Taiwan, protesting local farmers get global boost

La Via Campesina Southeast and East Asia Youth Asia Support Taiwan Farmers Against Land Grabbing

TAIPEI. The struggle of small farmers to preserve agricultural land from expropriation and eviction occurs throughout the world, therefore, farmers must unite to build a strong farmers' organization. This is said by Achmad Ya'kub, Youth Coordinator of La Via Campesina Regional Southeast and East Asia, at press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, last May (30/05).

Ya'kub explained that during several days meeting with farmers in Taiwan, he witnessed firsthand how their persistent struggle in defending their land. "I saw how a watermelon farmer work hard in Wanbao area, farmers who are determined to struggle against land conversion for science park and water grab in the area of Zhanghua, Hsinchu, until Meynong. We experience the same thing in Indonesia. Many farmers in Indonesia are struggling to maintain their farm, from large corporations to individual governments. So essentially the struggles of small farmers around the world are the same, " he explained.

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India, Farmer dies during mobilisation against land acquisition

Farmer loses life at BJP office during agitation

Farmer Kartar Singh, a senior citizen, from Bhora kalaan, Muzaffar Nagar, became a martyr during the agitation by farmers of Bhartiya Kisan Union today at BJP office. Police personnel were present in large numbers. Ironically water cannons were already deployed, but not water tanks, so that people may drink water. Kartar Singh lost his life due to non-availability of water in the scorching sun and an untoward scuffle with policemen. More than 50 thousand farmers had assembled at Jantar Mantar road early this morning. The farmers demonstrated their solidarity with their brethren of Annupur district, Madhya Pradesh, who have been jailed for protesting against forcible land acquisition. Hordes of farmers have reached from far and wide places like Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. They are demanding immediate release of arrested farmers by the Shhivraj Singh Chauhan led BJP state govt of Madhya Pradesh, and also a fair compensation for their land, after following due procedures of land acquisition.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi reached the office and held brief negotiations with Naresh Tikait, however did not give any concrete assurance. The farmers will continue to stay put at the BJP office at Ashoka road.

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India, More than 1000 KRRS farmers arrested in Bangalore

7 June , Bangalore

More than a 1000 Karnataka farmers tried to cease the venue of the Global Investors Meet this morning by blocking the main road and disrupting traffic. The police has arrested about a 1000 while the others are still protesting. KRRS farmers have committed to a jail bharo - they are undertaking mass voluntary arrests.

The Karnataka government is laying a red carpet for investors to come and invest in Karnataka in areas like agriculture, tourism, infrastructure etc. they want to sign atleast 300 MOUs in the two days meet of 7 and 8 June 2012. In agriculture, they want to intensify biotechnology research capacity, set up SEZs for food processing with MNCs like Coca cola, Pepsi and Nestle, intensify contract farming. The Chief Ministers of most other BJP ruled states are present at this meeting.

Farmers are opposing this model of development based on foreign investments, large scale projects that are geared towards exports, profiteering and elite consumerism. Land banks are being set up by the karnataka government for SEZs and alll kinds of incentives like cheap uninterrupted electricity, tax cuts etc are being provided to investors while farmers are being uprooted off their lands, committing suicide and have to beg for drought relief measures, electricity, fair prices for their produce. It is clear that Pepsi and Coca Cola are not interested in feeding people or protecting nature, and neither are they going to solve the serious hunger crises of our country. We need the peasants and people of the land to feed our country. Resources, government incentives and the model of development need to geared towards them.

Taiwan, Protesting local farmers get global boost

Thu, May 31, 2012

La Via Campesina (LVC) — a global alliance of 150 farming rights groups — yesterday voiced their support for Taiwanese farmers who are struggling against forced government land seizures and said it would deliver letters to the Taiwanese government to protest the land-grabs.

“La via campesina, viva. La via campesina, viva. (long live the peasant’s way)” farmers and activists from Taiwan, Indonesia and South Korea chanted at a news event in Taipei to show solidarity in the campaign to defend farmers’ rights.

“Struggles by small-scale farmers to defend their farmland is very common around the world; however, such struggles are often stigmatized and the people involved ... are often sanctioned by law,” said Achmad Yakub, LVC’s youth coordinator for Southeast Asia. “This is why farmers around the world must stand together in solidarity.”

“We would ask all 150 farming rights groups under the LVC to send letters to the government of Taiwan to protest what has been happening to Taiwanese farmers in recent years,” Yakub said.

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