MST letter to the Brazilian people: For urgent changes! In defense of life and hope!

Lula Livre march towards Brasília. Photo: Luiz Fernando

From the MST web site

Anchored by the mistica of rebellion and imbued with peasant culture, the National Coordination of the MST, within the framework of our 37 years, met virtually from January 28 to 30, 2021, with about 1000 delegates from all over the country, with the goal of analyzing the national and international situation, deepening our study of the agrarian question, projecting Active Resistance and the ongoing building of People’s Agrarian Reform.

“We dream beyond ourselves” and dedicate our formulation and willingness to fight in solidarity with the relatives of the 222,666 people (officially) killed in the pandemic in Brazil. We understand that these deaths are not just caused by the virus but are the result of the logic of a world ruled by neoliberalism, where profit is put above life. And amidst bodies being asphyxiated, some 2,000 billionaires have increased their fortunes by $12 trillion. Just with the profits made by the ten richest people in the world in 2020, it would be possible to buy vaccine for everyone in the world.

But for ordinary people the crisis of capitalism has worsened. And it has cost the destruction of nature, jobs and income, and above all human lives! In Brazil, this scenario is deepening under the command of the Bolsonaro government, which has the worst pandemic management in the world. We are at the point where of the 100 million economically active Brazilians, 14 million are unemployed, 6 million discouraged and 40 million people are in the informal economy. There are 60 million Brazilians abandoned by the State, exposed to violence and hunger, worsened by the end of emergency aid and the high price of food. Bring Back Emergency Aid!!

Vaccinations are not guaranteed for everyone. And this is not just incompetence, it is a death project by those who despise the life of the Brazilian people! The situation in Manaus and other states, without oxygen, without doctors and supplies, is a state crime. We want to breathe! Vaccinations now!! Free and guaranteed health care for all! So it is urgent to repeal Constitutional Amendment 95, which imposed cuts to public health and education.

However, we know that it will not be guaranteed by the death project, and the Brazilian people have resisted. There are already 66 impeachment requests filed in Congress. We demand that the President of the Chamber of Deputies respect the popular will and put the impeachment to a vote. We will never forget the names of all the authorities who are silent or collaborate with the assassin in power. We are paying close attention and demand the return of Lula’s political rights. And we will not back down in the face of threats to break with democracy.

Removing Bolsonaro is urgent and necessary! We cannot wait! The people’s turn has come! 2021 brought a new political climate led by popular and left-wing forces, brought together by the Brazil Popular Front and People Without Fear, demonstrating that it is possible to combine health care with symbolic actions. From now on, we will not give up, we will return to the streets with our cars, bicycles, carts, and a lot of anger. We will continue to struggle in the month of February and in March we will be involved in the struggles of March 8.

Therefore, we call on the entire working class to organize the struggles:

  1. The fight for Vaccination Now! Bring Back Emergency Aid! Bolsonaro Out!
  2. We demand the overthrow of presidential vetoes to aid the people of the countryside!
  3. Opening schools is a crime. Classes can be recovered, lives cannot!
  4. Defend the Unified Health System and revoke Constitutional Amendment 95!

We are committed to organizing Bolsonaro Out in all the municipalities where we have encampments and settlements, carrying on dialogues with the people and defending life, producing healthy foods to ease the effects of the crisis with the people, such as 4 million kilos of food donated in 2020.

We will continue inspired by the example of Paulo Freire in his centenary and we will remain firm with his legacy, producing healthy food, planting trees, carrying out political education, organizing our training and work with our base and contributing to solidarity actions in urban slums along with other popular movements and partners in our struggle.

We reaffirm our solidarity with all the peoples struggling in the world and resisting the policies of neocolonialism, imperialism and increasing exclusion and forced migration. We are in solidarity with the people of the countryside, the waters and the forests in struggle! We join the fight against racism, against LGBTQ phobia and against patriarchy all over the world! We offer our solidarity to the peasants of India who have been fighting for several weeks.

We continue in Active Resistance in our territories, confronting the policies of dismantling agrarian reform and attempts to privatize land, against the handover of 25% of each municipality to foreign capital, the regularization of land grabbing and the appropriation of natural assets. We denounce the agribusiness and mining model as major culprits of the outbreak of pandemics for their model of destroying forests and biodiversity, and of animal production on an industrial scale. “Because struggling for us is doing what the people want to see accomplished”.

We will continue to unite in Brazil and at the international level with all the social and popular forces that want to build a society based on solidarity, equality and social justice. A socialist society!

Let’s go forward to the struggle with our banners!

Struggle, Build People’s Agrarian Reform!