[9/07/05] MST Update #98 In Defense of the Brazilian People – Proclamation of September 7
Dear Friends of the MST,
The nation of Brazil is living through a serious crisis and is in grave danger. The danger that threatens our nation is the result of the implementation of neoliberal policies that favor only national and international finance capital and the huge corporations that are dedicated to exports. This policy worsens poverty, social inequality, and misery.
No fewer than 27 million workers (40% of the population) are unemployed or underemployed, without coverage from social security or labor rights. Around 20 million famlies, 82 million poor people, live with less than two monthly minimum wages.
We remain hostages of the highest interest rates in the world, of a budget surplus that is only of interest to bankers and of foreign debt, which requires frequent adjustments to service international finance capital. The government has given in to these demands of the bankers and the big transnational corporations, hanging on to neoliberal policies, which make it incapable of implementing public policies on behalf of the poor and of using public funds for Land Reform, health, education, transporation, housing, human rights, and the environment.
This economic model does not provide a future for our people!
Brazilian society is torn to pieces by unemployment, poverty, hunger, violence, and corruption, which revolts us and leaves us at times despairing..
The recent accusations of corruption and the revelation of the methods of how the parties played politics that fool the people unleashed a serious political crisis. The people do not believe any more in most politicians and these politicians have no legitimacy to represent the people. The Brazilian people are living with a mixture of sadness and disappointment in light of the situation in our country.
The Brazilian nation cannot continue with this impass. It is necessary to demand profound changes in the economy and in the policy. To demand these changes, we have four great challenges:
1. Build a new economic model, one that creates jobs, distributes income and puts a high priority on public investments in social areas.
2. An emergency program to overcome misery, poverty and the fight against social inequality.
3. A radical and deep political reform that returns to the people the right to decide the strategic questions affecting our country.
4. National Sovereignty: application of policies that guarantee the interests of the Brazilian people about our economy, territory, wealth, public enterprises, Central Bank, water, seeds, oil, gas, and foreign policy.
In light of this, we call on all to organize and get mobilized. We are crying out in favor of justice, ethics, for change in the economic policy, for an end to poverty and social inequality. We call on all to promote activities and demonstrations, to build spaces for creativity and popular participation and to reactivate our patriotism for a free and sovereign Brazil without corruption or exclusions.
BrAZIL, CHANGE IS IN OUR HANDS!
Via Campesina/Brasil; (Via Campesina Brazil)
Grito dos Excluídos/as; (Cry of the Excluded)
CMS- Coordenação dos Movimentos Sociais; (Coordination of Social Movements)
Rede Jubileu Sul/Brasil-Campanha Brasileira contra a ALCA; (Jubilee South Network/Brazil – Brazilian Campaign against the FTAA)
CRB - Conferência dos Religiosos do Brasil; (Conference of the Religious of Brazil)
4ª SSB - Semana Social Brasileira; (Brazilian Social Week)
MMM - Marcha Mundial de Mulheres; (Worldwide March of Women)
CONIC - Conselho Nacional de Igrejas (National Council of Churches)
Cristãs do Brasil; CESE - Coordenadoria Ecumênica de Serviços; (Brazilian Christians; Ecumenical Coordination of Services)
Fórum Nacional pela Reforma Agrária (National Forum for Land Reform)
Translated by Friends of the MST volunteer Charlotte Casey