In the year of elections and the FIFA World Cup, the country that aims to be a global military and energy power must face the challenges of popular sectors, who demand inclusion and access to the same goods and rights enjoyed by half of Brazilians.
“In the community you can’t tell that the military dictatorship is over,” Marisa Viegas, a lawyer with Justiça Global, one of the human rights groups that brought the complaints, told IPS. “The military continue to use repression against the local residents, who are unable to achieve minimal living conditions.”
For activists with the Popular Committee for the World Cup, the Pan American Games were a watershed as it revealed the Brazilian government’s inability to manage public funds in a democratic and transparent manner, or to open a space for effective dialogue with civil society on the legacy of the Games (Comitê Popular da Copa e Olimpiadas do Rio de Janeiro, 2012). For the social movement, the games were an opportunity to create a broad and stable coordination that could bring people together, overcoming localism and fragmentation.
In this analysis, I would like to address the new forms of protest, organization, and mobilization from a social movement perspective. These new forms emerged within small activist groups composed mainly of young people that began organizing in 2003, the year Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took government. These new social movements are key to the June mobilizations because of their ability to organize beyond their local scene, to involve the broadest sectors of society in the struggle, and to employ forms of action and organization that sets them apart from the groups that went before them.
Hundreds of indigenous peoples representing Brazil’s native communities converged on government buildings in the nation’s capital yesterday to decry unprecedented and growing attacks on their constitutional rights and territories. The historic mobilization coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding of Brazil’s constitution with its groundbreaking affirmation of indigenous rights and aims to preserve these rights in the face of powerful economic interests behind a spate of pending laws seeking access to resources on native territories.
Throwing diplomatic protocol to the winds, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a blistering attack on the United States for illegally infiltrating its communications network, surreptitiously intercepting phone calls, and breaking into the Brazilian Mission to the United Nations. […]
The swarm, without a queen bee, is now in the middle of an “ideological tug-of-war,” according to João Pedro Stédile, leader of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST – Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) which is now joining the protests.“Since young people do not have a mass organisation, the social classes have begun an ideological debate. They dispute the young people’s ideas in order to influence them,” said Stédile.
Emerging as a complete surprise, the wave of massive demonstrations Brazil has been experiencing is undoubtedly the most serious movement of popular protests in the country since the dictatorship years.
João Pedro Stédile, co-founder and co-coordinator of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil gave the following talk to hundreds of Haitian farmers at the 40th anniversary assembly of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP). […]
Peasants and human rights defenders in Brazil are indignant over the acquittal of the man accused of ordering the May 2011 murders of two prominent Amazon activists, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espírito Santo. When the sentences were read out, activists and rural workers burned crosses and threw stones at the courthouse windows.