In the beginning of the century, in 1919, Banhado was officially "born". Of course, it's history didn't start there, but date back to colonial era, where it became a refugee for slaves. There is a myth (but according to the people of Banhado, this history is true) that a tunnel linked the church located in the center/downtown of São José dos Campos to Banhado (a giant "green hole" located in the middle of the SJC, but below the ground level of the city). This tunnel served as a scape route for slave refugees.
And right before the colonial era, it was also a refugee for indigenous people, because of it's geographic advantageous location. Banhado has a rich fauna and flora, with a extremely fertile and rich soil, used for more than 100 years by it's people so they can get money and food out of the Nature, but with a respectable and sustainable use of resources. Most of this because of the tradition of the community, with high indigenous and slave cultural heritage and influence, but this ancestrality also came with a curse of marginality. Most of the people of Banhado has the same blood, face and skin color of those who where oppressed by the colonizers back when Brazil wasn't even named Brazil.
This ancestral territory and it's people are now fighting the State, the police and the speculators of São José dos Campos, just like it fought the portuguese colonizers.
Every year the police kill someone in the Favela do Banhado. The GCM (Guarda Civil Municipal) and the PM (Polícia Militar) are now using drones, "intelligent" vehicles, high technology cameras and weaponry to attack people on flip flops. In this war of the capitalists of São José dos Campos against Banhado, the people get killed and the militant supporters of their struggle get persecuted. This is David against Goliath, and this is why we need your help.
Banhado has this name because the place looks like it's covered by water when it has fog (or "Banhado" em água, in brazilian portuguese). In the time of the indigenous presence, the Rio Parahyba used to overflow, flooding the place with water. It can be considered a "mangue" area.
There is a criminal presence in the area, just like any other favela in Brazil. But this is the main scapegoat for the Prefecture to attack the people of Banhado. It is also important to remind that the "criminal" people that get killed every year, has a family, kids, fathers and mothers. The brutality of the police against the people of Banhado is unmesured. When elite forces (BAEP, ROTA, ROTAM) enter the Favela, their people know that someone will get killed.
São José dos Campos also has a Municipal law that gives the police and the the City Hall the permission to destroy any abandoned house or houses linked with drug trafficking, without any judicial bureaucracy. Of course that in this process there is no legal observancy, giving the total permission to the Mayor to destroy any house he wants, in a matter of days or even hours.
Since the implementation of this "law", many homes in Banhado have been destroyed. Every Christmas, dating back to 2018, the police and the Mayor benefits and take advantage of this law and also from the judicial recess to overpass or even suppress the normal legality of the judicial system, passing forward the military aggression against Banhado without legal obstacles.
The main reason of this war is the project called "Via Banhado" - a giant highway crossing the city, linking the west to the east side, and the north to the south part of São José dos Campos. This structure will surely be highly aggressive for the environment, composed of untouched and protected atlantic forest area, preserved and used by the people of Banhado for more than a century. To mask this objective, the Prefecture declare that want the area to become a "ecological park" or fake stuff like that, but we all know that they want money, and eco parks don't give money.
But the main contradiction of all of this is the fact that the Prefecture declared the Banhado as a protected conservation area a couple of years ago, and they use this legal excuse to expell the people that treated the Nature of Banhado as his own child for the last century since today. Our oppressors paint theirselves as "green" or even "red" to achieve their goals, but we also know that their intentions are only the green and red color of the blooded money that will spill from this war.
In this year, right on Christmas, the Mayor moved a obscure judicial lawsuit in collusion with the São Paulo judiciary system, ordering the expell of the people of Banhado. Then, the people went to the street to protest. The Mayor responded with a press conferece, citing that if the people went to the streets to protest, he would expell all of them on Christmas, bringing forward the action that was scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2024.
Of course the people went to the street, and in the next day, this happened:
They beat men, women and children - simple like that. With the national and international repercussion of this unmesured agression of the police and the Prefecture, the people then took to the streets with a bigger protest, 3 days before Christmas.
This event unified the militants of São José dos Campos into a single cause, bringing even more support from non militants. The whole city became disgusted with the police action and also the Mayor.
All of this happened in December of 2023, and will be known, in the future, as the series of events that unlocked our path to liberation, recognition and victory. But as mentioned above, this is only a small part of our struggle, that didn't start this year and will not end so soon.
We made a little cronology of events that took place on this December, to clearify what really happened:
Recent Cronology of December events
1 ACT: https://g1.globo.com/sp/vale-do-paraiba-regiao/noticia/2023/05/24/justica-determina-que-sao-jose-dos-campos-regularize-moradias-do-parque-do-banhado.ghtml
2 ACT: https://g1.globo.com/sp/vale-do-paraiba-regiao/noticia/2023/12/17/justica-determina-remocao-imediata-de-moradores-do-jardim-nova-esperanca-no-banhado-em-sao-jose.ghtml
3 ACT: https://g1.globo.com/sp/vale-do-paraiba-regiao/noticia/2023/12/18/confusao-impede-demarcacao-de-area-no-parque-do-banhado-em-sao-jose-dos-campos.ghtml
4 ACT: https://g1.globo.com/sp/vale-do-paraiba-regiao/noticia/2023/12/19/moradores-do-banhado-realizam-passeata-contra-decisao-que-autorizou-remocao-das-familias-em-sao-jose.ghtml
5 ACT: https://g1.globo.com/sp/vale-do-paraiba-regiao/noticia/2023/12/20/pm-e-moradores-se-envolvem-em-confusao-no-parque-do-banhado-em-sao-jose-dos-campos-sp.ghtml
6 ACT: https://g1.globo.com/sp/vale-do-paraiba-regiao/noticia/2023/12/22/stf-suspende-ordem-de-remocao-de-familias-do-banhado-em-sao-jose-dos-campos.ghtml
Anti Police People
The people of Banhado suffers in the hands of the police, fact. There are mothers who lost their childrens, there are sons who lost their fathers, people who got tortured and incarcerated, and this is only the beginning to start describing the kind of things that police do against the people of Banhado.
Because of this, we stand against the police in every possible way and we see them as our enemy. Our first duty is to protect our own people from the brutality of police, and by doing so we assume the anti police caracteristic of our struggle.
We're all consciousness of who are our enemies and how to fight them, but without direct confrontation. Violence can be useful and will be when all of our other options are wasted - we do not put this strategy aside. But violence generates violence, and our community is saturated with violence.
As a common strategy of the community leaders in Banhado, our tactic against violence and brutality will be promoting culture, art, propaganda, green projects, and many other actions, so the city and the whole world will see and support our struggle.
We could use violence as a tactic to reach our objectives, because we know that in the final stage of any and all class struggle processes, violence dictates everything. But violence comes with a high price that we're not ready to pay right now, with the great suffering and griefing of our community.
Our strategy is to change the public opinion, to expand our militant support and to promote Banhado as an area for culture, art, collectivism, ecologism, etc.
In this path, we can push forward our land regularization plan in a beautiful and peaceful way until violence becomes the only tool left for us to reach our liberation.
The Favela do Banhado has a full, complex and elaborated Land Regularization Plan, created by specialists and academics from the University of São Paulo (USP). This plan is what we want to reach with our struggle. Recognition, popular support and international funding will be our tactic to achieve victory.
Only with this plan, we can stand here and never leave.
As a fundamental ideology of our struggle, class consciousness has granted us with a powerful shield.
Without this shield, we wouldn't reached so far against so many enemies and money vultures. This is also possibilitating this campaign to reach comrades from other continents that support the kind of struggle that we're pushing forward. Not only we're receiving international solidarity, but we are also giving international solidarity to the struggles that we support, like the imediate liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea.
Class consciousness, international solidarity, direct action, revolution, ecologism and many other concepts can be found deeply in our roots, and that's precisely why we're reaching so far with so much strength.
This is also the consequence of the communist, anarchist and ecological though of many of our supporters, that interact with the community for the last 15 years, but the community itself and by itself also developed this kind of though, through their life experiences. In Banhado you will see people talking about Palestine, capitalism, revolution, protesting and organizing, direct action against the police and the Prefecture, and many other topics. You will also see people as old as a lady of almost 90 years that lives deep into the community, that planted palm trees only to f*ck with police helicopters. People with trees in their backyard planted by their grandmas and grandpas - trees older than the Mayor or the Mayor' father. People that will give their lives against the police just to defend their territory.
Because all of this, Banhado can be considered a antifascist, left-wing, green territory, defended by anarchist and communist militants from São José dos Campos, THAT MUST BE KNOWN BY THE WORLD.
A Dystopic Place
Banhado is one of those rare places in the world that not so many people know, but i'm sure that if you are reading till this point, you're definetly amazed.
With a history of resistance and ancestrality, a geographic anomaly that produces a poetic and marginalized place "under" the city, more precisely in the downtown.
This is very peculiar: in a world ablazed by the ecological collapse, there are people in flip flops, with indigenous and slave refugees blood, living in favelas that coexist with the Nature and a preserved portion of the Atlantic Forest, resisting a much bigger force of the capitalist destructiful "civilization". We are oppressed in every possible way by the police, the judiciary, the media and the capitalists, but we keep fighting and resisting...
...and https://www.sindmetalsjc.org.br/noticias/n/5794/familias-do-banhado-lutam-para-manter-moradias-em-sao-joseguess what?
We're winning! This is so beautiful that it can easily be a script for a dystopic, cyberpunk movie. With a significant aport of investment from FireFund and your support, we can transform the 'Favela do Banhado' into a turistic spot not only for the city and the Brazilian people, but also for international turism. We unify ecologism with class struggle, politics with culture, people 'do Banhado' with the people 'da cidade'.
This strategy will open the doors for the people of Banhado to produce wealth and receive incomes with not only turism, but with organic fruit and food, cultural events, and any other possible way, allowing 297 families in the area to upper their lives trough a ecological, revolutionary, class consciousness and politized way.
We are opening Banhado to anarchists, communists and ecological militants and comrades from around the whole world to visit Banhado, and to see in first person this real life dystopian movie set.
Social Activities in Banhado
Since the State took away everything from Banhado (water, electricity, internet, garbage collection and even a school that now serves as a community center) the people are now doing for their own what was supposed to be the State functions and duties, with support of the militants from São José dos Campos.
In Banhado there is a lot of social, political and cultural activities promoted by both the community and it's supporters: food distribution, movie projections, debates, a community library, sports and child support and activities, and so on.
With this campaign, we hope to keep going with those activities, and expand to bring more structure and actions to Banhado, like a rap/hip-hop battle, that in Brazil represents a great cultural movement of the oppressed and marginalized people.
A big thing that we want to push forward with this campaign budget, is a food program for the kids in Banhado, similarly with the Free Breakfast for Children, a social program run by the Black Panthers in United States in the 70's. Every children in Banhado will have the opportunity to eat at least one meal per day, everyday.
We also hope to reform the community center and the football court, the main symbols of Banhado. Radical green actions like the massive planting of fruit trees in the whole area and many other ideas and projects for the enviroment in Banhado are also expected to happen with this money.
With the help of MST (Movimento Sem Terra) and other social movements, we can strengthen the ongoing projects of nutrition and food support, like the distribution of meals that are already made in Banhado, but also expand it to a whole new level of support. Well feed, politically organized people (with of course FUNDS) can make miracles and huge things happen.
- Revitalization of the community center (R$ 9.200)
- Furniture and decoration for the community center (R$ 5.000)
- Revitalization, reform and decoration of the main alley (R$ 5.000)
- Books for the "Lúcio Reis" community library (R$ 3.000)
- School equipment and material (R$ 3.500)
- Screen Projector for movie sessions (R$ 3.100)
- 6 months of sattelite internet (R$ 6.400)
- Batalha do Banhado/rap battle (R$ 8.000)
- Project for planting fruit trees in Banhado (R$ 9.200)
- Breakfast/Food program for kids (R$ 12.000)
- Rescure and care program for abandoned dogs in Banhado (R$ 7.000)
- Investment in the Banhado's football team (R$ 3.600)
- Football court reform (R$ 5.000)
Total: R$ 80.000 or 15.000 euros.
With your support, we can make a f*cking awesome 2024 for the people of Banhado, taking out of this list all of those projects that we listed above and putting them into our reality. If we succeed in accomplishing this campaign, it will be a huge shot right in the forehead of the Prefecture and the capitalists.
We know that 15.000 euros may appear a little bit too much. We know that is a considerable amount of money, even for european people, but it's not that big. It's HUGE for us, with the parity of the euro and brazilian real stucked at 5 to 1 or even 6 to 1, 15.000 euros in support it's automatically converted in R$ 80.000. This, yes, it's a huge apportment of money for a brazilian favela. Reafirming: with your support, we can make a miracle happen to almost 300 families.
We are also open and extremely happy to invite our international friends and comrades to come to Brazil and visit Banhado to see our struggle with your own eyes, and all the accomplishments we will made possible with your financial support.
Follow our social media accounts to see the actions being made!
Sincerily and with love, the community of Banhado.
0% of €15000
€ 65 reached in total
23 days left