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    Brazil's MTST encampment of homeless people in an open plot of land that hasn't been used for 30 years. | Photo: MTST

Published 17 September 2017

Organizers of the occupation, now comprised of 7,000 people, indicate that shots came from a condominium complex located beside the mega-encampment.

Shots were fired at the Fearless People of Sao Bernardo Occupation, initiated by Brazil's Movement of Homeless Workers Saturday, where a man was shot in the arm and later hospitalized, according to Carta Capital.

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Organizers of the occupation indicated that the shots came from a condominium complex located beside the mega-encampment. Witnesses have filed a report at the military police station.

The occupation, which began on Sept. 2 has grown to include 7,000 people living in rudimentary conditions on a terrain in Sao Bernardo do Campo city.

Comprised principally of unemployed and homeless people demanding decent housing, the land occupation is located on an open plot measuring 60,000 square meters owned by the MZM construction company.

Though the terrain has been used for absolutely nothing over the past 30 years, the company secured an eviction order from local authorities.

The decision was supported by the city's Mayor Orlando Morando, who commented on social media that city hall would do all that it can to carry out the eviction order and reestablish peace. However, lawyers representing the thousands of occupants successfully argued against the ruling, attaining a temporary injunction order.

MTST coordinator Guilherme Boulos said the occupation aims to pressure city hall to open a channel of negotiation, saying that the people refuse to abandon the land until their demands are met. Following the occupation of the land he said, "City hall still does not want to negotiate. So our first mission is to go to them next Wednesday and add more pressure. It will be a day of struggle and mobilization."

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Responding to the eviction order, Josue Rocha, also a member of the MTST coordinating committee, said, "The plot has always been unoccupied and it's well situated in Sao Bernardo." He added that the region has the highest "habitational deficit" harboring more than "90,000 homeless families."

Unelected president Michel Temer's neoliberal policies have forced thousands of families to live in extreme poverty. Thousands of families belonging to the MTST have settled on the outskirts of Sao Paulo to demand access to decent and affordable housing.

The MTST was established in the late 1990s as a way to unite working class people who lacked access to decent housing and lived in areas located at the outskirts of major cities and towns.

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