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Towards the national caravan to Brasilia

The CONAM’s national campaign of struggle for development, employment, urban reform and social rights.

The national campaign of struggle of the National Confederation of Residents’ Associations (CONAM) was launched by CONAM’s National Council of Associated Bodies (CONEA) in December of 2006. Its objective is to mobilize the grassroots community movement and supporters of the Residents’ Associations in the struggle for social rights such as education, health, housing, sanitation and public transport among others, with an instrument for the universalization of these rights; generation of income and employment and a new cycle of economic and social development for the country. Also on the agenda is the amnesty of the Residents’ Associations and Neighborhood Friends’ Societies for Inland Revenue debts dating back to the 1990s.

The first stage, which has been successfully completed, involved a number of regional gatherings, bringing together over 300 movement leaders from 22 states in Brazil’s five regions. The meetings included debates on a range of mobilization issues and key strands of activity.

The second stage, which involves mobilization at state and municipal level and demonstrations in front of local executive and legislative bodies, will be taking place until the end of May. A number of important activities have already taken place, among which the following can be highlighted:

  • Occupation of a public, city-owned area in Betim, where more than 100 families are currently negotiating with the local authorities for access to housing.
  • Occupation of the Caixa Econômica Federal (federal development bank) building, where more than 300 families have been able to reopen negotiations relating to the ‘Crédito Solidário’ programme in Belo Horizonte.
  • Demonstration in the city of Rio de Janeiro by more than 500 families from the municipality of Nova Friburgo, left homeless after the rains and flooding at the beginning of the year (13/04).
  • Demonstration in the city of Nova Friburgo by 500 families evicted (04/05).
  • Demonstration, protest march and camp-out at the Sé square by over 800 families struggling for the right to housing in São Paulo (18/04).
  • Demonstration by more than 300 people in Porto Alegre for the right to housing in Porto Alegre (27/04).
  • Demonstration with over 500 people in Salvador for the right to housing and sanitation (25/04).
  • Public hearing at the Legislative Assembly of Paraíba with over 100 movement leaders (22/03).
  • Demonstration in Brasília for the Regulation of EC 29, which guarantees more resources for SUS, CONAM (500 people) and other groups (500 people) (11/04).

In the month of May, additional demonstrations are planned for a number of states throughout the country, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Goiás, Amapá, Cehara, Pará, Amazonas and Acre

Finally, on the 13th of June , the National Caravan to Brasília will take place, gathering more than 3,000 movement leaders. There will be a rally and march to take the platform of demands to the Federal Government, Congress and the Judiciary.

*Some of the above information is also available on the website of CONAM at www.conam.org.br .