IN THESE TIMES News » February 4, 2009 This Land Is Their Land The Landless Workers Movement claims a big victory in southern Brazil. By Michael Fox Members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST in Portuguese) marched to occupy the Southall farm in São Gabriel in southern Brazil on April 14, 2008. Share SÃO GABRIEL, BRAZIL—The three-day, 30-mile march stopped before the main gate. Hundreds of exhausted farmers from Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement (MST) fanned out along the fence. On the other side of the gate was the Southall Plantation, which for the last six years had been at the heart of a relentless struggle for land in southern Brazil.
Changing times for Brazil's landless By Gary Duffy BBC News, Sao Paulo state A small hut with a red flag flying above it marks the start of the Elizabeth Texeira camp in the heart of the countrys
In 1984, our country was going through an intense period of social struggles. A context of popular struggles for the end of the military dictatorship, with widespread mobilizations.
João Pedro Stedile In January 1984, there was a process of re-ascension of mass movements in Brazil. The working class was reorganizing, accumulating organic forces. Underground parties, such as the Brazilian Communist Party (PCB), the Communist Party of Brazil, etc., were in the streets. We had achieved a partial amnesty, but the majority of the exiles had returned. The Worker's Party (PT), the Central Workers' Union (CUT) were taking shape, as well as the National Congress of the Working Class (CONCLAT) promoted by the communists, which later merged into the CUT. Broad sectors of the Christian churches broadened their beaver-like efforts, to keep building consciousness and nucleos de base (1) in defense of the poor, inspired by liberation theology. There was enthusiasm everywhere, because the dictatorship was being defeated and the Brazilian working class was on the offense; fighting and organizing. The peasants in the countryside lived in that same climate, amidst the same offensive. Between 1979 and 1984 dozens of land occupations were carried out throughout the country. The posseiros (2), the landless, salaried country-dwellers, lost their fear. And they fought. They did not want to migrate to the cities like bullocks to the slaughterhouse (in the words of our dear Uruguayan poet Zitarroza). As the fruit of all that, we met in Cascabel, in January 1984, encouraged by the pastoral work of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), leaders of the land struggle in 16 Brazilian states. And there, after 5 days of debates, discussions, collective reflections, we founded the MST: the Landless Workers Movement.
Action will mark the launch of the Emergency Plan for Agrarian Reform, proposed by the Movement at the national level to face hunger and the economic crisis during the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
For months, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has insisted the coronavirus is not a serious threat. Beyond instituting a national lockdown in mid-March, his government has left 209 million Brazilians largely without federal help during the pandemic.
Food delivered to underserved areas comes from MST encampments and settlements
A task force took food produced in settlements and encampments to the outskirts of Goiânia. This has occurred in other regions of the country, such as Recife, where since March 24, homeless people have been given lunch boxes.
In addition, the movement's state directorate has guided solidarity campaigns in Recife, Caruaru and Petrolina
Free of transgenics and pesticides, the vegetables will be used to prepare lunch boxes for the needy population
Since the end of March, the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in partnership with other popular movements, non-governmental organizations, unions and other entities linked to the Brazil Popular Front have been distributing lunch boxes to the homeless in Recife (PE).
In addition to the solidarity actions that spread throughout Brazil, the president of Copavi emphasizes the decisive role of the state: "Many families are deprived of work, and will have no alternative but this urgent help from the state"