Letter to the people from the 5th MST National Congress

Monday 18 June 2007 by LRAN

We, 17,500 Landless rural workers from 24 states in Brazil, 181 international delegates representing 21 peasant organizations from and friends from several movements and organizations, met in Brazilia from June 10th to 15th, 2007, for the 5th MST National Congress too discuss and analyze the problems in our society to find alternative solutions.

We commit to go on helping in the organization of people, to be able to struggle for their rights and against inequalities and social injustices. And we commit to the following:

1. To network with all social sectors and their forms of organization in to build a popular project to confront neo-liberalism, imperialism and the structural causes of the problems that affect Brazilian people.

2. To defend our rights against any policy that tries to remove rights already conquered.

3. To struggle against privatizations of public patrimony, the transposition of Rio São Francisco and for the reestatization of public companies that have been privatized.

4. To struggle for all latifundios* to be expropriated with priority to those owned by foreign capital and banks.

5. To fight against the logging and burning of native forests for the expansion of latifundios.

6. To fight against transnational corporations that want to control seeds, Brazilian production and agricultural trade such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, Bungue, ADM, Nestlé, Basf, Bayer, Aracruz, Stora Enso, among others. To stop them from further exploiting our nature, our labour and our country.

7. Demand the end of slave labour, the super exploitation of labour and the punishment of the perpetrators. All latifundios that use any form of slave labour must be expropriated, without any compensation, as stated in the Amendment of the Constitutional Bill which was elected at first instance in the City Chamber.

8. To fight against all forms of violence in the countryside, as well as the crimilization of Social Movements. Demand punishment for the murderers - those who hired and the executors - of all those fighting for the Agrarian Reform, which go unpunished or their law suits are paralised in the Judiciary System.

9. To struggle to limit the size of land ownership. For the legal recognition of the historical rights of indigenous peoples and afro- descendents to their land.

10. To fight for the production of agri-fuels to be under control of peasants and rural workers, as part of the policulture, with environmental protection and seeking the energetic sovereignty of each region.

11. To defend native and creole seeds. To struggle against GMO seeds. Promote the practices of agro-ecology and agricultural techniques that respect the environment. Settlements and rural communities must give priority to produce foods without agro-chemicals for the internal market.

12. To defend fresh water springs fountains and reservoirs. Water is a common good from Nature and it belongs to humanity. It cannot be privatized by any corporation.

13. To preserve forests and promote the planting of native and fruit trees, in all settlement areas and rural communities, contributing for the environmental preservation and in the struggle against global warming.

14. To struggle for the working class to have access to basic, secondary and public higher education, of excellent quality and free.

15. To develop different ways of organizing campaigns and programmes to eradicate illiteracy in rural areas and in Brazilian society as whole, using transformative pedagogical guidelines.

16. Struggle for each settlement or community in the countryside to have their own popular media, such as, free community radio stations. Struggle for the democratization of all media in society contributing to create political awareness and the respect of popular culture.

17. To strengthen the network with rural social movements in Via Campesina Brazil, in all states and regions. To build alliances with all Social Movements and Popular Assemblies in counties, regions and states.

- 18. Contribute in the construction of all possible mechanisms for the popular integration in Latin-America, through ALBA - Bolivarian Alternative the Peoples of the Americas. Exercise INTERNATIONAL solidarity with people who suffer the aggressions of the empire, specially at the moment, the people in CUBA, HAITI, IRAQ and PALESTINE.

We call the Brazilian people to organize and struggle for a fair and igualitarian society, which will only be made possible with the mobilization of everyone. The great transformations are always the work of people organized. And, we from the MST, commit to never give up and always struggle.

*Latifundio - large land holding

AGRARIAN REFORM: For Social Justice and Popular Sovereignty!

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