17 April : Day of Peasant's Struggle

On 17th April, We Struggle Against Transnational Companies and Free Trade Agreements

17 April 2015: International Day of Peasant and Farmer Struggle against Transnational Companies and Free Trade Agreements

POSTER 2015 17 DE ABRIL INGLES  FINAL corregido - Cpia 2.png(Zimbabwe, Harare, March 30, 2015) La Via Campesina declared April 17th as the International Day of Peasant Struggle in order to highlight the struggle and to denounce the criminalization of protests. Peasant and farmers are persecuted and suffer violence on a daily basis as a result of the actions of agribusiness and the implementation of neoliberal policies in the countryside. For the International Peasant and Farmer Movement, it is urgent to speed up the approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people living in rural areas. The Declaration will be a tool to support the struggle for life and dignity in the countryside. 

This April 17th 2015, La Via Campesina will focus its mobilizations on the impacts of Transnational Corporations and Free Trade Agreements on peasant and small-scale agriculture and national food sovereignty. We are calling for the further strengthening of social struggle and of the world-wide organization of peoples, in order to demand a genuine agrarian reform and to assert the ancestral right to lands and territories, a central element of Peasant Agriculture and Peoples' Food Sovereignty.

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April 17: Tanzania (Mororgoro) MVIWATA debates Land rights

Mviwata.jpg(Mororgoro, April 17, 2014 ) Ahead commemoration of the International Day of Peasants' Struggle, the National Network of Farmers in Tanzania (MVIWATA) organised a workshop on 16th March, 2014 in Mororgoro town, attended by 70 participants from different cadres. These categories include farmers from different 9 regions of Tanzania mainland whose villages were affected by large scale farming, Government officials, MVIWATA Partners, academicians/researchers  and members of the press.

Deputy Minister of Lands, housing and human settlement development Hon. George Simbachawene graced the event.

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April 17 : Australia (Toowomba) Field Visit to Symara Farm

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_australia1scaled.jpeg(Toowomba, April 17, 2014) The newly formed Family Farmers United Network (FFUN) held a field day at Symara Farm, owned by Ray and Sam Palmer.  This was the network's first event, and was a great success.  After introductions, the group was led by Ray and Sam and taken on a tour of their beautiful farm.  From a greenhouse filled with healthy tomato and cucumber plants, to fields of vegetables covered in cloth to protect them from frosts, to free range chickens for eggs and meat – the group listened intently to the information that Ray shared.   The more experienced farms offered suggestions and advice which was greatly appreciated by the whole group.

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April 17 : Palestine (Beit Al-Roush Al-Foka) UAWC Joins the World in the Defense of Local Seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_17april_palestine.jpg(Ramallah, April 17, 2014) - On the Day of Peasants’ Struggle (April 17th) the Palestinian peasants representing Via Campesina Palestine raise their voices to save the local seeds and abandon the genetically modified seeds in a small village in the city of Hebron named Beit Al-Roush Al-Foka in cooperation with the National Local Seed Bank initiated by the Union of Agricultural work committees’ (UAWC) which is the only seed bank in Palestine. The struggle of saving the local seeds is an international struggle in which all the farmers in La Via Campesina support to save the small-scaled farmers around the world and accomplish food sovereignty.

Palestine is considered one of the world’s largest users of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, according to World Health Organization (WHO) the Gaza strip had hundreds of tons of chemical fertilizers which causes health and environmental disasters. Moreover, in the last ten years the loss of the local Palestinian seeds has been noticed in addition to the purchasing of the local seeds by the GMO companies that increased the loss of local seeds and replaced them with GMO seeds.

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April 17 : Syria (Qamishlo, Al-Hasaka) Distributing Flyers on Organic Farming and Natural seeds

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_17april_Qamishlo_Al-Hasakascaled.jpgOn april 17, to celebrate the international day of peasant's struggle, the UKSS (Union of Kurdish Students in Syria) distributed flyers on organic farming and Natural seeds in the streets and shops of Qamishlo, Al-Hasaka. They also produced some videos with interviews of farmers, explaining how the use of chimicals has “dryied” their soils and poisoned their food. The video is available here in english and arabic.

April 17 : The Netherlands (The Hague) Land concentration, land grabbing, and people’s struggles in Europe: Infographic

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_17april_TNIscreenshootscaled.jpg(April 17, 2014, The Hague) On April 17, 2013 the Transnational Institute published, for the Hands off The Land Alliance and the European Coordination of La Via Campesina, a series of studies on key land issues in Europe under the title “Land Concentration, Land Grabbing, and People’s Struggles in Europe.” This collection of case studies put to rest the idea that land grabbing is a phenomenon restricted to the Global South and showed that millionsof European farmers are being squeezed off their land, which is increasingly being captured for large-scale production or non-agricultural uses. To commemorate the one year anniversary of the book’s publication and to continue to spread some of its key messages, TNI is proud to release an infographic designed to clearly illustrate central issues in an accessible form.

View the infographic in English

April 17 : Philippines (Quezon) lighting of torches outside of the Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_17april_torch_philippinesscaled.jpg(April 17, Quezon) Here are some pictures during the lighting of torches in the 3 crosses erected near the farmers' camp outside of the Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City, Philippines to celebrate the International Day of Farmers’ Struggles in defense of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Seeds.

With us during the occasion were student leaders from the University of the Philippines (UP). The officers of the UP Student Council and representatives from the Focus on the Global South. All of them are in support of the struggles of the three (3) farmer organizations, members of PARAGOS-PILIPINAS, to own the land they till and occupy. Members of La Via Campesina, Regional Southeast Asia visited the camp last October 2013 in solidarity with the farmers' struggles. The camp- out of the farmers started last October, 2012 and it is almost one year and six months now that have been camping out to press their demands to have their lands covered under the agrarian reform program of the government and they VOW not to SURRENDER until their demands are fulfilled.

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