Article by: Soha Ben Slama, International Alliance of Inhabitants

Within the framework of the WSF 2018, the IAI (International Alliance of Inhabitants) presented the R-Existences in Solidarity at the Brazilian session of the International Tribunal of Evictions, the First Popular Territorial Forum of R-Existencies and the Network Training for the Right to the Territory of the Inhabitants in order to: i) to put in place the NUA for the Inhabitants, of the Social Forum in Resistance to Habitat III, alternative to the New Urban Agenda; ii) to strengthen the process of urban construction – in a community, spatial and collective way – to share experiences, strategies and the management of common tools of global solidarity with the struggles of local actors; iii) implement the recommendations of the International Tribunal on Evictions in Quito to uphold the human rights of more than 60 million people expelled or threatened worldwide.

Over 80.000 people from all over the world  have met in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, from 13 to 17 March 2018, as part of the World Social Forum, the largest gathering of social movements, to stand together and claim their existence, through more than a thousand activities. The IAI  presented the “Inhabitants R-Existences in Solidarity” under the “Right to the City” axis with the Brazil Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions, the First Forum of Territorial Popular R-Existences and the Network Training for the right to the territory.
Since 2001, the social movements have been growing on and on at each Forum meeting, diversifying as well as the challenges they face in their respective countries. Faced with the fundamentalisms of wars and xenophobia, the increasingly perverse domination of freedoms, rights to worship, and atheism, against racism and homophobia, resistances which must  become more active and responsive, more strategic and political. So much, that ordinary citizens have found themselves by force of circumstances in the face of the exercise of politics at all levels.

Thus, in the framework of WSF 2018, the IAI presented the Inhabitants R-Existences in  Solidarity    in the Brazil Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions,  the First Forum of Territorial Popular R-Existences and the Network Training for the right to the territory of the Inhabitants in order to:

— put in place the New Agenda for Inhabitants, of the World Popular Social Forum Resistance to Habitat III, alternative to the New Urban Agenda of the UN in 2016,
— strengthen and reinforce the process of building the Urban and Community Way, space and collective way to share the experiences, strategies and management of common tools of global solidarity with local struggles;
— implement the recommendations of the Quito International Tribunal on Evictions to uphold the human rights of more than 60 million people expelled or threatened globally.

The fact that the WSF is back in Brazil, to reload itself in its birthplace, was a godsend.

Alter-globalism has gone through so many citizen revolts around the world, so many wars through the so-called  False “Arab Springs”, starting by, the Tunisian popular uprising that spawned two WSF 2013 and 2015,  two important stations in the questioning of the WSF as such and in the search for a new form of  alter-globalism, more able to meet the expectations of social movements at this stage.

The  2018  Brasil “WSF Inhabitants program”, focused on  all the activities of our allies and friends grassroots organizations and inhabitants networks , within the framework of the thematic axis “Right to the city”.  Immediately after the WSF, the Water Theme,   was the hub where popular movements joined the Alternative World Water Forum (Brasilia, 17-22 March 2018), to re-exist and resist privatization policies.

7th Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions ITE #TIDBrasil (Salvador de Bahia 12-14 March 2018)

The Session was  aimed at the examination of cases of violation of the rights to land, housing and to the city in Brazil , then issued a verdict and recommandations to address them.

The International Tribunal of Evictions (ITE), a people Court of opinion, made up of representatives of civil society. is a powerful tool for the Zero Evictions Campaign, promoted by the International Alliance of Inhabitants, which is based on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other international legal instruments linked to the fulfilment of the right to housing and land.

The goal of the 7th ITE Session was to present cases of violation of the right to housing and land from various regions of Brazil to a qualified jury at a national and international level. With  more then 500 people during the two days of the Session. Were invited not only the victims, but also the institutions responsible for the evictions. The Jury gave its verdict and made recommendations to the economic and institutional actors of Brasil who are responsible of the evictions.

The Jury included: Ângela Gordilho, Cesare Ottolini (Italy), Charlene Egidio, Lucia Moraes, Luiza Lins Veloso, Rob Robinson (USA) and Nivia Monica Silvia


Monday, March 12
Opening of the ITE session  with a visit to the communities of Salvador under threat of eviction

Tuesday March 13th
ITE Session  – Faculdade de Arquitetura – Campus Ondina (rua C. Moura) –   Auditório 1

Wednesday, March 14th
ITE Session  – Faculdade de Arquitetura – Campus Ondina (rua C. Moura) – Auditório 1

In the trial, the evictions in Brazil represent the tip of the iceberg

Evictions are currently threatening between 60 and 70 million people worldwide. Brazil is internationally regarded as one of the most serious violators of the right to housing, the housing deficit exceeds six million houses.  ITE  brings greater visibility to both the violations, and the proposals and efforts  made  locally, nationally and internationally.

Together than  highlighting the criminalisation, threats and violence perpetrated against human rights defenders. The testimonies given by the civil society actors  fed the debate on the right to housing and to construct solidarity links to address the situation and have a greater impact on public policies. In the next stage, all published cases will be sent to athe United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing.

In total, 34 cases from across Brazil were received after the call for cases. with an  alarming number of people who have been evicted or  are facing eviction: a total of 272,757 the tip of the iceberg. Five most representative cases were selected,  by the International Steering Committee, the Local Committee and the Jury Members, spread out from accross Brazil, representing the diversity of the coutnry, covering a range of topics, such as traditional communities, homeless, both urban and rural-urban settlements, communities affected by large projects, destruction of neighbourhoods by property speculation, as well as the criminalisation of human rights defenders, highlighting those from Salvador, where the session took place.

The selected cases were:

Caso 180: Povo sem Medo (São Paulo-Sudeste)
Caso 147: Cidade das Luzes (Amazonas – Norte)
Caso 171: Canabrava-Buritizeiro (Minas Gerais – Sudeste)
Caso 192: População em situação de Rua (Paraná-Sul)
Caso 125: Quilombo Ilha dos Mercês (Pernambuco – Nordeste)

Supplementary Cases were also selected in order to allow more movements and communities to participate :

Case 228, on the eviction of the Hugo Chavez encampment, in Marabá-Pará;
Case 94, on the Vista Alegre and Bela Vista settlements, in Passo Fundo-Rio Grande do Sul;
Case 145, on the evictions and criminalisation of settlements and activists of the Movement for Neighbourhoods, Towns and Favelas (MLB), in Belo Horizonte-Minas Gerais;
Case 214, on the Maria Aragão encampment, in the rural area of Maranhão;
Cases 157 and 102, on Jardim Nova Esperança, in São José dos Campos-São Paulo.

Special opening of the ITE Session in Salvador

With regard to the cases in Salvador, a Special Session took place on the popular neighbourouds. The following cases were included: movements and communities from the historic centre of Salvador against the evictionof the black community (Case 119), including the areas affected by Proyecto Revitalizar (Case 119), as well as Chácara Santo Antônio (Case 32), neighbourhoods that the ITE-2018 Committee visited as opening of the Session on Monday 12th March.

Case visibility and accompaniment

It is important to highlight that all the cases presented give relevant accounts of human rights violations and deserve to be seen and heard. Therefore, the fact that a case wasn’t selected does not mean that it should not be considered as a violation perpetrated by the Brazilian State. This is why,  Late night Monday 12thhas focused on  some of the  cases that were not  selected for the 7th Session.

Besides, many communities have been invited to share their experience in the “First Forum of the People’s Territorial R-Existences” on 16/03/18 during the WSF, which was attended by inhabitants’ organisations from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Furthermore, all participants were invited to keep in touch with the ITE, as well as with the organisations and networks that support it. This will ensure we are have up-to-date information and that we consider how we can support their initiatives against violations of the right to housing, the land and to the city.

Organising Committee of the Brazil Session of the International Tribunal on Evictions – 2018:

International Alliance of Inhabitants
Popular Brigades
Centre for People’s Movements – CMP
Centre for Economic and Social Rights – CDES
National Confederation of Inhabitants’ Associations – CONAM
National Forum for Urban Reform
Habitat for Humanity Brazil
Movement for Neighbourhoods, Towns and Favelas – MLB
National Fight for Housing Movement – MNLM
Land of Rights
National Union for Popular Housing – UNMP
Coletivo Margarida Alves de Assesoria Popular

International Alliance of Inhabitants, Confederacion Nacional das Associações de Moradores, Movimento Nacional de Luta pela Moradia, Central Movimentos Populares, Movimento de Luta Nos Bairros, Vilas e Favelas, União Nacional de Luta por Moradia Popular, Forum Nacional de Reforma Urbana, Brigadas Populares, Centro de Direitos Econômicos e Sociais, Terra de Direitos, Habitat para Humanidade Brasil, Coletivo Margarida Alves de Assesoria Popular

Montfort Social Institute (India), CENCA (Perù), Fundavivienda (Venezuela), Tunisian Association of Inhabitants and Decent Housing (Tunisia), Coophabitat (Republica Dominicana ), FEDEVI (Argentina), MODEVIFA (Argentina), USACAI (USA), Unione Inquilini (Italia).