Brazil is currently the epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic. São Paulo, its largest city, houses more than 12 million people and has already surpassed China in the number of fatal victims of COVID-19. In the southern outskirts of this huge metropolis is a community in dire need of help to face this crisis: the Jardim da União occupation.
Jardim da União was born out of the struggle for adequate and affordable housing and it is now facing probably its biggest challenge since its foundation. The occupation harbors over 500 families and most of them are headed by single mothers. They are domestic workers, subcontracted cleaning crew members, manicurists and independent vendors working on the city’s streets, many of whom have lost their jobs due to the social distancing measures implemented during the pandemic.
The support offered by the government is scarce and insufficient and this is why we ask for international help to buy food, cleaning supplies and protective equipment so this community can safely face the coronavirus crisis. Solidarity plays a central role in the struggle against the pandemic, so please consider donating or sharing this campaign! Due to the current currency exchange, even a small amount of euros, dollars or pounds can make a huge difference in the life of those who live in the occupation.
LINKS FOR DONATION:
PayPal – https://www.paypal.me/ocupacaojdu
Abacashi – https://abacashi.com/p/jd-da-uniao
Brief history of the occupation
The skyrocketing rent prices, result of the brutal real estate speculation, and the lack of public policies that provide adequate, affordable places to live made the housing movement one of the main social movements in Brazil. Jardim da União is part of that movement and has its origins in the huge protests that took over Brazil in June 2013. They organize themselves through assemblies to make decisions about the neighbourhood`s structure, how to support the families and how to organize to demand their right to adequate housing.
In its history, the Jardim da União occupation was in the frontlines of struggles that went beyond housing, such as the demand for public transportation, health and education in the region. It also played an important role in mobilizing many general strikes we had in Brazil in the recent years. Beyond that, they have had many experiences in self-organization within the community, like a daycare, library, community garden, recycling co-op, children and women’s football teams, as well as organizing debates and art workshops. It is an important hub of resistance for the black, poor people that live in the edges of São Paulo.
Interview with Sandra that tells the history of Jardim da União (pt-br)
A collection of videos about Jardim da União