India, More than 1000 KRRS farmers arrested in Bangalore

7 June , Bangalore

More than a 1000 Karnataka farmers tried to cease the venue of the Global Investors Meet this morning by blocking the main road and disrupting traffic. The police has arrested about a 1000 while the others are still protesting. KRRS farmers have committed to a jail bharo - they are undertaking mass voluntary arrests.

The Karnataka government is laying a red carpet for investors to come and invest in Karnataka in areas like agriculture, tourism, infrastructure etc. they want to sign atleast 300 MOUs in the two days meet of 7 and 8 June 2012. In agriculture, they want to intensify biotechnology research capacity, set up SEZs for food processing with MNCs like Coca cola, Pepsi and Nestle, intensify contract farming. The Chief Ministers of most other BJP ruled states are present at this meeting.

Farmers are opposing this model of development based on foreign investments, large scale projects that are geared towards exports, profiteering and elite consumerism. Land banks are being set up by the karnataka government for SEZs and alll kinds of incentives like cheap uninterrupted electricity, tax cuts etc are being provided to investors while farmers are being uprooted off their lands, committing suicide and have to beg for drought relief measures, electricity, fair prices for their produce. It is clear that Pepsi and Coca Cola are not interested in feeding people or protecting nature, and neither are they going to solve the serious hunger crises of our country. We need the peasants and people of the land to feed our country. Resources, government incentives and the model of development need to geared towards them.

Taiwan, Protesting local farmers get global boost

Thu, May 31, 2012

La Via Campesina (LVC) — a global alliance of 150 farming rights groups — yesterday voiced their support for Taiwanese farmers who are struggling against forced government land seizures and said it would deliver letters to the Taiwanese government to protest the land-grabs.

“La via campesina, viva. La via campesina, viva. (long live the peasant’s way)” farmers and activists from Taiwan, Indonesia and South Korea chanted at a news event in Taipei to show solidarity in the campaign to defend farmers’ rights.

“Struggles by small-scale farmers to defend their farmland is very common around the world; however, such struggles are often stigmatized and the people involved ... are often sanctioned by law,” said Achmad Yakub, LVC’s youth coordinator for Southeast Asia. “This is why farmers around the world must stand together in solidarity.”

“We would ask all 150 farming rights groups under the LVC to send letters to the government of Taiwan to protest what has been happening to Taiwanese farmers in recent years,” Yakub said.

Read more: Taiwan, Protesting local farmers get global boost

India, Farmers movements protest against Moserbaer power plant land grabbing

Letter to Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh

June 4, 2012

Sir,

Subject: Moserbaer power plant in Anuppur-  stop land grabbing, release farmers, stop police atrocities

On behalf of farmers movements, peoples organizations and civil society we condemn the arrest of the farmers and tribal's protesting the Moserbaer thermal power plant in Anuppur district of MP.

Those farmers that have been beaten and put in jail were exercising their democratic right to oppose an unfair and forced grabbing of their lands for an unsustainable private coal based power plant. It is clear that the government and industrial nexus have illegally got together to steal people's scarce resources and not heeded the needs of the local communities. In todays global environmental, climate and hunger crisis it is crucial to not divert agricultural lands and peoples resources and livelihoods towards such polluting industrial uses and that too using force when people rightfully oppose such moves. The world over governments are debating how to move towards a sustainable path while your government is supporting projects such as  Moserbaer's polluting coal thermal plant and that too in an already water stressed region.

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Brasil, Dilma – Veto All of It! In Defense of the Forest Code

Leader of La Via Campesina Brasil

The bill that amends the Brazilian Forest Code, voted on this week in the Chamber of Deputies, represents the maximum agenda of the ruralists. The caucus that supports agribusiness and defends those who commit environmental crimes showed their unity and succeeded in approving language so intertwined that it affects the whole bill.  

The language of the amendment means that if President Dilma Rousseff vetoes part of the bill, the same thing continues. For example, if she vetoes the part that specifies as 15 meters the minimum forest area to be preserved along the banks of rivers (currently it is 30 meters) – the bill would remain without any mention of the recovery of these areas. Predatory tourism in the wetlands is still allowed, according to the bill.

The ruralists also took the opportunity to make the process of agrarian reform more difficult by restricting the collection of government data about the population and even by annulling the Constitutional mandate that classifies as unproductive the areas where the environment is not respected.

Read more: Brasil, Dilma – Veto All of It! In Defense of...

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