On Monday, September 9, a court in Pernambuco in the northeast of Brazil ordered the eviction of the Paulo Freire Training Center that was established by the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) in 1998. The center is located on the Normandia settlement of the MST and offers training in agroecology, environmental health and safety, teaching, health and more.
The Paulo Freire center was established through an agreement with the federal agrarian reform agency in Brazil called INCRA. Last week, the same agency, INCRA, appealed to the federal courts for a repossession of the center. On Monday, the court ordered that the center must be evicted before September 30, 2019.
In the ruling, the federal judge of the 24th Federal Court of Caruaru warned that if the eviction does not take place before the 30th, a warrant for repossession will be issued which will authorize “a) the use of law enforcement b) forced break-in c) coercive conduction of the apprehended to the DPF, in case of resistance d) the removal of possessions that are within the area being repossessed e) relocation of any animals in the center to the “Curral de Gado” in the municipality of Caruaru/PE, and authorizing the permission to put them for adoption and/or be put down.”
In its decades of functioning, significant infrastructure has been built up, including an auditorium with a capacity for 700-800 people, accommodation area for 240 people, several classrooms, a youth center, sports facilities, child care facilities, a communications center, a kitchen and a cafeteria. The center has various partnerships with institutions of higher education and as such, several university-level courses and practical sessions are held at the center. It is also has hosted many national and international conferences and meetings.
In light of the eviction order, the MST has called on its members, the people of Brazil and international movements and activists to stand in solidarity with the organization and the center. They allege that since the training center has complied with all of the agreements made with INCRA in the establishment and functioning of the center, the reason behind the eviction notice is political and is part of the larger attack by the government of far-right Jair Bolsonaro on the MST. The MST is demanding that the eviction order be repealed and is asking people to send an email to the judge working on the case to do the same.