This article originally appeared in Portuguese on the Brazilian Times website on June 9. Click on the US flag in the upper right part of that page for an English version.
A group made up of Brazilians, North Americans, Puerto Ricans and other nationalities who are part of the « Friends of the MST » (Landless Workers Movement), gathered on the morning of Thursday, June 8 in front of the Brazilian Consulate in Boston on Purchase Street with banners, calling for the departure of President Michel Temer.
In solidarity with the families of the victims of the slaughter in Belém do Pará in May, they put crosses on the ground with the names of the ten people who were part of the MST and were murdered in Santa Lucia, located in the city of Pau D’arco, in the southeast of Pará, during action of the Civil and Military Police.
During the action, a Boston police car was close to where the protesters were concentrated to ensure safety. They distributed flyers and many people passing by joined the action.
According to Puerto Rican activist Jovanna Garcia Soto, who is part of the Friends of the MST, they gathered in solidarity and to denounce the attacks, killings, and discrimination against the MST and also against other social movements fighting to defend land, their rights, and democracy in Brazil.
« After the coup, all those rights that were won with a lot of struggle were all erased. So here in the US, the Friends of the MST have a responsibility to talk about the situation happening in Brazil, the destruction of democracy. We are here in solidarity with the MST and the social movements in Brazil that are fighting and yelling ‘Temer out!’ and also fighting to have direct elections now, » says Jovanna.
According to the Pastoral Land Commission in 2016, 61 rural workers struggling for land were murdered. This year 36 rural workers, some of whom are part of the MST, have been murdered in Brazil.
« We’re talking about more than half of 2016, which was one of the worst years in murders in the history of Brazil. This is very important because we have to think that this will not stop now. This is a long-term struggle and we have to join forces to end this, » emphasizes Jovanna.
Read the original article on the Brazilian Times website. Click on the US flag in the upper right part of that page for an English version.