Brazil’s Landless Movement Calls World to Action

The 5th World Social Forum, which took place between January 26th and 31st in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, gathered once again people from all over the world. There were 155 thousand people from 135 different countries.

The Via Campesina participated with nearly a thousand people from 40 countries and four continents. Latin American countries that sent representatives were Bolivia, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Brazil.

The forum started and finished with two big demonstrations. The opening demonstration’s main subject was the war in Iraq. Banners, flags and signs conveyed the disappointment caused by the Bush government. Support for the Iraqi people and to Palestinians was expressed throughout the week.

On the 27th, the Via Campesina donated water pumps to the Palestinian people. On the last day, the criticisms focused on the FTAA. During the meeting -and following the decision to decentralize the Forum- the organization confirmed that the 2006 American Continent Forum will be held in Venezuela. In 2007, the meeting will be again global and will take place in Africa.

We would like to share with you some parts of the final statements made by the social movements gathered in Porto Alegre:

In this same place, four years ago, the collective and global claim that another world is possible breached the lie that neoliberal domination was inevitable, as well as the normality of wars, social inequality, racism, casts, patriarchy, imperialism and the destruction of the environment.

Each year, the massive and plural participation in the World Social Forum gives us the possibility and responsibility to organize more and better campaigns and mobilizations to expand and strengthen our fights. The social movements’ ability to build common global actions already mobilized thousands of men and women for peace and against the invasion of Iraq.

Popular fights in defense of Nature, the rights of the peoples and the common properties, against privatization, like those held in Bolivia, Uruguay and other countries had shown the possibility to challenge the neoliberal domination. New spaces for political and social struggles were opened.

Aware that we have a long path ahead, we call all the social movements of the world and each of you to fight for peace, human, social and democracy rights, for the peoples’ right to self determination and for the immediate cancellation of the external debt of countries of the South.

We demand the end of the Iraq occupation. We demand that the United States stop threatening Iran, Venezuela and other countries. We call right now on the movements to join a global action on March 19 to demand the withdraw of troops from Iraq. No more wars!

We fight for the universal right to a healthy and sufficient nourishment. We fight for the right of the peoples, the nations and the peasants to produce their own food. We fight for the rights of the peoples, the nations and the peasants to produce their own food.

We reject transgenic products because they put our health and environment at risk, and because they are a tool for domination by five transnational companies. We also reject the patents on any form of life, especially on seeds, since with this they attempt to take over our resources and the associated knowledge.

We demand land reform as a way to guarantee the peasants’ access to land ownership, and that it be a guarantee to a healthy and sufficient nourishment. We support a sustainable way of production based on the conservation of natural resources and the promotion of ecologic and organic production.

We support the Palestinians’ fight for their national and fundamental rights, including the right to return to their land, based on the International Law and UN resolutions. And having their resistance as a model, we continue our fight. We will make our fight global, we will make our hope global.

Porto Alegre, January 31st, 2005.
Landless Workers Movement (MST)


  • Show Comments (7)

  • Paracielo

    I was hoping for an objective website on Brazilian enterprise and culture, and instead find all this anti-semitic sloganeering and dogmatic ranting.
    This kind of fuzzy thinking only hurts the causes you are espousing, because you end up only preaching to the choir, instead of converting objective
    There are undoubtedly kernels of truth in some of the assertions made above, but mankind is a nebulous creature who seeps into postures and ideas, and then back out of them. To see a coniving world dominating and coordinated thrust behind perceived ills is giving any branch of mankind too much credit.
    We are basically all a bunch who can’t shoot straight, and in the case of the above drivel, think straight.

  • Guest

    ok i will do my best continued:
    The Project for a New American Century was authored by Paul Wolfowitz during the Bush Sr. administration and immediately shelved due to it’s controversial nature. Wolfowitz seems to have borrowed the intellectual ideas contained in The Melian Dialogue by ancient Greek author Thucydidies. It basically states that as the sole remaining superpower, the U.S. task is to prevent any other potential rivals from ever gaining the strenth to threaten our primacy. It states that if a smaller weaker country has something we want or need, we should not hesitate to take it from them. In the case of Iraq, to name one example, the reason for invasion was never WMD’s or Baathist links to Al Qaeda. There were none and it seems everyone in the world knew it besides the American people. And we certainly did not invade to give the Iraqis democracy. We will never leave Iraq because we are now building 4 military bases there. we plan to stay.
    the reason we have anything to do with the middle east at all is the stragic importance of oil there. i promise to research this better but if memory serves we have military bases in Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and now Afghanistan ( conveniently located to protect the pipeline being built through the country.
    A lot of people against the war in Iraq say the U.S. is planning o steal the oil. i think that is ridiculous. But if you look at a map you see that we have a military presence in nearly every country in the region. No one else has this. we also have shown no qualms about exercising our military strength in the region and i don’t think there are any leaders there who would welcome the chance to go head to head with us. And, more importantly, potential rivals like China, Russia, and now Europe, have no military presence in the region. So what is it all for if not to steal the oil? it is to have our hand control the tap. Controlling the flow of oil gives us the ability to literally control the lifeblood of our rivals economies.
    From the standpoint presented in The Project for a New American Century the invasion of Iraq had a brutal and undeniable logic. The same sort of power logic one would find in prison. It’s not that it doesn’t make sense to me, but it hard to reconcile with the actions of a self proclaimed “Christian Nation”. If someone has anything else to add or has a differing viewpoint i would love to hear it. Thanks for your time.

  • Guest

    ok i will do my best
    i am not an educator nor have i ever been put in the position of trying to educate anyone. the opinions i have i generated through personal reading and not through systematic study so please bear with me as i try to explain my point of view.
    this is such a broad topic that I could really cover the globe in trying to point out examples in support of my opinion. i don’t think this is the forum for that kind of defense. what i would like to do is start with current Bush Administration foreign policy. For an incisive view into the Bush Administration mindset i would like to refer you to a document entitled The Project for a New American.

  • Guest

    OK So Educate Us
    Ok, So please educate us. Explain what you are talking about and back it up with facts.

  • Guest

    i am an american citizen. most of my countrymen are so misinformed by the corporate media that they have absolutely no idea what kind of fascist policies are furthered around the globe with their own tax dollars. i assure you that almost no one in the u.s. even realizes what role the u.s. played in the coup attempt in venezuela. since they don’t know anything they cannot understand what anyone could have against the u.s. i don’t believe that most americans would support our governments policy of world domination if they did learn about it either. i would like to take this opportunity to mention that people the world over share the same enemy: corporate control of government policy. my heart rejoices at mr. hugo chavez’ victory over the plotters and the victory the bolivian people had over bechtel and suez. corporations are the enemy of democracy the world over. sincerely john devos

  • Guest

    No More Wars?
    You demand the end to the US occupation in Iraq? The US has declared that it will leave as soon as the Iraqis can protect themselves and ask us to. Are you a fan of the terrorists or Saddam Hussein?
    No more wars, but you fight for free land you haven’t earned, government handouts, etc. Why don’t you try working and earning what you want instead of demanding and fighting for it. I too say… Get A Life.

  • Guest

    Good one, I DEMAND you get a life…

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