Brazil. Committed to defending rights, we prepare for the popular plebiscite in Minas Gerais

Last February 24 and 25, the community of Sisters of Belo Horizonte, together with Professor Nilton, member of the Venda Nova Committee, participated in the Seminar for the Preparation of Trainers for the Popular Plebiscite of Minas Gerais.

The Seminar was attended by around 370 people from more than 100 popular organizations from all over the State of Minas Gerais. We left with our hearts full of hope because of the number of young people present. The “Levante da Juventude” (Student Movementofthis place) maintained the dynamics of the participants with its own activities for the event.

The Popular Plebiscite is being prepared to listen to the population about the privatization of state-owned companies: CEMIG, COPASA, CODEMIG, GASMIG, CODENGE, since privatization is a priority of the ultra-right-wing Romeu Zema, Governor of the State of Minas Gerais.

The Plebiscite is the “escape valve” that the Minas Gerais Constitution guarantees to the people to express their opinion on such a serious matter. Removing it from the Constitution remains a goal of the governor. We have to resist. We cannot allow privatization because it would mean that the profits generated by these companies for the State would remain in the hands of the powerful, knowing that they were built with taxes paid by the people. THEY ARE THE PEOPLE’S, THEY ARE OURS, was constantly said during the seminar.

The meeting had a good presentation of the national situation and of Minas Gerais, in particular, with a lot of dialogue among the participants. On the second day we had group work by Regions where written guidelines were provided so that we could discuss voting at the local level.

We need to do things right, with conscience, as votes could be lost if voting rules are not followed.

In the case of Venda Nova (Belo Horizonte Region where our house is located), it will be discussed at the next meeting of our Committee, scheduled for March 15. The Committee meets once a month, usually in our Vedruna house. It will be very important for the committee to have everyone present so that we can be well organized and so that people are well informed and prepared.

H. Virma Barion, CCV