- Published on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:54
On the 30th of November, farmers from across the state of Karnataka in India, took to a unique protest outside “UB City”, one of Bangalore’s most expensive properties owned by controversial businessman Vijay Mallya. The farmers demanded that the commercial complex be auctioned off and the money from the proceeds be used to clear the loans that small farmers owe to cooperatives in the state.
A series of erratic weather conditions over the years and imbalance in world trade has plunged the states farmers into absolute distress, forcing them to default on small loans that they individually owe the local banks. They allege the administration of harassing small farmers for repayment of loans despite the acute rural distress, while big defaulters from the corporate world are allowed to walk free and escape accountability with ease.
- Published on Friday, 09 December 2016 14:21
La Via Campesina speaks for the Right to Land and other Natural Resources in the process of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas
On the 17 November 2016, Henry Saragih (Serikat Petani – Indonesia, La Via Campesina) and Ramona Duminicioiu (Eco Ruralis – Romania, European Coordination Via Campesina) spoke at the Palais des Nations in Geneva about the reasons why the Right to Land and other Natural Resources is crucial for the Declaration of the Rights of Peasants.
- Published on Friday, 09 December 2016 14:08
Uniterre’s quest to write food security into the Swiss constitution
On the back of La Via Campesina’s 4th international meeting in Maputo, the idea to incorporate food sovereignty into the Swiss Constitution took form under the Uniterre committee, a member of European Coordination Via Campesina. The Maputo gathering served as a call for actions towards food sovereignty and visions for reshaping domestic laws on agriculture and food policy. Allow us to recount our Helvetian process.
A lengthy undertaking
The Swiss system of direct democracy theoretically allows for changes to the constitution by popular initiative. In order for this to be done, first, proponents of change must produce a draft of the new constitutional article. Legal counsel can be useful in assuring the text’s force in the face of government scrutiny. After approval from the Federal Chancellery, the draft’s creators are given 18 months to collect 100,000 signatures from eligible Swiss voters. The text is then reviewed by the Swiss Federal Council (the executive branch) and Parliament (the legislative) and an assessment is given. These bodies, which have roughly three years to submit the text to popular vote, can issue a favourable or unfavourable review and even prepare a counter draft which will additionally be put to vote. There are rare cases in which the counter proposition, viewed satisfactorily by the authors of the original text, is withdrawn by the same. In such cases only the counter draft is submitted to popular vote.
Murdering and bombing of Syrian citizens has to cease immediately – a political solution with the Syrian people has to be found
- Published on Friday, 09 December 2016 13:30
(Harare, December 8, 2016) The war in Syria goes on, never ending bombardments directly aimed at the civilian population, destroying any social infrastructure including hospitals, food markets and food production. At the moment the regime is on its way to destroy totally East-Aleppo and other cities and regions will follow. Despite the incredible aggression of the Syrian government together with supporting governments and loyal paramilitary groups against the Syrian people, a strong resistance fighting for a political and democratic alternative exists. Syrian peasant and citizens keep on defending themselves, fighting for a self-determined future and demand a political solution of the conflict.