to prevent this “tragic phenomenon” of mass evictions from happening, says Dito. The magistrate is the rapporteur of ADPF (Arguição de Descumprimento de Preceito Fundamental) 828, which deals with the issue.
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Covid-19, hunger and poverty
Data from the Zero Eviction Campaign updated on May 31 indicate that among people at imminent risk of losing their homes, 97,391 are children. Another 95,113 are elderly.
The context in which the countdown to mass evictions takes place is worrying. In May and June, contamination by covid-19 grew to the point that municipal administrations went back on easing the use of masks in closed places. This Monday (20), the moving average of 136 daily deaths represents an increase of 73% compared to two weeks ago.
In addition to the pandemic background, two recent surveys quantified hunger and poverty in Brazil. In just over a year, the number of people who have nothing to eat jumped from 19 million to 33.1 million.
According to the 2nd National Survey on Food Insecurity in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Brazil, carried out by the Brazilian Research Network on Food and Nutrition Sovereignty and Security (Rede Penssan), for every 10 families in the country, six do not have full access to foods.
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Correspondingly, the population living below the poverty line in Brazil hit a record. At the end of 2021, according to data from FGV Social based on the IBGE’s Continuous National Household Sample Survey, 23 million people were in this situation, living on up to R$210 per month. This means that 10.8% of the population has to live on R$7 a day.
In March, when STF Minister Luís Roberto Barroso extended the suspension of forced removals until June 30, he announced that he would have a very narrow margin to extend the deadline again, unless the pandemic worsens.
For Dito Barbosa, the situation is like a “pressure cooker”, ready to burst. “The authors of the repossession actions are pressing, the Military Police are pressing to comply, the justice officers are also with a series of warrants to comply with the court orders and, on the other hand, the families and movements are pressing for the crimes not to happen. evictions. So we are in a very tense moment”, he summarizes.
Even so, the expectation, according to Barbosa, who is part of the articulation of the Zero Eviction Campaign, is positive: “We have to have hope. And we are working towards that.”
Editing: Rodrigo Durao Coelho