Our duty is to organize the whole population affected by dams in Brazil while exposing the contradictions of this society. If from one side, the companies and the governments choose to follow a principle of commodification of water, energy, and people’s lives, the affected women choose to follow the principle of life, of common good: water and energy are not commodities, they are part of the sovereignty, the creation of wealth and redistribution should therefore be under popular control.MAB Statement, August 29, 2017
This week from Oct 1-8, 2017, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) helped to convene an It Takes Roots delegation of frontline organizers to the 8th National Encounter of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) taking place in Brazil.
As a national organization made up of hundreds of grassroots-base groups of dam affected families, the MAB is one of the strongest mass social movement forces in Latin America. The MAB began in the 1970s when there was a massive expansion of hydroelectric dams that displaced thousands of people, farmers and rural workers from their houses and lands, and made them lose their jobs. Through decades of deep organizing, the MAB is waging powerful struggles led by impacted community fighting for popular control over energy production in defense of land, water, and human rights.
This year, the MAB National Encounter will also bring attention to one of the worst environmental crimes in the history of Brazil: the Samarco Dam Collapse in 2015 in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais. The collapse released a tidal wave of mining waste across the Rio Doce basin that killed 19 people, displaced more than 6000 families, and polluted the surrounding streams and rivers. MAB members are waging a powerful fight for the mining companies Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton in Rio Doce who caused this devastation to meet their responsibility, providing full reparation of the rights of the affected communities.
The national encounter will be followed by a 2 day international seminar, including exchanges and dialogue on the visions of energy sovereignty and just transition.
Follow @ggjalliance and @CJAourpower on twitter and the facebook pages for Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and CJA’s Our Power Campaign for updates from the national encounter and international seminar.
Water and energy with sovereignty, wealth distribution and popular control!