This Wednesday (1st), hundreds of people walked with the elected state deputy, Marina dos Santos (PT), better known as Marina of the MST, to the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj), in the center of the capital, where the leadership of the Sem Terra was sworn into office. The purpose of the act was to show the strength of the popular mandate built by Marina and various social movements.
The march began in the Lapa neighborhood, at Armazém do Campo, an establishment known for selling products from settlements and camps of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) and walked to the Tiradentes Palace. On the way, flags of different popular movements were raised.
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Marina, who was elected with more than 46,000 votes in the last elections, explains that the march “brings a very strong symbology of popular struggles and social movements”.
“The organized people of the social and popular movements will inaugurate the first landless woman elected state deputy in the state of Rio. (…) This is the harvest of a collective victory, a victory for the people, for the working class in the countryside and in the city”, says the deputy.
The elected deputy says that one of the main plans for her mandate is to strengthen the popular committees of struggle to defend democracy.
“We will carry out a combative mandate against all the neo-fascist policies of this state government of Cláudio Castro and together with the people, we will defend and build flags of struggle in the communities, but also in the Legislative Assembly, to combat hunger and generate jobs and income for the working class”, he concludes.
Cristiane Germana dos Santos lives in Complexo da Penha, in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro, and participated in the entire march. For her, there was no option of not being present at this symbolic act for the popular inauguration of the Marina.
“The MST contributed a lot to my community, thanks to them we were able to take food to 148 families and today I’m here because this mandate is from democracy, a popular mandate, from the people, so I could never fail to come and honor Marina and walk with for her to assume this mandate”, explains Cristiane.
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Antônio Shaolin, who lives in the Rocinha favela, in the south zone of Rio, and is one of the local community leaders, believes that the MST is the largest movement in Latin America with the power to conquer rights for the people.
“Participating in this walk together with a woman elected by popular vote and Sem Terra has a very symbolic value. It is the process of the favela and the countryside in an alliance that will take place throughout the mandate. (…) We want to conquer food security for the countryside and the slums and this will happen because Marina is together with the people and we are together with her”, says Shaolin.
The idea of carrying out the march together with the people to the place where she would be sworn in came from Marina herself, due to her history of struggle and life dedicated to building the MST. The member of the political direction of the deputy’s mandate, Breno Rodrigues, says that “this vacancy in ALERJ will be occupied with all the strength of social movements and organizations and community leaders”.
“She will be accompanied by many arms, minds, hearts to make an institutional fight that serves the population and that is together with this population”.
Breno also explains that food security for all is one of the principles of Marina’s mandate.
The production of healthy food is fundamental in this mandate, as well as the struggle to eradicate hunger and for that to happen only by being aligned with many people who work for social justice in their daily lives”, he concludes.
At the end of the act, Marina climbed the stairs of the Tiradentes Palace to the sound of many slogans and shouts from the people who accompanied her during the march to the inauguration.
Source: BdF Rio de Janeiro
Editing: Jacqueline Deister
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