Brazil: Rural Organizations Maintain Continuity of Mobilizations After Unified Encampment

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The day mobilized 30,000 people in 14 states plus the Federal District, with land occupations, public buildings and marches held by a broad unity of the movements of the countryside.

With participation in 22nd Cry of the Excluded, the Unified Day of the People of the Countryside, Water and Forestry finished the activities of the unified encampment, held from September 5-7 in Brasilia. In all, the day mobilized 30,000 people in 14 states plus the Federal District, with occupations of land and public buildings and marches held by a broad unity of the popular movements of peasants.

“The situation of the threat to the rights of the peoples of the countryside, water and forests requires the construction of unity. All the achievements we get in the next period will be the esult of our unity. The order is follow mobilized until democracy is restored and guaranteed our rights, “says Alexandre Conceicao, a member of the Rural Workers Landless Movement.

According to Alessandra Lunas, the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers (CONTAG), the day of struggles was the beginning of the struggles that are yet to come. “We opened this encampment, showing the coupist government our unity and our ability to fight

nderson Amaro, from the national coordination of the Movement of Small Farmers, the day reinforced the unity in the countryside, “the day was essential to set the tone to the government that they will face. The unity is fundamental to make a front to show the loss of rights we are suffering. Only a solid coordination will bar this” emphasized Amaro.
The agrarian question is the main agenda of social movements that act in unity. Among the

claims, is the immediate settlement of over 120,000 families camped across the country, the repeal of the law that allows the indiscriminate sale of land to foreigners, the defense of the production of healthy food and transition to policies of agroecology.

“The government shows no intention of strengthening of family and peasant farming, as well as land reform. This points to the need for the next days of struggle to continue mobilize, firm, and imbued with a lot of grit and determination, so that we can effectively make sure that our demands are met,” said Mark Rochinski, general coordinator of Fetraf Brazil.

Another point deals with the development and infrastructure in the countryside, such as strengthening structural programs, technical assistance and other programs that guarantee the production of family and peasant farming.

Peasants march in Brasilia towards the Ministry of cities.
Photo: Bruno Pilon

The organizations also denounced the threat to social security and labor rights, the criminalization of social movements and especially the blow to democracy after the violation of the Brazilian Constitution by the National Congress and by country’s economic and political elite that led Michel Temer to the Presidency .

Permanent Mobilization

After the unified encampment in Brasilia, many states followed by deploying throughout the country. According to Kelli Mafort, of the MST national direction, the central agenda of claims remains the settlement of 120 thousand families camped across the country.

Mafort also stresses another agenda of struggle that is the access to the infrastructure in existing settlements.

“Our families are abandoned without infrastructure. The Multi-Year Plan (PPA) is completely stopped. There is also the civil action you want to delegitimize the struggle of families in encampments. Moreover, the de facto government of Michel Temer imposes the agenda of withdrawal rights of the peoples of the countryside. When we left the streets, under the tear gas bombs and police repression, we are fighting for our rights and resisting against the dictatorship imposed by this coup government,” says Kelli.

Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Alagoas, São Paulo and Minas Gerais following occupations in Incra. In the Ceará, workers occupied on the morning of Thursday (8) North Limoeiro Prefecture in Pernambuco were also conducted locking highways in the state.

Source: Da Página do MST

Occupations and roadblocks on the “Days of Unified Struggle of Rural Workers”

Protest in front of the Ministry of Planning

This week, popular movements, unions, and religious organizations who work in rural areas carried out the “Days of Unified Struggle of Rural Workers.” The days of struggle involved building occupations and blockade of roads — which started on Monday, Sept. 5, and ended on Thursday, Sept. 7. The organizations that convened this event are the Movement of Landless Workers (MST), the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), Peasant Women (MMC), the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), the Movement for Popular Sovereignty in Mining (MAM), and also the National Confederation of Farm Workers (Contag), the National Federation of Workers of Family Farming (Fefraf) and the Movement of Popular Peasants (MCP)

Unified actions started on Monday (Sept. 5) when more than two thousand people from popular movements linked to Via Campesina and other unions occupied the Ministry of Planning, in Brasilia (DF). Additionally, similar actions were held in Alagoas, Ceará, Rio Grande Do Sul, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraná, Espíritu Santo, Mato Grosso, Maranhão, São Paulo and Pernambuco, which hosted several acts, marches, and building occupations.

According to María Cazé, coordinator of the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), the goal of their actions is to defend democracy and resist the Parliamentary coup consummated last August 31 (link is external), after the voting in the Senate that separated Dilma Rousseff from the Presidency. The Movement of Small Farmers opposes to the cutting of rights, announced by the non-elected government of Michel Temer (PMDB) who, according to the militants, are “extremely serious,” not only for workers from rural areas but also for the progress of Brazil.

“For farmers, the threats about cutting the rights we conquered through our struggle was the last drop that has filled the cup.” We are occupying the Ministry because it’s the institution that sets and controls the budget for the policies that this government is promoting. We are going to take part in the planning issues that regard us,” said the leader.

As María affirmed, the organizations that participated in this event vindicate the immediate settlement of more than 120 thousand families who are camping all over Brazil, the revocation of the law which rules the selling of great land parcels to foreign capital since 2011 and the implementation of an agrarian policy that privileges the production of healthy food.

In addition to that, the small farmer’s movement criticized the reform of the Social Security system announced by the non-elected government, which propose the equalisation of the retirement age of men and women and between workers from the rural areas and from the city. They also demanded the restitution of the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA), shut down by Temer and relocated within the sphere of the Ministry of Social Development.

“The MDA is a symbol of the movement’s achievement after the Massacre of Eldorado de Carajás, in 1996, and it’s being brutally dismantled by this government,” she accused. Another demand in this days of struggle was the demarcation of the indigenous and quilombolas communities’ lands. Cléber Buzatto, executive secretary from the Missionary Indigenous Council (Conselho Indigenista Missionário, CIMI) told that more blockades are expected regarding this issue.

Mobilization in Curitiba

“Another risk is the change in the legislation to stop new ways of demarcations and to open indigenous lands to be invaded and exploited by other parties. This issue takes on greater relevance because of the situation of the country,” he explained. The CIMI also participated in the establishment of the meeting and the secretary affirmed that at least one representative of the indigenous people, especially the Guarani-Kiowa people, is expected.

“The parliamentary coup brought to power a government with a perspective of strengthening agribusiness, opposing the claims of farmers and indigenous people. Its unrestricted support to rural sectors, from the National Confederation of Agriculture (CNA) or the Agricultural Research Institute (IPA. It’s time to mobilize, even though there are risks of repression against the movements,” affirmed the secretary of the CIMI.

On Wednesday the organizations that participate in the “Days of Unified Struggle of Rural Workers” joined the activities held in the second edition of the Grito dos Excluídos (link is external) (Cry of the Outcasts). On September 7 the national holiday to commemorate the Independence of Brazil, several popular movements took to the streets to denounce exclusion and violence.

Photos of the Grito dos Excluídos Mobilization:

More Than 100,000 Protest Against Temer in São Paulo

By Rafael Tatemoto of Brasil de Fato
Over a hundred thousand people attended the protest against the Temer government on Sunday, September 4 on Paulista Avenue. The demonstration, organized as a united action by the Brazil Popular Front and People Without Fear, criticized the process of institutional breakdown in the country and the agenda to curtail rights announced by the PMDB.

Each of the fronts was formed by several social and people’s movements, trade unions, women’s, student and youth organizations.

The protesters began to gather in front of the MASP (São Paulo Museum of Art) and from there went to the Largo da Batata in the West Region of São Paulo.

The number of people who attended the event was announced by the organizers. The military police did not release estimate.

Struggle

The agenda of the protests was focused on criticism of Temer and his proposals.

“Who thinks [it] ended with the Senate vote is mistaken. The game just started, and will be decided on the streets,” said Guilherme Boulos, the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST), which also questioned the legitimacy of the president to decide the political future of the country.

For the entities present, the impeachment, in addition to being illegal, carries a content contrary to the interests of workers. “After the legal farce, the coup is revealed in the attempt to liquidate of all labor, pension and social rights, in addition to the attack on national sovereignty with the privatization of the pre-salt,” noted Julio Turra, National Executive of the CUT (United Workers Central).

The pre-salt (off shore oil) theme was also remembered by Cybele Oliveira, of the Oil Workers Union of São Paulo: “There are national and international interests in the coup. One is the pre-salt. We have the third largest reserves in the world. No one doubts the interest in oil in the Middle east, but here yes.”

Gilmar Mauro of the MST national coordination (Landless Workers Movement), points out that, from now on, “we will have permanent demonstrations. Several categories will make mobilizations, have strike of bank workers, have National Day of Struggle for Agrarian Reform. This Is building the possibility of a general strike,” he points out.

For the MST coordinator, “If the youth and popular movements are in the streets, if we can make a general strike, I have no doubt this will bring down the coup government of Temer” he declared.

Youth

The protest had a massive presence of young people. In addition to the slogans against Temer, the military police was also heavily criticized because of the repressive acts over the past week.

Members of the Popular Youth Uprising carried a banner in solidarity with the a militant of the movement, Deborah Fabri, who lost her left eye due to a bomb fragment.

“Police violence leaves the bodies of the youth with the marks of the coup,” lamented Barbara Pontes, of the Popular Youth Uprising. At various times, the protesters called for the demilitarization of the military police.

Along with young people, one could find older protesters, who compared the present moment in the country with the authoritarian context of the past.

“It’s another embodiment, but it is a democratic break, which means, as before, an attack on workers’ rights,” said Valter Bridge, 63, legal analyst.

Repression

At the end of the demonstration, when most people were beginning to disperse the Largo da Batata, the military police clashed with protesters.

Before the demonstration in São Paulo started, 27 people were arrested at two different points of the city. They were conducted to Deic (State Criminal Investigation Department). According to lawyers following the case, the police have not yet presented the reasons for the arrests were made, but said they went to the demonstration on Paulista Avenue.

Next Steps

On Wednesday (September 7), Independence Day, held in São Paulo, at Praça da Sé, the Cry of the Excluded. Already on Thursday (September 8), Brazil Popular Fronts and the People Without Fear organized another major event in the city, in Largo da Batata.

Edition: José Eduardo Bernardes

The Coup and Its Aftermath

The Friends of the MST brings you a series of articles the parliamentarian coup that removed President Dilma Rousseff from office and its aftermath.   We begin with the MST’s Statement:

MST Condemns the Coup: In a statement, the Movement states that the solution to the political, economic and social crisis we are experiencing is the unconditional defense of democracy. Read the Statement here.

Brazil’s Popular Front Rejects Coup: After the Senate’s voting on the impeachment against Dilma Rousseff, which put the last nail in the coffin of Brazilian democracy with 61 votes in favor of the impeachment and 20 against, the Popular Brazil Front, which gathers over 60 unions and popular movements, launched a communiqué rejecting the coup and supporting the overthrown President Dilma Rousseff. Read more here.

Temer Occupies the Presidential Seat Without the Popular Vote and Will Promote Budget Cuts and Privatizations: Read more here.

Coup in Brazil: The Farce Is Consummated, Now the Struggle Continues: Statement from Alba Movimientos on the Coup in Brazil

Out With Temer — Better Late Than Never By: João Pedro Stedile – The parliamentary/judicial/media coup was consummated after what seemed like a long episode of a soap opera whose ending was already known, because most of the actors had already being paid to play their role. Read more here.

Two days after impeachment, Temer government sanctions law authorizing fiscal pedaling – The new law authorizes the fiscal pedaling that was the  justification for Rousseff’s removal by the Senate on Wednesday (August 31). Read more here.

Major U.S. Labor, Human Rights, Environmental and Women’s Organizations Denounce “Legislative Coup” Against Brazilian President Dilma RousseffRead more here.

For more information on the background on the coup, please reference this page: The Political Situation in Brazil, which has links to numerous articles.
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