Since Tuesday (January 10, 2012), the MST has occupied eleven municipalities in the state of Bahia. Six municipalities were occupied during the first days of mobilization, three on Wednesday (January 11) and two more on Thursday (January 12). Altogether, more than 3,500 rural workers participated in the actions.
Earlier on Monday (January 16, 2012) the MST occupied another municipality in the state of Bahia. This time it was the city of Itamaraju. This was the 15th municipality occupied in protest and to demand improvements in education and the conditions of schools which are in rural areas.
Evanildo Costa, the state director of the MST, said that the occupation is the way that the Movement has to force administrators to carry out their duties. "We cannot allow classes to begin in the same conditions as last year, so to the extent we take the month of January for occupations where we have difficulty moving these issues forward in the city halls," says the director.
The day of occupation of municipalities began on January 10 and there have been 15 occupations of city halls so far.
The Movement plans to hold more occupations over the month of January, which may rise to over 25 municipalities occupied with the mobilization of more than 5,000 workers of the MST.
With information from the site Voceaki.com
January 16, 2012
Since Monday (January 30, 2012), about 450 rural workers have occupied the headquarters of the National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA) in Imperatriz (MA). Workers organized by the MST - representing families of nine camps in the southeastern region of the state - demanding the expropriation of land for the settlement of about 3,000 families camped in Maranhão.
At the moment, they are waiting for the meeting, scheduled for Friday (February 3, 2012), with the superintendent of the state agency, José Ignacio Sodré.
Some of the families that occupy INCRA are from the encampment Roselí Nunes, of Senator La Roque, where about a thousand families could benefit if the plot with 28,000 hectares of illegally titled land were expropriated. [Ed. The term used in the article is “terras griladas” which refers to land where the title of ownership was falsified by the current “owner.”]
In addition to the settlement of encamped families, the occupiers will discuss with José Inácio improvements to the settlements of the region and benefits [i.e. credits] for production.
This is the third round of negotiations with workers in the region, since José Inácio took control of the state INCRA at the beginning of last year. Disappointed with the delay of INCRA in solving problems, farmers promise stronger actions if they don’t consider the negotiations satisfactory this Friday.
February 2, 2012
In protest against the non-release of funds from the federal government and state of Rio Grande do Sul to farmers affected by drought, about 800 farmers from the MST held demonstrations in several regions of Rio Grande do Sul.
More than 300 peasants occupied, on Wednesday (February, 1) the building of the Bank of Brazil in the city of Júlio de Castilhos. In other cities in the state, farmers maintained protests, with roadblocks on highways and central avenues.
In São Luiz Gonzaga, the region of the missions, 200 farmers remain camped outside the building of the Companhia Estadual de Silos e Armazéns (CESA) [Ed. The State Company of Silos and Warehouses is a corporation, linked to the Department of Agriculture and Supply, and has the state of Rio Grande do Sul and its majority shareholder.]. In Santana do Livramento, on the southern border, the Rosário-Livramento BR-158 was shut at intervals of 15 minutes at km 536.
In the capital [Porto Alegre], about 300 activists protested in front of the building of the Ministry of Agriculture on Avenida Loureiro da Silva. Farmers call for more flexibility in actions to combat the effects of drought, affecting over 30,000 families across the state. The MST also held demonstrations in Manoel Viana, Candiota, Hulha Negra and Piratini.
February 3, 2012
One of the largest Brazilian transnational’s, the mining company Vale, present in 38 countries in the Americas, Africa and Asia, is able to receive, at the end of January, one of the leading international awards of corporate shame. Chosen from among dozens of candidates, Vale is among the six finalists for the 2012 Public Eye Award, which annually bestows the title of world's worst company to a corporation, elected in an international contest by popular vote during the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos. The fifth vote in the first week of the prize, launched on January 5, Vale took the lead for the first time on the afternoon of Friday (January 20, 2012).
The year is ending and again we have the feeling of accomplishment for all the struggles, activities, and alliances that we’ve built and engaged in with all the various sectors of the working class. In another difficult year we had to carry out great struggles against agribusiness that continues its offensive against our lands, natural resources, and public investments.
The Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) received the 2011 Food Sovereignty Prize. Inaugurated in 2009, the Food Sovereignty Prize, awarded by the Community Food Security Coalition at its 15th annual conference, held this year in Oakland California. The prize recognizes leaders in the global movement for food sovereignty.
Janaina will be participating on a panel discussing "Class Based Organizational Building - Organizations and Strategies" at 1:30 PM, Thursday October 27.
Janaina will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2011 Fair Development Conference.
The Fair Development Conference is hosted by The United Workers, a human rights organization led by low-wage workers. The Fair Development Conference will held from Friday, October 28 through Sunday, October 30 at 2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD. For more information on the conference, click here.
Om June 20, 2011 the Washington DC Chapter of the Friends of the MST joined with others in protesting the construction of the Belo Monte Dam. For a short video on the protest, click here: