lunes, noviembre 06, 2006

Masacre en Brasil . Por Brad Will

massacre in brazil
on Fri, 2005-03-11 20:18.

by brad will

so this is my ongoing account of the tragedy here in goiania, brazil working along side the local imc please organize a protest at you local consulate so this is a report i started the day before the eviction to give you some background -- this is an independant autonomous urban landless group that came together spontaneously and reclaimed abandoned land
hey everyone i cant tell you how good it feels to be alive -- these last few days have been
incredible -- really inspiring working in solidarity with a huge land occupation in
the interior of brazil in the city of Goiania -- it has been horrifying as well --
two nights ago while i was in a bus on my way here police began terrorizing the
community with random gunfire -- just before a judge had ordered their eviction
after 9 months buildinga new life in an abandoned industrial park lost in
speculation for years -- at least 12,000 people in the country with the deepest
division between rich and poor in the world -- after the week of carnaval there were
police mobilzed from all over into the interior and now was an obvious time to
strike -- 2500 police were said to be mobilized to evict the encampment -- the day i
arrived me and companeros of the local indymedia went to the encampment, named A
Dream Made Real, to watch and report on further police harassment -- the community
had been building huge barricades of tires and steel pieces of cars and debris, they
had dug moats across roadways, there was barbed wire strung across, 24 hour security
post at 8 such barricades encircling the new villiage at the edge of the city --
there were weapons of poverty, molotovs, fireworks, clubs with nails, homemade
shields, slingshots, crudely constructed bazookas, much talk of bombs waiting for
the invasion -- and that is what the press kept calling the community, invaders --
the militancy was palpable -- we arrived after dark and it was pretty disorienting
but were welcomed due to a lot of work making certain the community knew we were
covering them differently than the local media -- i didnt even have time to get my
barings and suddenly while stumbling in the dark fireworks started going off in 3 or
4 different parts of the camp, a siren sounded like an air raid, chaos -- this was
it -- the police were making their move -- as we entered the dirt avenue which was
the main entrance the air turned sour and dark with tear gas letting loss on all
sides of us -- none had even time to get their bandanas on or even be sure what was
happening and all of us were blinded and coughing and running in the opposite
direction of the barricade into another cloud of gas -- minutes later we were set up
with vinegar and back out with a flurry of fireworks and scores of resisters
slinging rocks at their attackers -- there were percussion grenades from the police
and the gas dropped from the sky in front and behind -- a woman clutching her baby
ran past me screaming for help -- soon several people were dousing the infant with
water and were certain it was breathing -- suddenly the barricade erupted into flame
-- it was huge burst into a dark night -- a cheer rang through the resistance -- it
seemed to go on for an hour, the community charging, disbursing the gas, hurling
stones, screaming and cursing -- i was more than a little disoriented and having a
hard time with the gas -- and suddenly an alarm from another barricade shot up and
exploded like the fourth of july and we realized the police had left after only
about 10 minutes -- they were moving from barricade to barricade with gas and rubber
bullets -- we regrouped and had a quick meeting and suddenly the sirens calmed and
we realized the police had moved on -- everyone assumed this was temporary -- a
loudspeaker appeared and announcements begging for calm and voices from different
perspectives in the community were heard -- a community meeting commenced -- we
headed for another barricade and we greeted warmly as the police had moved on and
the tension started to float away -- really wonderful people -- it was inspiring
after an attack like that they were busy offering us coffee and making sure we were
alright -- the night stretched on and we lowered our guard more and more and started
to drift off to sleep next to a fire of tires and debris -- with the morning came a
new sense of security -- if they didnt come at daybreak everyone assumed they had at
least another day -- word was that if they could make it another 24 hours the police
mobilization would return to their local posts and the judicial decision shoulkd
expire -- we left the camp with thanks from people, i guess in reality we were being
human rights observers while the corporate media would hide behind the police and
would only venture into the camp to do interviews after the fighting -- we slept
some -- i returned the next night around midnight and assumed since the police hadnt
attacked yet we were in the clear until dawn -- at around 2 am 9 military police
cars drove up to main entrance -- a pattern of nightly harrasment had turned into
nightly attacks -- immediately the sky was ablaze with fireworks and then from the
police tear gas and flares and concussion grenades -- the police attack was fierce
and the community had less time to mobilize -- a battle ensued like i have never
seen -- a lot of people were talking about civil war and i thought this was an
exageration but that night i started to believe -- the police used every kind of
weapon and the sound of explosions was everywhere -- the barricades started burning
again and twice explosions rumbled through the barricade sending tires flying -- the
fighting was firce and i was much closer this time shooting video -- a group of
police were using a friends car as a safe place to send all kinds of chemical and
exploding agents into the resistance -- suddenly shots rang out and i realized the
police were using pistols and semi-automatics -- i heard screaming as i ran for
cover -- a young man had been shot on the other side of the barricade later i saw
imc video of a bullet hole clean through his bicept -- suddenly it was over -- they
just left -- it was senseless -- it was not an eviction it was terrorism -- a
military policeman was also taken away in an ambulance -- quickly members of the
community pulled me over to wall where you could clearly see the bullet holes
riddled all over the metal sheeting -- right behind my back a huge explosion nearly
knocked me to the wall -- i didnt even have time to duck -- it had come from the
burning barricade and people assumed the police hasd thrown un detonated cannisters
into the blaze hoping they would explode -- they took me to a house where as a
bullet had passed through a brick wall then through the bed curtains and through the
next brick wall -- on the other side i exrtacted the bullet -- these were military
grade semi automatic rifles -- later i interviewed a woman who was in bed and showed
the bullet holes that fly over her head as she was hiding from the fighting -- she
didnt even realize the bullet was lying on her bed after it had struck the inner
wall of her bedroom -- we assumed the worst and slept inside the encampment -- when
morning came i thought it was a vicroty -- the 24 hour limit had passed -- then i
heard word that a different person had claimed ownership to the land and there was a
new judicial process and the huge police mobilization was not being called home --
so in this same time the mst (landmess peasants movement) had been evicted twice
from differnt new rural land occupations in the countryside of goiais -- they sent
word that they knew it would help the urban squatters and sent them their solidarity
all the next day reports of the eviction were flying around -- one from undisclosed
police informant said they were coming in the evening not with 2500 but with 8000
police -- a force of 30 mounted military police slowly made their way around the
camp -- by the time i arrived at dusk they were wound up and paranoid -- false
alarms kept punctuating the night with fireworks going off and no one knowing what
to expect -- there was a uhge rally near the main barricade with a sound system and
mostly the evangelical christian sector of the camp represented -- definitely a
different take on jesus than the george bush voting crowd -- also there were some
local politicians and a representative from Dereches Humanos (human rights) -- ti
was beautiful with singing and prayer and a display of the majority of the camps
residents who were young families and elderly grandparents who were not going to
fight -- it was a long night and twice small groups of police snuck up on barricades
and opened fire with pistols and fled -- there were also hired goons or undercover
police with gas thrown at the barricades -- no one was sleeping and everyone was
keyed up and nervous -- word came they were definitely coming in the morning -- i
went to sleep for an hour or so near the main barricade

there is a protest right now and i need to go
i will write more this afternoon
massacre in brasil: dreams made real, part2

dawn came on confused and quiet a few milling about it was the quietest i had
ever seen the camp -- so beautiful at dawn with the light low and cool then the
alarm sounded I could see it wasnt happening now people started appearing
slowly from all points gathering around a car with a sound system for news it was
plain and simple 30 trucks on their way all full of military police all the time
the siren didnt stop ringing more people came up to the barricades many ran off
to tell their loved ones what a diverse group, old and young of every color and
description with young children in their arms and little dogs running wild
surprisingly it was less panicky than the night before they were solidifying the
barricades quickly but there was little more to do there was a quick interview of
police brass for the corporate press -- the traffic had stopped on the street
outside the encampment -- they had blocked all the roads leading to the camp -- i
had no idea what was happening on the other side but hoped there might be an escape
route there -- in the distance i could see the military police unloading from buses
-- they were geared up like storm troopers with green and black war paint -- i
photoed a line of women who had formed in front of the barricades and were praying
and crying, some with their children in their arms -- soon there were about a
hundred troops lined up in formation in three squadrons -- i started to realize just
how hopeless this was -- a call went out for everyone to be at the barricade -- huge
block of peaceful pilgrims collected there -- all ages and races with their hands in
the air -- theresistance fighters had mostly vanished -- the military started to
move in in formation with sheilds raised tight like a turtle shell -- i didnt see
anyone even throw a stone -- suddenly behind me there was an explosion -- it was a
concussion grenade launched from a tear gas rocket -- i was hiding behind the edge
of a brick wall and was completely confused how it could be behind me with my eyes
on the police -- another explotion directly behind me and i felt the slam against my
skin and my ears went deaf ringing -- they were already in the camp -- it was
pandemonium -- everyone was running and screaming -- as i ran i saw them coming from
my flank -- and aiming to shoot again not more than thirty feet away -- then all
hell broke losse -- suddenly there was gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades on
all sides -- immediately i recognized the sound of real bullets -- i tried twice to
stop and film but only for seconds until bullets flew near by -- they were advancing
on either side of me in large groups -- it wasnt safe anywhere in the streets -- i
saw two women face down in the street -- i dont know if they were alive -- at my
feet i saw blood mixed in the dry dirt -- everywhere people running in panic and
screaming and trying to find some shelter from the barrage -- i headed to a back
yard trying to cut through the backs of houses and was slowed by barbed wire between
all the yards -- there was tall yuka plants giving me some cover as i ran -- the
military units were already past me on the main avenue and running rampant shooting
everything -- it was so terrifying -- they were shooting at anything that moved --
there was no where to go -- i looked up and a door opened and a woman was motioning
for me to come in -- i ran inside with another older couple and they slammed the
door to total darkness -- inside there were two babies trying to scream but the were
gagging on the tear gas -- they showed me a bucket of water to wash off the gas -- a
man opened the door to look out and i came around to film -- i saw military point at
us and yell something -- we had our hands in the air but he and another raised there
guns to shoot -- as the door slammed shut the bullets hit the house -- we all hit
the ground -- one woman was having a panic attack -- i could smell gas from just
outside creeping in -- they cracked a window the breathe and i could see two women
with babies and a tiny yound girl on the bed -- the whole home was one small room
and made of simple bricks and used furniture with two beds right next to the kitchen
-- it was really beautiful and simple -- i imagined the bulldozer destorying it all
with us inside -- the babies started to recover from the gas and the man opened
another window but was seen by military and there was more shooting -- everyone was
screaming i htink to get on the ground -- i didnt know what to do -- i tried to film
but paced and walked over to the corner to cry -- what in gods name was happening
out there -- the sound of shots and screaming was contant -- i was trembling --
there were police right outside yelling orders to come out -- the man yelled
something back about being peaceful -- i yelled that i was international press -- he
opened the door -- i raised my hands high with video camera in one hand -- they were
in regular uniforms the woman who was panicked before passed out right in front of
her husband as she walked out -- he grabbed for her -- the police made they they
were going to shoot -- screaming at him i guess to put up his hands but they couldnt
see his hands were holding his wife -- i yelled we needed a doctor -- it meant
nothing to them -- finally he raised his hands and dropped her there on the ground
-- i started walking out -- they had pistols drawn and pointed at my head -- i
couldnt understand what they were screaming at me but they looked like they would
shoot -- i kept repeating i didnt understand -- i was an international journalist --
they mimed to keep my head down -- as i walked out with my head down a few of they
ran up and slammed into me, twisting my arms and kicking my feet out -- i got
punched in the head and another jumped on top of me -- after they ripped the camera
out of my hand and had me in plastic cuffs they started kicking me again -- i got
one of the officers names who beat me, torres -- he seemed like he was in command
and picked me up and started screaming questions at me -- i asked if he spoke
spanish and he screamed no one speaks spanish in here -- one of the others handed
him my camera and i got a woman cop to put my glasses in my front pocket -- they
started ripping through my bag -- i told them again i was a journalist from new york
city -- they started to cut my bag off my back but i managed to explain how to get
it off -- there were other more official looking officers in white uniforms who
appeared near by and seemed to pretend they were not interested with their name tags
turned away from me
-- they yanked me back to the main avenue and motioned me to head off toward the
main entrance -- the plastic cuffs were so tight even the adreneline couldnt stop
the pain -- i was completely confused but saw women with children walking the same
direction and just followed them leaving my video camera still running in torres�s
hands -- there were troops still coming in with different kinds of uniforms -- there
was still shooting but a lot of it was further away deeper in the camp -- there was
a long empty street and i saw a cat scurry across and crouch under a fence --
everyone was getting evicted today -- as i was walking i recognized a policeman from
the corporate press interview -- he stopped me and started looking through my bag --
i told him i was a journalist from the usa -- it seemed to mean nothing to any of
them -- as he was rifling through my things a huge military policeman with a mask
pulled up and black bullet proof vest stopped and looked at my credencials -- he
said they were fake and slammed me upside the head with an open hand so hard i
almost fell off my feet except the other officer who was smiling now still had me by
the arm and was holding me steady for the other --he led me toward the entrance
where the barricades had been pushed aside -- in front of me were hundreds of
detainees kneeling on the ground -- two cuffed together at the wrist -- there was
black smoke coming up in a half dozen different parts of the camp -- i could still
here the shooting -- they pushed me onto my knees with the other prisoners -- what
the fuck next

i was lost -- there were rows and rows of detainees and more being

marched hands over head in a line -- clusters of women with small

children and elderly trickled out unescorted and were shown to waiting

buses-- i had been handed over to a plains clothes policeman who

finally found my digital photo camera -- the idea of losing another

camera in one day put me in a panic -- i told him just to take the card

out and give me back the camera again and again -- he went through

every little pocket and had all these scraps of paper i had forgot to

throw away with phone numbers and addresses of people who had nothing

to do with anything and put my passport and my camera in a separate

plastic bag with these things -- i kept asking if he could cut off the

plastic cuffs and replace them -- he just wandered away with my bag

after placing a guard right over my head -- a couple dogs were on the

lose and one came close and he kicked it -- the militarty police kept

yelling insults and kicking people who were sitting on the ground --

the pain in my back was making it hard to sit but if i relaxed at all

it would push on my hands andthe pain would shoot into me -- the hard

brazilian sun was beating down and i was sweating hard -- i looked up

and there was a local companero from indymedia pointing at me -- he

wasnt even in cuffs -- they came over and he started explaining we were

together -- what an incredible relief -- i wasnt alone -- soon another

was discovered -- his video camera had also been stolen -- they cut off

my cuffs and my whole body sighed -- we were separated from the mob

scene and placed in neutral territory baking in the sun between the

prisoners and a tent where the hard core military police were in the

shade celebrating their victory -- they would come marching out in

formation singing songs -- it was twisted i looked in some of their

eyes and there was just darkness -- it was like they had no souls, cold

hard steel killers-- i saw other undercover police with a computer and

some really young ones getting into a car -- there was a lot of talk of

infiltration the days before -- time crawled -- eventually we were

placed on a bus with all the other prisoners -- i coulnt figure out

which was worse for us, being isolated or lost in the herd -- but with

the other imcistas i was calmed -- at the police station it was mayhem

-- paperwork took forever -- we were led to an area turned into a

medical station -- there were pools of blood on the floor starting to

turn black at the edges -- people were getting stiches for head wounds

-- i saw a guy with bandages all over his head caked in blood -- he

described a bullet passing through his scalp -- he was refusing more

medical treatment --- he looked scared -- there was movement everywhere

and every available space was utilized with scores of prisoners -- it

was a much more mellow scene -- there was a journalist who spoke

english and i told her i was beaten and they stole my camera but no one

say it on the news -- i got a medical check and slowly slowly we made

our way to the federal police -- i was the only foreigner -- as we

drove out there were other imcistas outside trying tofigure out were we

were off to -- there were crowds of young people who had gone to school

that day and were gloomily waiting for their parents -- looking at them

they could be from anywhere, any class and country, all clean and in

their nice clothes with book bags -- we sped away -- at the federal

police the snails pace continued as they argued about my visa -- i had

a tourist vias but they said i was working as a journalist -- we

explained that my work with the imc was completely unpaid -- they said

they were going to cut me loose with a court date in june -- ok -- then

they wanted to go copy all the photos in my camera -- this took about 3

hours and suddenly i was buzing away and ready to pass out ----
so many stories to tell -- i only have written about what i saw so far

but now i need to write about the witness accounts -- people said they

saw bodies being dragged to the water wells and dumped, they saw bodies

thrown into burning buildings -- no one knew how many were still

missing -- all night there were military ambulances leaving the

encampment -- all night imc volunteers were at the hospitals and these

ambulances never arrived -- a massive orchestrated coverup was underway

while i collapsed that night -- people working in the hospitals were

afraid to talk with us -- they were already bulldozing houses -- in the

jail so called leaders were being selectivle pulled into special

holding for interogation -- children still looking for their parents --

streams of refugees -- there was no government plan what to do with

these people -- the next morning there was a gathering called for at

the catholic church -- i asked if the police would be there waiting and

a friend said never, after what happened the day before, this was the

center of the city -- there was a sound system and people scattered

everywhere in and out of the church sleeping -- most of them didnt even

have a change of clothes -- i talked to many who had their money, their

identification and their cell phones stolen -- everyone was hungry --

was takijng pictures and say a gathering near the alter and it looked

like they were distributing food -- i walked up and there were two open

caskets -- it was more than i could handle -- they were floating in

pools of flowers and surrounded by loved ones crying -- little children

didnt seems to understand -- one had pictures of he and his wife,

hisnew home in the encampment, them on a vacation -- so proud and full

of life -- the other had strange marks on his hand and everyone told me

they were the initals of the policeman who killed him -- some kind of

weird trophey marking -- i was spilling out and dizzy i stumbled away

and cried -- they could have been anyone, they could have been me --

the police said they died shooting eachother and the corporate media

repeated it unquestioned -- the two official deaths -- outside there

was a huge line waiting to report missing people -- their faces -- i

turned away -- there was some distribution of clothing and soap and

bread but it was a mad house people pushing and desperate clutching

babies -- i went with a friend who said she was getting food at the

market for the church kitchen -- i went to a safe house to rest a while

and people came running in to tell me about the attack -- undercover

police had infiltrated the rally that started at the church and had

grabbed on of the so called leaders to arrest him -- the people werent

having it and started to fight for their companero -- the undercovers

pulled out their guns shooting in the air and were barely able to flee

the scene running into a forming block of military police who were

suspiciously near by in large numbers -- the community was there for a

funeral -- despite the gunplay they assembled for a march carrying the

caskets to a huge park then buses took them to the cemetary -- after

the funeral the buses went to the mayors office and everyone camped out

for hours -- a storm was brewing black clouds in the distance and the

wind kicked hard -- there were different proposals on the loudspeaker

and people decided to go to two gymnasiums set aside for housing --

what a dark night

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