17 April – International Day of Peasant Struggles | Call to Action

La Via Campesina Call to Action | 17 March 2023 | Bagnolet:

Resist repression! Faced with global crises, we build food sovereignty to ensure a future for humanity!

Call for Global Solidarity Actions

The International Day of Peasant Struggles is commemorated by La Via Campesina every year on 17 April to remember the Eldorado do Carajás massacre in 1996, where the State machinery, in cohorts with agribusiness interests, murdered 19 peasants who were defending their right to land. On this day, we also highlight and denounce the continued criminalization, oppression, and repression of peasants, workers, migrants, and indigenous people communities worldwide.

Our lives are at risk and so is the future of humanity

In the past few months alone, social movements in Brazil, Palestine, Paraguay, Colombia, Mali, Ecuador, France, Spain, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South Korea, Kenya, Canada, Haiti, Guatemala and Peru have alerted the world about the serious violations of the rights of the peasant and rural communities.

Hunger is also violence. The pandemic and ongoing conflicts have only accentuated hunger. All these so-called crises are an indictment of the dominant model of capitalism that exists today. Our territories, whose climate and biodiversity are continuously destroyed as capitalist interests impose new and increasingly dangerous technologies without any debate, consultation, or public participation, threaten every life system worldwide. Political and social instability is widespread as a result of systematic assassinations, massacres, forced disappearances, high rates of femicide, imprisonment, and arbitrary detention, intimidation, harassment, and threats, prosecution of defenders of territories, forced migration, and wars against ordinary people.

This 17th April, more than ever, we reaffirm that our fight is part of the defense of human rights and life as stated in the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in the Rural Areas (UNDROP). As capital advances over territories that until recently were considered “marginal”, peasants, indigenous peoples, and other rural inhabitants represent the main frontier of resistance against the hydro-agro-extractivism of transnational mega-corporations. La Via Campesina is an expression of this collective action and resistance. This year, as our global movement marks its 30th anniversary, we are stepping up the pressure to build an alternative systemic model that guarantees social justice.

The 17th April is, therefore, a moment to reaffirm our concrete proposals. We will build a better society where our diverse societies realize their food sovereignty through the practice of peasant agroecology. We will continue to defend our rights using UNDROP and other international instruments. We will build better societies with justice. Our local food production, self-determination with dignity, peace, popular peasant feminism, and people’s sovereignty are possible only with these tools. There is no future without food sovereignty!

Our call towards the 8th International Conference

In November this year, La Via Campesina will convene its 8th International Conference in Nicaragua*. At this International Conference, we will bring together the diverse proposals that emerge from our 182 member organizations in 81 countries. We will learn from a diverse set of experiences that our peasant and indigenous communities have already put into practice. We will exchange and build a collective vision for the future based on these existing alternatives that are being practiced in our communities.

And as we gather our proposals towards this important event, our rallying call to unite and build a new society is well expressed in the 8th Conference slogan: “Faced with the Global Crises, we build Food Sovereignty to ensure a Future for Humanity!”

The precondition for such a future is an immediate and unconditional end to the ongoing criminalization and persecution of peasant movements and their leaders. April is our moment to collectively denounce this persecution, to stand up united against the forces that oppress us.

This call is for all members of La Via Campesina to gather together this April and make ourselves seen and heard. Here is how we can do it:

  • Organize public demonstrations and forums against the ongoing acts of criminalization in your territories. We are releasing a poster for you to adapt it, translate it, and share it in our communities. You can find it here and in its canva version.
  • Share the news and updates from these actions on social media
  • Use the hashtags #PeasantResistance #StopKillingUs #StopTheRepression, and actively share photos, videos, and posters of your public actions, forums, and meetings.
  • Express our collective intent to exist, survive, and build a new society. Take our official slogan of the 8th Conference: “Faced with the Global Crises, we build Food Sovereignty to ensure a Future for Humanity!” Transmit it, translate it, and adapt it through communication materials, press statements, and public actions.
  • Use the hashtag #8ConfLVC to highlight our efforts towards the 8th International Conference.
  • A promotional video for our upcoming 8th International Conference – our moment to gather and build our alternatives – will be released on Monday the 20th.
  • Follow the La Via Campesina website and social media handles for videos and more! We will also replug a series of illustrated educational materials on UNDROP popular educational materials, Peasant Seeds, and Peasant Feminism.
  • Email the details of your actions and events to communications@viacampesina.org We will be adding the details to a global map that plots all solidarity actions.

Faced with global crises, we build food sovereignty to ensure a future for humanity!


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*In May 2023, La Via Campesina announced its decision to shift the location of the International Conference to Bogota, Colombia.