MST Occupations and Demonstrations

[04/20/08] Activists Call for Urgent Land Reform

Inter-Press Service (IPS) By Walter Sotomayor BRASILIA, Apr 17 (IPS) - An urgent call to speed up the land reform process in Latin America was issued Thursday by rural activists at the 30th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean, who also sharply criticised agribusiness interests and large estates in the region.

"We are carrying out occupations of land, marches and protests to demand the settlement of 150,000 families living in camps and greater investment in rural development," said a communiqué released by Brazil’s Landless Movement (MST).

The MST has held demonstrations this week in memory of the 19 peasant farmers massacred by police 12 years ago in Eldorado dos Carajás, in the northern Brazilian state of Pará.

[04/19/08] International Day of Peasant Struggle - Rural Landless Step up Campaign in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Rural landless workers in Brazil stepped up their campaign for agricultural reform Thursday by holding several demonstrations and occupying a hydroelectric plant and freeway toll stations, their organization said. The protests were part of the Landless Farmworkers Movement's "Red April" operation to force the government to give them land grants and easier access to public loans for some 150,000 dispossessed families living in shantytowns around the country. Demonstrations took place in the states of Ceara, Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Paraiba and Para.

[03/07/08] MST Mobilizes Against Police Violence, in Solidarity with Via Campesina Activists

Stora Enso's Brazilian Imbroglio by Maurna Desmond, Forbes.com Paper maker Stora Enso is catching heat from activists in Brazil who recently invaded its factory and blocked major roads. The Finnish-Swedish company wants to plant roots in South America, but the locals haven't been very welcoming. On Wednesday, Brazilian land rights group Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) blocked eight roads in the Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil to protest alleged police violence against peaceful and predominantly female activists a day earlier. MST says 900 protesters had invaded the 5200-acre Stora Enso tree farm. Police authorities report a head count of 600. The firm's stock has remained at $12.40 all day Thursday.

[12/15/07] Catholic Hierarchy Backs Bishop’s Hunger Strike

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 14 (IPS) - The upper echelons of the Brazilian Catholic Church have decided to lend their support to Bishop Luiz Cappio, who is on hunger strike against the diversion of water from the Sao Francisco river, after the government confirmed it would go ahead with the project.

The authorities argue that the work is essential to provide water for millions of poor people in the semi-arid northeast, the country’s poorest region.

The decision by the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB) was announced after a meeting between high-ranking Church representatives and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who told them that the project would continue, and that it was the Church’s own responsibility to intercede with Cappio to give up his fast, which he began on Nov. 27.

Pages