What the fuuuuuuck how have I never heard of the Landless Worker's Movement


It's a horizontal squatting organization in Brazil somewhat akin to the Diggers, who occupy unused land it and just build farming communities on them. And it's worked. A lot of their squats have been recognized by the state. They now have over 1.5 *million* members, and I've never fucking heard of them

@socalledunitedstates MST is amazing! sometimes i completely forget that not everyone knows about what happens in other countries lol
Honestly, the only shame is the bad rep they have with the population, but they do a very important job and they do it very well

@lunely I've been hearing that, but the impression I'm getting is that they're "unpopular" in the same way antifa is "unpopular" in America - meaning, the media and a very obnoxious portion of the population shit on them constantly, but a massive number of people see through that and silently support them. After all, it's hard to get 1.5 million people on board when you're wildly unpopular

Is that a good take at all? I don't know the situation that well that's just the feeling I get

@socalledunitedstates that's basically how it works, yeah
They have some great support from the poorer communities because they help them A LOT. But media is constantly shitting on them (because of course it is), so they just have this generally bad rep among those who do not have direct contact with them.
a candidate to presidency in the last election was a part of MST, and the subject came back on the spolight, and people's general reaction was "yeah, invading is bad", and it stayed at that

@socalledunitedstates On a not-that-related note, someone was just telling me that in so-called Saskatchewan, one can get the deed to a house after squatting for only 36 months (as opposed to ~7 years in the US) due to the high number of ghost towns there. I keep kicking around the idea that setting up a commune in a ghost town would be rad.

@solarpunkgnome I've had the same idea tbh, I'm not sure why I've never heard of it happening

Granted, a lot of ghost towns are abandoned because they're inhabitable for any number of reasons. But there are some that people just left because the steel mill closed

@socalledunitedstates Yeah, it sounded like Saskatchewan was that the rail lines shut down so no one could get their grain to market anymore. Not sure if that's the whole story though, so I won't be running for the border (just yet anyway).

@solarpunkgnome @socalledunitedstates Saskatchewan is totally land-locked, which makes for extremely hot summers and extremely cold winters.

Weather, climate, imperial units 

@raye @socalledunitedstates
I grew up in Missouri, so I assumed Saskatchewan was similar, but colder. A quick look at climate data from Wikipedia seems to show about 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the summer there, and something like that in the winter. I think thats ~6 C? Unfortunately, I'm more accustomed to our infernal imperial units for everyday measurements.

Weather, climate, imperial units 

@solarpunkgnome @socalledunitedstates I found stats that show Saskatchewan historical extremes of 45°C/113°F on the southern hot end and −45°C/−49°F on the cold end. I need less extreme ends and a more southern latitude for daylight.

Weather, climate, imperial units 

@raye @socalledunitedstates
Fair enough. I'm not big on sun exposure, so it's not something that would be a worry for me.

I'm surprised the temps are so similar to Missouri (record high: 115F/46C, low: -40F/-40C) given the difference in latitude. I'm originally from Missouri which is why I'm using it as an example; I realize it's a bit weird.

@socalledunitedstates not only that but:

- It is (according to BBC, for that matter) the biggest producer of organic rice in Latin America: bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-3977 (in portuguese)

- It uses outstandingly ecological methods, like agroforestry: mst.org.br/2018/10/24/agroecol (in portuguese too)

And they've been a major political force in the last decades, despite being constantly attacked by the agropecuary elite and the big media. They're really not popular here

@socalledunitedstates thanks for posting I haven't heard of this too and have spent much time thinking and talking about squatting movements.

@socalledunitedstates this warms my heart, especially knowing what Bolsonaro is doing to the Amazon...

Besides, I'm looking forward to kickstarting an agroforestry project, so any source of inspiration is good! :)

@socalledunitedstates I visited a very successful community of theirs in Bahia. Had its own school, cocoa processing facility, rainforest farm.

The computer lab there had a poster of RMS and Snowden on the door.

@socalledunitedstates honestly, MST is as close to solarpunk as Brazil gets

@zalandocalrissian I don't think so. From what I've seen, I believe they only squat privately "owned" land that major landlords aren't using for anything. I know they use a lot of sustainable and permaculture practices, such as agroforestry, so I doubt they're using the rainforest in a non-ecological way

@lunely or @vhfmag will probably know more since they're both Brazilian

@socalledunitedstates @zalandocalrissian @lunely

unused land certainly does not mean rainforests in this case. It's rather big elite-owned unproductive agricultural land properties (or latifundios, in portuguese)

it's more like grassroots agrarian reform

@socalledunitedstates @zalandocalrissian @vhfmag
vhfmag is right. brazilian farmers often struggle with the fact that there are this imense plots of unused land, that they can't use because it's owned by some rich dude, even though these guys do nothing with the land.
what mst does is basically take this unused plots of land and actually put it to use. basically forcing an agrarian reform, that is long overdue here

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.