(Ramallah, April 17, 2019) La Via Campesina Palestine commemorated the International Day of Peasants’ Struggles by organizing various events in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. La Via Campesina international established this day in 1996 in commemoration of the memory and struggle of 19 peasants from the Brazilian Landless Peasants Movement who were killed due to police brutality.
The events included meetings with farmers to highlight the importance of the International Farmer’s Day and the importance of commemorating it every year along with millions of farmers around the world to emphasize their common struggle towards achieving food sovereignty. The meetings also included dialogues on the adoption of UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, which constitutes a momentous stride towards preserving the rights of peasants around the world in the face of exploitation, persecution, and appropriation of their resources.
La Via Campesina Palestine also organized an event for planting seedlings in the Khirbet al-Deir area in the northern Jordan Valley, which is subject to systematic displacement by the Israeli forces under the pretext of conducting military exercises. 60 participants and members of La Via Campesina from various governorates of the West Bank participated in support of the residents’ resilience against the Israeli occupation.
La Via Campesina Palestine also organized a workshop in Ramallah on the cruciality of adopting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, which guarantees the protection of farmers’ rights around the world against exploitation and the seizure of their resources, particularly farmers in Palestine.
In Gaza, La Via Campesina Palestine held several meetings in Rafah in the presence of 90 farmers and sheep farmers. Similar meetings were organized in Khan Younis where 180 farmers attended, whereas 125 farmers attended the meetings in Al-Zaytun Quarter and 65 fisherfolk attended the meeting in the port of Gaza. The focus of the meetings was recognizing the International Day of Peasants’ Struggles, and the universal Declaration of farmers’ rights. Primarily, the importance of agrarian reform and addressing the concerns, issues, and needs of the farmers in their respective regions was discussed in the meetings. Lastly, the role of La Via Campesina Palestine and the significance of joining them was outlined.