Stop Free Trade Agreements!

“Sunflower Revolution” in Taiwan : STOP Police Brutality, NO to Free Trade Agreements NOW!

Appeal for international solidarity of Taiwan Rural Front (TRF) and Taiwan Farmers Union (TFU)

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_fta_occupation_parliament_taiwanscaled.jpg(March 25, 2014, Taiwan) Taiwan Rural Front (TRF) and Taiwan Farmers Union (TFU), member of La Via Campesina in East and Southeast Asia, launch an emergency appeal for international solidarity against current administration’s rush for cross-strait free trade agreement and excessive use of police force.

Pressure on the Ma administration has been mounting since the ruling Chinese Nationalist party (KMT) pushed to bypass full legislative review of the controversial Cross Straits Service Trade agreement (CSSTA) on March 17.

Enraged by the politicking of the ruling party, nearly three hundred young Taiwanese stormed the legislature on March 18 and declared indefinite occupation of its main chamber. The occupy movement quickly gained momentum as over ten thousand Taiwanese flocked all sides of the legislature building in support of students’ cause. Represented by an alliance consisted of students, lawyers and civil organizations, the movement has since demanded that :

1) the CSSTA be retracted,

2) a formal monitoring mechanism for all cross-strait agreements be established, and

3) negotiations of any sort between Taiwan and China be halted before such monitoring mechanism exists.

Read more: “Sunflower Revolution” in Taiwan : STOP Police...

Statement on the 2013 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum

Gerak Lawan and the Social Movements on Alternatives for Asia

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_fta_2013-10-28_apec_scaled.jpgThe 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) hosted and chaired by Indonesia this year, met in Bali from 5-7 October 2013. The APEC has no enforceable agreements like ASEAN’s, but it continues to serve as a platform for economic and political leaders to come together and mainly push the agenda of investments liberalization and free trade, and address security issues in the region.

Indonesia's leadership is deemed crucial in driving regional and global economic growth, especially in the light of the global economic slowdown and financial crisis. Under the theme “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth” theme, Indonesia is expected to play a major role in positioning the region as the “engine of global economic growth”.

Read more: Statement on the 2013 Asia Pacific Economic...

Thailand :Assembly of the Poor demanding Thai-EU FTA Talk must not restrain freedom of seed

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Over 100 farmers from Assembly of the Poor (AOP) – La Via Campesina member in Southeast Asia – gathered in front of Thai Government House in Bangkok in the morning, as a campaign action to scrutinize the second round of Thai-EU FTA negotiation going on in Chaingmai province during 16-20 September. Assembly of the Poor was met by Mr. Suporn Attawong, Deputy Secretary-General to Prime Minister.

AOP representative read the statement, saying that the ongoing Thai-EU FTA negotiation is a state’s economic policy which will affect natural resource bases, wellbeing and rights of the poor. The attempt of EU to pressure Thai government to extend the intellectual property to cover genetic resources and bio resources will open the door for the corporates to monopolize seed and bio technology industries and grab natural resources from the poor. Farmers will have to buy seeds at high price while keeping seeds for next season, mutual exchange of seeds and protection of seeds and genetic resources become crimes.

Read more: Thailand :Assembly of the Poor demanding...

Colombia : International Call for Solidarity with the National Agrarian and Popular Strike

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We - Farmer, Indigenous, Fishing, Women and Farmworker Organizations who are part of La Via Campesina and follow a global model of class solidarity and internationalism - express our undivided support and backing to the close two hundred thousand peasants, farmers, transporters and miners who have mobilized for the last ten days in the National Agrarian and Popular Strike, organized by grassroots and rural sectors throughout Colombia.

Read more: Colombia : International Call for Solidarity...

Family Farmers and Allies Converge on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) to Mark La Via Campesina's International Day of Peasant Struggle

Press release of Family Farm Defenders

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Call Upon the U.S. Congress to Reject the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Demand the U.S. Dept of Justice (DoJ) Take Anti-Trust Action Against Corrupt Food Giants, and Reassert the Right of Food Sovereignty For ALL!

Fri. April 19th  

12:00 Noon  Protest & Leaflet, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, 141 W. Jackson

Fri. April 19th    

5:30 pm  Potluck & Forum, Jane Adams Hull House Museum, 800 S. Halsted

To mark Via Campesina’s International Day of Peasant Struggle, family farmers and their allies will once again converge on the doorstep of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) – 141 W. Jackson – at Noon on Fri. April 19th to expose the rampant price fixing by commodity speculators that is behind the ongoing global food crisis.  Last year on May 23rd thousands of angry citizens turned up inside and outside the CME annual shareholders meeting to demand greater social responsibility from Chicago's most lucrative corporation, which posted $1.9 billion in profits in 2011 while receiving millions in local, state, and federal tax cuts.

Read more: Family Farmers and Allies Converge on the...

India, Farmer's and Trade Unions Protest against the EU India FTA

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Bhartiya Kisan Union Farmers at protest against EU India FTA in Feb 2012

Farmers and trade unions of India have been protesting against the undemocratic EU India free trade agreement. Over the last couple of months, the alliance of organizations called the Anti FTA front has written 872 letters to important officials, organizations and political parties including the Prime Minister and the Members of Parliament about this unfair trade deal. “There are serious impacts on food security, livelihood security of millions of farmers and small retailers and we haven't even been informed or consulted about the EU India FTA,” said Rakesh Tikait of Bhartiya Kisan Union a member of La Via Campesina. In fact no impact studies have been made available even to the Indian parliament or state governments, let alone the ordinary people of India whose lives are at stake. Ironically, the Indian government has left no stone unturned to show its urgency and deep commitment to European business making media statements about its plans to swiftly conclude the EU India FTA by March this year.

Read more: India, Farmer's and Trade Unions Protest...

Understanding Free Trade through the KORUS FTA and the Necessity of Regional Economic Cooperation

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Under the guise of trade liberalization, the state becomes the advance guard for transnational corporations (TNCs) concluding FTAs that further increase the profits of TNCs by exploiting people’s lives. Yet, TNCs are still not satisfied. They now want to transform existing free trade agreements into a more comprehensive and stronger form that would further limit the ability of social movements to demand government policies that improve and safeguard the well-being of farmers, workers, and consumers...

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South Korea, conclusions from regional strategic meeting against FTAs

Sharing each country’s situation on FTA/TPP & Results of 2nd Strategy Meeting on FTA/TPP

Australia: Mr. Harvey Purse from AFTINET

Where we are in Australia in the moment?

60 unions, community groups, church groups are fighting for fair trade based on principles of human rights, labor rights, and environmental sustainability. We are raising awareness of this agreement in Australia slow building opposition against the TPP. When Australia negotiated with US there was 35% opposition, now there is 65% opposition. The goal is to achieve the same with the TPP. We have started campaigning with young people such as holding a concert with variety of artists. There was also a book written: No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the TPP. The book was written by people from Australia, New Zealand, US, and a few of the Latin American countries that were involved. We are also creating a series of pamphlets to update every few months around worker’s rights and health in order to raise awareness in Australia and cut through all groups in Australia. We have managed some victories. We got the Catholic and United church to support us. We also have support from the National Unions for construction, mining, forestry and manufacturing and social services. We have gotten the current government (Worker’s government) to oppose any changes that impact people’s access to cheap medicine and to oppose the ISD. We have gotten them to protect worker’s rights from being impacted by free trade agreements or TPP and to agree that the environment must be protected. We are worried that we may lose next year’s election to a far more conservative administration. We are all working together and keep on educating.

Read more: South Korea, conclusions from regional...

Farmers, people living with HIV and small traders protest against the EU India Free Trade Agreement

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10 Feb, New Delhi: Indian farmers joined people with HIV and small traders to protest against the EU-India Free Trade agreement, which will impact all three sectors by ending livelihoods and cutting access to cheap medicines. EU is calling for a speedy resolution of this agreement, while the Indian government has not undertaken any democratic consultations or impact assessments and the text is still kept secret from the people.

Small and medium farmers are against free trade in agriculture which encourage dumping of cheaply produced food products and put local food producers out of business while cutting the ability of nations to feed themselves by increasing reliance on imports. They instead support food sovereignty which is the ability of nations to feed their people through local production by small farmers, local resources, local agro-ecological methods and traditional knowledge of farmers. They oppose the corporate take over of the food system that cares more about profit than people or nature. This FTA is precisely a corporate take over of the food system, where agribusiness in both EU and India will benefit while pushing small farmers and milk producers out of business in both the regions.

Read more: Farmers, people living with HIV and small...

Fee Trade Agreements Kill People!

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La Via Campesina South East and East Asia position paper

We, representatives of peasants, workers, consumers, urban and rural poor, social movements and civil society organizations are gathering in Chiba and Tokyo, Japan from 12 to 15 October 2011. La Via Campesina South East and East Asia region with FTA Watch (Thailand), Shokkenren (Japan) and Task Force against Korea-US FTA (Republic of Korea) organize a strategic meeting to discuss Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is to express our alarm on the implementation and pursuing of the agreements across Asia. Currently there are dozens of FTAs between countries and/or regions and they have been threatening peoples’ livelihood in the region.

At present, the world is still experiencing food, energy, financial and environmental crises. Corporations and capitals who cause these crises are trying to fill their already-full pocket by pushing FTAs and TPP. Only 1 percent of the world’s population are practicing and reaping benefits from free trade. This attempt will exacerbate the current crises and sacrifice the people, especially the poor.

Read more: Fee Trade Agreements Kill People!

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