(Saskatoon, April 17, 2017) – On April 17th, 1996, 19 peasants were killed when military police in Pará, Brazil attacked members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) who were blockading a highway in order to demand agrarian reform. Two more people died from their injuries several days later, and hundreds were so seriously injured that they could not go on working in agriculture. La Via Campesina, which was then in the midst of holding its second international conference in Tlaxcala, Mexico, declared April 17th to be the International Day of Farmers’ and Peasants’ Struggle.
La Via Campesina is the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) International Programming Committee (IPC) joins in commemorating the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle by continuing to work to broaden the NFU’s understanding and analysis of the global food system, by better understanding the impact of Canadian agricultural policy on farming families both domestically and globally, and by sharing information and experiences among farmers and their allies in other countries.
We stand in solidarity with peasants around the world who face threats and discrimination, persecution and violence and we support the advance toward the UN Declaration of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
In July 2017, in the Basque Country, La Via Campesina will hold its 7th International Conference. Several members of the NFU will attend this important conference to deepen our understanding and analysis of the struggles faced by peasants and farmers, and work to strengthen our movement.
For more information:
Please visit La Via Campesina page – International Day of Peasant Struggles 2017 | Call to Mobilise!