During the conference, internationalist initiatives in Germany in Tübingen in May I was able to hear the report of activists from the Brazilian Movement of Landless Workers (MST) and talk to them. MST - this is probably the largest social movement in the modern world. In its ranks are to date more than 1.5 million members, and it operates in 23 of the 26 Brazilian states, organizing clamps empty land to landless. The presentations movement largely successful: more than 350,000 families as a result were able to legally obtain land, almost 90,000 families are still waiting for formal recognition made their capture.
"Landless Workers Movement» (MST) - the most important social movement in Latin America, both in terms of participant and public sympathy, and because of its organizational stability and ability to bring to the fore the question of land policy, oppression and social justice.This struggle is more than any other move is directly aimed against the logic of exclusion (ie, against the disposal of workers from the society, from the process of production and reproduction), which seeks to implement neo-liberalism.While modern politics openly declare that they consider the inevitable marginalization of those who are not integrated into the society of professional labor, the Brazilian landless are fighting for their rights. They are not charity, not social programs, and social and political civil rights for all.
Undercurrent of a permanent organization of the rural population is, firstly, the uneven distribution of land and, secondly, the process of deindustrialization.The concentration of land in the hands of the landowners in Brazil is high as anywhere in the world. 50% of useful agricultural land owned 1% of the population, while the remaining 99% of the population share the remaining 50% of the land. At the same time, about 4.8 million families are looking for land. Many landowners do not cultivate their lands or use them extensively.
In the years 1970-1990. migrated to the city about 30 million Brazilians.All this time passed the rapid development of industry. Today in major cities in Brazil, as almost all the industrialized regions of the planet, an increase in structural unemployment. In the cities have grown huge blocks of poverty - "Favell". In these circumstances, part of Brazilian unemployed sees land seized the opportunity for survival.
The Brazilian Constitution of 1988 allows the government to confiscate the landed estates, which are used productively, and settle in these areas of landless peasants.However, appropriate measures are taken with great deliberation: too great is the power of the landlords. The policy aims to MST land occupation in order to increase pressure on the government and force it to actually carry out agrarian reform. MST was able to so far with short seizures ("occupation") or the creation of camps ("akampamentus") to achieve the legalization of 580 settlements, home to 100,000 households, manufacturing of 5 million hectares of useful agricultural land (to date, the number of families that have made the earth already exceeded 350 thousand! - approx.).Thus, managed to overcome hunger, which afflicts former landless. Great political importance is the fact that production in these settlements in 5 or 10 times the level that existed in the former latifundia and the average yield per hectare is higher than that of its neighbors.
The most important goal MST - a sufficiently large and suitable space for living and working on the ground and support them by changing agricultural policy.MST requires a profound agrarian reform, which, from his point of view, will only be stable and complete, when it is connected with the transformation of society. By this we mean not agrarianisation society, and based on the equality of the relationship between urban and rural regions. To achieve its goal of MST has resorted to a combination of direct action, negotiations with the authorities and the judicial process.The forms of direct action are the strategies, methods and tactics, known as civil disobedience and resistance.
In this struggle for more equitable distribution of land to the peasants is extremely tight. MST activists are subjected to violence by both landlords and repression by the state. According to official figures, between 1985 and 1997. in the village were killed at least 1000. The title of the international press came in 1996, the conflict in Eldorado dos Carajás in Pará in northern Brazil.There, April 17, 1996 police killed 19 landless peasants. Workers from the MST does not attack the landowners: their large numbers and tools are enough to frighten them. If the owners, the police or the army attacked the peasants, they defend themselves. Sometimes they even use a firearm (although rarely), but never start it first.
(The repression against the MST and continued in the 2000's. Speeches Brazilian landless often become violent in nature. Thus in 2002 members of the movement took over the estate of the then president's son and destroyed farm machinery, followed by 16 leaders were prosecuted.Attacked by the activists are not only uncultivated land ownership, but also ownership of large corporations - Agribusiness: plantations, environmentally harmful objects skotofermy and experimental centers. Often a blockade of highways and railways - approx.)
MST sees its task not only to otsporit ground.Particular attention is given to adult literacy, schooling of children and youth, vocational training and skills development in agriculture. MST practice of the organization of education in accordance with the concepts of the famous Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Along with health education and technical assistance is a necessary condition for any agrarian reform. (Much attention motion on environmental issues, developing plans for a new, "sustainable" farming on the land - approx.).
MST strives to implement an alternative model of agricultural life and work.It is in contradiction with the process of modernizing the past decades, which does not meet the most basic and socio-cultural needs of the rural population and has spared no ecological basis of life. Strategic issues related to the socio-political orientation of MST, - the forms of social production. "Akampamentus" - camps established by the MST in the struggle for land, organized as the most real of the commune in which everything belongs to everyone and is divided in accordance with the requirements and all decisions are made by the general meetings and elected their delegates, with clear instructions.Movement not only contains the captured land schools and literacy campaigns. It has established production and marketing cooperatives in 8 states and has in Southern Brazil and textile manufacturing company mate. In the state of Santa Catarina producer of dairy products covers half the needs of the district with a population of 50,000 inhabitants.Manual MST tries to stimulate the production method, based on comprehensive cooperation and self-government. But it is so far gone only a minority of new settlers, who legally obtained the land after the shares MST. Most still prefer to keep family business in connection with the help of a neighbor ("multirao") when processing fields and the use of machines. Therefore, MST must be considered a diverse movement for agrarian reform, in which the majority are still committed to social reform, but a minority - have a society of socialist government.
(One of the main problems of MST, with the anarchist point of view, is as follows.The movement en masse using the form communes in the struggle for land, but when its members are making their goals, they often return to the private land.Nevertheless, we must admit that "camp" landless organized largely on a libertarian basis, in something resembling the device communes in Aragon during the Spanish Revolution 1936 - 1937 years. The basic unit of motion - an autonomous "basic unit" consisting of 10-15 families living in the "camp" or in the settlement. Each cell shall elect two delegates (male and female) who represent it at the general meeting of the inhabitants of "camp" or settlement. Next, the delegates elected at regional meetings, and on them - members of the coordinating committees, state and national commissions.At the same time there is an association type of work performed - labor groups and teams. Thus, a federalist structure of the bottom - up.
Another problem of the Movement of Landless Workers - ideological. It largely prevents the transformation of MST in the mass militant movement of rural communes. The fact that it strongly influenced by "liberation theology" (the motion is supported in the circles of the Brazilian Catholic Church), as well as various gevaristov, kastristov, Maoists, fans Zapatista and other authoritarian.This often creates problems in the relationship between some activists and libertarian movement, which often prefer to work with more radical organizations, who quit MST.
Finally, we have to admit that the policy of alliances, which for many years held the leaders of the movement - it is officially independent of all political parties, but have often cooperated with the earlier opposition by the Labour Party PT and look forward to its support for land reform - much let him down.Members of the MST, with whom I spoke in Tübingen, was told that after coming to power Fri. their status has been facilitated, but worsened. According to them, President Lula openly collaborating with landowners, agribusiness and transnational corporations, agrarian reforms have actually stopped, but against the landless is a fierce campaign in the media. Continued and attacks by the landlords hired bands.And yet, despite the difficulties, the largest social movement in Latin America does not intend to give