On Sunday morning August 31, more than three thousand landless families occupied the Santa Monica Fazenda, located between the municipalities of Alexânia, Abadiânia and Corumba (GO). The farm, registered in the name of Senator Eunício Oliveira (PMDB-EC), is a complex of more than 20,000 hectares, self-declared as unproductive.
MST Occupations and Demonstrations
Ana Chã, a member of the MST’s Culture Collective, gave two presentations on the role of culture in social movements, particularly the MST. On August 11, 2014, in the Bay Area, she addressed cultural workers at Occupy the Farm in Albany, CA. Read more and view photos.
In New York City, on August 13, 2014, Ana gave a presentation on thesame topic with an emphasis on mística to a gathering at a collective space in lower Manhattan. Read more and view photos.
On August 8, 2014, the Uri-Eichen Gallery in Chicago’s Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen hosted artwork and presentations on the MST and the rise of new democracy in Canoas, Brazil. MST posters, original oil paintings by Aliene de Souza Howell and products of worker’s cooperatives were all displayed in the gallery. Read more and view photos.
In one of many protests on Thursday April 17, around 500 MST workers from the Brazilian Federal District (state to which Brasilia, nation's capital, belongs to) and its surroundings blocked sections of the BR 020 highway, between the Planaltina (DF) and Formosa (GO) municipalities, at the height of kilometer 43 and the BR 070 highway, in direction towards Águas Lindas de Goiás.
The year 2013 won’t be missed by the Landless throughout the country. Regarding the struggle for land, the balance is positive, due to the demonstrations, marches and occupations of land and public buildings that occurred almost throughout the year.
But when referring to Agrarian Reform policy, almost nothing has been done, and in many cases the government walked backwards. This is the assessment of João Paulo Rodrigues Chaves, from the national coordination of the MST, on the agrarian policy stimulated by the federal government during all of this year.
As Rodrigues stated, something that has always been bad in this government became even worse. “So far, only 159 families were settled around the country. It's a shame. There were 10 properties expropriated by the Dilma government. Worse than the last military government of General Figueiredo, when 152 properties were expropriated," he says.
Check out the interview:
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.
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.
Seventeen years have passed since that fateful April 17. On that day in 1996, a march of rural workers organized by the MST was blockaded and attacked by military police in the city of Eldorado dos Carajás, Pará state. 19 people were killed on the spot and 2 others died days afterwards. The day of the Eldorado dos Carajás massacre has officially become the National Day of Struggle for Land Reform.
by Wesley Lima
On April 8, the MST in Bahia started a state march fighting for Agrarian Reform. The march, which had close to five thousand rural workers without land from nine regions of the state, started in the municipality of Camaçari and continued in the direction of Salvador.
MST leader Fábio Santos da Silva, assassinated on April 2 by 15 shots fired by gunmen in Iguaí, in the Southwest of Bahia, was buried on April 3.
The vigil for the body began in the Rural Community of Ribeirão das Flores and afterwards the body was taken to the City Hall of Iguaí, where the city can follow and share this moment of mourning and show solidarity with the grief of the family, friends, and men and women comrades in mourning.
On leaving the City Hall, families, friends, and MST activists held a march to the end of the city to accompany the coffin. On the way, a lot of music and chanting showed the people’s anger.
Under the Brazilian Constitution, landless families have the right to occupy arable land that is not being used in order to grow food to feed themselves.