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Brazil’s peasant families heroically combat repression, retake land 2 days after eviction

By Harsh Thakor* 

On October 27th, during the morning, a massive police operation was carried out (in proportion to the region) to evict peasant families from Camp Mãe Bernadete, in Carinhanha, in the southwest of Bahia. There were 13 police vehicles from Guanambi and Carinhanha, illegally and shamefully accompanied by goons paid by the Calsete mining company.
Displaying death defying spirit at a helm, the peasant families staged heroic resistance. against troops, bailiffs, and all the paraphernalia of the “Democratic State of Law” (including gun shooting) outside the Camp.. United, the families with their scythes and work tools in hand, sang songs of the struggle The peasants combated and overpowered the objective of the big landlords. For a duration of 4 hours clashes prevailed. The masses exposed and condemned the police of blessing the latifundium, of the old State, for making money at the expense of the injustice and misery of others. Once this stage of resistance was completed, the families withdrew in an organized manner. And the scoundrel drove the tractor over the camp.
The families had already occupied another part of Fazenda Lagoa dos Portácios for the first time on January 25th of the current year, suffering eviction on March 31st. In a remarkable demonstration of resilience e, these lands were retaken on August 19th with the support of the LCP – Liga dos Camponeses Pobres. Since then, peasants have expanded their organization, regularly undertaking of People’s Assemblies and collective production, consolidating unity through combating attacks from the latifundium and capturing land to live and work on it.
For more than 2 months, the families carried out several demonstrations and complaints against Calsete and its manager Lineu Fernandes, who planted a camp of goons on the farm, where there were not even headquarters, fence or any type of construction: abandoned for more than 20 years.
The farm manager tried to suppress the families and supporters in an interview with Pontal radio in August. He said that the “landless” would be eradicated from the land at any cost. It demonstrated his fear of the resistance of the poor peasants organized under the banner of the glorious LCP.
On September 9th, the peasant families thwarted a police car from Carinhanha, which invaded the camp with a goon (known as Marquinho da Barrinha) hiding in the cab of the truck. The person in charge and who appears in the videos was the military police officer, recognized by the families as the cousin of the Calsete lawyer, Dr. Wallisson Viana Silva, who, without any inhibitions went on a radio program to threaten that all camped families would have their social benefit cut, as well as fishing insurance (between the São Francisco and Carinhanha rivers, almost 10% of the population are fishermen).
The eviction was the result of collaboration with the false repossession order given by local judge Arthur Antunes Amaro Neves, even after repeated evidence that these lands were grabbed by the latifundium and that they morally belonged to the peasants of 5 communities who lived and worked there for more than decades.
After the illegal eviction of the peasant families on the 27th, a band of goons armed with large-caliber weapons began to occupy the place where the camp was located. The evicted families crossed the property lines and organized to return. It has been illustrated, once again, that the struggle for land will erupt forever as long as latifundiums exist, and that ownership, indeed, belonged to the peasants. Shaken by the events, police and goons left, and the peasants, last Sunday, October 29th, recaptured their lands!
The protsetors honoured the name of Mãe Bernadete, in the second stage of the fight, not letting the quilombola leader’s name be scrubbed during the warm-up. They also shimmered the flags of Palestine, which are in the Camp, whose heroic resistance, haunts the imperialists and Zionists.
---
*Freelance journalist

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