Henry Saragih speech during APEC rally in Busan

APEC summit was held in Busan, South Korea  this 17-18 November 2005. This Asian Pasific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conclution among other is to make the liberalization process run smoothly, including the WTO meeting in Hong Kong this December. Federation of Indonesia Peasant Union (FSPI) joined the rally on with thousands of La Via Campesina member of KPL and KWPA. But Henry Saragih, leaders of FSPI and also General Coordinator of La Via Campesina could not come at it planned before because in Jakarta a big rally of Anti – APEC is also being held. then he send his message for the KPL peasant rally and read by Ali Fahmi, his deputy in FSPI.

Here is his speech text.

Long Live peasant !!

My comrades of Korean peasant, I am Henry Saragih, the general coordinator of La Via Campesina express my apologize for not being able to be here in todays struggle with you. I have planned that after I lead the peasant action in Indonesia on 17 on rejecting the APEC meeting, I will come here. But because I also has to lead the peasant struggle in after the Indonesia government decided to import more rice at the time that national production is sufficient, then I decide to cancel my visit.

Anyway, today I would like to give my support to the Korean peasant who struggle during the APEC meeting in Busan South Korea on the 18th of November 2005.
Towards APEC summit at this time two korean have been died because suicide. Mr. Jang Young Pum commited to suicide  because he feel the situation of farmer became very difficult if the government opening up the rice market. While Oh Chue Ok, women peasant cannot be saved in hospital after she suicide by drinking the pesticide, as the protest towards to APEC meeting. The message for us become clearer, that when the neo-liberalism policy continue to be imposed then many peasants not just in Korea but also in the world will be killed.

Globalization of the neoliberalism has created many peasant in the world go to bankruptcy, poverty and hunger. Not because they are lazy to work, even if they have been working harder they still will lose. The problem lies on the liberalization of the agricultural market, where many transnational agribusiness companies bring their product with the dumping price and made the local farmer cannot compete. The liberalization has made the control of the state is taken over by the trans national corporation and then the state cannot anymore have important role in protect their people. But they let the trans national determined the agricultural market.

The neo-liberal policy that the imposed by the government is resulted by various mechanism such us loan modalities and also economic cooperation as APEC made these few years. The meaning of cooperation within it is not the cooperation among the people within its member but more on the cooperation of the trans-national corporation with the some leaders in order to keep on exploiting the economic resources and let the small people starving and dying.

Today we go for rally is not just to make our voice being heard, as it the democracy guarantee it. But the peasant want that what ever they say the government will fulfill, because it was on the rights of peasant to determine the food system and agriculture and not the market. Where there is no democracy that guarantee the people to control their land means there is no democracy. The democracy can only exist where the people have control over land, water, and also the price of their product.

We have to believe that our struggle will succeed, because the goal it to achieve people’s sovereignty. And there is no future and democracy if there is no peasant sovereignty.
Long live peasant !!!

Henry Saragih
General Coordinator of La Via Campesina