On July 8, 2014 our sister and comrade, Charity Hicks, succumbed to injuries she sustained from a hit and run accident in New York City. Charity was a member of the delegation to the MST Congress in February. For many of us it was the first time we had encountered Charity’s energy, humor, strength and commitment to struggling for a better world.
MST and Working Class Unity
The Friends of the MST is saddened to report the death of John Kinsman on January 20, 2014 at the age of 87. John was a founder and president of the Family Farm Defenders, a member organization of La Via Campesina. John, a fourth generation family farmer, operated a dairy farm near Lime Ridge, Wisconsin.
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.
On Thursday, July 11, 2013, Brazil erupted in mobilizations, strikes, work stoppages, occupations and road blockades in a National Day 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 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.
The 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.
The People of Latin America Lost a Leader and a Builder of Ideas!
The death of Hugo Chávez represents an irreparable loss to all the peoples of Latin America.
His humble origins, his path as a military nationalist and his unwavering commitment to the project of the freedom of the Venezuelan people, turned him into a popular leader of the whole continent.
By José Coutinho Junior
More than 200 people from various social movements, political parties and NGOs gathered this past Sunday (12/9), at the National School Florestan Fernandes (ENFF) for the Meeting of Friends and Friends of the MST. João Pedro Stedile, MST leader, began the meeting with an analysis of the forces acting on the class struggle of the Brazilian society and how this is reflected in the countryside.
"What we face today in agriculture is no longer the backward landowner, now, when we fight for land it is necessary to face the entire capitalist system, represented mainly by finance capital and the bourgeoisie, to see that they do not have total hegemony in government clinging together with the judiciary and the media."
By Felipe Milanez in Washington
The Embassy of Brazil in Washington, a modernist building that contrasts with the classical properties of the beautiful Embassy Row, the sector of embassies of the U.S. capital, hosted on Monday April 9th a march that brought together about one hundred people, including students, activists and Brazilians living in the region, who demonstrated during the visit of President Rousseff the city.
The protest, according to organizers, had four reasons: the violence in the countryside, especially in the Amazon; the impunity of the masterminds and executors of these crimes; changes in the Brazilian Forestry Code; and the construction of large dams in the Amazon.
Amid the flags of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), posters stamped images of the couple José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, murdered on May 24, 2011. They were next to pictures of Dorothy Stang, Chico Mendes and a scene of the burial of 19 landless workers killed in the massacre of Eldorado dos Carajas in 1996.
By Vanessa Ramos