MAB participates in the 3rd Meeting of Minas Gerais’ Social Movements
Published in Portuguese on Tuesday, 03/05/2011 - 11:33
The closure of the 3rd Meeting of Minas Gerais’ Social Movements this Monday (2) with a march through Belo Horizonte. Participating the meeting are around 1200 people of several social movements, among them MAB. MST, MPA, CPT, CP, students’ organizations, and also trade unions.
The walk began at the Legislative assembly, gathering place, and headed to Praça Sete, where there was a political act for the 1st May.
The meeting started on Saturday, at the hall of the Legislative Assembly in Belo Horizonte. The aim of the activity was to discuss a policy for popular housing and to denounce the arbitrary evictions announced by the City Hall of Belo Horizonte. To defend broader and free child education, an effective policy for Land Reform and a reduction in the public fees, especially energy, gas, water and public transport fees.
The meeting’s watchword is “Libertas quae sera tamen (Liberty even though late), we will fight together against Anastasia”, referring to Minas Gerais’ governor Antonio Anastasia.
At the meeting’s opening there were several representants of the present movements. “Our meeting is linked to a lot of blood of workers, there are governments who are mean. We need to stir up the class struggle. Minas doesn’t need shock, we want health, education and a popular project”, said Soniamara Maranho, of the National superintendence of MAB.
João Paulo, of the national coordination of the MST, and Sergio Miranda, former congressman. They were debating the conjuncture analysis. The meeting’s activities continued till May 2nd.
The first Meeting of Minas Gerais’ Social Movements was in 2006 and the second meeting in 2007.
Occupation of IPSEMG
On Monday morning, the Popular Brigades, who also participated in the meeting occupied a building of the Institute for Social Security of the workers of the State of Minas Gerais (IPSEMG) located at the Praça da Liberdade. The movement, which fights for housing, denounces that the state government tried to sell the building at an extremely low price so it could be turned into a luxury hotel. According to the Brigades, the bidding process was irregular, with only one consortium participating.
“The hotel chain of entrepreneur Fazano, a friend of Aécio Neves (important politician of Minas Gerais), would pay at least R$15 thousand to use the valuable property of IPSEMG for 35 years, indefinitely extendable. This is a crime against public estate and against the people of Minas”, says a comment published by the movement that joined the walk after the occupation.
Mining and human rights
On Friday May 29th the MAB participated in a hearing about mining and human rights, organized by the Human Rights Committee of the Chamber of Minas Gerais.
Chaired by state deputy Durval Ângelo, at the hearing there were authorities such as the state deputy Rogério Correia and congressman Padre João. The comrades present at the 2nd International Meeting of the Affected by Vale, which ended this Friday, also in Belo Horizonte.
Moises Borges, of the state superintendence of MAB, participated in the panel to denounce the mining and companies associated with energy for the truculent way they treat the affected communities. The MAB demanded a public policy which guarantees and suits the families’ rights and defended a new project of society in which natural resources are at service of the people’s sovereignty.
According to Moises “mining is part of the contemporary Brazilian energetic model and should be debated so as to build a popular energy project.”
Political acts and walk
The affected by dams of Minas Gerais arrived in Belo Horizonte on Wednesday the 28th, after a three days walk through the state and incorporated with the MST’s camping and the Popular Brigades on the Legislative Assembly’s square.
On that day the social movements participated in an act at the Sete de Setembro square, together with labor unions on the occasion of the Global Day of Memory to the victims of Work Accidents. According to the Electrician’s Syndicate, every 45 days a worker dies victim of a work accident in the Energy Company of Minas Gerais (Cemig), the company which operates in the areas of generation, transmission , distribution and marketing of electric energy in Minas Gerais.
In the afternoon, the MAB and the MST held an act in front of Minas Gerais’ government’s head office. A committee of eleven representatives of the movements were receptioned by the governor, Antonio Anastasia. The MAB handed in a document denouncing cases of human rights violation in the construction of dams in the state. Among the seven dams under investigated by the Special Committee of “Affected by Dams”, created by the Council of the Human Person’s Rights (CDDPH), among the cases of violation of human rights, three are in the state, the HPP Aimorés and the PCH’s Fumaça and Emboque.
The MST denounces the stagnation of land reform in the state and the frequent evictions applied against the families. According to the movement, this year, the Military Police has already done six evictions. In 2010, there were 17.
The MAB’s march started Monday the 25th, with the goal of demanding the rights of the affected and to discuss the popular energy project. About 450 activists participated.
Three groups, starting at three different spots left with destination to Belo Horizonte. One of them left from Ponte Nova (in the Zona da Mata), passing through Mariana, Ouro Preto, Itabirito, Cachoeira do Campo and Congonhas. Another march left from Taioberas (North of the state, going through Montes Claros and Sete Lagoas. The third one left from Aimorés, passing through Governador Valadares and Ipatinga.
Natália, affected by the mining projects in Simonésia, has been in the Movement for one year and highlights the importance of the march to meet affected of other areas of the state to strengthen the fight. “It is being very good to get in touch with other situations”, she remarks.
“The walk overcame expectations and encouraged the men and women who had their rights widely violated to fight not only for what is theirs, but also for an energy project which respects life and serves the workers and not the market”, states Fernanda de Oliveira Portes, member of the state coordination of the MAB.
At the same time the MAB also took part of the 2nd International Meeting of those Affected by Vale. The meeting took place in and among days 25and 28, also in Belo Horizonte and had the participation of 60 people from nine countries.