Declaration of the Via Campesina Second Youth Assembly

The countryside is our life
The earth feeds us
The rivers run in our blood
We are the youth of the Via Campesina
Today we declare the beginning of a new world
We come from the four corners of the world
To stand together in the spirit of resistance
To work together to create hope
To talk together about our struggles
To learn from each others work
To be inspired by each others songs, music and stories
To build solidarity between our movements
To unite as a strong force for social change.

From here we go forward to the four corners of the world.
We carry with us a spirit of revolution,
The conviction that another world is possible,
And the dedication to fight for our way of life.
We will fight until we win, until youth all over the world
Are able to live in the countryside, as campesinos, with peace and prosperity.

When the state tries to repress us, we will unite in solidarity and continue the struggle.
When a compañera falls, we will pick her up.
When it gets cold, we will embrace each other so that the fire of our struggle will warm our hearts.
And each day we will place our bodies, our minds and our hearts on the line and fight for life, and fight for La Via Campesina

From the 16th to the 17th of October 2008, young people from more than forty countries and five continents, peasant farmers from different peoples and cultures, members of the Via Campesina, met in Maputo (Mozambique) to celebrate our second Via Campesina World Youth Assembly.

We, the Via Campesina youth present here are facing the inequalities and miseries that are taking over the world. We feel that we are the present and the future of the agricultural model that can sustain the world. However, we share common problems that are making that difficult.

The greatest of our problems is the neo-liberal, capitalist system that, with its mechanisms of repression, extortion and propaganda, has extended inequality and injustice throughout the world.

This system has imposed an industrial agriculture that is causing rural areas to be abandoned, that is causing migration between regions, and is obstructing access to land and natural resources. At the same time the system is encouraging genetically modified organisms, food insecurity and new forms of colonization such as agro-fuels… These problems particularly affect young people, women and workers.

Faced with this harsh reality, the young men and women of la Via Campesina, with strength and feeling, opt for a new social model based on food sovereignty for people through integral land reform. For this we propose:

  • Access to land and favorable agricultural policies that support the return of young people to the countryside, in order to ensure food and the future of our planet.
  • The struggle and action against the neo-liberal model, imperialism, occupying forces, free trade agreements, agricultural policies imposed by the WTO, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), the multinationals, consumerism, genetically modified organisms and the criminalization of social organizations, and unemployment-provoked migrations.
  • Solidarity between the regions as social movements that are implementing alternative models in the face of the neo-liberal model, according to principles of complementarity and cooperation by overcome social inequality.
  • Comprehensive political training for young people. Popular education. Training in peasant farming and agro-ecology.
  • Improving communication between young people from different organizations and the creation of alternative communication networks as a political and social tool for transforming the dominant model.
  • Deepening and advancing the debate about migrations, wage laborers and the working class in general.
  • Articulating the relationships and political, social and cultural alliances between young people in the countryside and the city, with a view towards the unity of the youth of the world for .social change and winning food sovereignty.

We have created the following action plan for making these proposals real:
1.    Create a provisional Youth Committee during the 5th Conference in order to make the work of coordination more dynamic.
2.    To organize at least one regional youth gathering in autumn 2009.
3.    To hold an international camp in the Spanish State in autumn 2009.

We are also going to work on the following aspects:

  • Encourage political and technical training in each region. Produce and distribute ideological training material linked to the Via Campesina’s demands. Creating a list of schools for political training at an international level.
  • Improve communication between our organizations, create alliances with other organizations that fight for the same objectives as la Via Campesina, and open and share the content of this assembly with other friendly organizations and young people.
  • We commit ourselves to develop and strengthen our space as youth in the national, regional and international organizations of the Via Campesina, which is why we ask for incporporation of a male and female youth to serve on the ICC.
  • Organize specific actions against the neo-liberal model and in favor of food sovereignty during the coming meetings, gatherings or assemblies of the Via Campesina Youth.

For all these reasons, the youth, female and male of the Via Campesina commit ourselves to continue to struggle for food sovereignty and the rights of family farmers around the world.
As Neruda said, you can cut down the flowers, but you cannot stop spring

Alerta, alerta, alerta, que camina
la juventud en lucha de la Vía Campesina

Globalicemos la lucha, globalicemos la esperanza!!!!!
Globalize the struggle, globalise hope!!!