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MST

Challenging the globalisation of indifference: Pope Francis meets with popular movements

The author, Judith Marshall, meets Pope Francis.

By Judith Marshall

November 21, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- I have recently returned from three fascinating days in Rome where I participated in a World Meeting of Popular Movements. This event brought to the Vatican a throng of articulate delegates from among the poor and excluded of the 21st Century, people fighting for land, for housing, for work and for dignity. Pope Francis was a central force in creating this gathering in Rome. Our meeting with him in the Old Synod Hall of the Basilica was a high point.

The meeting brought together 150 delegates. Thirty of them were Bishops from various parts of the world whose ministries include strong accompaniment and support for movements of the poor. The other 120 came from various popular movements working on the thematic issues of the meeting – Terra, Labor, Domus. Men and women fighting for land, work and housing were present from every continent. In a statement from the organisers, the logic was clear.

'Não nos representam!' A left beyond the Workers Party?

Doesn't represent us

Activists discuss plan for free transit at the occupied municipal chambers. Bottom picture: outside the walls of the municipal chambers, “Não Nos Representam!” (Doesn't represent us).

[For more on Brazil, click HERE.]

By Manuel Larrabure

July 18, 2013 -- The Bullet -- It started as a good idea. Rather than taking the path of the old Latin American left, in the form of the guerrilla movement, or the Stalinist party, Brazil's Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT), aided by strong union and social movements, decided to try something new. The challenge was to somehow combine the institutions of liberal democracy with popular participation by communities and movements.

Brazil: 'Anti-capitalist left must contribute to the development of the movement' -- PSOL


More at The Real News

July 1, 2013 -- Real New Network -- Brazilian protesters force compromise for improvements in public services. President Dilma Rousseff conceded many of the demonstrators' demands, and called for a national compromise to improve public services, by investing 100% of Brazil Oil revenues in education and health care.

[For more on Brazil, click HERE.]

International Viewpoint -- This interview with João Machado was conducted by Juan Tortosa of the Swiss journal SolidaritéS on June 23 and June 27, 2013. João Machado is a member of the leadership of the Party of Socialism and Freedom (PSOL) and of the Enlace current within it.

* * *

Brazil: João Pedro Stédile of the MST: 'We are in the midst of an ideological battle'

[For more on Brazil, click HERE.]

João Pedro Stédile Interviewed by Brasil de Fato, translated for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Federico Fuentes

June 24, 2013 -- Brasil de Fato -- It is time for the government to ally itself with the people or pay the price in the future. This is one of the evaluations of João Pedro Stedile, national coordinator of the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) on the recent mobilisations across the country.

According to Stédile, there is an urban crisis installed in Brazilian cities, provoked by the current stage of financial capitalism. “For people, large cities have becoming a living hell where they lose three or four hours a day in transit, which they could instead be using to spend with their family, studying or participating in cultural activities”, he says. For the MST leader, reducing public transport fare prices was of great interest to all the people and this was what the Free Fare Movement got right by calling for mobilisation on behalf of the interests of the people.

Open letter to President Dilma Rousseff from Brazil’s social movements; A succinct report from the MST

In the midst of the largest street demonstrations Brazil has seen in decades, some of the country’s most important social movements – including the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), the Unified Workers’ Central (CUT) and the National Union of Students (UNE) – sent the following open letter to Brazi’s president Dilma Rousseff on June 20, 2013. Translated by Federico Fuentes.

* * *

This week, Brazil has witnessed mobilisations across 15 capital cities and hundreds of other cities. We are in agreement with the statements coming out of these protests, which affirm the importance of these mobilisations for Brazilian democracy, because we are conscious of the fact that the changes we need in this country will come through popular mobilisation.

I movimenti sociali dell’America Latina delineano la solidarietà con l’alleanza ALBA

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3361.]

Di Federico Fuentes

28 maggio 2013 -- Znetitaly.altervista.org -- Un importante vertice di significato mondiale, svoltosi in Brasile dal 16 al 20 maggio, è passato in gran parte inosservato dalla maggior parte degli organi di stampa, comprese molte fonti di sinistra e progressiste.

Questo vertice non è stato del solito tipo, che coinvolge capi di stato e capitani di industria.

E’ stato invece un raduno di rappresentanti di movimenti sociali di tutta l’America Latina e dei Caraibi – luogo della maggior parte delle lotte e delle ribellioni popolari dei recenti decenni.

Questa regione rimane anche l’unica dove è comparsa un’alternativa al capitalismo neoliberale a mandare avanti questa alternativa è l’Alleanza Bolivariana dei Popoli della Nostra America (ALBA). Capeggiata dai governi liberali di Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador e Cuba, annovera 8 stati membri, ma cerca di rapportarsi con i movimenti popolari, non soltanto con i governi.

Latin America: Social movements map solidarity with ALBA alliance

By Federico Fuentes

May 27, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- An important summit of global significance, held in Brazil on May 16-20, 2013, has largely passed below the radar of most media outlets, including many left and progressive sources.

This summit was not the usual type, involving heads of states and business leaders. Instead, it was a gathering of social movement representatives from across Latin America and the Caribbean -- the site of some of the most intense struggles and popular rebellions of the past few decades.

This region also remains the only one where an alternative to neoliberal capitalism has emerged. Pushing this alternative is the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA). Spearheaded by the radical governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba, it has eight member states, but seeks to relate to people's movements, not just governments.

'Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions': compelling contribution to our understanding of the 'pink tide'

Latin America’s Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Socialism
By Roger Burbach, Michael Fox and Federico Fuentes
Fernwood Publishing and Zed Books, 2013. Order Here

Review by Richard Fidler

March 11, 2013 -- Climate & Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Latin America was the first region targeted by the neoliberal phase of capitalism, and it suffered some of its worst consequences. But it is in Latin America that neoliberalism has been most contested in recent years by new social movements of landless peasants, Indigenous communities and urban unemployed.

In a number of countries, this powerful democratic ferment has led to the election of anti-neoliberal, anti-imperialist governments — a process that started with the initial electoral victory of Hugo Chávez Frias in the late 1990s.

Nature’s matrix: Linking agriculture, conservation and food sovereignty

Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty
By Ivette Perfecto, John Vandermeer, and Angus Wright
Earthscan, 2009

Review by Ian Angus

October 17, 2012 -- Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In any discussion of biodiversity and species extinction, someone usually insists that overpopulation is the problem. More people equals more farms equals less wilderness equals more extinctions. Life is a zero-sum game: you can have people and farming OR wildlife and biodiversity, but not both.

The state, social movements and revolution in Latin America

By Federico Fuentes

November 28, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- It should come as no surprise that Latin America, a region converted into a laboratory for ongoing experiments in social change, has increasingly become the topic of discussion and debate among the broader left.

Latin America has not only dealt blows to imperialism but also raised the banner of socialism on a global scale. It is of strategic importance for those fighting for a better world, especially at a time when capitalism is in systemic crisis.

Latin America’s landscape of powerful social movements, left governments of various shades, revolutionary insurrections, and growing expressions of indigenous resistance and worker control, provides a perfect scenario for leftists to learn about, and debate, revolutionary strategy and tactics.

This should not simply be an academic debate. It should look at how to best build solidarity with these movements for change and gain insight for struggles at home.

Of late, burning dispute has opened up, mostly among those writing from an anti-capitalist orientation: a debate over the complex relationship, or “dance” as Ben Dangl calls it, between social movements and states in Latin America.

Brazil: Landless Workers' Movement marks 25th anniversary, announces `new phase' in struggle

Joao Pedro Stedile addresses the January 24, 2009, national meeting of Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement, marking the MST's 25th anniversary. Stedile is co-founder of the MST. Below the videos Michael Fox reports on the MST's ``new phase'' in the agrarian reform struggle, against Brazil's mainly US-owned agro-industry.

Part 1

Stuffed and Starved: `Snapping' the power of agribusiness

Review by Leo Zeilig

Stuffed and Starved, by Raj Patel, Black Inc., 2007

At the end of the 19th century huge areas of the globe where violently incorporated into the world market. Whole regions that had for generations been farmed for local consumption were transformed for the production of cash crops. In captured and occupied lands new food crops were introduced that had little or no local nutritional use: ground nuts (peanuts) in what is now Senegal and Nigeria, cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire, cotton and rubber production across thousands of square kilometres of Central Africa.

Leo Panitch on movements, debates and struggles in Latin America

July 17, 2008 -- A report by Leo Panitch on an international seminar organised by the Brazilian Landless People's Movement (MST). Bringing together key ``organic'' intellectuals from the continent, the meeting discussed the advances and contradictions of the rise of the left movement across Latin America, one that seeks to change society by taking power. Leo Panitch is editor of Socialist Register. The meeting was sponsored by the Socialist Project in Canada.

 

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