Agencia Brasil, 04/18/2012
The Landless Rural Worker Movement (“MST”) has been demonstrating since the beginning of the month, demanding land reform and commemorating the massacre of 21 rural workers 16 years ago. This is part of the MST’s annual Red April (“abril vermelho”), a month of protests that is used to pressure the government to address their demands. The MST Red April movement usually includes invasions of rural properties, marches, blocking of highways, protests in front of courthouses and the occupation of government buildings.
In Rio they marched to the headquarters of the National Institute of Settlement and Land Reform (“Incra”) and blocked some main avenues in the city center. One of the MST spokepersons declared that the problem is that in Brazil there are families that have been waiting ten years for the government to give them a lot so they can make a living farming.
In São Paulo, yesterday, April 17, the anniversary of the Carajás massacre, MST protesters closed a number of highways for 21 minutes in honor of the 21 landless workers who were killed. Demonstrations were also planned for the center of the city, in front of a central courthouse (“Tribunal de Justiça, na Praça João Mendes”).