Brazilian Politics Society and Economy

"2013 is the worst year for Agrarian Reform,” says João Paulo Rodrigues Chaves

Joao Paulo Rodriques ChavesThe 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:

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!

Position of MST on the Legal Proceedings in the Supreme Court and the Political Prisoners

Dear Comrades José Dirceu and José Genoíno,

The National Directorate of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) has been following with indignation the Judgment of Exception and unjust conviction.

We vehemently repudiate the action of the Brazilian judiciary, especially the Supreme Court (STF), servant to the ruling class in thecountry, which for years has been acting against the working class, social movements and political struggle.

The plantation owner who ordered the murder of Dorothy Stang is sentenced to 30 years in prison

The Pará court condemned, at the end of the night this Thursday (September 19, 2013), the plantation owner Vitalmiro Bastos de Moura,Bida and Dorothy Stang “Bida,” to 30 years in prison, initially without being able to leave prison*, for the death of Sister Dorothy Stang, as a coauthor and instigator of the crime. The trial, the fourth conducted after a new set of lawyers, lasted more than 14 hours. The verdict was read by Judge Raimundo Moisés Alves Flexa.

Dorothy Stang was shot dead in Anapu in southwestern Pará, on February 12, 2005. According to prosecutors, she was murdered because she defended the deployment of rural settlements for workers on public lands that were contested by ranchers and loggers in the region.

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”.

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