Manifesto against the military occupation of the favelas of Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

por marevive

Written by a group of local residents

We publicly express our total refusal of the military occupation of the favelas of Maré.

We wish to express are serious concern, regarding our lives, the lives of our neighbors, and all the 140.000 inhabitants of Maré. We are also concerned more generally for the inhabitants of all the other favelas that have suffered from the increasing militarization and the direct attack of a State that more and more arms itself to oppress who who have been fighting to guarantee themselves a place at the margins of our city.

It is evident that those who use the machinery of war against their own population, such as the tanks that currently occupy our streets, are not seeking dialogue, and even less so participation, and are thus by no means concerned to guarantee our most basic rights. Tanks and helicopters pointing their arms at us stand for much more than just violations of rights, this stands for a violation of any idea of a democratic state of rights. A military occupation is just beginning and yet it has already failed in what it proclaims to be. It is apparent to us as just one more brute attack against territories of the urban poor.

Who is declaring war against the poor?

-The Rio de Janeiro city government with mayor Eduardo Paes (PMDB) supported by a broad coalition acting under the name of “We are one Rio” consisting of PMDB and nineteen other parties: PRB, PP, PDT, PT, PTB, PSL, PTN, PSC, PPS, PSDC, PRTB, PHS, PMN, PTC, PSB, PRP, PSD, PCdoB e PTdoB.

-The Rio de Janeiro state government with governor Sérgio Cabral (PMDB), who just a few days ago passed on his post to former vice governor Luís Fernando Pezão (PMDB), supported by a coalition named “Together for Rio” of PMDB and fifteen other parties: PP, PDT, PT, PTB, PSL, PTN, PSC, PSDC, PRTB, PHS, PMN, PTC, PSB, PRP e PcdoB.

-The Federal government with president Dilma Rousseff (PT), supported by a coalition of PT and nine other parties: PMDB, PDT, PSB, PR, PC do B, PRB, PTN, PSC e PTC.

What kind of parties are these that declare war against citizens? What kind of State is this, that prefers to arm itself more and more, attack with more and more violence its own citizens? What kind of international community is this, silently attending the spectacle? What kind of FIFA is this, what kind of Olympic Committee is this, not at all concerned about the attack on the poor that is in course since the decision was taken to host these mega events in Brazil? Events that are exclusively interested in their millionaire businesses, won at our costs?

50 years after a military coup that opened the way for a twenty year military dictatorship in Brazil, it is more than just concerning the positive gloss with which the current military invasion is being presented by the corporate press (Globo and others). It is unacceptable that brute power will be applied in the building of a city that serves the interest and enrichment of very few. It is unacceptable that governors are much more concerned with a World Cup, that will last for only one short month, than with the case of good education, a good health system, good public transport and better sanitation, all of which we depend 365 days per year. Instead of helping to improve what we have already build in the favelas in decades of struggle, they continue showing up to destroy our living spaces, to remove our houses, to torture and to kill.

We feel day in day out how rotten this project for our city is that they execute against our will. Hours and hours in traffic jams, in miserable and overcrowded and overpriced transport systems, the destruction of thousands of houses to give way to infrastructure projects, the violent persecution of homeless, many of those that have been forced to leave favelas with UPP units (for the extreme increase of the costs of living, persecution from the side of police forces), torture and assassinations committed by state agents,… the list is long to explain how we feel day in day out that the project for this city that is in course is not concerned with any idea of a common well being of all and yes instead with a “very well being of a few”. We do not want this project for our city and even less do we accept that it is put into practice by use of military troops invading our neighbourhoods.

We will continue our struggle for a Maré and a Rio de Janeiro without oppression and violence. Stop pointing your arms at us!

No to the military occupation of the Maré and any territories of the popular classes!

No to tortures and deaths in the favelas!

Rio de Janeiro, 05 de abril 2014