[05/23/07] MST Informa #133: The 23rd of May, A Day of Workers Mobilization

Dear Friends of the MST,

The fact that so many popular movements, unions, and student groups from all over the country have come together to build a Day of Struggle on May 23 shows that there is a revival of working class mobilizations. Since the People’s Plebiscite Against the Free Trade Agreement of the Americans in 2002, there has not been such unity of political movements around the same objective.

The National Plenary of the Popular Assembly in November 2006 was the starting point for a common calendar of struggles and the need to hold a national day of struggle in May 2007.

On March 25 of this year, a National Meeting Against the Reforms brought together more than 6 thousand activists from more than 20 states -- around 630 organizations -- reaffirming the need to organize a unified list of demands to confront the neoliberal policies of the Federal government.

Despite the tactical and strategic differences between the various groups on the left, the mobilization around May 23 to build a common list of demands shows a sign of maturity. And more than that, it shows that there is a high level of dissatisfaction among the working class that compels it to fight for changes.

The fact is that these changes can only be achieved by working together, overcoming the fragmentation of the forces that has been occurring since Lula first took office in 2003. But primarily it will take concrete struggles. The time has come to get into the streets! Shut down the factories, close off the streets and occupy the latifundios.

“Not a single giveaway!” will be the slogan for an agenda that rejects the government’s attempts to change the laws on labor and benefits and to limit public employees’ right to strike. But there will be other slogans: “For agrarian reform”, “For urban housing”, “For a job with a decent salary”, “Against the criminalization of social movements”, Against the economic policies of the federal government”, and many others will certainly be shouted out in the streets of the cities, in the countryside, and in the factories all over the country.

Around these slogans and banners, it was possible to unify the trade unions, the broad coalitions like the Coordination of Social Movements, and the Popular Assembly, incorporating the main groups and national movements like the MST, the UNE and Conam.

The MST understands that this is a unique moment for the Brazilian people and so we raise our banner alongside so many others with the view of struggling for a more just and fraternal society.

Agrarian Reform: For Social Justice and Peoples Sovereignty!

National leadership of the MST