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Less than two months ahead of the Brazilian presidential elections, social movements of the Workers and Peasants Energy Platform are organizing seminars in different regions of Brazil to discuss the country’s energy model.
The first seminars will take place in Belem, Para state on Tuesday 19 of August. People affected by dams as well as farmers, workers of the energy and oil sectors, engineers and academics will participate in the event.
Robson Formica, leader of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) said the seminars aim to “be a process of accumulation of everything we have been discussing and putting forward so that it becomes our struggle agenda for the coming period and so that this will also be a guideline for new positions ahead of the presidential elections that take place this year in Brazil”.
The Workers and Peasants Energy Platform was created in 2010 and it is made up by the Federation of Oil Workers (FUP), MAB, the National Federation of Urbanitarios (urban industry workers), the Interstate Federation of Engineers Trade Unions (Fisenge), the Trade Union of Electricity Workers of the Federal District (Stiu/DF), of Minas Gerais (Sindieletro/MG) and of Santa Catarina (Sinergia/SC) and the Federation of Urban Industry Workers of Sao Paulo (FTIUESP).
According to Robson “we need to recover grassroots control and sovereignty over energy and carry out a social struggle so that energy benefits the Brazilian population, by improving services like health care, education, social programs thus improving peoples’ lives”.
The debate on the energy model in Brazil aims to expose the existing contradictions of the ruling model, as the MAB leader describes: “one is related with the people affected by dams who are expelled from their lands in violation of their fundamental rights; another one is linked with the exploitation of workers of the oil and electricity sector; and another contradiction is the high electricity bills”.
The other cities hosting seminars are: Florianopolis, Recife and Rio de Janeiro. A national seminar will be held in the country’s capital Brasilia in mid September to discuss the outcomes of all the regional debates in order to “come up with proposals and to develop a scenario of struggles for the coming period on important energy issues, which will set the tone for the debate on economic and social development in Brazil in the coming years”, said Formica.
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