Via Campesina supports the resistance of the people of Artvin against the mining project in Cerattepe

Izmir, Turkey: February 25, 2016

International Peasant Movement, La Via Campesina, is in solidarity with the resistance of the people of Artvin against the mining project in Cerattepe.

We, as the international peasant movement La Via Campesina, with 164 member organizations from 73 countries, met in Izmir Seferihisar on 21-25 February 2016 to hold our Midterm Conference hosted by Çiftçi-SEN. As we meet here in Turkey, we are aware of the resistance of the people of Artvin against the mining project planned in Cerattepe. We recognize that the resistance of Cerattepe is for the protection of the environmental commons such as forests and water and the living space of all living beings including humans.

On February 21, 2016 as we were holding the La Via Campesina Women’s Assembly in Izmir, the women went to Cerattepe to observe the current situation and interventions in the forest were prevented and the women were exposed to police violence. As the women of La Via Campesina we condemn the violence against the women who took the road to protect nature and their living space and to declare our solidarity with the women of Artvin.

We demand an immediate end to the police violence that the people of Artvin have been facing since February 16. We call for the mining company to leave the Cerattepe forest where they are currently intervening without the required permits and respect the ongoing legal process and the court case. We demand recognition of the opposition and legal challenge by the people of Artvin, who are exercising their democratic rights.

La Via Campesina, as an organization of small-scale farmers, landless peasants, agricultural workers and indigenous communities worldwide, is fighting against the neoliberal and industrial agricultural policies that destroy nature and the lives and livelihoods of these communities. It also supports food sovereignty and agroecological small-scale farming. In this context, we, as the farmers of the world, who reject all destructive projects that threaten nature and the lives of the local people, declare our solidarity with the people resisting the Cerattepe mining project. 

We know that the resistance against the Cerattepe mining project has been continuing for 25 years. In this process, the people of Artvin have resolutely continued their opposition and legal challenge, and they have achieved long-lasting success. We wholeheartedly believe that this struggle will also be successful today.



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