Brazil: Social movements pledge greater mobilisations

Issue 

Leaders from the Landless Peasants' Movement (MST) and the Homeless Workers' Movement (MTST), powerful social movements in Brazil, have declared their intentions to increase their mobilisations this coming year in the afermath of the presidential elections.

The Workers' Party (PT) candidate and incumbent Dilma Rousseff won the second round of Brazil's presidential elections on October 26 with 51.6% of the vote.

The pledge for greater mobilisation is in sharp contrast to the decisions of these movements to suspend political actions after the first PT government was elected in 2002.

Both groups did not support a candidate in the first round of presidential elections this year. In the second round, they backed Dilma against her right-wing opponent — Aecio Neves of the Social Democratic Party of Brazil (PSDB) — on the grounds that Neves represented a return to harsh neoliberal policies that would not favour the working class.

In an interview with the newspaper Valor, MST leader Gilmar Mauro said that the PT approach of pushing economic growth in which it claimed “both the workers and bosses win” was no longer credible.

Mauro said: “The next government will have to choose who is going to lose and we need to fight so that it won't be the workers.”

Social movement leaders acknowledge that many of the PT's social reforms and programs have been beneficial. They say the changes, however, have not gone far enough. The MST continues to demand agrarian reform.

Many social movements also carried out a successful plebiscite calling on the government to organise a constituent assembly to start the process of a total reform of the political system in Brazil.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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