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Page history last edited by garfield3717383@gmail.com 10 years, 7 months ago


In Brazil one per cent of farmers own over half of the land. Almost two-thirds of these vast latifundios remain idle while millions go hungry in the favelas (city slums) and tenant farmers pay crippling rents. Enter the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) – the Landless Rural Workers Movement of Brazil – which has been carrying out its own ‘land-reform from below’ for the last 20 years. It identifies these latifundios and occupies them. Under MST occupation, large houses belonging to the landowners can play host to dozens of poor families, who cultivate the land and gradually turn the encampments into settlements replete with co-operative stores, decent housing, and MST schools. The MST is the largest and most successful social movement in Latin America with one million members and has won 81,081 square miles of land. But it has paid a high price – hundreds of its members have been assassinated.

在巴西百分之一的農夫擁有超過全國一半的土地。當貧民區有幾百萬的人正在飢餓以及佃農負擔高額的田稅時,這些大地主幾乎三分之二無所事事。進入MST(the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra )-巴西的無土地農村勞者運動─在最近的二十年裡它實現草根的土地改革.它辨別出這些大地主並佔領他們的土地。在MST的佔領下,屬於地主的大房子可以安置12個貧窮家庭,讓他們耕作落腳,共組合作社、房社及MST學校。在拉丁美洲,MST是最大最成功的社會運動,它擁有一百萬個會員,81,081 平方公尺的土地。但卻要付出很大的代價─至今有好幾百個會員遭到暗殺。


Today it is evolving from a more centralized, traditional leftist movement as the younger generation grow up on the settlements, into one that is making the move towards green and sustainable farming, and improved internal democracy. MSTs in Bolivia and elsewhere have sprouted, as has a Movimento dos Sem Teto – movement for those without roofs – comprised of homeless people squatting buildings in Brazil’s cities.



Brazilian agriculture is where feudalism meets capitalism, and the MST fight both. Globalization is land reform in reverse as big farmers take over, expanding vast corporate monocultures, and forcing small farmers to compete with the forces of giant agribusiness on international markets. On the global battlefront, the MST is a member of Via Campesina, the international peasant farmers’ union which includes the Karnataka State Farmers’ Association of India, the Confédération Paysanne of France, and the Assembly of the Poor of Thailand. Together, they have been fighting global agribusiness and marching on WTO meetings from 1994 onwards.

巴西的農業是封建制度遇見資本主義,而MST是與兩者對抗。全球化是一種相反於大地主接管的土地改革,擴張法人的單一作物,使小農與國際市場企業化農業的巨大力量競爭。在全球的前線,MST是農民之路(Via Campesina)的會員,而農民之路是國際農夫聯盟,包含印度南方Karnataka州的農人聯盟、法國的全國農民勞動者聯盟與泰國窮人議會。從1994年以來,他們一起對抗全球企業化農業及反WTO會議的示威遊行。


Cutting the Wire:the landless movement of Brazil

by Sue Branford and Jan Rocha




When the pliers cut the wire and it snaps like the string in a violin and the fence tumbles down, the landless lose their innocence.” Pedro Tierra, MST poet.

"當鉗子剪斷鐵絲,就像小提琴上的弦崩斷,而籬笆倒了,這些無地者明白自己的天真"Pedro TierraMST的詩


 For the MST the act of occupying land – which they call cutting the wire’ – is the cornerstone of their movement. It is the baptism of fire for the militant, an essential part of their identity. It plays a key role in the mistica, the moment of collective theatre and myth-making that kicks off all MSTLandless Peasant's Movement, Brazilevents. MST leader João Pedro Stedile recognizes that it is a  huge step for a poor rural family to take part in an occupation. “The vehemence of this action means that no-one can sit on the fence,” he says. “You have to have a position, either in favour or against.”

MST佔領土地行動稱為"剪斷鐵絲"─是他們行動的基礎。,它是身分的必要條件。集體劇院的時刻與關於MST開始的神話,在mistica裡扮演重要的角色。MST的領導人João Pedro Stedile 認為農村的貧窮家庭投入占領中是一個巨大進程,他說"行動的激烈程度在於沒有人可以像坐在籬笆上維持中立,不是贊成就是反對。"


Until the moment that the wire breaks, explains Roseli Salete Caldert, rural workers “have been trained always to obey, to obey the landowner, the priest, the political boss.They learnt this from their families and from the short period they spent in school.” Taking their life in their own hands, they gain political awareness.

Roseli Salete Caldert解釋直到破壞鐵絲的那一刻,一直被訓練服從地主、天主教職人員和政府的農村勞動者,從家庭和短短的學校期間學習到"生命掌握在自己手裡,"


They realize that they will never achieve what they want if they restrict their demands to what the establishment sees as acceptable. And they learn to impose their own agenda. “We have always been told that agrarian reform is a good idea in principle, (next page)



but the conjuntura, or present moment, isn’t right,” said Monica, a woman leader from the northeast.



Well, we make the conjuntura right.” In other words, they become subjects of their own history. And, in taking this step, they turn their world upside down. They start to realize that the established values are not immutable. As the historian,Christopher Hill, has pointed out: “Upside down is after all a relative concept. The assumption that it means the wrong way up is itself an expression from the top.” The act of occupation becomes the fuse for a profound process of personal and political transformation.

"我們讓conjuntura成為正確"換句話說,他們變成自己歷史的主體。按照這樣,他們的世界翻轉過來。他們開始去了解已建立的價值觀並非不可變動。同歷史學家Christopher Hill曾經指出:"相關的概念造成翻轉。這個假設意指錯誤的方式開始是遠離正確的表示。"佔領行動變成個人與政治轉變深遠過程的導火線。


 “Land that we conquer through struggle is land that we win without the help of anyone,” says Darci Maschio, a MST activist. “We don’t have to go down on our knees to give thanks to anyone. This allows us to go on to fight for other things.”

MST行動者Darci Maschio:"我們努力爭取的土地沒有倚賴任何人的幫助。我們不需要屈膝去感激任何人。這讓我們繼續去為其他事物戰鬥。"


He says that government authorities try hard to stop the families believing that they had rights. “In the beginning,” he said,the authorities made a point of saying to us, ‘you’re here to beg for land, aren’t you, because no one here is going to demand anything. You don’t have that right.’



But we do have the right, a right constructed through struggle.” The MST has never won a single acre of land without first carrying out an occupation. “I tell everyone who hasn’t got land to do what we did, join the MST,” said Zezilda Casamir, a settler from Rio Grande do Sul. “But the MST won’t give you land. You’ll have to win it for yourself.” Stedile says that the act of occupation is “the organizational matrix of the movement, in that it was around this concept that the organization was built”. The MST has to conquer every right it is demanding at every stage of the struggle;nothing is bequeathed.

但我們的確要這樣的權利,透過努力爭取一個合理的創建。MST靠著起先的佔領而擁有一英畝的土地,來自Rio Grande do SulZezilda的移民Casamir:"我告訴每個從未這樣幹的人我們所做的事情,說服他們加入MST。但MST不會給你們土地。你們必須自己去爭取。"Stedile"佔領行動是組織的運動模式,圍繞組織建立的概念。"MST在每個運動場所努力爭取人民要求的權利,不遺餘力。


In 1996, shortly before his death, the educationalist Paulo Freire, who was a fervent supporter of the MST, recalled a visit he had made to an MST settlement: “I shall never forget a beautiful speech from a literacy worker, a former landless worker, who was living in an enormous settlement in Rio Grande do Sul. ‘We managed through our work and  (latifundio)(minifundio) our struggle to cut the barbed wire of the latifundio, the big estate, and we entered it,’ he said. ‘But when we got there we discovered that there was more barbed wire, like the barbed wire of our ignorance. I realized that the more ignorant we were, the more innocent we were of the ways of the world, (next page)



the better it was for the landowners, and the more knowledgeable we got, the more frightened the landowners became.’ As he was speaking, I realized what real agrarian reform was about.” “We have three fences to cut down,” says Stedile. “They are the fence of the big estate, the fence of ignorance, and the fence .”

1996年,即熱心於MST運動的教育家Paulo Freire 去世的前不久,回憶起他曾經身為MST居住地的參訪者:"我不會忘記一場由具備文學休養的勞動者帶來的美麗演講,這個先前還是無地勞動者,居住在廣大的Rio Grande do Sul殖民地上。他說:'我們設法剪斷農場地主龐大的財產─那些帶刺的鐵絲網,然後我們進到裡面去。但當我們到那後,我們發現有更多帶刺的鐵絲網,就像是我們無知的網,我才了解我們越無知,我們對世界形成的方式就越天真;當我們獲得更多的知識,對地主來說就會越痛苦越害怕。'當他這麼說時,我了解到什麼是真正的土地改革。"Stedile:"我們要推倒三道籬笆,階級、無知和資本。"


The long line of raggedly dressed rural workers, men and women and children marched around the rows of black polythene-covered tents they had put up on a hurriedly cleared patch of undergrowth. They marched behind the red flag of the MST, their left fists punching the air as they shouted slogans, hoes and spades raised in their other hand.There were 264, including the 40 children who marched at the front of the columns. Ten days ago, very few of these largely illiterate people had had any contact with the MST.



Outside the camp, standing by the sugar plantation’s distinctive white and green Toyota pick-ups, some 30 gunmen looked on as the marchers shouted lustily:Agrarian reform! When do we want it? Now! When do we want it? Now!”



Zona de Mata is a region of large, semi-feudal sugar plantations in the northeast of Brazil. When we arrived in the area, we found that the MST activists had planned a daring occupation. They wanted to occupy an estate which belonged to the most powerful landowner in the region –Jorge Petribu. They had chosen as their base the small town of Igarassu, which forms part of the disorderly periphery around Recife. The MST wanted to recruit in both the large shantytown in Igarassu and the small rural hamlets scattered among the plantations.

Zona de Mata是一處位於巴西東北部廣大、半封建制的糖作耕地。當我們到這個地區,我發現MST行動者計畫了大膽的佔領行動。他們要佔領這個地方最有權力的地主的財產─Jorge Petribu。他們選擇Recife周圍混亂的Igarassu的小城鎮,作為基地。MST蓋起臨時的陋屋,恢復小農村間散落的可耕地。


We travelled around with the MST activists, often balanced precariously on the back of a motorbike. It was the beginning of the sugar harvest, which lasts from December to March. As we sped dangerously along the rough roads between the villages, we watched the rural labourers as they set fire to the sugar cane fields to burn the young vegetation and then, wielding sharp machetes, cut down the thick, charred stems that contain the sugar cane juice.



It was a scene that had changed little over the last 400 years. At the end of the day workers are blackened from head to toe. The talk in the villages was about the growing unemployment and the loss of the sitios that a job in the plantations used to guarantee. There was real hunger in the hot dusty villages of wooden huts.



The story of Antonio Jose de Santos, 50 years old, was  typical. He explained, his voice tinged with sadness: “I’ve been living here in Tres Ladeiras for 30 years. We moved here, because we were turned off the sugar plantation we used to work on. When we lived on the plantation, we had a hard life. We were paid very little and we were badly treated. But we had our sitios, our plots of land.

五十歲的Antonio Jose de Santos的故事很有代表性。用他有點悲傷的聲音解釋說:"我住在Tres Ladeiras 已經三十年。搬來這是因為關閉一直工作用的糖作耕地。住在那塊土地上生活很艱苦,支領很少的錢又被嚴苛地對待。但是我們有我們的一小塊土地。


We could grow all the food we needed – cassava, beans, rice, pumpkin, breadfruit, oranges, lemons and so on. Since we’ve been here in Tres Ladeiras, we’ve only had these tiny plots, which aren’t any good at all. And it’s getting worse. So many of the plantations have closed down. There’s really just this Petribu left. And there’s not much work with them. (next page)



I can’t get any work there. I’m too old. And those that do are treated badly. They’ve turned us back into slaves.

我們可以種需要的作物─樹薯、豆子、稻米、南瓜、麵包樹、柳橙和檸檬等等。自從待在Tres Ladeiras,我們只有很小塊的土地,那一點也不好,而且越來越糟。許多地被關閉,Petribu 公司離開/遺留,沒有再多的工作,我在那裡找不到任何工作。我太老,而其他的工作待遇很差,他們把我們便回以前的奴隸。


We don’t earn enough to survive. We get odd jobs when we can. Those of us who get over our feeling of shame go begging in the streets. But there’s a lot of hunger. There are 600 or 700 children living here. Their lives are a calamity.”



The only way out for us is through land invasions with the MST,” he continued. “It’s only together, through union, that we’ll be able to get land, feed our children, help our friends. For some families are in a desperate situation, overwhelmed with debts. And there’s plenty of land out there. There are a lot of landowners who aren’t planting any more. It’s our right to invade this land, so that we can plant crops and feed our children. It’s going to be difficult.



I don’t think we can get back to the time of plenty, but we can’t go on as we are. I’ve got 11 children. Fathers should be able to help their children, get them started in life. But I haven’t been able to. We’re going on the occupation. My wife and children are coming too.”



The MST has drawn up guidelines for choosing the area for the first occupation in a new region: talk to local people and select an area that has water, is potentially fertile, and over which there is some controversy as to its legal ownership. In the past, the MST had always chosen areas that were unproductive, that is, were not being farmed by the landowner. This allowed them to justify the apparently illegal occupation of private property by pointing to Article 184 of the 1988 constitution that states that land not being used productively should be expropriated and distributed in an agrarian reform programme.



But at the time of this occupation (1999) the MST was tentatively adopting a new

strategy: in rural areas of great poverty and hunger, it was occupying land being used to produce commercial crops, such as sugar cane, not food for the local population. “We want to create a debate over the use of land,” Cicero Onario Alves, an MST organizer from a poor northeastern family of peasant farmers who was rallying local people for the occupation, told us.“We think that the government’s first priority in a region like the Zona da Mata should be to end starvation, and that means giving the land to poor families so that they can grow their own food.”

但是在1999年的佔領行動中,MST暫時採用新的策略:佔領被用來生產經濟農作物、貧窮飢餓的鄉下地方,像是蔗糖區,並非當地人口的食物。來自貧窮東北方小農家庭、召集當地人進行佔領的MST組織者Cicero Onario Alves告所們:"我們要製造土地使用的討論,我們認為應該像Zona da Mata政府優先結束飢荒,意思是把土地分給窮人,讓他們種植自己的食物。"


The sugar plantation beside the church, known as (next page)



Engenho Pasmado, fitted the MST's new criteria. Until the mid-1950s there had been a thriving community around the church. All the families had worked on the plantation and during the off-season they had cultivated large sitios.

教堂旁的糖作耕地─Engenho Pasmado,就很符合MST的新標準。直到五0年代中期,教堂周圍都是蓬勃發展的社區。所有的家庭在耕地上工作,非收割時期他們就耕作大的sitios


The old labourers looked back nostalgically to life during this period. Alice, an old labourer who as a child lived nearby in another village, remembered visiting the community. “The workers had big sitios and we ate so well during festivities – there were wonderful harvests of cassava, beans, maize, bananas, mango, breadfruit, and coconuts. People were poor but no one ever went hungry. It’s so different today.”

年長的農工懷念那段期間的生活。一位年長的農工 Alice,小時候住在鄰近的村莊,記得曾經到過這個社區。"農工們有大的sitios,收割慶點時我們吃的很好─樹薯、豆子、玉蜀黍、香蕉、芒果、麵包樹、椰子都有很好的收成。雖然人民很窮但沒有人再挨餓。今天就不同了。"


In 1956 the plantation was sold. The new owners, Votorantim, claimed it was wasteful to allow the workers to have so much land for their own use. They caused great resentment when they transferred the families to a nearby village, and planted sugar cane on the land around the church. “People cried when their houses were knocked down and their crops destroyed,” Alice said. Mauricio Henrique de Nascimento, who had been the plantation administrator and now lives in Igarassu, said it still pained his heart when he drove past the church and saw sugar cane fields where so much food had once been harvested.

1956年可耕地被出售。新的地主Votorantim宣稱讓農工擁有這麼多自用的土地太浪費了,讓家庭遷移到附近的村莊並把教堂周圍的耕地拿去種植蔗糖,這件事情引起很多人的憤怒。Alice:"當房子和穀作被拆毀破壞時,人民難過地掉下眼淚。"曾經是耕地管理者的Mauricio Henrique de Nascimento,現在住在Igarassu,他說:當他開車經過教堂時,看見曾經可以餵飽人們的糧食耕地變成蔗糖區,讓他十分痛心。"


More recently, all the plantations had been sold to Petribu. It was widely assumed that the land around the church had been included in the sale, for Petribu's guards patrolled the area. When we later phoned up Votorantim's office in Recife, we were told that the company no longer owned any plantations. Yet Petribu said that the area still belonged to Votorantim, information that was eventually confirmed to us by Votorantim’s lawyer. This contradictory information led Jessimar Pessoa Boracho, the lawyer working with the MST, to suspect that Votorantim did not have proper land titles for the plantation, and for this reason had been unable to sell to it to Petribu.

最近,所有的耕地都被賣給Petribu。因為Petribu的守衛在那裡巡邏,所以一般的推測是教堂周圍的土地也被一起出售。當我們之後連絡位在RecifeVotorantim公司辦公室,公司律師證實我們被告知這個公司不再擁有任何耕地的訊息,然而Petribu公司卻說這個區域仍屬於Votorantim公司。這個矛盾的訊息讓MST的律師Jessimar Pessoa Boracho懷疑Votorantim公司沒有擁有土地的正當名義,所以該公司不能將土替出售給Petribu公司。


So there was a jumble of information over the legal ownership – which was all grist to the MST's mill. All the villagers were certain that the MST occupation would be on Petribu land, as it was the only big plantation owner in the region. In their chats with the villagers, the MST militants did little to hide this, or the likelihood that Petribu would illegally send its security guards – in other words, gunmen – to prevent the occupation.



Everywhere we went we heard stories of Petribu's brutality. Jesimar Pessoa Boracho, one of the few lawyers in the region to defend the rights of rural labourers, told us that most of his cases involved Petribu. “The Petribu family is part of that old established elite of plantation owners who have ruled the north east since it was colonized by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. They have that in-built arrogance that comes from centuries of domination.”

我們到的每個地方都聽說過Petribu公司殘忍的傳聞。當地少數幾個為農村勞工權利辯護的律師之一的Jesimar Pessoa Boracho告訴我們他大部分捲入Petribu公司的案子。"Petribu家族是古早的16世紀葡萄牙殖民東北方時,建封為精英階級的地主。他們固有的傲慢源自於幾百年的統治。"


Soon it became evident that Petribu was prepared to use violent tactics to prevent the occupation that we were hoping to join. Daniel Quirino da Silva, a 32-year-old unemployed cane cutter, after showing us festering wounds on his legs, told us his story. Ten days earlier, he had been cycling home when he had stopped “for an urgent necessity”, as he put it, going into the cane fields.Gunmen employed by Petribu happened to be driving past in one of  (next page)



their pick-ups. For no good reason, they stopped, seized him as he was squatting down, hauled him out of the cane fields, and kicked and beat him. Bleeding from the head, chest, and legs, he was dragged off to the local police station, and thrown into a cell. The only possible reason for the attack was a desire by Petribu to show the villagers what they could expect if they dared to take part in the occupation.

Petribu公司準備運用暴力來防止我們期盼參與的佔領行動的策略越來越明顯。一個32歲的失業蔗農Daniel Quirino da Silva在給我們看了他潰爛的傷口後,告訴我們他的故事。10天前,當他將單車騎進甘蔗田裡,他被突然開車駛過停下的Petribu槍手強拉出甘蔗田裡,一陣踢打。血從頭上流出到胸口和腿部,他被拖到當地的警察局的囚室。唯一的攻擊原因可能是Petribu公司要讓村民知道參加佔領行動可以預見的什麼樣後果。


A week later Daniel was still unable to walk without help, because of the wounds he had suffered from the iron tips of the gunmen’s boots. His attackers had left him incandescent with rage at the humiliation he had suffered. “I got beaten up for

nothing,” he told us. “I can’t even work now. So I’ve joined the MST. I want to show Petribu that it doesn’t own the world. My problem was that I was alone. Now we’re in it all together. And I’ll go to the bitter end.”



The MST was organizing that first difficult step – the initial occupation. Cicero outlined their plans – where the occupation would take place, the dispute over land titles, the three buses they were organizing, the villages where they would pick up families. Everyone was excited and optimistic, but we felt apprehensive.



This was a region where the MST had not worked before. Despite the warm reception the MST activists had received in the villages, we were not convinced that many people would actually take that first step and join in what was widely known to be a dangerous undertaking. But it was too late to be having second thoughts. At 3.30 am on Sunday, a bus pulled up outside the MST headquarters in Igarassu.



We got in and, after Cicero had explained to a somewhat startled bus driver that he was not going to take people on a fishing trip but on a land invasion, we left.



We picked up about 25 people carrying farm implements, clothing, and a little food in the village of Botafogo. They included a young woman, whose two year-old daughter was shivering with cold and had to be wrapped up in a blanket, and an old man, wearing a trilby hat and a raincoat, who seemed in his element, laughing and joking with the others.



Then on to Alto do Ceu. We found the main road into the village blocked by four white and green Toyotas. So we drove round to the back entrance, a rough dirt track leading to the village up an exceptionally steep hill. The driver said that (next page)



his bus could not take the gradient, so a couple of MST activists and one of us climbed up the hill in the dark to tell the villagers to come down on foot, while the rest stayed in the bus. After about a quarter of an hour, three Toyotas appeared. Their lights flashing, they drove up and down.

然而在往Alto do Ceu的途中,我們發現到村莊的主要道路被四台白色和綠色的豐田汽車封住了。所以我們繞到後面的入口,是一條粗糙泥路通到非常險峻村莊山丘上頭。司機說他的車子無法爬這樣的陡坡,所以有兩個MST行動者和我們當中的一人在黑夜裡爬上山丘去叫村人下山,其他的人待在公車上。大約過了15分鐘,3部豐田車出現,他們閃著燈到處開。


Eventually, one of them stopped by the bus and four men, one with his revolver clearly visible, came up. “Where are you going?” demanded the leader of the gunmen. “To do a job on a sugar cane plantation,” replied Cicero, unconvincingly. “Well, this job better not be on Petribu land. If it is, we’ll be waiting for you.” And with that the Toyotas drove off up the hill.



Quick as a flash, Cicero pulled out his mobile phone. Look out,” he shouted down the phone to the MST activists who had reached the group of villagers at the top of the long hill. “The gunmen are on their way up.” He rang off and, in a climate of growing tension, the people in the bus waited. Up at the top of the hill, the group of villagers ran to hide at the back of a bar on the edge of the square. One was holding a rifle, while an old man clutched a rolled up MST flag. The mothers hugged their children, telling them to keep very quiet. The Toyotas drove around the square, stopped, conferred, and then drove away.



After waiting a while, the group emerged from behind the church and began walking down the road. The mobile phone rang again. Look out, the gunmen are coming back!” This time the only place to hide was in a prickly hedge. We crouched down

while a Toyota drove past the end of the road. They did not see us. Then we picked our way over the stones down a steep gully, a short cut to the road below. It was a difficult scramble in the half-light. Suddenly it felt as though we had travelled back 200 years, and this was a group of runaway slaves, fleeing the plantation to set up a quilombo, or free community. At last, we reached the bus at the bottom of the hill.



The Toyotas, too, had returned and were parked about 100 yards away. Taking care not to be seen, the villagers clambered aboard. The bus departed hastily and, rather to everyone’s astonishment, the Toyotas did not follow.



It gradually dawned on us that the security guards had jumped to the wrong conclusion. They certainly knew all about the planned land invasion, and all day Saturday they had been cruising around Alto do Ceu in their Toyotas, distributing  (next page)



leaflets with warnings about “evil elements” and “agitators” who were deceiving the population with false promises of land. During the night they had been back in the village, speaking through loudspeakers and threatening the villagers with violent reprisals if they took part in the occupation.

我們逐漸明白安全守衛貿然下了錯誤定論,他們確實知道所有入侵土地的計畫,星期六整天他們的豐田車都在Alto do Ceu巡邏,散佈傳單,警告有關於"邪惡成員""煽動者"用假的土地承諾欺騙大眾。那天晚上他們回到村莊,聲言假使他們參加占領行動將遭到武力報復來威脅村民。


But – and this proved decisive – the gunmen believed that the MST was planning to launch the land invasion from Alto do Ceu itself into an area of the plantation that bordered the village. They thought that the bus was trying to take people into the village, rather than out of it, so, when the bus drove off, they believed they had won.

但是這證實了─槍手相信MST將計畫發起入侵Alto do Ceu到村莊周圍的耕地。他們認為公車會試圖將村民載進村莊而非載離,因此,當公車開走時,他們相信贏得了勝利。


Almost miraculously, the occupation went ahead as planned. After a ten minute drive, the bus reached the church of Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem. With dawn breaking, the families hurried out of the bus carrying their farm implements, bags of food, pots and pans.

出乎意料之外,占領行動依照計畫進行。在車子離開後十分鐘,抵達Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem的教堂。隨著黎明即將破曉,家庭帶著他們的農具、食物袋、鍋盤迅速地走出車外。


Within an hour or two, they had cleared away the tangled scrub and bushes and put up their polythene tents. The camp held its first assembly. The red flag was hoisted and, in a climate of exultation, the people commemorated their first victory, singing and laughing. Many of the activities organized by the militants followed a planned routine, taught to members on training courses.



This first assembly consisted almost entirely of mistica the morale boosting, quasi-religious communal ceremony at the heart of the MST culture, involving songs and chants. One slogan proclaimed:“Che, Zumbi, Antonio Conselheiro na luta pela terra, somos todos companheiros”, invoking Che Guevara, an icon of the movement, and two northeastern revolutionaries: Zumbi, a Brazilian slave who headed a revolt in the sixteenth century, setting up a quilombo known as Palmares(Zumbi), which lasted 95 years, and Antonio Conselheiro, a mystic who led a rebellion among the rural poor in the nineteenth century and set up the quasi-communist community of Canudos.

第一次的集會構成幾乎全然的misticaMST文化包含歌曲和反覆節奏的口號,來提高士氣,類似宗教共同儀式的內在精神,並宣示一個口號:"Che, Zumbi, Antonio Conselheiro na luta pela terra, somos todos companheiros"來召喚運動的聖像─切‧格瓦拉,以及兩位來自東北方的革命家16世紀帶頭起義的巴西農奴Zumbi,建立以Palmares(Zumbi)為名的quilombo,和19世紀帶領農村窮人起來暴動建立起Canudos這種類似共產社區的神秘探險家Antonio Conselheiro


We are all comrades in the struggle for land,” affirms the slogan. Both Zumbi and Antonio Conselheiro have acquired the aura of romantic freedom fighters in the north east, and roaming minstrels still sing about them in street markets around here. One enterprising man climbed up a big stone cross in front of the church and tied a red flag on the top of it.

"我們全是為土地奮戰的激進派成員,"證實這個口號。Zumbi Antonio Conselheiro贏得東北方浪漫自由戰士的靈氣,附近市街漫步的吟遊詩人仍傳訟著他們。一個有魄力的男子爬上教堂前的十字架石柱,把紅色旗子綁在上頭。 (next page)



Another climbed even higher, to the top of a billboard on the main road that passed the camp and tied a red MST flag above an advertisement for insurance. The crowd below cheered enthusiastically and started to sing and dance.



It seemed like Carnival. Yet the celebrations were at best premature. We were by then just 40 people, for the other two buses had failed to turn up. It later emerged that the

telephone call from the labourer in Tres Ladeiras to say that he had arranged a bus had been an act of sabotage. He was really working for Petribu. The other bus had picked up some people in a couple of villages and then stopped in Cruz de Reboucas, only to find no-one waiting. As it made its way half-empty towards Engenho Pasmado, two green and white Toyotas had swung across the road, blocking its way.

這次似乎就像是一場嘉年華,慶典提早發生。那時候我們40個人,因為其他兩台公車的人無法到場。稍晚一個Tres Ladeiras的農工來電說他已經安排好一輛可以進行破壞行動的公車。他為Petribu公司工作。另一台公車載了兩個村落的人並停在Cruz de Reboucas,不料沒人等。當它半空著前進去Engenho Pasmado,兩部綠色和白色的豐田汽車穿過馬路,把它擋下來。


Wielding a revolver, one of the gunmen then threatened to set fire to the bus with everyone inside it, and understandably the driver, who had also not known beforehand that he was carrying people for a land invasion, had refused to go any further.



At about midday several jeeps and cars drew up near the church, and some 30 men marched in a phalanx towards the camp. About half wore the smart beige uniforms of official Petribu security guards, while the rest, wearing jeans, old t-shirts, and cowboy boots, were our acquaintances from the previous night. At the sight of them marching towards the camp, men and women seized their hoes and ran to block their path. It was clear that the guards and gunmen would have to use violence to evict the families and they hesitated.



They admitted, when we questioned them, that the land around the church did not belong to Petribu. In threatening language, they warned the villagers not to move into the adjacent cane fields, turned around, and strode back to their Toyotas. More celebrations.



The most dramatic and far-reaching social change of the second half of this century, and one that cuts us off forever from the world of the past, is the death of the peasantry.”– Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes – The Short Twentieth Century 1914–1991, Michael Joseph, London, 1994

"20世紀後半最戲劇性和深遠並和之前完全劃分的社會變遷,就是小農階級的結束。" 艾瑞克‧霍布斯邦,《極端的年代1914-1991》,Michael Joseph,倫敦,1994


We were still talking to Antonio Severino da Silva when the camp received its first visitors – José Servat, a French priest who has been living in this region for 35 years, and a nun, who immediately busied herself making sure that the children had enough to eat and were not ill. They had brought several sacks of rice and beans, which the women immediately began to cook. Father José had been delighted by the news of the occupation.

當我們在和Antonio Severino da Silva說話,營地接待第一次接待參訪者─在這裡住了35年的法國神父José Servat以及立刻忙於確保孩童有足夠的食物和健康狀況。婦女們馬上烹煮他們帶來的幾袋稻米和豆子。José神父對占領行動的消息感到欣慰。


Workers in these sugar plantations were organized in the 1950s and early 1960s but then they experienced dreadful repression and the movement collapsed,” he said. “They were abandoned by the Catholic Church. Just one or two of us struggled on. Some members of the Church are frightened by these occupations, but I’m not. The people are simply saying that they’re not animals, they’re humans. They want land. They want to be (next page)



part of society. I’ve been hoping for years that something like this would happen.”



Although clearly unwell, Father José spoke to a hastily convened assembly. To much applause he said, “This land does not belong to Votorantim or Petribu. There used to be a community around this church and, with God’s help, you will build it again.” More cheers. “I should like to make a proposal, that you christen this new community with its old name – Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem.” At which point Cicero intervened so that the MST’s democratic procedures for presenting a proposal and voting on it would be followed. The assembly voted by an overwhelming majority to accept the proposed name.

雖然José神父的健康狀況很明顯的不好,但是他很緊急地召開集會演講。大家用掌聲歡迎神父,他說:"這塊土地不屬於Votorantim公司或Petribu公司。教堂附近曾經是社區,藉由上帝的幫助,你們將在一次建造它。我想出一個提議,你們用它舊有的名字Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem來為新社區命名。"這時候CiceroMST的民主程序接受這個提議並表決通過。


The head of the security commission immediately called on the men to volunteer for two shifts, one from 6.00 pm to midnight and the other from midnight to 6.00 am. One of the volunteers was Junior, an openly gay young man who had been on the bus with us the previous night. A makeshift bell was quickly made out of a piece of metal. The head of the security commission said that, in the case of an emergency, day or night, the watch would ring the bell and everyone was to grab a farm implement and assemble under the red flag. It did not take long for the first emergency to happen.



At about 10.00 pm, just as everyone was settling down to sleep in the tents, the bell rang out. The Toyotas – which by then had become a symbol of fear and violence – had returned and were driving up and down the road. It was pitch black outside. The only source of light was a smouldering wood fire, on which the women had been cooking. A Toyota tried to drive in, to be confronted once again by mass resistance. The villagers shouted slogans and brandished their implements. The vehicle finally backed off. After an hour or so of considerable tension, all the Toyotas drove off. It was a long night and few slept, but the gunmen did not return.



The next day was full of activity. The camp had survived the first crucial 24 hours and the news spread like wildfire in the region. People began pouring in from the neighbouring villages. A delegation arrived from Cruz de Reboucas, begging the MST to send another bus to the shanty town to pick them up, but Cicero was adamant: “The bus came for you on Sunday morning, and you weren’t there. If you want to join our camp (next page)



now, you’ll have to find your own transport.” Somehow they managed and a dozen or so families arrived a few hours later.

隔天有滿滿的活動,營地度過關鍵的24小時,消息在這個地方被迅速地廣傳出去。人們從鄰近的村莊前進,來自Cruz de Reboucas的代表團,請求MST派遣另外的公車去鎮上的貧民區接他們,但Cicero態度堅決說:"公車在星期天早上去過,但你們不在那裏,如果你們現在要加入我們的營地,你們必須自己去找交通運輸。"他們用某種方法讓大約12個家庭在很短的幾個小時後來到這裡。


More commissions were set up, with the people in the camp playing a more active role in the selection of their representatives. The new commissions were given a variety of responsibilities – to build more tents; to set up communal kitchens; to organize literacy classes for adults and children; to set up a women’s collective; and to organize a young people’s collective for collecting litter and for organizing games. Everyone was busy.



Still, the problems seemed immense. There was very little food. One activist was sent off to ask for food from MST settlements. Another MST delegation travelled to Igarassu and other neighbouring towns to make contact with the local authorities. Surprisingly, several mayors promised to send in some basic supplies of rice and beans, even though they were not sympathetic to the MST’s cause. Even so, it was clear that food would run out if the camp continued to grow rapidly.

然而,問題似乎很多。食物不多,一個MST行動者被派遣去尋找食物。另一個MST的代表團到Igarassu 以及鄰近的城鎮和當地的有關當局接觸,出乎意料之外,幾個市長承諾供給稻米和豆子的基本物資,即使不是出自同情MST的原因。儘管如此,即使營地繼續種植,食物還是會有吃完的疑慮。


Cicero, who has organized dozens of occupations, was unperturbed. “If necessary, we’ll loot lorries on the highway,” he told us. “It all helps to raise people’s awareness, shows them that together we can overcome all obstacles. People have been kicked around by the plantation owners since the days of slavery. It takes actions like this to make them aware that they can throw off oppression.”



There was also the challenge of training the new arrivals for future confrontations with gunmen. Again Cicero was unfazed: “People can change very quickly in these camps. They gain a sense of their own power and become fearless. New leaders emerge and they soon take responsibility for running the camp and for preparing people for conflict. As you saw, we don’t need to encourage them. We even have to

caution them against running unnecessary risks.”



By the end of the week there were 620 families living in the camp. Cicero had gone off to help organize yet another camp, set up spontaneously by families who thought that Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem had become too crowded. But, as the MST activists had thought likely, a major setback occurred. At 4.00 am on Saturday 100 police, accompanied by 200 gunmen, arrived at the camp equipped with a legal order, issued by the courts in the name of Votorantim, to re-occupy the land and to evict the villagers. The families refused to move and a long standoff ensued.

到這週的最後,有620個家庭住在這裡的營地。Cicero動身去幫忙認為Nossa Senhora de Boa Viagem 太過擁擠的家庭去組織另一個營地。但是,身為MST行動者可能會被認為是在讓步。在星期六的凌晨四點,100名警察陪同200個槍手到營地來,法院以頒訂Votorantim公司為名義的法律命令驅逐村民,這些家庭拒絕離開,造成長時間的僵持。


The gunmen set fire to the tents. One labourer was seriously injured. Eventually, after mediation by a lawyer, Jessimar Pessoa Boracho, and a Catholic priest from Scotland, a compromise was reached. The local Catholic bishop agreed to open the doors of the long-closed church and the families moved into the area immediately surrounding the church. As the families had technically moved off the land under dispute, the gunmen withdrew. The priest and the lawyer, still convinced that the land really belonged to the Church, promised to challenge the legality of the expulsion order in the courts.

槍手放火燒掉的棚子,一個勞工受了嚴重的傷,最後透過律師、Jessimar Pessoa Boracho和來自蘇格蘭神父的調解,達成協議。當地的天主教會主教同意開放長久被關閉的教會,認這些家庭立刻搬進附近的教會裡。當家庭離開有爭議的土地,槍手撤退回去。神父和律師仍深信土地是屬於教會的,是有希望挑戰法院驅逐令的合法性。


The scene seemed set for a long legal battle.Early on Monday morning, before the eyes of a small group of gunmen, the families, reinforced by seven MST (next page)



activists brought in from other regions, reoccupied the plot.They had to begin everything again. Many families had left, intimidated by the violence, so they had to send out the word that they were now back on the land. They had to build new huts, bringing in fresh supplies of black polythene.



They had to construct another communal kitchen, another open-air school. Conditions were even worse than before, as the gunmen had infected the only stream bringing water close to the camp with dead animals. Undeterred, several of the workers began to clean the old well that had been used in the past by the village but was now heavily polluted with diesel oil. The long process of conquering the land – which could well involve further evictions and reoccupations was underway.



Sue Branford and Jan Rocha have been accompanying the MST in Brazil since the first occupations in 1984. Both freelance writers, they are the authors of Cutting the Wire: the story of the landless movement of Brazil, from which this piece is adapted. Please acknowledge when reproducing.

Sue BranfordJan Rocha的第一個職業就是從1984年一直伴隨巴西的MST。這兩個自由作家是剪斷鐵絲網的作者:這是關於巴西無地農民的故事,而這裡擷取當中的片段。當重製敬請查照。



» Cutting the Wire: the story of the landless movement of Brazil, Sue Branford, Jan Rocha, Latin American Bureau, 2002

» Extensive multilingual information on the MST: www.mstbrazil.org

» History and documentaion of Via Campesina: www.viacampesina.org


»剪斷鐵絲網關於巴西無地農民的故事Sue BranfordJan Rocha拉丁美洲當局,2002年出版

»MST廣泛的多元訊息: www.mstbrazil.org

»農民之路的歷史和紀錄: www.viacampesina.org


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