Brazil: 34-year-old woman leads 10,000 families of homeless workers

07 November 2017 16:18


On 26 October 2017, Nilton Freitas, BWI regional representative for Latin America and the Caribbean and BWI Consultant visited the massive occupation organized by the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) in São Bernardo do Campo.

The occupation is in front of a Scania truck factory, located in the ABC region of São Paulo, a historically industrial area suffering from high unemployment. Unemployment levels are further exacerbated by housing shortages, pushing entire families out of their homes. In the first two months of the occupation, the original 500 families has grown to around 10,000.

The MTST "demands that the realization of the social function of the land that has been abandoned for years, while there is a great demand for housing," said Andreia Barbosa da Silva, one of the coordinators of the movement and mother of three children. "What we want is that we build popular housing and that the people who are part of the occupation are employed in the construction of homes to generate employment and income," concluded Andreia.

An October 30th solidarity event that was to include performances by internationally famous musical artists including Caetano Voloso was prohibited by the state-level court of São Paulo, demonstrating the governments clear disregard for those who most need it.

BWI and its affiliated unions have been building the "Campaign for the Resumption of Employment and Development" which demands the resumption of the paralyzed construction projects with the goal of generating jobs, income and meeting the needs of the population that suffers from the crisis that Brazil is experiencing. BWI is in solidarity with the struggle for housing and undertakes to continue to build the conditions to improve the living conditions of all workers.