Global Solidarity pouring in for Karnataka Farmers demanding loan waiver

2016-12-13 - Protestoutside Mallyas House London.JPGOn 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. 

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India: Farmers in Karnataka 'auction' off billionaires' assets, demand waiver of their loans

b_350_0_16777215_00_http___www.thenewsminute.com_sites_default_files_farmer_protest_ub_city.jpegOver 100 Karnataka farmers symbolically ‘auctioned off’ UB city, a landmark building in Bengaluru. The building that belongs to Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya was attached by the Enforcement Directorate in June this year.

On Wednesday, members of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (a leading farmer's organisation) and Karnataka Jana Shakti protested at UB City, demanding that the government should write off farmers’ loans, just like the Vijay Mallya's loans were written off by SBI.

The city police detained 80 protesters and released them in the evening. 

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"Sparks Have Turned Into Raging Fires" in Karnataka state-wide anti-drought mobilization

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-11-29-KRRS.jpgOn November 21, as legislators prepared to start on the winter session of the Karnataka Assembly at Suvarna Soudha in Belagavi, Karnataka (South India), a series of coordinated protests erupted in different cities across the State. These protests, organized under the leadership of Janandolanagala Mahamaithri (The Alliance of People's Movements) sought to bring lawmakers' attention to the problems crippling rural Karnataka. Protestors had been on a campaign trail for a month prior, mobilizing cities and villages with a three-point demand: a complete waiver of loans of farmers, farm workers and women's self-help groups; and, a scientific compensation for crop losses plus the implementation of a comprehensive drought management plan.

This is the first campaign for the Alliance, which announced its formation at a conference in Mysore a few weeks ago. The Alliance has brought together diverse people's movements in Karnataka to collectively ask for accountability from those running the State. Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Working President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, a major constituent member of Mahamaithri, stated,  "This attempt at coming together articulated new desires of hope"-- for the future, for an imagination of collectivity. 

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The Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) and The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) are winners of the 8th Annual Food Sovereignty Prize

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-09-06_FWAF.jpgFarmworker Association of Florida (FWAF), a member of La Via Campesina, is proud to be an honoree of the eighth annual Food Sovereignty Prize along with the amazing Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)!

As honorees, FWAF & AFSA were selected for its success in promoting food sovereignty, agroecology and social justice to ensure that all people have access to fresh, nutritious food produced in harmony with the planet.

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