The Landless Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil is a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas. With an estimated 1.5 million members, the movement has led more than 2,500 land occupations, with about 370,000 families – families that today settled on 7.5 million hectares of land that they won as a result of the occupations. Through their organizing, these families continue to push for schools, credit for agricultural production and cooperatives, and access to health care. The MST issued the following statement in support of the Palestinian people on July 14:
Landless Workers Movement (MST) – Brazil: The Palestinian People have the right to Resist and Fight against the Israeli Occupation
São Paulo, Brazil, July 14, 2014.
A new Israeli military offensive has resulted in hundreds of deaths and arrests in occupied Palestine. In the West Bank, in Gaza, in Jersualem and in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, what we see is more violence and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by the Government of Israel. Thousands of civilians are killed, wounded and arrested during Israeli military operations. Now Israel is threatening to invade Gaza on the ground again. Every attack on Gaza has resulted in bombings of homes, schools, hospitals, offices of Palestinian political and social organizations and of humanitarian support, use of white phosphorus bombs, weapons with ammunition made from depleted uranium and incendiary bombs that resemble the napalm used by the USA in the Vietnam war.
In the face of this Zionist-colonialist aggression, what is left to the Palestinian people is to continue the struggle and popular resistance for peace, justice and national liberation. The origin of the conflict is the occupation of the Palestinian lands by Israeli colonialism. The end of the Israeli occupation is the only solution to ensure a just and lasting peace in the region. Today, the Palestinian people have the courage and defiance of those who live under the Israeli occupation, and with the international solidarity of people, organizations and Governments, together, form a powerful movement of rejection against the injustices practiced by Israel.
The Landless Workers Movement-MST is and will always be at the side of those who fight for justice and dignity. And in this struggle, we stand together with the Palestinian people and their legitimate organizations, that through their resistance confronting the oppressor, light the path that will result in the freedom of the people and the land. The MST will stand with various organizations of the Brazilian people in the struggle for a free, sovereign and independent Palestine. Also we call upon our sister organizations which are part of the Via Campesina to participate actively in struggling in solidarity with this heroic people who are for us an example of dignity, boldness and courage.
The Brazilian people are in the fight alongside the Palestinian people.
FREE PALESTINE NOW!!!
END THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION!!!
FREE THE PALESTINIAN HOMELAND, VENCEREMOS!!!
NATIONAL DIRECTION OF THE LANDLESS WORKERS MOVEMENT – MST BRAZIL
Cartoon by Carlos Latuff (part of a series of cartoons illustrating solidarity between Palestinian and other international social justice and liberation movements):