La Via Campesina: 2020 Annual Report

Summary: This annual report highlights the struggles and activities we had and the progress we made in 2020. The year was one of the most challenging years of the last half century. No one ever anticipated that by March, the world would face a pandemic that would bring life as we know it to a halt. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic did that. The pandemic exposed two things: (1) the rotten core and the cracks in the global neoliberal economy and (2) the urgent need for radical policies to usher in change and bring relief, dignity, and equity to billions of people whose survival is hanging by a thin thread. With each crisis desperation has increased leading to unintended outcomes, for instance, the recent rise of the extreme right, fascism, and jingoistic-nationalism. Global inequality is at its peak. Empathy is at its lowest, and destructive economic, social, ecological, and environmental policies are more prevalent than ever. This pandemic is rooted in capitalism and strongly connected to the industrial agriculture model, and is one of the many recent outcomes of such destructive policies. As the turbulent 2020 drew to an end, many hoped that 2021 would be a better year. The surge in new infections in most countries do not show return to the “normalcy” of the pre-COVID times. Urgent actions are needed from the grassroots to the state level to transform and rebuild hundreds of millions of lives pushed to starvation and poverty by the COVID pandemic. The pandemic led us into a period where the understanding of the importance of local food production and the need for public health has increased. Food sovereignty as peoples’ right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced with ecologically sustainable methods is important.

As La Via Campesina, we have adapted our communication strategy, shifted resources towards communication actions, and intensified our presence in social media. This strategy became more central as a possibility to reach out, “stay at home but not silent”, and to mobilize on our agenda. It is key that a movement like LVC remains present in the public eye and in public opinion to mobilize for the right changes! The realization of peasants’ rights and those of migrant and seasonal workers by promoting UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People working in the Rural Areas (UNDROP) remains a priority for the peasant movement. We will continue combating the criminalization and repression of peasant leaders, and explore different ideas of creating our own spaces of solidarity, while strengthening the existing solidarity networks..

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Publication Date: April 2021

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