LAND & RURAL MOVEMENTS
LAND & RURAL MOVEMENTS
The Land & Rural Movements working group exists to lift up stories of strength and struggle of Brazil's rural movements. These movements of peasants, Quilombola and traditional communities have inspired social movements around the world. Peasant movements lead occupations of unproductive land to make it productive, gaining legal title, building communities, schools and cooperatives, advocating for public policies that support peasant families, and growing healthy food to feed themselves and the public. Quilombola movements organize rural Afro-descendant communities to win recognition of their ancestral territories and defend their spiritual and cultural traditions. Traditional communities organize for their right to continue living as they have, in healthy relationship with the environment - collecting babaçu coconuts, fishing, and living from the forests. Rural movements also resist the construction of mega-dams that threaten to flood their homes, displacing families and destroying the environment. They organize families to get compensation and restitution in cases where they have been displaced by dams or by dam collapses that resulted in catastrophic human and environmental disasters.
While significant gains have been made over the years, these movements have faced ongoing threats, attacks and assassinations. With the election of Bolsonaro, the attacks on rural movements have severely intensified. Bolsonaro has openly called for the criminalization of the Landless Workers Movement/ Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), the biggest and strongest rural movement in Latin America, and he has said that not a centimeter more should be demarcated as Indigenous or Quilombola territory. He has handed over Brazil's natural resources to business interests, condoning the destruction of the Cerrado and the Amazon to enrich large land owners, corporations and illegal industries, with no regard for the communities that have always lived there and the environment that we all depend on.
The Land & Rural Movements working group stands in solidarity with these movements, drawing inspiration from their strength and creativity, particularly in this challenging moment. On this page you will find links to news feeds and articles from the movements and calls to action for ways you can support and be in solidarity with them.