Since last Saturday (4), around 200 families linked to the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) have occupied a plot of land in the neighborhood of Setúbal, in the south of Recife. According to the MTST, the property had been abandoned for more than 15 years and with a history of more than R$ 500 thousand in debts of IPTU and other taxes to the municipality, the state and the Federal Government.
The occupation was called “March 8”, focusing on women, especially black women, who are the hardest hit in this pandemic context. With the families, the land’s unproductiveness gave way to cleaning efforts and the construction of a collective kitchen.
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The squatters’ families are from areas on the outskirts close to the region of the land that live in a situation of social vulnerability, since many communities are in houses on stilts, for example. “The occupation is a process of denunciation and demand from the public power to give this land a purpose, which is for housing”, defends Vitória Genuíno, of the national coordination of the MTST in Pernambuco.
Also according to the Movement, since 2015 the land is under threat of pledge for non-payment of taxes. Vitória Genuíno explains that the owner of the property has already attended the site and filed a reinstatement process with a judge on duty. The request was not granted because the judge in question stated that he did not have jurisdiction to make such a decision. “We make an assessment that this week he should enter the order again,” he says. Therefore, the charge is for the City of Recife to expropriate the land.
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O Brazil in fact Pernambuco he contacted the Recife City Hall to find out about the position of the municipal administration on the situation, but as of this writing, he has not received any response.
In the meantime, the occupation families organize collectively to give a social function to the previously abandoned property. “These first days have been about organizing the space, because there is a lot of weeds and garbage,” says Vitória. She explains that the families follow the movement’s methodology, which is the construction of a collective kitchen and a shed where activities and meetings are held.
On Sunday (5), the first local assembly took place to debate collective and political issues. The councilor Dani Portela (PSOL) and the co-deputy Jô Cavalcanti (PSOL) of the Juntas Codeputadas were present to provide support.
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The MTST invites everyone to donate food, hygiene materials and resources to maintain the space. Cash donations are being received through pix [email protected]. More information can be followed through Instagram @mtstpernambuco.
Source: BoF Pernambuco
Edition: Vanessa Gonzaga