Social Movements Take to the Streets in Struggle for Constitutional Referendum

Monday, July 7, 2014

On Monday July 7, various social movements like the MST, People's Uprising of Youth, Consulta Popular, the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), and the World March of Women (WMW) carried out actions and artistic events throughout the country on the National Day of Action for a Constitutional Referendum .

The actions, which were held in 14 states, aimed to draw the attention of society to the People's Referendum for a Sovereign and Exclusive Constitutuinal Assembly on the Political System, in which voting will take place in two months, from September 1 to 7.

Flyers, posters, paintings, street music, public lectures and small cultural occupations were some of the ways used by organizations to discuss the issue with society.

"By painting murals, putting up posters and making music, we are trying to educate the public about the importance of changing the current processes within the government," said Laryssa Sampaio, of the People's Uprising of Youth.

Since August 2013, more than 250 organizations, social movements, labor federations, and political parties have been putting together the People's Referendum as a tool to promote changes in the Brazilian political system. Currently, more than 600 committees have been established throughout the country.

Jaime Amorim,
from the national coordination of the MST, believes that "our representative system is broken. Political reform is needed to ensure that civil society has more influence over the decisions made by our political leaders. "

The vote
is scheduled to take place during the week of our national holiday and the intention is to collect 10 million votes throughout Brazil. It will ask only a single question: "Are you in favor of an exclusive and sovereign constituent assembly about the political system?"

For Diva Braga, of Consulta Popular, the struggle for the referendum is the most relevant campaign in constitutional terms since the campaign for Rights Now! “This is our priority for struggle right now because it brings civil society's participation into structural changes in the country”.

The actions happened in São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Pernambuco, Brasília, Bahia, Ceará, Paraná, Minas Gerais, Sergipe, Rio Grande do Norte, Mato Grosso do Sul e Mato Grosso.