Calls For Participation Rally In Rome Before The FAO Summit (June 2002)

Via Campesina calls for participation in rally in Rome June 8th, 2002 before the FAO Summit
Via Campesina supports fully the call to participate in the rally for "Land and Dignity" made by our friends, men and women, leaders of our movements that are at the moment in jail or that suffer repression in their country. Vía Campesina demands at the occasion of this FAO Summit the inmediate release of these persons. We expect national governments to move on these important issues and show their political will to come to positive changes regarding the democratic rights of our organizations and farmers’ rights to food production and access to productive resources.

Via Campesina also takes up its three central demands related to productive resources that were communicated to our governments on the 17th of april, the international day of farmers’ struggle: 1) A total ban on "Terminator Technologies" (the production of sterile seeds) and other Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTs) that control the traits in plants and animals, 2) A full investigation led by FAO of the transgenetic contamination of international gene banks and the genetic contamination of Centres of Diversity and concrete measures to avoid this contamination, 3) Concrete steps towards a total abolition of patents on living organisms on the national and international levels. The FAO must forbid CGIAR centers to apply for patents on any genetic resources or their parts and components and the FAO Summit must call upon national governments to ban patents on genetic resources.

We expect these concrete commitments to be agreed internationally at the FAO World Food Summit: five years’ later in Rome in June and at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in August/September 2002.

Via Campesina will be in Rome with an international delegation of ca 100 personas. To contact Via campesina in Roma: For the press: (+39-) 333 1893 512 For organisational questions: (+39-) 338 5898 207 Place we stay: Hotel Domus Pacis, Via di Torre Rossa 94, Rome, Tel +39 06 6627758
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Land and dignity
Let us not lose our memory – let us not lose our future – let us have Food Sovereignty for All!
We – who cannot come to Rome to the World Food Summit: five years later – greet you!

We – farmers, indigenous peoples and workers’ leaders who were chased away from our fields, pursued and now imprisoned – want to be near you because you sustain our our causes.

We are imprisoned in jail without future in the Philippines or in Bolivia, buried under piles of lies in prisons in Brazil or Indonesia, obliged to hide like thieves only because we have given voice to the hopes of those, in India, Africa, or wherever, that want a land where they can live and be free from hunger.

We have been arrested and prosecuted only because we defend our right to live in dignity and produce adequate and sufficient food for everyone, beyond the control and the exploitation of a few transnational corporations and of governments that that impose their rules on the entire world.

We are struggling for:  food sovereignty diversified farmer-based sustainable production GMOs moratorium healthy food prices that justly remunerate the work of farmers  reactivation of just agrarian reform programmes  WTO out of food and agriculture

We strongly want to sustain our thousand days of resistance, the thousands of voices that are crying out from each corner of the world to give courage and spirit to our hopes.

For this we ask you to march in the streets of Rome on 8 June 2002, upholding our causes and shouting our cry: Tierra y dignitad

Land and dignity
So that the whole world will hear it and we will be less alone inside our prisons.
9 may 2002-05-11

Manolito Matricio (former member of KMP national council), Ruben Balaguer, Gelito Bautista, Eduardo Hermoso, Mario Tobias and Joshua Ungsod – Philippines

Daniel da Costa Albuquerque, Jose Carlos Pio y Miguel Serpa da Luz (members of MST from the State of Sao Paulo) – Brasil

Rais bin Amsar, Yusup bin Marsa, Asgari bin Arwa, Sarhadi bin Wari, Samsyuri bin Usma, Usri bin Karsi, Jamali, Warta bin Alias, Ahmad Nurjali (all members of Banten Peasant Union – an organization member of FSPI; they are all in prison in the Cibaliung village, Cibaliung sub-district, Pandeglang Regency, Banten Province) Indonesia

Laskar Mohammad Khalilur Rahman and Dactar Md. Kabir (Bangladesh Krishok Federation; they have to go to court and are threatened with imprisonment) Rahima Begum and Sipra Rani (two women leaders of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, they are harassed by the police every day) – Bangladesh
José Bové, René Riesel, Bernard Moser, Christian Brousse (Confédération Paysanne)- France
Silvia Lazarte (national leader of Bartolina Sisa), Margarita Terán, Seider Emilio V. CH, Eugenio Abendano H., Lidio Julián Gomez, Ambrocio Amador – Bolivia

Leonard Peltier (First Nations Activist; he has been imprisoned for over 26 years; although the government has admitted that they have no idea who shot the FBI agent, Peltier is accused of killing; at a recent parole hearing Peltier was told that he would die in prison; now 57 years of age and in poor health, his long deserved freedom) – USA