[08-31-09] MST Informa #171: Information for our friends regarding the attack of the bourgeois media on the MST

We have demonstrated throughout the whole country and set up a pre-land occupation encampment in Brasilia in defence of Agrarian Reform, accomplishing important successes regarding solutions to the problems that agrarian workers have. The day of struggle brought about a series of fundamental measures granted by the government, even though we are still far from achieving Agrarian Reform and the consolidation of a new agricultural model. Moreover, it showed society and people in general, that only a well organised race and social struggle could guarantee success for the workers. The main government measure, announced during the course of the day, was that of updating the productivity rates which are used as legal frameworks for the dispossession of land for Agrarian Reform. The rural population, the agricultural industry and Brazil’s ruling classes have declared themselves against amending the rates and have turned to the media in order to pressure the government to abandon their new plan. We are waiting attentively to see what happens. If on the 3rd September, the date that the decree is expected to be published, the government fails to fulfil its promise, we are not going to take it lying down. Our successes have left many of those who only care for their own interests, their own patrimony and profits, and those who seek to exploit workers, nature and public resources, disgusted. It is in this context that various middle-class media outlets – the true spokespeople who defend capitalist interests in rural areas - like Revista Veja, Estado de S. Paulo, Correio Braziliense, Zero Hora and TV Bandeirantes, begin attacking the Movement in an attempt to make the progressive measures achieved through the struggle unfeasible. There is no shadow of a doubt as to the political orientation and ideology of these media outlets, which form part of the ruling classes and defend capitalist, agro-commercial, banks and land owners’ interests, turning their back on the structural problems of society and the difficulties encountered by the Brazilian race. In their desperation they attempt to revive old theories about how the movement lives off public money. As a matter of fact, these attacks come from the very businesses which live off propaganda and public resources and which are suspected of having unfair advantages at auctions in Sao Paulo like the Editora Abril. Furthermore, we would like to clarify to our friends, who always provide us with support and help, that we have never received any public money for our land occupations, protests or marches. All our protests are carried out with the financial support from families who are in pre-land occupation encampments, those who are settled, and also from the solidarity of citizens and organizations from civil society. We are also very proud of the help we receive from international organizations who help us in specific projects and who we keep fully informed about the results. All the funds which we receive from overseas go through the Banco Central because we have nothing to hide. With regard to the hundreds of organizations throughout the country that participate in the settlements for Agrarian Reform, we defend the legitimacy of the agreements made with the government and we believe in the work that is carried out there. These organizations are properly authorised, inspected and even suffer political persecution at the hands of the TCU (Brazilian Court of Audit) currently controlled by members of the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) and the DEM (Democrats). They develop projects in rural settlements which seek to provide technical assistance, literacy for adults, training, education and health care, which constitute a right for the settled workers and a duty for the state, in agreement with the constitution. We are not surprised by the behaviour of the media. Attacks against the Movement are dated and stem from a hatred harboured by the most radical sectors of the dominant classes, who are against workers who organise themselves and fight for their rights. We will continue with our mobilizations because only collective pressure will guarantee progress in the struggle for Agrarian Reform and workers’ rights, irrespective of the wishes of the ruling classes and their media outlets. MST National Secretariat