Thousands of Landless Workers to March on Brasilia

Friends of the MST Mobilize Support

From May 1-17, 2005, thousands of Brazil’s rural workers will begin their 180 mile journey in the "National March for Land Reform." They will march from Goiânia and converge on the capital of Brazil to deliver a message to the public and the governing Workers Party: land reform is the critical path to Brazil’s development of social equality, food security and a vibrant civil society. Your contribution to this effort is crucial to the success of this march.

In October 2002, Brazilians voted the Workers Party’s (PT) Luis Inacio Lula da Silva their president. Lula’s election was a historic victory for Brazil’s social movements in their struggle for economic democracy against the country’s notorious income inequality. At the center of these social movements is Brazil’s Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) --the Landless Workers Movement-- who for decades have pressured Brazil’s government to carry out constitutionally mandated land reform.

But while the Worker’s Party has reduced inflation and increased Brazil’s exports and GDP, it has made very little progress securing the resources required for meaningful land reform. Indeed the Lula government has settled significantly fewer families than its conservative predecessor, the Cardoso government, and far fewer than the 400,000 families Lula committed to settle during his first term. Further, since Lula’s election, the landed elite and the “Democratic Rural Union