February 9, 2014
The 6th National Congress of the MST, taking place from February 10-14 in the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasília, hopes to bring together nearly sixteen thousand delegates from 23 Brazilian states, as well as 250 international guests.
In preparation for the event, a large encampment is being constructed around the Gymnasium — the equivalent of a small city — with a total area larger than four soccer fields.
By Pedro Rafael Ferreira
Photos by Leonardo Melgarejo
February 10, 2014
A story that does not fit in a book. Unless this book is as great as the people who know how to write their own history. And from the giant pages of a book, open in front of 15 thousand people, leaped out memories of a unique trajectory of political and social struggle in Brazil.
Aliene de Souza Howell, a Brooklyn based artist has donated ten beautiful artworks to aid the Congress. These artworks were created by Aliene after her visit to an MST settlement in state of São Paulo. The artworks – eight oil on canvas paintings and two linocuts – display persons Aliene encountered while on MST settlements.
These artworks are being auctioned in an online auction to raise funds for the MST. Click HERE to participate in the auction.
The Sixth Congress has as its principal function the final ratification of the policies to guide the MST in the next five year period. These policies were discussed and debated first, in each settlement, then, by representatives at the state level and now, at the national level. Many of the policies have been agreed to, including the slogan to guide the next period:
STRUGGLE, BUILD A PEOPLE’S AGRARIAN REFORM!
What is a “people’s agrarian reform?” Generally, it consists of three elements:
1. To develop an agricultural model based on agro-ecology rather that agro-business, i.e. sustainable agriculture that respects the land (non-use of agro-toxins and petro-based chemicals).
2. To advance forms of cooperation based on food sovereignty, cooperative forms of production and the process of agro-industrialization (i.e. processing agricultural products into various consumable forms – sugar and cachaça from sugar cane or yogurt products from milk) in order to capture the added value.
3. To transform agrarian reform settlements into a political force by ecological integration between the countryside and the cities by, for example, providing food to urban schools or providing healthcare in the countryside.
Go to the MST's website to view a history slide show HERE.
NEW! Artist Donates Artwork to Help Fund the Congress
by PETE DOLACK
The ultimate monopoly would be control of the world’s food supply. Although not the only multi-national corporation attempting to achieve the ability to dictate what you eat, Monsanto Company appears the most determined.
by ZACH KALDVEER and RONNIE CUMMINS
The biotech industry, led by Monsanto, will soon descend on the state of Washington to try their best to defeat I-522, a citizens’ ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Voters should prepare themselves for an onslaught of discredited talking points, nonsensical red herrings, and outright lies designed to convince voters that they shouldn’t have the right to know what’s in the food they eat.
By Najar Tubino
Da Carta Maior
The federal government will soon launch the National Plan for Organic Production and Agroecology ( PLANAPO ), after more than a year of discussion with dozens of civil society organizations and representatives of 10 ministries. The Minister of Agrarian Development, Pepe Vargas said the plan will be important not only for the family farm, but for the whole country .
On May 25, 2013 over two million people marched and protested against agribusiness giant Monsanto. See coverage from USA Today, Huffington Post and a roundup of articles on the Occupy Monsanto website. The MST has long decried the unsustainable agricultural model that Monsanto has developed for profit – including the use of GMO seeds and a reliance on a flood of agro-toxins.
We include an article on how the Brazilian government is seemingly organizing for organic production, when in reality it is only support for agribusiness. We also include two articles on Monsanto’s war on health, GMO labeling and its attempt to control the world’s food.
“Agroecology Will Have A National Plan and Create A New Milestone for the Country” from Carta Maior.
From CounterPunch magazine: