By Rob Robinson
Friends of MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil) welcomed leader Ayala Ferreira to NYC for a series of events at universities including Columbia, City University of New York Graduate Center and Rutgers University, Newark NJ. At each of the university talks–Ayala gave a history of the MST in Brazil and it’s 35 years in existence. Ayala gave a contextual analysis of the political situation in Brazil and spoke about work of the rural social movement in the future. There were interesting interactions with audience members at all events as they learned of struggles in Brazil and the importance of international solidarity.
On Thursday morning Ayala was on the steps of New York City hall as two rallies were taking place. The New York Environmental Justice Coalition and the Right to council Coalition and members from each coalition took the opportunity to share struggles and take photos with Ayala. There was also time to do some sightseeing in Harlem, Central Park and Time Square. It was Ayala’s first time in New York City. Photos of the events can be seen by clicking on the link below.
Special thanks to: Gustavo Azenha; Columbia University
Kurt Shock and Sean Mitchell; Rutgers University Newark
Mary Taylor; Center for Place Culture & Politics @ CUNY Graduate Center
Melissa Miles; Ironbound Community Corporation
MST Leader in New York City
Ayala Ferreira holds a degree in Pedagogy from the Federal University of Pará (2005) and a specialization in Agrarian Residence / PRONERA from the Federal University of Pará / Marabá Campus (2012). Ayala has been a MST militant for more than 15 years. She has been responsible for many political and organizational tasks in the movement, including the coordination of MST Internationalist Brigade in Cuba, in 2008 – 2009. Today Ayala is a member of MST National Board and coordinates the Human Rights sector. The event at Rutgers (see attached flyer) is free and open to the public!
Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) in Portuguese, is a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.