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60 actions for the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle
17 April 2008 @ 0 h 00 min BST
Click here for the list of actions!
1. Democratic Republic of Congo
The Confédération Paysanne du Congo COPACO-PRP will organize some activities on 17 April in Congo, Africa. They are taking up the issue of La Via Campesina on the action against trans-national agribusiness companies. For further in for please contact Nathanael BUKA MUPUNGU at email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 17 in Honduras, Central America, there will be a National Civic Strike or “paro civico national” against the neo-liberal model and against the attempts to oppress our people.
The civic strike was called by the National Coordination of Popular Resistance (CNRP), the Confederation of Workers of Honduras (CTH), the General Workers Union (CGT), the Unitary Confederation of Workers of Honduras (CUTH), the Federation of Teachers Organizations (FOMH), the National Peasant Council (CNC) and the Coordinating Council of Peasant Organizations of Honduras (COCOCH) member of Via Campesina.
The strike was decided by the first meeting of trade unions, peasant, teachers and communities that took place in February this year in San Pedro Sula. The main demands are:
- Abrogation of the Law on Drinking Water and Sanitation (reject consessions on river, valleys and water sources).
- A strict control of the prices to halt the rising cost of living, a general wage increase and the cancellation the differential wage differential.
- Nationalization of the importation of fuel and strenghtening of State companies.
- Abrogation of the electoral counter-reform and adoption of a new electoral law.
- To immediately halt evictions of peasant groups. Abrogation of the law of agricultural modernization.
- Free public education at all levels. Cessation of repression against the student movement in the Pedagogical University.
- Drastic reduction in the cost of remittances and to define a public policy that permanently protect migrants and their families.
- Abrogation of the current Mining Law and the conssessions granted without consultation with the communities, suspension of all construction projects of dams.
- Full compliance with the Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization defending and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and blacks communities.
- Immediate purge of the police and implementation of the rule of law to the senior officials and former civil servants responsible of embezzlement of and misappropriation of public funds.
- Launch of a National Strategy for Permanent Redistribution of Wealth on the basis of a proposal made by various social sectors in Hondurans, which ensure the full participation of women and youth.
The contact person is Ramiro Tellez M at the email address: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The SQUATTERS SOCIAL MOVEMENT of KENYA will organize a national seminar in Nakuru town in Kenya. Some peasants leaders will address the forum. For further information please contact HENRY WASWA at email address : email@example.com
4. Dominican Republic
Responding to the Via Campesina call for the 17th of April, the International day of peasant struggle in Dominican Republic 18 farmers’ organizations are mobilizing more than five thousand people in front of the National Congress to introduce the Agrarian Reform bill produced by the movement itself. Only with the organised struggle can we achieve a society based on fairness and respect for Human Rights.
For further information please contact Francisca at email address : firstname.lastname@example.org
The following events are planed/ will be organised around the 17th of April by a coalition of several grassroots-groups, NGOs and networks active in the field of global agriculture in and around Berlin (Germany).
• From 9th of April onwards three collectives will present: An exhibition about La Via Campesina in the cafe “Morgenrot” (Prenzlauerberg); a biodiversity window in the organic shop “Kraut und Rüben” and an information selection on the field of global agriculture in the bookshop “Oh 21” (both Kreuzberg).
•13th of April Bicycle rally and action at a GMO-research-field of the chemical giant BASF; starting at train station Falkenberg/Elster (closed to Berlin)
• 16th of April: Workshop about la Via Campesina/ the action day at in the student run university cafe “Flora Soft”; 7.30 pm: Video screening and campaign information: ” agro fuels create hunger” at LUX (Kreuzberg)
• 17th of April: Action at a petrol station (next to underground station Görlitzer Bhf/ Kreuzberg) afterwards rally to Heinrichplatz; 1.30 pm Heinrichplatz (Kreuzberg) symbolic land occupation with peoples food, an exhibition, video screening and samba band.
You can contact Birgit Hauber at email email@example.com and you could also send email via our mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org and we ll keep you informed about the events.
6. Madrid, Spain
Plataforma Rural in Spain also organizes some activities regarding the April 17. For further information please contact : Cristina Sancho Esteban, Secretaría Técnica de Plataforma Rural
Plaza de la Iglesia s/n
34429 Amayuelas de Abajo, Palencia
Tfno.: 979 15 42 19 Email: email@example.com
7. Barcelona, Spain
On the 17th of April in Barcelona a diverse and heterogeneous group that includes NGOs, social movements, environmentalists, farmers and consumer organizations are gathering to commemorate the international day of peasant’s struggle.
They will organize two actions. First, they will perform a symbolic action in front of the office of Syngenta in Barcelona to denounce the crimes committed against our MST/Brazilian friend. Once the symbolic act will be a demonstration through the streets carrying a coffin to symbolize the death of agribusiness and we will reach the doors of the Catalan department of agriculture.
Arrived at the department, with the coffin carried on a supermarket trolley and sponsored by the agribusiness we will conduct a liturgy for the burial of the bad policies and a model of production that does not interest any people.
We want to unite and join hands with the companions of the MST with a message of joy: we have alternatives and energies to end agribusiness (hence bury agribusiness).
Further information please contact : Xavier Montanyès (on behalf of the collective). Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Indonesia Peasant Union (Serikat Petani Indonesia/ SPI) together with Trade Union Organization, Human Rights Groups, Indonesian Fisherfolk Union, Environmental Groups, and Women organization will organize general assembly against transnational corporations. This is the continuation of the previous long action they did to bring the new investment law to the Judicial Court. Some of the Court decisions are in favor of the peasants, such as the cancellation of the article giving land concessions to investors for more than 90 years.
But the struggle is not not over yet, therefore an action will be organized in the Capital city of Jakarta on 16-17 April. Further information contact Mohammed Ikhwan at email : email@example.com
Bangladesh Landless Association(BBS) in collaboration with other progressive Peasant’s organizations in the country are holding a discussion meeting on April 17, 2008 in Dhaka to celebrate the INTERNATIONAL PEASANTS STRUGGLE DAY declared by La Via Campesina commemorating the histrirical Brazilian martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the same Day in 1996, Demanding LAND REFORM in their own country.
As this is for the first time we are going to work the day in Bangladesh.
You are cordially invited to attend these functions.
The Details of the programme:
X 3.30 PM Please contact : AAM FAYEZ HOSSAIN, BANGLADESH KRISHOK SHANGHO(BKS) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sramajibi Kendra (BSK) has taken the initiative to observe the 17th of April as the National Day of Agrarian Reform Struggle. On the 17th April 1996, 19 landless peasants were killed in Brazil. As protest against it, La Via Campesina has taken step to observe the day as the International Day for Agrarian Reform Struggle throughout the world. Our programme is a sequence of it. For this occasion, we will held programmes in the following 16 districts: Dhaka, Manikganj, Gazipur, Tangail, Mymensighn, Gopalganj, Barisal, Gaibandha, Narshingdi, Ghittagong, Khargranchari,Dinjapur, Ragnpur, Patuakhali, Munshiganj, Narayangaj.
It is mentionable here that due to the political unrest, the state of emergency was declared on 11 January 2007 throughout the country. As a result, we decided to observe the day informally instead of rally and open meeting. Please contact : Nurul Anowar, President email address : email@example.com
11. Latin America and Caribean (CLOC)
The Coordination of Peasant’s organisations coordinations in Latin America and the Caribean (CLOC) is working on getting the report from each members organisation on the violations of peasant rights by trans-national agribusiness corporations. Please contact : Natália Paulino Secretaria Operativa de la CLOC (011) 829 432 5376 firstname.lastname@example.org
A collective of different rural and urban organisations from Switzerland and neighbouring Germany and France is preparing a series of actions on April 16th and 17th in Basel. A central square has been reserved for the two days with different stands for information on involved organisations and products from different rural projects. The central theme will be the dangerous role that the big agro-industrial trusts play in respect to ecologic and social farming – in Europe and worldwide.
Two members of MST from Brasilia have been invited and will participate in the protests. They want to inform the European public on the criminal activities of the trusts such as Syngenta in the state of Paraná.
On Wednesday evening at 19.30 there will be a public meeting in the “Gewerkschaftshaus” in Basel on these issues and on Thursday afternoon at 16.00 a procession will lead from the square “Claraplatz” in the middle of Basel out to the headquarters of Syngenta. For additional information please contact: Claude Braun email@example.com
Press conference at 12am Thursday, April 17, place Navigation (Geneva)
In 1996, April 17 was declared “International Day of peasant’s struggles” by La Via Campesina in memory of landless people killed in Brazil by the military as part of the struggle for agrarian reform. In 2008, the central theme chosen by La Via Campesina is the role of agribusiness and multinationals in the disappearance of local agriculture. ”
Since 2001, the union farmer Uniterre, Swiss member of La Via Campesina, also commemorates this day.
Over the past year, the crisis of agricultural markets has been heavily debated. The rising costs of agricultural raw materials: is this good or bad? Who is responsible? Can farmers benefit from and if so, under what conditions? Was this crisis predictable and how to prevent adverse effects in the future? Here are many questions that Uniterre, Swiss member of La Via Campesina is ready to respond. By word and by the acts.
An international food crisis is emerging
La Via Campesina noted that the food crisis is starting to show its true face. Until recently, the crisis remained confined in marginal rural areas and shanty towns in the south, but it now extends far beyond. “…”
The crisis has also highlighted the grip of trasnational food companies. Having sacrificed peasant’s agriculture by putting pressure on producer prices, they now can finalize their grip on on both producers and consumer “….”
Local Agriculture is a credible alternative to agribusiness
Multinational companies called into question
Many multinational companies have their headquarters in Switzerland. They are the main beneficiaries of the liberalisation of agricultural markets. One of them, Syngenta, is at the heart of grave violations of the rights of peasants. “…”
Local Agriculture’s contract
Uniterre has been supporting for more than 5 years the emergence of contracts for local agriculture inspired by the principle of food sovereignty.
Events related to the April 17 in Switzerland will be held in Geneva, Frieburg, Neuchatel and Basel.
Press Contacts: Uniterre 02160174 / 07967214 07
Federation President Claude Mudry romande Local Agriculture’s contract 07936576 10 Agriculture contractual near-Geneva: Rudi Berli: 07870778 83
Local Agriculture’s contract – Fribourg: Gerhard Hasinger 07935536 84
Local Agriculture’s contract – Neuchatel: Brendan Thiébaut, 07981062 54
Basel: “Collective day landless, c / o Europäisches BürgerInnenforum (EBF), St. Johanns Vorstadt 13, Basel; Tel: 079 / 783 24 03, e-mail: @ k.hahn civic-forum.org
A Pakistan Peasant Conference will be held on 17 April 2008 at Military Farms Okara. Pakistan Peasant Conference “ Fulfilling the promises of land ownership” will take place on 17 April at village 15/4L Military Farms in Okara district. Anjaman Mozareen Punjab (AMP) organizes the conference in coordination of Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee (PKRC). AMP has led the peasant movement in different Military Farms for land rights during the last eight years.
The conference is organized on the International day of Peasants celebrated all over the world on 17 April.The day is organised on the apppeal of VIA CAMPESINA. Thousands of peasants are expected to attend this conference. The main demands of the conference will be
• Ownership rights for all tenants at Military Farms and other public farms
• Withdrawal of all charges against peasant leaders and activists during the movement
• Restore the right of ownership for those tenants kicked out of their land
• Reinstate all civil employees of Military Farms who were kicked out
• Ownership rights of the homes that peasants are living
The conference is taking place in a village that is known for its militancy to fight against the repression of the Military Farms administration. Many people from this village have been to jail and dozens of villagers are still facing charges.
A meeting of the leaders of AMP and PKRC was held in Lahore on 7 April to finalize the details of the conference. It was decided to invite the elected representatives to this conference alongside with the main leadership of the peasant organizations. It was also decided to invite the electronic and print media from Lahore. This will enable to highlight the peasant issues at national level.
It is expected that over 5000 peasants will come together from different districts of Pakistan to attend this conference. It demands the land rights for the tenents working at the military and other public farms. It will demand that all the cases registered against peasant leaders be taken back and land to the tillers.
Further information contact Farooq Tariq : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Landless Workers Movement of Brasil will commemorate the massacre of 19 landless workers struggling for land on the 17th of April, 1996 in Eldorado de Carajás. The movement denounce the impunity of those who committed one of the most violent acts of repression in the country. MST has been mobilising thousands of people on the 16th of April and staged actions for agrarian reform in nine states (Brasilia, Rio Grande Do Sul, Permambuco, Espiritu Santo, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Alagoas, Goyas, Rio de Janeiro, Para, Sergipe, Mato Groso, Mato Groso do Sur, Bahia).
Correio – email@example.com, Página – www.mst.org.br
The orgnanisation “Frères des Hommes” in France is organising a “protest on a bycicle” in Paris to take part in the International Day of Pesant’s Struggle. The mobilisation will defend pesant’s agriculture in France and across the world, Food sovereignty and the Nyeleni delcaration. It will also denounce financial speculation on land that is blocking acceès to land in the country and the criminalisation of civil desobedience. It will explore and defend the “field of struggle” that are opening to us.
Frères des Hommes : www.fdh.org
The Rural council for the development of agriculture and fishing (CORDAP), member of Via Campesina, is organising a dialogue and concertation in Yaoundé under the issue of “What kind of food policy do we want to develop in Cameroun in the era of rising international food prices?”
Contact: Pascal nkwe makongo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For Peasant’s and Indigenous life! Against the plundering of life by agrobusiness!
The national peasant and indigneous movement (MNCI) is mobilising in 7 provinces in Argentina for Food sovereignty and Agrarian reform.
There will be actions in the 7 following provinces
Jujuy-Red Puna: mobilisation on the 4th of April.
Salta- Encuentro Calchaquí: March, peasant’s market and celebration.
Misiones-MOCAMI: March in San Pedro
Santiago del Estero. MOCASE-VC: Mobilisations, peasant’s fair and festival.
Córdoba-MCC: Marcha in Córdoba, peasant’s fair and actions against the soya agro-industry.
Mendoza-UST: March, fair, music and radio.
Buenos Aires: Action to denounce Monsanto, peasant’s fair, videos…
Contact: Mocase VC – email@example.com
The Support Committee for land (CAxTierra) issued a statement of support to all the farmers oppressed in their struggle for land. They are mobilizing against the “Transnationals of Hunger!” and for “Land to the the tiller”
Contact: CAx Tierra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Sweden, UBV-Latinamerika is joining hands with the Via Campesina in the commemoration of the peasant’s struggle day and are organising a large range of activities during the month of April in Malmo, Lund, Boras, Alingsas, Stokholm, Vasteras and ESKILSTUNA.
Contact: NOrdBruk <email@example.com>
The farmers organisation FUGEA, member of La Via Campesina, along with a coalition of organisations issued a statement on the food price rise and the farmer’s struggle in Beligum and in the world. The signing organizations are as follow: Comité Belgo Brésilien, FIAN Belgique, Campagne “Face it. Act now”, OXFAM Solidarité, SOS Faim Belgique, Saveurs Paysannes, Solidarité socialiste, Entraide et Fraternité, Magasins du Monde-Oxfam, Greenpeace Belgique. Please contact: FUGEA – Xavier Delwarte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
22. United State of America USA
Dena Hoff, Vice President of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) in the USA published a spetial message for April the 17th : Food Sovereignty, beyond democracy.
Please find it in the Via Campesina website. Contact: email@example.com
The Farmer union will convene a symposium on the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul. The title of the symposium is “The Impact of TNC’s on the Global Food Crisis”. Prominent academicians, students and farmers will attend the event. Documentaries will also be shown to enlight the participants. Please contact: Erhan Kelesoglu <firstname.lastname@example.org
Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha and Bangladesh Adivasi Samity, members of La Via Campesina are organizing a discussion meeting for the celebration of the “International Day of Peasants’ Struggle” in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The co-ordinatior of Via Campesina, South Asia Region, Badrul Alam who is also the President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation will preside over the meeting. One minute silence would be observed for paying respect to the martyrs of 1996 in Brazil and to the 17 peasant martyrs of Bangladesh who sacrificed their lives in 1996 the same year in a big revolt for the demand of fertilizer to be used in their crop lands and to other peasant martyrs in other parts of the world.
The theme of the discussion will be ” Food Sovereignty and Agrarian Reform: a guarantee for peasant survival and sustainable agriculture”
For further info please contact: Badrul Alam at email@example.com
L’Union Paysanne is organising a conference under the title: “Intercontinental mobilisations for an other agricultural and food system” as well as a cultural night.
26. Gent, Belgium
A group of activists of “Agrocrisis” has blocked the main entrance of the agrobusiness giant Cargill building in Gent on the 17th of April to commemorate the International Peasant’s
Struggle day with La Via Campesina! They chained themselves at the main gate, baring truck from entering.
Media contact: An Maeyens, GSM: 0477/ 978905
Pictures high resolution: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Farmers Union UNAC, member of La Via Campesina, is organising actions and demonstrations in at least four provinces: Inhambane, Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Maputo.
More information: email@example.com
The European Farmers Coordination and the Spanish coordination COAG have distributed a statement in the European Parlement asking for an other European agriculture policy. Text available on this website.
Contact: CPE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
OBV- Via Campesina Austria is joining a protest action against Syngenta in Switzerland, Basel. Several farmers women and men from OBV will be participating in this action, as a follow up of an anti-Syngenta demonstration organised in Austria in December.
Contact:I Irmi Salzer; 0699/11 827 634; ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria, Mariahilferstraße 89/22; 1060 Wien, ww.viacampesina.at
40. Cacabelos, León, Spain
La asociación La Olla del Bierzo organiza actos para conmemorar el Día Internacional de la Lucha Campesina. Será el 20 de abril, domingo en Cacabelos (León, Spain). Las actividades son:
– Comida popular ecológica
– Charla sobre cooperación internacional
– Mercadillo ecológico.
– Exposición de semillas del banco de semillas autóctonas de la escuela de Almázcara.
– Música en vivo
– Teatro. El grupo de teatro espontáneo “El Espejo” interpreta una obra acerca de la lucha campesina.
El lugar será el mercado de abastos de Cacabelos. Sino llueve, se trasladarán las actividaees a la plaza mayor de Cacabelos.
Contacto: Víctor A. Suárez – email@example.com
En colombia, CNA, COORDINADOR NACIONAL AGRARIO – C.N.A, Miembro de CLOC, VIA CAMPESINA y COMPA publico un homenaje a nuestro compañeros y compañeras héroes en la lucha campesina negra e indígena del mundo.
42. Oberlin College in Oberin, Ohio, USA
This Thursday at 8 pm, April 18, students will explore topics of transnational corporations, global trade, biofuels, and food sovereignty and more through an interactive theatre workshop in Wilder 112. Using the Theatre of the Oppressed as a model, visiting artist Hecor Aristizabal will help facilitate the workshop, which may lead to a
guerrilla theater piece performed on Friday, April 18. This event is being held to honor the International Day of Peasant Struggle and the 19 Brazilian peasants killed by government forces on April 17, 1996. Come join this workshop to discuss the politics of theatrics and the drama of our globalized world.
43. Sevilla, Spain
Hoy, día 17 de abril, el Grupo de Soberanía Alimentaria y Género de Sevilla, nos hemos reunido para adherirnos, desde la solidaridad con los pueblos, a la Lucha Campesina. Declaración en www.viacampesina.org
Marcha indígena y campesina por la soberanía de los pueblos indígenas y la defensa de la madre naturaleza.
Desde Los Encuentro, Departamento de Sololá (a 127 Kilómetros de la Capital de Guatemala), desde el 12 de abril más de 800 hombres, ancianos, jóvenes y mujeres cargando en sus espaldas a sus hijos menores comenzaron la marcha campesina e indígena con el objetivo de denunciar las condiciones de pobreza y marginación que viven campesinos e indígenas guatemaltecos, pero también para recordar a los mártires que han ofrendado sus vidas en la lucha por una reforma agraria integral.
Comité de Unidad Campesina (CUC) miembro de la CLOC y de Vía Campesina
Several discussons around the issue of the sustainable farmer economy organized in the period 14-25th of April
Contact: Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen