From Mons to the World: La Via Campesina Celebrates 30 Years of globalizing peasant struggle and solidarity

PRESS RELEASE 14/05/2023 | Bagnolet, France

On May 15, La Via Campesina will celebrate its 30th anniversary of the formal founding of global peasant movement. This celebration is a reflection of three decades of commitment to the realization of social justice, human dignity and food sovereignty through peasant agroecology, popular feminism and peasant rights.

The history of La Via Campesina has an important stage in Mons, Belgium, in May 1993, when different peasant and land workers’ organizations from various continents met to concretize the strategies planned a year earlier in Managua, Nicaragua, and coordinate common actions at the international level. Thirty organizations established the movement we now recognize today, and since then its principles and convictions have been solidly grounded. The movement has grown to include 182 member organizations and over 200 million rural workers, and is now the world’s largest social movement with the slogan “globalize the struggle, globalize hope.”

Over the years, La Via Campesina has played a pivotal role in supporting peasant emancipatory struggles at all levels and in recognizing their rights in the UN declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. Today, La Via Campesina brings a voice of hope to all societies in times of multidimensional crises. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the movement, we are excited to share that this December we are also organizing our eighth international conference in Colombia. This event will be a moment to continue building our proposals based on respect for the living, grassroots organization, diversity and solidarity, which are serving to build fair and equitable food systems, and from there, fair and equitable societies.

30 years of sharing struggles to sow hope

To celebrate 30 years of globalizing struggles, La Via Campesina, in collaboration with the European Coordination Via Campesina and LVC’s Belgian member organizations: Boerenforum, FUGEA, MAP, is organizing a commemorative event on May 15, that will be divided into three sections. The first part will feature people who were present and involved in the founding, the second part will include former La Via Campesina general coordinators, and the third part will have current ICC representatives of La Via Campesina to look at the context of the movement today.

The entire event program will be a enriching experience in itself, including a live music show, group readings of historical documents, audiovisual presentations, and a peasant-style meal accompanied by music and dance.

La Via Campesina invites everyone to join the commemorative event on May 15 through their social networks to continue sharing struggles and sowing hope.

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