- Published on Monday, 07 July 2014 20:29
The loss of control over processing agricultural goods, such as turning grains into flour, has made it easier for the regime to punish large regions with starvation, and will in the future make it easier for foreign powers to grab hold of Syria through its dependent state, writes Julia, a farmer and member of the international solidarity group- The 15th Garden
When we were approached to write a public letter for you, I felt rather humbled and not knowing where to start. As a farmer and as someone who has encountered the gratitude and witnessed the Sumoud of the Syrian people, I am ashamed of the hardships you are in and ashamed, knowing your strength, that you have been left to fight alone while the weakness of the world is just standing by. Who am I, or any of us out here, to write any lines to you other than those couched in deepest humility.
I am a simple farmer from the worldwide movement of the farmers and peasants, La Via Campesina, which in translation means the path of the farmer. The struggle for food sovereignty begins at our doorstep: when i work the fields on my farm i am actively engaged in the local movement against land grabbing of agricultural lands in my region and the use of poisons and pesticides. This work is not separate to my direct solidarity with Syrians, and is as necessary. Policies of land grabbing, theft, destruction and displacement happen in a 'globalized' setting, and such must be our resistance.
- Published on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:33
On 28th June, Korean farmers from all around country gathered to make a "three steps, one bow" pilgrimage to protect food sovereignty. Civil society organizations including Korean Peasants League (KPL) and Korean Women Peasants Association (KWPA) gathered in Chunggye Stream Square. They made a “three steps, one bow” pilgrimage for about two hours with wearing T-shirts printed on the face of Jun Bong Jun, who led farmers’ revolution in 1890’.
This people’s rally held to make public opinion that opening rice market is the problem not only of farmers, but also consumers and all citizens. Kim Youngho, president of KPL, said that “destroying food sovereignty means that our food jar will be in other countries like US and China. If our food jar will be in other countries, we cannot eat our food safely.
- Published on Monday, 30 June 2014 16:04
La Via Campesina Press Release
(Switzerland, Geneva, June 27, 2014) La Via Campesina welcomes the resolution approved at the UN Human Rights Council to draw up a binding treaty to punish the crimes of transnational companies (TNC's). “This is a victory for peasants, who in most cases are unable to access legal systems to take actions against the impunity of TNCs. Also, looking at the current agricultural activities that have been captured by multinational companies, the instrument will be a great tool for the victims to file cases against land-grabbing by TNCs. We thank the initiating countries and the countries that voted in favour.” said Themba Chauke from the South African Landless Peoples Movement, a member of La Via Campesina.
Violence, evictions, intimidation, the criminalisation of struggles as well as assassinations of farmers who are defending their livelihood, their land and their communities have become common practice used by agribusiness, TNCs, local elites and governments. This violence is linked to the privatization of nature, the concentration of land and the increased corporate control of the food chain.
- Published on Thursday, 26 June 2014 20:21
(Indonesia, JAKARTA, June 26, 2014). Indonesia has witnessed scenes of violence against peasants once again. This time it was connected with plans to build a cement factory on agricultural land, and took place on the 16th June 2014 in the Kendeng Mountains near Rembang in Central Java. Police and military officers were brutal in their treatment of hundreds of villagers, mostly women. Some of the women were even thrown out of the way by the officers, who considered them to be disrupting or blocking the access road to a ceremony marking the start of the building of a cement factory by Semen Indonesia, which is planned to occupy 55 hectares of land in the Gunem sub-district of Rembang. This violence was clearly contrary to religious teachings, cultural values and human rights.