Press release, Rome, 25th of April 2012
European Coordination Via Campesina
We, farmers, gathered in General Assembly in Rome this 24th and 25th of April, express our support and solidarity to all people struggling for the preservation of land, the access to land and to the profession. We are opposing the vague of privatisation of public land:
- in Mali, where farmers were arrested for working the land of which they were expelled after land-grabbing;
- in Honduras, where, since the 17th of April, 1200 ha were occupied;
- in Andalusia, where, since the 4th of March, landless farmers are occupying in Somonte a public farm of 400 ha, which was put on speculative sale;
- in France, where 2 farmers and a political representative are on hunger strike to refuse the expulsions started for the construction of an airport in Notre-Dame des Landes;
- In Italy, in the Souza valley, where farmers are resisting the expropriation caused by the construction of a high –speed train line Lyon-Turin.
These struggles reinforce other ones taking place since many years in Rumania, in Austria and in many other places. These farmers, landless-people who want to become farmers, are executing exemplary actions to win food sovereignty. These actions represent a platform for the struggle against the commodification and privatization of natural resources.
Everywhere in Europe access to land is an obstacle to food sovereignty. Land is a common good that belongs to the men and women who cultivate it, and no one should be able to appropriate it for their own benefit.
These actions should signal the beginning of land reform, which is so sorely missed in these times of unemployment, shortages and neoliberal fraud. Today, any alternative for a dignified survival should occur through the struggle for land, for sustainable family farming and for food sovereignty.
Jeanne Verlinden: +32497605884
Federico Pacheco: +34690651046
Josie Riffaud: +33613105291
Fabrizio Garbarino: +393319092823
The European Coordination Via Campesina regroups 27 trade unions, organizations and movements of family farmers and other agricultural and rural workers from 17 European countries. It defends food sovereignty as the framework for agricultural and food policies.