Extensive practice of silencing collective voice of grassroots through criminalizing leaders and activities of social movements for benefiting agribusiness and multinational corporations is noticeably evident throughout the world. Farmers’ organizations from Bangladesh united together on 10 November 2016 and observed two minutes of silence to condemn the heinous police invasion with no legal basis that took place on 4th of November at Florestan Fernandes National School (ENFF), a school of MST Brasil, Latin America’s largest Landless Workers’ Movement. The school serves as a space for training activists involved in rural social struggles from different parts of the world. The aim of such dehumanizing operation is to capture and criminalize leaders engaged in the advancement of agrarian reforms as a part of the repressive measures that have targeted the MST in recent months, like the murders of two of its members by police seven months ago in the state of Paraná.
Representatives from 10 organizations including member organizations of La Via Campesina South Asia engaged in a discussion prior to the silent protest on the relevance of the situation in the context of land struggles in Bangladesh where minorities are evicted from their lands and environment activists are threatened with death threats. The discussion proceeded with an emphasis on the need for strong international solidarity among social movements to combat such challenges together and ended with the declaration of solidarity with ENFF and MST demanding more land reforms and a stop to criminalization of social movements.
Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF)
Bangladesh Kishani Sabha
Bangladesh Adivasi Samity
Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labor Federation
National Woman Farmers and Workers’ Association
Bangladesh Krishok Federation( ZaI)
Labor Resource Centre
Kendriyo Krishak Moitree
Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity
Meghna Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation Coordinator for MTCP2.