The disaster has a name: Capitalism

A drone view shows vehicles in the area affected by the floods, in Encantado, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, May 3, 2024. REUTERS/Diego Vara/ File Photo

From the Antimídia collective of Brazil, a short video documentary report-essay on the floods of early May this year, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and the popular collective responses to the catastrophe, more often than not in opposition to state authorities.

The video is available with Portuguese, Spanish and English language subtitles.

In the first days of May 2024, the territory known as the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in what is called Brazil, was hit by the largest climate catastrophe in its history. More than a week of intense rain caused several rivers to overflow, devastating dozens of cities and destroying everything in their path, before flowing into the Guaíba River, causing the biggest flood ever recorded in the Greater Porto Alegre region and other cities in the state. As of June 1, 171 deaths have been confirmed. Thousands of people lost everything. 614 thousand were left homeless. More than two million were affected. Entire cities were practically erased from the map by the force of the waters.

The State and the capitalist mode of production are directly responsible for the devastation of the planet, producing more and more catastrophes, from cutting down forests to make way for cattle, to monocultures and mining, degrading and making the soil waterproof with urban expansion. Amidst the horror, the complete inability of governments and the rich to care for our lives and our environment becomes evident.

At the center of this tragedy that heralds a new reality of increasingly frequent extreme events, anarchists, indigenous communities, quilombos and social movements have organised solidarity as they try to rebuild their lives and their seriously affected territories, whether asking for and distributing donations, calling for joint efforts to clean and return to affected properties, or to organise new occupations of empty buildings to house people who lost their homes.

Suggested Reading:

“The Disaster Is Already Here: Anarchists in Southern Brazil on the Floods of May 2024”, CrimethInc., 25/06/2024.

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