[08-21-09] MST Informa #170: Only Struggle Can Bring Success

This August, the National Encampment for Agrarian Reform in Brasilia and mobilizations organized by the MST and by the movements of Via Campesina throughout the country secured important victories for the working class and reinstated agrarian reform on the agenda of both the government and society at large. In the federal capital, more than three thousand workers and rural workers, with the representation of the 23 states in which the MST is organized, aside from the Federal District, met for a large Encampment between the 10th and the 19th. Twenty three other federal units successfully organized actions, marches, and occupations of both Incra buildings and of representations of the Treasury Ministers to demand from the government an economic policy that prioritizes, through investments in agrarian reform, a generation of jobs and national sovereignty. Our actions were well received and in the first week of mobilizations convinced the government to lead a series of meetings to work with the movements. Last Tuesday (8/18), considerable victories were announced in the face of the slowness of agrarian reform, of the advance of agribusiness over Brazilian farmland and of the worldwide economic crisis: the realization of the indexes of productivity, a de-contingency of the budget for obtaining land and the expropriation of the Fazenda Nova Alegra in Felisburgo (Minas Gerais). Passage of the indexes of productivity, which vindicates decades of work by the movement, will be formally decreed and published in early September. With this victory, Incra will be able to disappropriate unproductive properties, which were not open for agrarian reform, because they were using parameters from 30 years ago. The measurement represents a defeat of the agrobusiness sectors, which had tried to block its passage. The ministers of the economic sector freed up the budget for the acquisition of land by INCRA, which was valued at 338 million reais. Nearly 1,180 hectares of the Fazenda Nova Alegria, located in northern Minas Gerais, will be expropriated for the settlement of 50 families that were victims of the Massacre of Felisburg, in which five rural workers were killed on November 20, 2004. In the scope of education, the immediate construction of 280 schools in MST settlements has been guaranteed. We march, we mobilize, and we debate on the national level for our proposal of popular land reform as a project of development for the country. It was our journey of struggle that clinched those historic compromises from the government that had been continually denied. We never forgot our demands and we never stopped fighting for them. The agenda of development for the settlements and the situation of the 90,000 families sin encampments still remain without a solution, but is still being discussed and negotiated with the government. Consultation on behalf of our platform, therefore, is still insufficient to solve the needs of the rural workers in settlements. In this way, we will continue to remain alert and mobilized. If the accords have not been negotiated or the pending agenda does not advance, we will return to the streets. It is in this way that the national journey of the August 2009 struggles enters the history of the popular struggles: reaffirming that without people in the streets we cannot have agrarian reform. Without people in the streets, there are no victories for the workers. National Coordination of MST.