- Published on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 16:11
Brussels (18th April) If you came across a farmers seed exchange, a land occupation, a demo against GMOS, a party in a collective garden or just groups of people having lively discussions on food and agriculture issues over the last few days, then you caught a glimpse of the growing movement to take back control of our food and agricultural systems.
This year more than 40 events were organized across Europe on the 17th of April to mark the International Day of Peasant Struggle – and answer the call of Via Campesina to reject corporate control of our food and agricultural systems.
This date commemorates the 1996 assassination in Eldorado dos Carajás, Brazil, of 19 innocent peasants who were struggling for land and defending peasant and small farmer food production.
Across the world, this resistance to corporate control is growing – in cities, towns, villages and in the countryside, people are organizing, planning and putting ideas in to practice to stop and reverse the ongoing expansion of profit hungry corporate interests into people's lives.
Internationally more than 150 events took place to celebrate real solutions; small scale sustainable agriculture, and Food Sovereignty – which mean an end to the control of transnational corporations in everyday life – starting with the food we eat and the seeds we grow.
Some of the events in Europe included:
- Brussels, Belgium: Seed exchange and demonstrations (17/18 April) – more than 30 organizations from across Europe united in Brussels to celebrate and exchange peasnat and traditional varieties of seeds and grains, and to demonstrate in front of the European Parliament against patents on life, GMOs and the control of transnational corporations in seed markets
- Alicante, Spain: Conference for a living Rural world
- Geneva, Switzerland: Occupation of land to set up a small farm
- Auray, France: Film screenings and debates
- Berlin, Germany: “What's cooking in the heat of the agricultural crisis: agricultural politics from above and resistance from below” Meetings and debates
- Lisbon, Portugal: Mobile theatre demonstration in support of peasant seeds and against corporate control
A more extensive list of actions is available on the Via Campesina website, along with an interactive map: http://www.viacampesina.org/map/17april/map.html