Via Campesina condemns the attacks against Brazilian Via Campesina and MST Leader, João Pedro Stedile

Via Campesina expresses its solidarity with João Pedro Stedile and with our Sisters and Brothers in the MST

(Harare, October 1, 2015) Once again, we see that the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the largest peasant farmer movement in Brazil, a founding organisation and active member of the Via Campesina, is the target of a campaign by Brazilian and transnational capital  to deter its historic struggle for popular agrarian reform and authentic political reform – a struggle which runs counter to the interests of agribusiness and the multinationals.

Once again, our comrade João Pedro Stedile of the MST, has been the target of attacks on the part of the conservative oligarchy that has ties to financial capital.

On September 22nd, in the Pinto Martins Airport in Fortaleza, Ceará, a group of trouble-makers hurled curses and insults at João Pedro Stedile, as he arrived to take part in a conference and in other union activities related to the struggle for popular agrarian reform.

This is the latest in a series of attacks against João Pedro Stedile on the part of extremist conservative sectors at the service of foreign capital. Some of these sectors are active in the conservative Brazilian Social Democratic Party (Partido Social Democracia Brasileña ), which, very recently, has been engaged in a campaign to impeach the Brazilian president. These rightist sectors have directed their class hatred towards the peasant farmers and the impoverished workers who are struggling for changes to the social structure, under the leadership of the MST.

Not very long ago, a member of the reactionary oligarchy circulated a leaflet accusing João Pedro Stedile of being a “traitor to his country” and inviting the general public to arrest him “dead or alive”. Paradoxically, the attacks against the MST are an indication of the growing strength of its struggle for popular land reform and for true political reform.

At the same time that it condemns these attacks and expresses its solidarity with João Pedro Stedile and the MST, the Via Campesina is urging its member organisations and its allies in the social and popular movements to mobilise in order to stop the attacks against João Pedro Stedile and the MST.

In principle, the mobilisation should take the form of widespread expressions of solidarity with the MST at this present moment. 

But in addition, we have to remain on the alert and to ready ourselves to carry out concrete actions, in the event that these attacks fail to stop or that they are intensified.

End the campaign being waged against the MST and its leaders by the extreme right and capitalist interests!

Globalize The Struggle! Globalize Hope! 

International Coordinating Commission (ICC)