Farmers meet hunger strikers

Hong Kong Citizens Show Support for WTO Protestors
Hong Kong–December 17, 2005—Although the media has tried to demonize the thousands of protestors who have gathered in Hong Kong this week to protest the World Trade Organization (WTO), the peaceful demonstrators have won the hearts of many citizens here. Each day more and more of the people of Hong Kong are demonstrating their solidarity with the farmers and peasants of La Via Campesina through material and moral support. One group from Hong Kong is staging a public hunger strike to protest WTO in front of the convention center.

“We heard the Hong Kong people would not support us because they are in favour of fair-trade and love the WTO,” said Heike Schiebeck, CPE, member of La Via Campesina in Europe. “But we are being overwhelmed by their support  –we are so touched as they bring us water and food, and cheer us as we march.”

A woman from Hong Kong explained why she spontaneously joined a La Via Campesina demonstration against the WTO:  “I walk with the march because I share your ideas and support your struggle. Farmers in China face the same problems as you since China entered the WTO some years ago.”

Tery, one of the six young Hong Kong people on hunger strike in front of the WTO meeting, explained their show of solidarity: “We decided that the best way to support the farmers is to hunger strike. We face an extremely violent power, so have no choice but to use our bodies as weapons. Hunger striking is a most peaceful, yet powerful form of protest,”

Earlier today, farmers from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Mozambique, Mexico, USA and Europe marched to meet the hunger strikers. The La Via Campesina delegation brought flowers and sang songs from their home countries to express their joy and solidarity.  

One of La Via Campesina’s basic principles is nonviolence in all actions.

The Hong Kong Hunger Striker’s Declaration is on the La Via Campesina website:

For more information: Solene Piriou (La Via Campesina)  : + 852 9263 4809
Media line (La Via Campesina) : + 852 6055 0450