Agrarian Reform

[04/19/08] International Day of Peasant Struggle - Rural Landless Step up Campaign in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Rural landless workers in Brazil stepped up their campaign for agricultural reform Thursday by holding several demonstrations and occupying a hydroelectric plant and freeway toll stations, their organization said. The protests were part of the Landless Farmworkers Movement's "Red April" operation to force the government to give them land grants and easier access to public loans for some 150,000 dispossessed families living in shantytowns around the country. Demonstrations took place in the states of Ceara, Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, Paraiba and Para.

[03/07/08] MST Mobilizes Against Police Violence, in Solidarity with Via Campesina Activists

Stora Enso's Brazilian Imbroglio by Maurna Desmond, Forbes.com Paper maker Stora Enso is catching heat from activists in Brazil who recently invaded its factory and blocked major roads. The Finnish-Swedish company wants to plant roots in South America, but the locals haven't been very welcoming. On Wednesday, Brazilian land rights group Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) blocked eight roads in the Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil to protest alleged police violence against peaceful and predominantly female activists a day earlier. MST says 900 protesters had invaded the 5200-acre Stora Enso tree farm. Police authorities report a head count of 600. The firm's stock has remained at $12.40 all day Thursday.

[01/27/08] Interview with Joao Pedro Stédile: ‘The WSF Has to Agree On Common Actions Against Common Enemies’

RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 24 (IPS) - Joao Pedro Stédile thinks that the World Social Forum (WSF) should remain a debating arena for civil society, because with all its breadth and variety, to attempt to agree on resolutions is "an illusion." The Brazilian landless movement activist is also in favour of holding the WSF every three years, instead of annually, he said in an interview with IPS correspondent Mario Osava. A member of the group that founded the WSF in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre in 2001, Stédile is regarded as one of the main theorists of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), and he belongs to the local chapter of Vía Campesina, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO).

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