Recognition, Redistribution and Popular Participation: Towards an Integrative Judicial Policy

Community organization in Sul Fluminense

22 of April of 2019

by Josinete Pinto and Vinícius Alves

Volta Redonda and the region are rooted in workers' struggles around the National Steel Company and the pastoral care of the land, work and youth. The historical broth of mobilizations today converges to the organization of cooperative work and the articulation between social movements and public defenders as institutional allies for the guarantee of rights. In Sul-Fluminense, the Justice Forum is the result of a healthy relationship between the community, with its organizational challenges, and the Defensoria. At the same time that social movements need and demand the performance of the institutions of the justice system, the State and Federal Public Defenders have firmly understood that their constitutional duty includes listening and meeting these demands. We have an example of an integrative judicial policy in place.

The challenges of 2019 are enormous given the minute-by-minute political changes in the country, always in line with the withdrawal of economic, political, social, cultural and environmental rights achieved through the 1988 Constitution. In this environment it becomes relevant to consider the weightings of Professor Ricardo Timm de Souza, who warns that the task of leading Brazil to the situation it deserves to be depends on a broad and radical pedagogical-therapeutic task.. [1] It refers to the connection of the political task to the collective learning and communion that catharses us in the face of the trauma resulting from the daily struggle with injustice, building empathy ties as a necessary part for community organization. It is imbued with this spirit that the Forum has participated in the activities that have taken place this year.

March 21 - Public hearing at the Volta Redonda City Council on the theme of the Catholic Church Fraternity Campaign. At the time, residents of the Occupation Morada do Sol, in the Siderlândia neighborhood, occupied the galleries of the Chamber to demand the removal of the agenda the bill presented by the president of the house, Edson Quinto. The councilman is known friend of the owner of the occupied land, who claims the repossession of the area since 1995. The struggle of the residents is for the extinction of the possessory process and filed with the request for adverse possession. The message was left that city politics cannot be a bargain for friends.

March 30 - Meeting at the Dom Waldir Occupation with the Solid City Waste Pickers Cooperative. This activity, organized by the Solidarity Economy Incubator (InTECSOL / UFF) and the FJ, aimed to present the cooperative proposal for unemployed residents living in the Dom Waldir Occupation and discuss the possibility of the cooperative receiving new members. The debate covered the general functioning of a solidarity economy cooperative and Nazaré, the black leader, presented the City of Steel waste pickers cooperative. About 14 interested people and more 6 cooperatives participated. Working in the popular cooperative highlights the importance of the different experiences of members, people who previously worked in commerce, such as drivers, day laborers, bricklayers, car washers, handlers, coffee harvesters, etc.

After each sharing their work experience, the debate focused on the organizational difference of a hierarchical company with a boss, such as a supermarket, and one that follows the self-managed model. This has a horizontal organization that welcomes the participation of those who perform different functions in the decisions of the enterprise. It is a way of recognizing the importance of different knowledge and the equality of those involved in production, in a work ethic that calls for collective responsibility for the means of production, for the place, for cleanliness. As a result, new residents joined the cooperative and collaborated in the effort to find sheds to continue the group's operation. Will also be discussed the statute and the new needs of the collective.

Defenders of Peace Course, 2ª edition. It takes place at UFF, Aterrado campus, in partnership with the law school and coordinated by a student at the Academic Center. Social movements articulated in FJ are participating in this second edition, among them waste pickers, health council activists, the housing agenda, solidarity economy, among others. The course takes place every Wednesday at 10 classroom meetings and four visits to social organizations involved with the demand of waste pickers, homeless people and housing.