Until October 31, according to the decision of the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Luís Roberto Barroso formalized last Thursday (30), forced removals are prohibited in Brazil. In the document, the magistrate argued that the country is experiencing a new upward trend in the death and contamination rates of the covid-19 pandemic.
Celebrated like a breath before the scenario of 569,540 people in the country who, according to the Zero Eviction Campaignare threatened with losing their homes, activists heard by the Brazil de facto assess that Barroso’s decision was also supported by the intention to avoid a “social upheaval” in a context of socioeconomic crisis on the eve of the elections.
The extension of the suspension of forced removals will still be judged by the entire plenary of the STF in an extraordinary hearing, scheduled for August 4th and 5th. The expectation is that the majority of ministers will follow the rapporteur’s vote.
Even if they do, however, the fact is that the validity of the suspension – taken within the scope of ADPF (Arguição de Descumprimento de Preceito Fundamental) 828 and extended three times – will at some point end.
“With the progressive overcoming of the health crisis, the limits of the jurisdiction of this rapporteur will be exhausted”, warned Barroso in the decision. “Therefore, it will be necessary to establish a transitional regime for the resumption of the execution of the decisions suspended by this action”, points out the minister.
:: Barroso extends the ban on evictions in Brazil until October 31 ::
Legislative proposals and a calendar of joint actions between rural and urban social movements are being prepared to try to prevent that, after the election, 142,385 thousand families lose their roof in a context of high hunger and homeless population.
Irene Maestro, an activist from the Luta Popular movement, highlights that the transition mentioned by Barroso indicates an assessment that “a massive process of evictions can lead to an intensification of social conflicts”.
In addition to legislative initiatives at state and municipal levels, two Bills of Law (PL) on the subject are being processed in the National Congress. PL 1718/2022, by Senator Paulo Paim (PT-RS) provides for a ban on removals until March 31, 2023. PL 1501/2022, by federal deputy Natália Bonavides (PT-RN), proposes procedures for the permanence of families threatened with eviction in the territory where they are or that federation entities promote public policies to guarantee, in an alternative way, the right to housing.
The National Council of Justice (CNJ) is preparing a normative act with minimum protocols for carrying out evictions. wanted by Brazil de factothe body informed that the resolution will be taken to the plenary in the second semester and that among the proposals is the implantation, in the courts, of the Support Group for the Peaceful Solution of Actions of Reintegration of Possession (Gaspar).
“In our view, the main thing is to guarantee the protection of the rights of families, avoiding evictions, violations and a situation of worsening poverty conditions”, emphasizes Irene, adding that it is necessary for the executive power to be responsible for policies public services that meet this demand.
:: “Eating or paying rent?”: occupations in Curitiba expose homelessness problem ::
“It happens that municipal public authorities generally do not have specific policies that are not supported by policies structured at the federal level. But during the federal government, the already insufficient, problematic and contradictory housing policy that existed in previous governments was deconstructed,” he says. “The reality is that there is really a snooker for the construction of alternatives”, he summarizes.
“The fact is that occupations have been the construction of this solution. They are the retaking of lands that are at the service of speculation or large rural or urban landowners to build neighborhoods where people are guaranteed decent living conditions”, defines Irene Maestro.
fight against time
According to Kelli Maffort, from the national direction of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), a calendar of struggles is being organized. “July 25th is an important date for rural workers, we are going to carry out solidarity actions against hunger, and in addition we are on the alert about September 7th”, illustrates Maffort. In her view, the date should be “to discuss a country project and also what the 200 years of this supposed independence mean. It is important that we are alert to the threats of a coup around that date”.
Recalling the thousands of people who took to the streets in dozens of cities for zero eviction on March 17 and June 21 of this year, Irene defends the importance of, by October, enhancing the unity already built between the movements.
“It is a very precarious, despoiled social base, which is the one that suffers the most not only from the impacts of the pandemic itself, but from the economic crisis that has worsened in recent years”, describes Maestro. “And that has an explosive potential to take even more radical actions to put the housing problem at the center of public debate, which is brutal and historic in our country”.
Editing: Thalita Pires