No to WTO and Free Trade Agreements

RIPESS supports International Day Against WTO and Free Trade Agreements

2016-09-20-RIPESS.jpgRIPESS Press Release, 10th September, Montreal

The ‎Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) supports the International Day Against WTO and Free Trade Agreements as called for by the international peasants movement Via Campesina. RIPESS reaffirms our commitment to opposing on-going global free trade agreements such as, but not limited to, CETA, TTIP, TPP, TISA and RCEP.

We, as a network of practitioners and promoters of social solidarity economy are deeply concerned by the grave impacts that these trade pacts have on the erosion of democracy, human rights, the environment and food‎ sovereignty at both local and global levels.

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Demonstration anti-TTIP/CETA the 20.09: peasant movement calls to mobilize

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-09-16-TTIP-DEMO1.jpgLe MAP, Fugea and ECVC Press Release

Brussels, 15th of  September 2016

The European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), the Fédération Unie de Groupements d’Eleveurs et d’Agriculteurs (FUGEA) and the Mouvement d’Action Paysanne (MAP) are calling on all citizens to demonstrate against the free-trade agreements TTIP and CETA. The rally starts at 17h00 on Tuesday, September 20th, in the European quarter. The agriculture and food block, lead by the d19-20 alliance, will be the last of the parade. Participants will meet in advance at 16h30 at the corner of Rue de la Loi/Rue du Commerce.

The free-trade agreements would have catastrophic consequences on both sides of the Atlantic, at an environmental level as well as on a social one. The content of both TTIP and CETA is anti-democratic and an unprecedented threat to the fundamental right to food.

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'TTIP Stalls, WTO and FTAs Must Fall' | Press Release: International Day Against WTO and FTAs

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-09-08_Sept_10_PR.pngOn September the 10th, the International Day of Action Against WTO, La Via Campesina, the International Peasant Movement that brings together over 200 million peasants from 164 member organisations in 73 countries, commemorates the death of Lee Kyung Hae and continues to struggle to END WTO.

Last year in Kenya, Nairobi at the 10th WTO ministerial meeting trade negotiations had to be rescued on the last hour to save face as WTO sought to reinvent and seek legitimacy in Africa. WTO members held their first informal meeting of agriculture negotiations post the Nairobi meeting on 8 March this year to discuss the way forward on agriculture talks. We must increasingly mobilise to END WTO and to leave agriculture out of the WTO as they prepare for the 11th ministerial meeting in 2017.

Read more: 'TTIP Stalls, WTO and FTAs Must Fall' | Press...

From the archive: "Second Seattle" in Cancun (2003)

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by Peter Rosset

Source: Food First/Our World is not for Sale


September 14, 2003 - 4:30 PM. We just returned from a very moving ceremony for Lee Kyung-hae, the Korean farmer who immolated himself in protest against the WTO last Tuesday. The ceremony was held at Camp Lee, formerly known as Kilometer Zero - the start of the security perimeter, the spot where Lee sacrificed himself, and the place where the Koreans and supporters from around the world have been camping ever since. Today his brother and one of his daughters were present, having just arrived from Korea -- his wife died ten years ago in a car accident. Speaker after speaker had the same message: "The sacrifice of Compañero Lee was not in vain, it gave us the energy to derail the WTO talks in Cancun, and his spirit of struggle will live on in our hearts as we keep fighting for that better world that is possible."

Just a short time later the Via Campesina delegation got calls from inside the convention center announcing the collapse of the official talks. We were told that the Kenyan representative had just stood up during the official press conference at the Convention Center and emphatically declared: "This is over. We have just had a second Seattle," and walked out, followed in short order by the representatives of South Korea and India.

Read more: From the archive: "Second Seattle" in Cancun...

"Take agriculture out of the WTO", Farmer Lee Kyung Hae | Reproducing his letter from 2003

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-09-05_Sept_10_Pnemonic.pngOn the 10th of September 2003, while protesting outside the WTO ministerial in Cancun, Mexico, farmer Lee sacrificed his life by stabbing himself. That tragic incident exposed  the destructive effects of WTO and its trade liberalisation efforts on the lives of millions of peasants globally.  In memory of Lee and the continuing struggles of peasants in resisting the neo-liberal agenda of WTO, La Via Campesina marks September 10 as the International Day Against WTO and Free Trade Agreements. 

It is a more fitting tribute to let Lee tell his own story, from a statement he distributed in Geneva and later minutes before his death in Cancun:


I am 56 years old, a farmer from South Korea who has strived to solve our problems with the great hope in the ways to organize farmers' unions. But I have mostly failed, as many other farm leaders elsewhere have failed.

Soon after the Uruguay Round Agreement was sealed, we Korean farmers realized that our destinies are no longer in our own hands. We cannot seem to do anything to stop the waves that have destroyed our communities where we have been settled for hundreds of years. To make myself brave, I have tried to find the real reason and the force behind those waves. And I reached the conclusion, here in front of the gates of the WTO. I am crying out my words to you, that have for so long boiled in my body:

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TTIP and CETA: We won't let them trade us away

logo-eurovia.pngPress Release

Brussels 15 June 2016

Since the early days of the WTO, agriculture has been one of the hottest potatoes in trade talks. Agribusiness and other corporate lobby groups use trade agreements to increase their market access and profits. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well as its "sister" CETA (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement) are an assault on sustainable farming on both sides of the Atlantic. TTIP and CETA will affect food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection, lead to further intensification and corporate concentration of agriculture and threaten peasants' survival as well as citizens' health.

Read more: TTIP and CETA: We won't let them trade us away

Event Invite: 'TTIP - Trading away our food and farmers?'

Photo: Ruben Neugebauer/Campact

Since the early days of the WTO, farming has been one of the hottest potatoes in trade talks. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could have major impacts on farming and food production in the European Union, increasing risks of harmful effects to public health.

Corporate lobby groups on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing for more market access. This could have challenging effects on our food and farmers, as European and American food is produced to different standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection. Civil society groups and farming organisations have expressed concern that the TTIP will lead to the further intensification and corporate concentration of agriculture on both sides of the Atlantic, threatening family farms’ survival and citizen’s health. 

Read more: Event Invite: 'TTIP - Trading away our food and...

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