India, Thousands more farmers on parliament street

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New Delhi, March 19, 2013: On the second day of a large farmers’ rally in the heart of India’s capital here today, the Mahapanchayat (great assembly) of farmers and agriculture workers resolved to stay put until their demands are met. In a historical new formation, people’s movements and large farmers’ unions have come together to defend land rights and protect farm livelihoods. Lambasting the government for its anti-farmer policies, speaker after speaker rejected government’s development paradigm, which neglects rural India and agri livelihoods. The night saw thousands of farmers sleeping on Parliament Street in the open, with the government choosing to ignore them. “We are the Anna Daatas who keep the nation alive and the government cannot continue with its impoverishment policies towards farmers. More people are headed towards Delhi now and it looks like the government will respond only when an issue reaches a flash point”, said Yudhvir Singh of Bhartiya Kisan Union.

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India, Massive protests to stop land grabbing and defend agriculture

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A historic mobilization of more than 1 lakh farmers, farm workers and agrarian masses belonging to a wide variety of social movements from across India descended upon New Delhi today. Protestors at the “Kisan Khet Mazdoor Mahapanchayat” in Jantar Mantar came all the way to the Indian capital to show their collective commitment to reversing the ongoing agrarian crisis. The government's responsibility for this crisis lies in its overenthusiasm for liberalization reforms, which ultimately support foreign investors, corporations and elite consumers instead of the agrarian masses and common people of India. Farmers from the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers' Movements (ICCFM), which comprises of independent mass farmers groups such as the Bhartiya Kisan Union and the Karnataka Farmers Movement (KRRS), have joined hands with the largest alliance of peoples' movements in India called the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in order to defend Indian people's access to land, water, forest and seeds – the most important resources of agrarian people, and the source of food and livelihood for the Indian masses.

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India, Mass Mobilization for Land Rights and Defense of Agriculture

Open call for Kisan (farmers) and Khet mazdoor (agriculture workers) mass mobilization

When: 18th March, 11 am onwards

Where: Jantar Mantar

Who: Farmers movements of the Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements – the (Bhartiya Kisan Union, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha) as well as brothers and sisters from the National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM).

What: The mobilization will focus on people's right to land and the land acquisition bill. Along with the land bill, we have created a 5 point demand to defend agricultural livelihoods and put an end to the anti people development model imposed by the pro corporate predatory Indian state. 

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South Africa: Stop rural slavery! Respect the farmworkers!

Via Campesina Africa Solidarity Statement on the farmworkers mobilization

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(Maputo 14th January 2013) - During the month of November last year, the world watched farmworkers strikes, particularly those working in vinyards, in the Western Cape Province, in South Africa. They were protesting against exploitation and poor working and living conditions on farms, demanding an increase in minimum wages. In many cases, South African police responded to the demonstrations with violence and intolerance and showed no respect for laws. Many farmworkers and activists were arrested, including peasants of The Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign, a member of La Via Campesina.

After dubious negotiations that halted the strikes in December, the South African government has refused to make any change to the minimum wage and the situation has remained unchanged. Early this January farmworkers resumed the strikes and are being heavily repressed by police.

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