The peasants of Camp Manoel Ribeiro, led by the League of Poor Peasants (LCP) of Rondônia and the Western Amazon, have collectively organized the struggle, jobs and life in the land occupation since the beginning of the seizure of the lands of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida latifundium in the municipality from Chupinguaia.
Through the People’s Assemblies, work commissions, and family groups, the workers collectively decide from the distribution of jobs and responsibilities to the rules of operation of the camp and the directions that the occupation will take.
Based on the principle of “Supporting oneself,” peasants manage and execute all collective life in the camp: they build wells for water supply, canvas shacks for housing, collective kitchens to feed families, bathrooms, fences for families, protection of the camp, care for collective health and prevention against Covid-19, education and care of children, political training etc.
United and organized, the peasants have won important victories in the fight against the use of alcohol and drugs in the camp through intense collective discussion and the prohibition of their consumption in and around the outlet.
For the prevention of Covid-19, the Sanitary Committee for Popular Defense was created, which holds meetings with each family group for clarification, distributes masks and hand sanitizer, and monitors the health of families, frequently measuring the temperature and blood oxygen levels of people who have any symptoms. Also to prevent the transmission of the virus, the peasants decided to set up and divide the collective kitchens into groups of approximately ten peasants, which reduces the concentration of people during meals.
The cleanliness of the collective areas of the camp is also everyone’s concern. Family groups are instructed to dispose of garbage in a collective pit. Often, cleaning efforts are established that pass through the camp, collecting packaging and other materials that have been improperly discarded.
Politicization has also been carried out with all groups of peasants. Studies are made of the LCP booklets and documents and the struggle for the application of political and organizational principles. Thus, the peasants of the Manoel Ribeiro Camp are increasingly following the path of the Agrarian Revolution, the only one that can guarantee peasants the sacred right to land, and which, with its continuation, can lead to the achievement of a more just society.
MANOEL RIBEIRO CAMP GROWS WITH THE ARRIVAL OF NEW FAMILIES EVERY DAY AND PANDEMIC PREVENTION
With more than three weeks of occupation of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida estate, the Manoel Ribeiro Camp has received, every day, more and more families in search of work and housing. All of them have been guided on preventive measures against the new coronavirus through the action of the Sanitary Committee for Popular Defense, formed by the peasants of the occupation.
The camp, located in Chupinguaia, Southern Cone of Rondônia, was built on one of the last parts of the lands of the old Fazenda Santa Elina and already has the presence of peasants even from distant regions like Goiânia and Cuiabá, in addition to people from practically all neighboring municipalities.
The arrival of new families reinforces the collective struggle and organization of the camp every day. Based on the principle that “with solidarity and cooperation the people can solve their health problems,” the peasants have successfully guaranteed the work of prevention against the transmission of Covid-19 within the lands taken.
The great demand on the part of the families that want to camp and conquer their piece of land to live, plant and give dignified living conditions to their children created the need for the placement of signs and indications to facilitate the location of the camp.
Through the work organized by the peasants, flags, banners, and signs were made and affixed [to fenceposts].
As a result, more than 1 km away, dozens of red flags can be seen flying along the MC01 line, a dirt road that gives access to the occupation. All of them with the acronym LCP written in yellow indicate the way for the take organized by the League of Poor Peasants of Rondônia and Western Amazon.
Coming closer to the line, signs, also red, with large yellow letters indicate with arrows the direction of the entrance to the Camp Manoel Ribeiro.
Already near the gate of the camp, two large banners erected on the neighboring plot of a supporting peasant receive everyone with the consignments: All the lands of the old Fazenda Santa Elina now belong to the people! and 25 years old: Long live the Heroic Resistance of the Peasant Corumbiara!
As the number of campers increases, so does the solidarity of the peasants living in the neighboring Revolutionary Areas, who have donated part of their production to help families struggling for land.
These residents, who won their right to land ten years ago by taking over most of the farm where the Heroic Peasant Resistance of Corumbiara took place, today help other peasants to conquer them also the right to work and housing, taking the rest of the land from old Santa Elina farm. Donations of milk, cassava, yams, green beans etc. arrive at Camp Manoel Ribeiro daily.
This article was originally published on September 18 on the Tribune of the People website, and the original report was published by Resistencia Camponesa.