MST Occupies City of Itamaraju for Rural Education

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.
MST occupies Itamaraju for rural education
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

January 16, 2012

MST Occupies INCRA in Maranhão to Demand Expropriation of Illegally Occupied Land

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.

INCRA OccupationAt 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

MST Occupies Bank of Brazil and Highways in Cities Across the State of Rio Grande do Sul

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.drought

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

Vale Contends for Leadership for Award for Worst Company in the World. VOTE NOW!

One of the largest Brazilian transnational’s, the mining company Vale, present in 38 countries in the Americas, Africa and Asia, is able to vale minereceive, 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).

MST Informa #191: Summary of the past year and perspectives for 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.

Baltimore, MD - 2011 Fair Development Conference

Janaina will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2011 Fair Development Conference.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.

The United Workers is a human rights organization led by low-wage workers. We are leading the fight for fair development, which respects human rights, maximizes public benefits and is sustainable.