Elizabeth Mpofu speaks before 50,000 people at the “we are fed up” demonstration

(Berlin, Germany, January 20, 2015) Speech of Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, in front of 50000 people at the we are fed up demonstration

My dear friends!

It is a pleasure and an honor for me to be here today in Berlin for this « We are fed up » demonstration. This was such a powerful march!! My name is Elizabeth Mpofu, I come from Zimbabwe, and I am the general coordinator of the international peasant movement called La Via Campesina. I am myself a small-holder farmer. As small farmers in La Via Campesina, from all over the globe, we are calling for Food Sovereignty, meaning, among other things, that we want and we need local food – and not industrialized and standardized food: we need a good quality food produced through indigenous agroecological farming systems, that respect life and the environment. Agroecological farming is the solution to climate change! And not climate smart agriculture!

Food Sovereignty means also that we want to have access and control over our land and territories, our water, our seeds. Those cannot be private properties of a few! This must belong or be for the use of those who work on and from the land. We need protection against the transnational corporations and all this harmful industrial agriculture and food system that is being sold to us in name of progress and growth. Like it is done with the G8 New Alliance and so many other harmful initiatives driven by northern donors. This is not what we want. This is not what we want in Africa, neither this is not what you want in Europe.

This is why, as small holder farmers in La Via Campesina, we are so attached that the United Nations recognize our specific rights as peasants and why we struggle for the recognition of the Declaration on Peasant Rights in the UN. There is strength in unity, and today we are showing to Germany, to Europe and to the world, how united we are in demanding a drastic change in the global food system. Thank you for that!

 Globalize the struggle, globalize hope!!