In late June, Berlin’s central Kreuzberg district became the scene of a tense standoff between a group of refugees squatting in an abandoned school and the district authorities. The refugees had moved into the school after authorities destroyed refugee camps just a few months earlier. As more and more squatters moved in, the governing Green party faced pressure to resolve a situation where hygiene was deteriorating and crime was becoming an issue.
This text has been written by people in Rio de Janeiro who fight for the working poor terrorized by the state of Brazil in the name of FIFA‘s World Cup. They are witnesses of this aggression and they help the voices of the people, who came under the military threat of tanks and guns, be heard. This is the real World Cup.
“Pacifying” Rio de Janeiro and the exodus of the favela-dwellers
“A procession of children, with their parents, carrying the remnants of abandoned homes, mattresses, blankets and bags on a nocturnal odyssey through Rio’s city centre like refugees crossing borders, are heading for refuge in the Cathedral of the city which will be host to the next World Cup.
Thousands were evicted from the long-abandoned Telerj building in Engenho Novo. From six different favelas of the region, they sought a living space in this city where prices have spiraled and had, in the space of a week, invested their resources to build wooden huts. The shock troops of Rio state’s military police which have violently repressed all political protests since June 2013, were unleashed against families with many small children and old people. They threw bombs from low-flying aircraft, torched huts with flame-throwers and sprayed torrents of chemicals at adults and children alike. Four children were reported dead, but this could not be verified. Continue reading