Rio Grande do Sul Landless Youth prepares

The city of Nova Santa Rita (RS) is in the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre and is home to some rural settlements. The plots of land where the families now live were conquered through the occupation of unproductive land, a struggle organized by the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST). That’s where Leandro Rybeiro lives. At just 21 years of age, he already joins other young people in the organization of Juventude Sem Terra in the region.

According to reports, he began his path in the struggle for land still in his childhood, in 2006. His family lived in the city of Soledade (RS). With no land to live on and struggling, they decided to go to a camp in an occupied land. They wanted to conquer a piece of land where they could produce food and have “a place to live”. The achievement would only come years later, in the Metropolitan Region of the Capital.

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For Leandro, growing up in this environment brought with it some prejudices, as he considers that society’s opinion is that the landless only want to take land that belongs to others, to do nothing.

“This is not what we are showing with our legacy, the landless people want to occupy unproductive spaces to produce healthy food and fight for their rights”, says Leandro. He also states that his training came from this entire trajectory. He participated in meetings of “Sem Terrinha” (children who are children of campers and settlers), training courses and since then has contributed to struggles and mobilizations.

:: In two weeks, cooperatives linked to the MST raise R$ 17.5 million for family farming ::

Today, Leandro works in the production of agroecological crops from the region’s settlements. In addition, he acts politically in the coordination of the Landless Youth of the Metropolitan Region of Porto Alegre. Along with his companions, they are organizing this weekend (22, 23 and 24) the 1st Meeting of the Youth Without Land of Nova Santa Rita, bringing together young people from settlements in the region, as well as other youth from partner movements that are from the city. and join in the struggle for Agrarian Reform.

In this interview, Leandro talks about what it means to him to be a rural youth in Brazil today. He also told a little of his wishes for Brazil and for the future.

“A young person’s place is where he wants it. A young person’s place is inside the universities, in the markets. To be young is to raise your fist and say: buddy, we don’t stop and don’t rest, we are us and they are them. , because one more day will shine, we will slowly move forward, achieving our goals and fighting for a Popular Agrarian Reform.”

:: MPF confirms illegal practice in aerial spraying of pesticides in Nova Santa Rita (RS) ::

Brasil de Fato RS – Talk a little about being a young man from the countryside. What do rural youth want today?

Leandro Rybeiro – To be a young man from the countryside, for me, means to be a warrior, to be a lively young man who fights for sovereignty, for a better Brazil, for a society where everyone should be treated in the same way.

Being a country boy in the time that capitalism hits head-on every day also means having a yearning to live in a space that is ours. Living in the countryside is one of the best things I’ve discovered in my career and I carry with me the spirit of sacrifice in order to survive in this society.

I am very happy to be able to go to the city and talk to people I was born without land, and today, there in my little piece of land, I can produce healthy food. [Para mim] to live in a settlement, since my formation, is to carry principles and values ​​of struggle for a Popular Agrarian Reform.

It’s a path that we follow, since we learn to crawl until we start walking on our own. Each one of us, landless youth, carries our own challenges, has our anxieties and anxieties, but we never forget the principles and values.

Through this time of pandemic, the youth of Nova Santa Rita is in a process of new insertions within its settlements. Every day, we, as coordinators and representatives of organized youth, look for our fellows to see how they are doing, calling them to participate in the activities, it makes it worthwhile [ter esse contato]. We have a lot of young people who are working in the city, while others are working within the settlements, whether in the fields and gardens, with families or even in cooperatives.

At that moment, we, landless youth, residents of settlements and camps, yearn to be able to go out in the streets, in the cities, without looking as if we were criminals. What we want is to produce and have the right to better education, whether in urban or rural areas.

You are organizing the 1st Landless Youth Meeting of Nova Santa Rita, talk a little about what this means for you.

We are organizing for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th [de outubro] our 1st Meeting. It will happen in a time of struggle, anxiety and anguish, but a moment that we use to continue inserting our young people into our camps, cooperatives and our family farming.

This Encounter has the task of inserting our youth in the countryside. We want to be able to convey a little to our young people what the struggles are going on, [por exemplo] against this genocidal government that has been attacking us. We hope to be able to achieve these goals and rekindle the flame within each young person.

The youth itself, we know that it is going through a time of great oppression. Against us, young people from the countryside, but we understand that young people in the city are also going through the same moment, especially if we think about the Bolsonaro government.

So, the youth still has a flame of hope burning in their chests. But yes, there have been big changes in militancy, especially with the pandemic. We believe that we will be able to continue our fight when this moment passes, we will not stop for any moment, but we also need to respect the pandemic time that we are still having.

Recently, the settlements of Nova Santa Rita suffered from aerial spraying that poisoned residents and agroecological crops in the region. I ask how is the fight for a production model without poisons and how youth fits into it.

We had another attack this year with the spraying of poisons on our settlement. It is sad to see that our companions, friends and relatives have had many losses from the food they raise every day to produce. In a few hours, all our effort was lost, as a single person had the nerve to fly by and spray poison all over our area.

:: MPF confirmed illegal practice in aerial spraying of pesticides in Nova Santa Rita (RS) ::

It’s sad, but there’s always hope, we’re fighting to get justice. All the hard work that each teammate had was lost, but we are going to be able to structure ourselves again. The youth are working on these crops, together with cooperatives. Many work in the rice fields or in vegetable gardens and this is a source of joy to see young people joining in the activities of the agrarian reform.

Currently, the emergence of so-called “neo-rurals” is perceived in various parts of the world, who are young people and adults who migrate from the urban to the rural environment. Although still small, it is already a relevant move, can you comment?

Yes, it is a relevant move. We have noticed that young people and adults in urban areas have been involved in field struggles, wanting to learn more about the land, how the cycle of a plantation starts, what process we take to be able to put healthy food on the table, without pesticides.

For us, it is a movement that makes us happy, knowing that young people in the city have this desire to want to learn a little more about the land. It is an important process of building guidelines [conjuntas].

Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul

Edition: Katia Marko

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