Today in Rio de Janeiro, the cities main political occupation ‘Ocupa Golfe’ was violently attacked by the municipal police. Two activists – one male, one female – were arrested, one of whom had his teeth broken. Another woman and other activists were beaten by the police.
Right after, the riot control group of the municipal police arrived at the occupation, while most of the people were at the police station either arrested or protesting state violence.
The riot control group (GOE, Grupamento de Operações Especiais da Guarda Municipal do Rio de Janeiro), relentlessly severed all of the occupation’s structure and took it away. Personal belongings (backpacks) that weren’t able to be retrieved by occupants were also taken.
Right now occupants remain at the site, but without any structure.
Videos of the agressions today:
Video of one of the major prior attacks here:
The occupation was created in opposition to the 2016 Olympic Games golf course construction. Destroying a 1.000.000 m² of a rare environment (the restinga) of the already devastated Atlantic Rainforest, in a site with 4 threatened species, the construction of the golf course is intolerable.
In Rio de Janeiro there are other 2 golf courses of the same type needed for the olympic games (18 holes). The reason for the construction of another golf course is a major scandal, which involves the illegal appropriation of huge pieces of public lands using false documents.
The lands haven’t been bought by any private owner, because they know of its troublesome legal status. Because of this, the Rio de Janeiro major, Eduardo Paes, in a corrupt deal with a construction company (Cyrela) and the owner of the lands (Pasquale Mauro), set to build “public” services in it, at the cost Rio de Janeiro’s environment. A golf course, in a extremely unequal city.
The full extent of the economic advantages in the deal is estimated in 1.3 BILLION reais (US$ 500 million). Brazil has already suffered a major loss of social investments with more than US$ 12 billion of expenses from the World Cup. Rio de Janeiro, as the host city for olympics, will suffer much more still.
In the city, more than 100.000 people have been compusorily removed from their homes in the last years for constructions alleged to accommodate the megaevents. 4.000 army soldiers stand in one of the Rio de Janeiro’s main favelas, in a state akin to a dictatorship to “secure” the place for the olympic games. Militarization of the favelas has intensified, with the military police occupying most of the slums in the “postcard” side of the city holding automatic machineguns. The cost of life is rising astronomicaly. Persecution of political activists and violent repression of legitimate protests has been a standard.
Only international repercussions will bring the awareness needed to make a stand against the corrupt politicians and companies. The local media is sold, linked with advertisers working for the main agents of the problems themselves (the government spheres who make huge expenses in propaganda, construction companies, agroindustry, public transportation cartels, banks).
Help the Occupation!!
Occupation Website (portuguese / english)
Facebook page of the occupation: