“Hands off the MST Brazil!” say South African social movements
7 August 2008
To the poor of the world, to all people of good will who work for progressive change
We, the landless and homeless people and associated activists of South Africa, decry the secret campaign by the so-called Workers’ Party (PT) government of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul to criminalise, outlaw and otherwise illegitimately harass our landless comrades of the MST.
Under PT governance, Rio Grande do Sul has made substantial sums of money off hosting four World Social Forums – and yet that same government is now cynically using its militarised police forces to wage a clandestine war against Brazil’s most important, poor-driven social movement.
Even the worn-out old statist Left has tiptoed quietly away from its earlier support of the government of Lula (“Squid”) da Silva as his supposedly liberating regime has extended its tentacles into all areas of Brazilian life, from throttling the growth of free trade unions, to extending university exclusions, now to moving against the poorest of the poor.
Tarring-and-feathering the MST as “terrorist” is a despicable tactic more worthy of George W Bush and his henchmen – as Da Silva is now revealed to be. We demand the unilateral cessation of hostilities, plots and illegal actions by the PT, and if not, call on the peoples of the world to resist with all their might their actions, to picket their embassies and boycott their products.
1) Maureen Mnisi, Gauteng leader, Landless People’s Movement
2) S’bu Zikode, Kennedy Road Development Committee, Abahlali baseMjondolo
3) Michael Schmidt, International Secretary, Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, delegate to First Encounter of Latin American Autonomous Popular Organisations (ELAOPA), Rio Grande do Sul, 2003