By Joana Tavares
Since last year, dozens of urban and rural social movements in Brazil have been discussing the presidential elections. In this second round, despite the limits of the neo-developmentalist PT governments, the social movements decided jointly to support Dilma Rousseff
By Joana Tavares
On Sunday morning August 31, more than three thousand landless families occupied the Santa Monica Fazenda, located between the municipalities of Alexânia, Abadiânia and Corumba (GO). The farm, registered in the name of Senator Eunício Oliveira (PMDB-EC), is a complex of more than 20,000 hectares, self-declared as unproductive.
On Monday July 14 the MST published a letter about the police repression of a protest that was carried out before the final World Cup game in Rio de Janeiro. Hundred of demonstrators were surrounded in the Saens Peña Plaza and could only leave after the end of the game.
Tear gas and rubber bullets were launched indiscriminately and even the wounded were prevented from leaving the area. The police had illegally arrested around 20 people on the previous day.
Here is the letter:
On Monday July 7, various social movements like the MST, People's Uprising of Youth, Consulta Popular, the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), and the World March of Women (WMW) carried out actions and artistic events throughout the country on the National Day of Action for a Constitutional Referendum .
By Igor Carvalho and Glauco Faria
With a presence in 23 states and the Federal District and with more than 900 settlements with 150 thousand families, the MST celebrates its 30th anniversary this week.
The year 2013 won’t be missed by the Landless throughout the country. Regarding the struggle for land, the balance is positive, due to the demonstrations, marches and occupations of land and public buildings that occurred almost throughout the year.
But when referring to Agrarian Reform policy, almost nothing has been done, and in many cases the government walked backwards. This is the assessment of João Paulo Rodrigues Chaves, from the national coordination of the MST, on the agrarian policy stimulated by the federal government during all of this year.
As Rodrigues stated, something that has always been bad in this government became even worse. “So far, only 159 families were settled around the country. It's a shame. There were 10 properties expropriated by the Dilma government. Worse than the last military government of General Figueiredo, when 152 properties were expropriated," he says.
Check out the interview:
by Joao Pedro Stedile, National Coordination of the MST
It is usual to take advantage of the year-end period, forever doing the critical balance of losses, achievements and progress in the various sectors of activities of our society.
Unfortunately for workers who live in the countryside the balance of 2013 is anything but optimistic. Briefly we could track several defeats that the movement of capital in imposed.
The process of concentration of land ownership and agricultural production continues to accelerate and our natural resources are increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer capitalists. There was an avalanche of foreign financial capital to control more land, more water, more plants, more agro-industries and virtually all foreign trade of agricultural commodities. And some of them are already buying up the oxygen of our forests, the famous way of carbon credit, then resold in European exchanges to permit Europe to maintain its pollution!
By Iris Pacheco of the MST's website
The Dilma government is responsible for the worst figures of land expropriation of the last 20 years. In 2012, only 28 rural estates met the decreed target. No real estate has been expropriated thus far in 2013. During the first term of this year, social movements in the countryside undertook several days of action with combined and specific agendas, bringing the urgent necessity of Agrarian Reform to the attention of the Brazilian government.
On Thursday, July 11, 2013, Brazil erupted in mobilizations, strikes, work stoppages, occupations and road blockades in a National Day of Struggle. Called for by CUT (Central Workers Union), an assortment of labor unions and a vast array of social movements, including the MST, the National Day of Struggle put forth specific demands for the working class and social movements, including a call for agrarian reform. The MST participated and helped lead this mobilization through the country.
The Friends of the MST has translated summaries of the July 11 mobilizations from various sources and presents information on this important struggle. Very few U.S. newspaper carried stories on this phase of the struggle in Brazil.