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.

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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.

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Honduras, Interview with Rafael Alegría on land occupations

Honduras, May 3rd

RA: My name is Rafael Alegría and I am from Honduras. I am the regional co-ordinator for La Via Campesina in Honduras and for all of Central America. We are co-ordinating La Via Campesina which is a movement that integrates 6 organisations at a national level: the National Office of Farm Workers (CNTC), the National Association of Campesino Organisations (ANACH), the Western Region Association (ANRO), the San Manuel Campesino Movement and the Unified Campesino Movement of Aguan (MUCA), amongst other organisations.

At this moment in time, there is a very serious agricultural conflict taking place - the campesinos want to work and produce their own food to feed their families and to contribute to the national economy. This is why on the 17th April, the International Day of Peasants' Struggles, the Honduran campesinos occupied 15,000 hectares of national, communal, fiscal and unoccupied lands. But the government and landowners are using repressive measures against the campesinos. At the moment, 126 campesinos have been charged and persecuted with preventive measures and I would also like to mention that there are approximately 700 women participating in the struggle to reclaim the land.

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