Leo Xaiver Speaking on Brazil's Landless Workers Movement (MST)

Published Christine Pierre-Lys - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 4:06pm

Leo Xavier is a militant with the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST - Landless Workers Movement) in Brazil.  The MST is a super powerful, globally well-respected movement of landless peoples in Brazil that organize families to occupy land for agrarian reform.  The land belongs to those who work it - right?!!  They have hundreds of thousands of members/militants throughout Brazil.  I have heard stories of them organizing hundreds of families to occupy land, set up encampments, and work collectively toward the goal of legally being given rights to the land and becoming a settlement.  Can you believe that?  We could never imagine such land takeover in the US!  Campesin@ Power!!!! They are have deep commitment to agroecology and political education, help to establish cooperatives, and operate through collectives.  We have so much to learn from them!  Leo is happy for the opportunity to share his knowledge and the experiences of MST, as he learns to understand more the political realities in the U.S., especially the struggles of the farmworkers, who are also landless workers. 

What is the MST?

Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) in Portuguese, is a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.

The MST was born through a process of occupying latifundios (large landed estates) and became a national movement in 1984.  Over more than two decades , the movement has led more than 2,500 land occupations, with about 370,000 families - families that today are settled on 7.5 million hectares of land that they won as a result of the occupations. Through their organizing, these families continue to push for schools, credit for agricultural production and cooperatives, and access to health care.

Currently, there are approximately 900 encampment holding 150,000 landless families in Brazil.  Those camped, as well as those already settled, remain mobilized, ready to exercise their full citizenship, by fighting for the realization of their political, social economic, environmental and cultural rights.

Cost: 
$3-10 Sliding Scale
When:
Tue, 03/08/2016 - 7:00pm
Cost: 
$3-10 Sliding Scale