Brazilian Government

2013: A Negative Balance for Rural Workers

Joao Pedro Stedileby 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!

"Dilma government abandons agrarian reform", declares Alexandre Conceição

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.

MST PARTICIPATES IN NATIONAL DAY OF STRUGGLE

On Thursday, July 11, 2013, Brazil erupted in mobilizations, strikes, work stoppages, occupations and road blockades in a National DayNational Day of Struggle 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.

We are providing these summaries from Brasil do Fato, Folha de São Paulo, Reuters and the Charlotte (NC) Observer.

Stedile: Structural Reform on the agenda for the 11th July mobilizations

We have not had such vigorous street mobilizations since the campaign for “Rights Now” in the '80s.  The protests which exploded with the youth indignation were just the tip of the iceberg of the profound social and economic problems that persist in our society.  On one hand, the big cities have become a living hell, where workers pay high costs for low quality public transport.  Besides that, they spend two or three hours a day traveling, a pure waste of time.

Those who managed to buy an automobile, financed by international finance capital, are realizing that they paid dearly for the ability not to be able to move.  The auto assembly companies and the associated banks have never before sent so much money abroad.

According to Movement Leader, the Struggle Must Unify Urban and Rural Fronts

MST march In an exclusive interview with the Portal IG, Gilmar Mauro, leader of the Landless Workers Movement, stated that the movement -- which has a constituency estimated to be around two million rural workers -- is building an alliance with urban sectors to take part in protests and put pressure on the Dilma administration to take concrete measures to confront social problems.

MST Advocates Agrarian Reform and Structural Changes in the Day of Struggles

General StrikeThe MST will be included in the mobilization of trade unions, social movements and political organizations of the working class to take to the streets of the country, on Thursday (July 11), to defend a political platform, with the reduction of working hours, investment of 10% of GDP for health and education, free and quality public transport, the democratization of the media and the implementation of land reform.

"Protests retake the streets as a place for making politics”, states Stedile

protestsby Eduardo Scolese, of Agência Folha

João Pedro Stedile, 59, economist and leader of the Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, MST),  says that it is necessary to take advantage of the protests to create new mechanisms for popular participation in the destiny of the country.

If this doesn’t happen, he says, “the mobilizations will return stronger and more radical”.

The Left Joins in São Paulo to Decide how to Act in Demonstrations Across the Country

This Friday (06/26/13), 76 left organizations representing social movements, trade unions and political parties gathered at the chemicals union in brazil demosSão Paulo to evaluate the mobilizations scenario in Brazil and how to create a unity among themselves to act in these demonstrations.

The assessment made by organizations is that the demonstrations, which began around reducing the rate of public transport in the city, has a progressive character, as it seeks the expansion of various social rights for the youth and the working class, outraged by the situation in which they have lived for years.

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