Today the 3rd of March 2009 the authorities in Rio Grande do Sul closes all the schools for landless in accampments set up by Movimento SemTerra (MST). Join the international protests! Sign the petition and take action!
Stop closing schools for the landless and official attacks in Brazil against World Social Forum:
We, the undersigned,
1. Strongly protest the closure of schools for the landless and the attack on World Social Forum alliances by politicians and authorities in Rio Grande do Sul, the birth place of both the landless movement MST’s schools and the World Social Forum (WSF), which are bringing hope to rural education and to the democratisation of the world.
2. Demand that the schools in MST encampments and settlements on the countryside be enabled to continue with public funds and support.
3. Demand that the authorities in Rio Grande del Sul withdraw the description made by its superior public ministry council member Thums of the World Social Forum as a gathering place for “terrorists and marginals”. Thums is also among the responsible for the closing of the schools and attempts to make MST illegal. To use a public office for making such an offence against WSF is not in the interests of the state of Rio Grande do Sul or the integrity of any public service.
4. Protest against the interference by transnational corporations such as Stora Enso in domestic politics, since this gives those who are rich means to undemocratically influence politics.
We also support the MST’s statement as follows :
Ever since the start of the struggle for the land, the care for good education for children and teenagers in MST/RS has been very important for the movement. There has been a lot of fight to make the right for a formal education in the acampments reality. Because of that we express our total support to the schools of the acampments of MST, which are under attack of the government of Rio Grande do Sul and sectors of the Ministério Público, which in the beginning of 2009 declared them closed.
MST is a social and legitimate movement and therefore has the right to an education of quality.that takes in consideration the conditions of the struggle and education at the countryside, where the childern and teenagers live together with their families and their community
We demand the the schools of the acampments of MST shall have the rights to continue
Signatures (name of individual, name of organisation if any, country) :
Send your protests to Public authorities:
Governadora do Estado do RS
E.mail agenda (at) gg.rs.gov.br
Presidente da Assembléia Legislativa do Estado do RS
E.mail ivar.pavan (at) al.rs.gov.br
Secretaria de Estado da Educação
E.mail gabinetese (at) seduc.rs.gov.br
Procurador Geral de Justiça do Estado do RS (via website only)
Send also copies to MST and support groups
MST General secretariat: sgeral (at) mst.org.br
MST Rio Grande do Sul; Elizabete Witcel: betieduc (at) yahoo.com.br
Friends of the Earth Sweden: MSTsupport (at) mjv.se
Sign the petition and contact others
We call upon educational, environmental, human rights, peace, peasant, rural, social welfare, trade unions, UN associations, women’s and any other organisation concerned about social justice, social forums, environmental and rural concerns to sign the statement and send your protests to the email addresses above. We also urge you to contact other organisations and inform them about the signiture campaign.
Sign the international petition in english at:
When possible we also hope you can translate the protest and spread it among other organisations in your countries and collect signitures in different languages.
Go to the Brazilian embassy 9.3 and 17.4
We also appeal for joint action in two steps. Fiirst to react quickly in countries were it is possible on such a short notice. We propose you to hand over in as creative way as possible your protest already on Monday 9th of March to the Brazilian embassy and take photos or video and share with others via Flickr and You tube. Tag with MST and ”schools for landless”. We also call for a joint day of protest at Brazilian embassies or consulates on the International Peasant Struggles Day established by Via Campesina in memory of the massacre of MST activists 17th of April. You find addresses to Brazilian embassies at:
and consulates at:
Friends of the Earth Brazil
Friends of the Earth Uruguay
Friends of the Earth Finland
Friends of the Earth Sweden
Friends of MST Sweden
Maattomien ystävät – Friends of Landless Finland
You can follow updates on the action to support MST at: