April 16 2013. Source: La Via Campesina
Small-scale farmers and their allies are celebrating the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle tomorrow, 17th of April 2013, organizing hundreds of actions and demonstrations all over the globe. This event commemorates the massacre of 19 landless farmers demanding access to land and justice in 1996 in Brazil (1).
A full list of actions, ranging from university lectures and workshops to the occupation of land and government institutions is available on the website www.viacampesina.org. Amap of actions will also be updated on a daily basis.
The international farmers’ movement La Via Campesina is mobilizing this year by continuing to oppose the current international offensive by some States and large corporations to grab land from farmers, women and men, who have been cultivating it for centuries. We are also opposing the commercialization of nature and the Commons, which is something that is leading to a massive dispossession of people who are simply living on the land. Farmers, be they men or women are particularly affected.
This day of day action is taking place in the year when La Via Campesina’s is celebrating its 20th anniversary. To launch the next 20 years of struggle, we are calling for a massive day of mobilization on 17th April, to reclaim our food systems that are being increasingly occupied by transnational capital. It is also happening few months before LVC convenes its 6th International Conference that will be held in June, in Jakarta Indonesia. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Africa, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration
Note: Eucalyptus plantations are social and ecological plagues upon the land — that’s why Global Justice Ecology Project and our allies are working hard to stop Genetically Engineered eucalyptus trees here in the United States.
Join us and take action by signing the petition demanding a ban on Genetically Engineered trees: http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php
–The GJEP Team
By Biaggio Talento, March 4, 2013. Source: A Tarde
1,200 women take over plantation as part of La Via Campesina’s “International Day of Women’s Struggle”
Bahia, Brazil – A group from the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) yesterday occupied three eucalyptus plantations in the far south of the state: One belonging to Veracel, in the municipality of Itabela, and two from Suzano in the municipality of Teixeira de Freitas.
According to the organizers of the action, 1,200 women were participating in the occupation in Itabela, and another 200 in the two areas of Teixeira de Freitas. The activity is the first of the “International Day of Women’s Struggle” organized by La Via Campesina. Continue reading
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests
Note: From our allies at La Via Campesina
To the Government of Mexico
To the news media in Mexico and the World
To the National Union of Autonomous Regional Peasant Organizations of Mexico (UNORCA)
Monday, January 28, 2013
As the global coordinator of La Via Campesina, the world farmers and peasants movement, I write to give my total support to my fellow peasant leaders of the UNORCA in Mexico, who are protesting to stop the imminent approval by the Mexican government of large-scale commercial GMO maize plantations. Since, Wednesdat 23rd, they are sitting-in and carrying out a hunger strike at the Angel Monument in Mexico City, which commemorates Mexican independence from Spain. They are now struggling against a new form of colonialism.
With our presence in more than 70 countries around the world, in La Via Campesina we have seen the truth behind the lies of Monsanto and other transnational corporations when they promote the supposed benefits of GMO seeds. We have seen how the failures of these seeds have led to mass farmer suicides in India and to entire communities in the Philippines and in Paraguay falling sick, among other disasters. Now they want to contaminate the center of origin of one of the most important food crops for all of humanity. We cannot in good faith allow this to happen, as it could put the food sovereignty of all of humanity at risk.
I call on the Government of Mexico to reject commercial GMO maize planting, to cancel the permits already granted for open-field experimental and pilot plots, and to repeal the neoliberal seed and biosafety laws that have opened to door to GMOs in Mexico.
I stand together with my brothers and sisters of the UNORCA in their defense of humanity and the Mother Earth.
Note: Following this short update from Mexican farmers who planned a hunger strike to protest the introduction of GMO corn in Mexico is “The Maize Manifesto: No to GMO Maize,” which outlines the threats that GMO seeds pose to Mexican farmers and culture.
-The GJEP Team
January 23, 2013. Source: La Via Campesina
Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, head of government of the Federal District, has betrayed the peasants of UNORCA mounting anti-riot police operation at the Angel of Independence. It had been negotiated with the City yesterday, an agreement to allow a peaceful sit-in and hunger strike against the imminent commercial release of transgenic corn planting on a large scale in Mexico (see link below for more information) . Despite the alleged agreement, when hundreds of farmers of 20 states of the republic came to settle, they found hundreds of riot police with shields preventing access to the monument, in what is being called a betrayal and a “pre-eviction. “
Alberto Gómez Flores, a leader of the UNORCA and coordinator of Via Campesina North America, said: “it’s very symbolic because they are preventing people of this country from being in front of the Monument of Independence from Spanish colonialism, and thus they are really serving their current masters, the new colonialists of Monsanto, DuPont and Pioneer. “He continued, “here we are a few meters from the U.S. Embassy, which also serves the same masters.” And ” we will stay here in camp, as close as we can be to the Monument, and if they come to evict us we will sit peacefully in resistence . They will not take us away from here.”
Filed under Actions / Protest, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration
January 23, 2013. Source: La Via Campesina
Letter from the National Union of Autonomous Regional Peasant Organizations (UNORCA)
(Letter to the people and Government of Mexico: The Maize Manifesto: No to GMO Maiz)
This Wednesday, January 23rd, we will start a new phase in our struggle against the planting of GMO maize here in Mexico, consisting of a collective hunger strike held in front of the Angel of Independence monument in Mexico City. National peasant leaders from our organization from more than 20 states of our republic will begin a sit-in at this very symbolic location.
This act of voluntarily using our own bodies for civic protest will remind us of our almost 30 million fellow Mexicans who cannot find enough food to fill their stomachs on a daily basis. We want to reach the hearts and minds of the people of Mexico and the World to share our grave concern for the health, culture and economy of our nation, eroded by a development model that only benefits a tiny minority, a minority which includes the transnational corporations that today conspire to appropriate for themselves one of the greatest heritages of our peoples: MAIZE.
We want to express our indignation faced with the terrible blow that would come with the imminent approval of large-scale commercial planting of GMO maize in Mexico, and we demand that the Mexican government place the interests of peasants and the majority of Mexican farmers above the interests of a few transnational corporations. After his official visit to Mexico in 2011, the Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food of the United Nations, Olivier de Schutter, recommended that the government of then-president Calderón immediately suspend experimental planting of GMO maize, because of its impact on the rights of peasants, on biodiversity, and because of the importance of maize in the diet and culture of Mexicans. The government ignored that recommendation.
January 10, 2013. Source: La Via Campesina
Statement of the International Commission of Women of La Via Campesina
We are writing to you from the International Commission of Women (CIM) of La Via Campesina with tremendous pain in our hearts.
Last Sunday (06/01/2013) we received the sad and repulsive news that our comrade María Do Fetal de Almeida had been brutally murdered by her partner in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
María, a Portuguese citizen, had been a resident of Brazil for over ten years (she did a doctorate in Geography at the University of Sao Paulo – USP), and, since her arrival, had been supporting the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST) at La Vía Campesina Brazil and La Vía Campesina International. Maria formed part of the team of interpreters at the 5th International Vía Campesina Conference in Mozambique (2008), as well as carrying out numerous other activities, and more recently translated our newsletter on the Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women . She also interpreted at many of our organisation’s events.
Note: Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, and directs the international STOP Genetically Engineered Trees Campaign
-The GJEP Team
December 17, 2012. Source: Clearing the Fog Radio
Listen to the audio here.
Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project discusses the recent climate conference in Doha, Qatar which is characterized more as a trade show for corporations looking to profit from climate change than a conference about solutions, and the increasing exclusion of non-corporate voices. She says solutions to the climate crisis are coming from the bottom up.
Ramsey Sprague of the Tar Sands Blockade (http://tarsandsblockade.org/) describes the growing resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the upcoming direct action training camp and action Jan. 3 to 8. Co-hosts Margaret and Kevin will participate in that action and urge you to support it or participate as well. And ecology activist Diane Wilson who is on her 19th day of a hunger strike describes why she is risking her life to hold Valero Oil accountable to her community.
Filed under Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Coal, Corporate Globalization, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Green Economy, Independent Media, UNFCCC
Governments produce blank pages in Doha for planet’s future; La Via Campesina farmers are cooling the planet
(Jakarta, 6 December 2012) – As the climate negotiations come to a close, the industrialized countries insist on inaction for the next decade, finding even more ways to escape their historical responsibility, create more carbon markets including one on agriculture and to keep business as usual of burning the planet. While governments continue to prioritize the interests of industry and agribusiness peasant farmers continue producing to feed the world’s people and the planet.
The high level segment of the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) and 8th Meeting of Parties (CMP 8) of the United Nations Framework on Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has begun on December 5 with Ministers arriving in the petro-state of Doha, Qatar. But the almost two week long negotiations has produced absolutely nothing. Developed countries are so entrenched in their positions and goals for inaction that when the Chair of the negotiations presented the new text under the Long Term Cooperative Action track, the text literally contained blank pages in areas where the Chair claimed divergences existed; these included adaptation, technology development, finance, capacity building and economic and social consequences of response measures – all issues of great concern to developing countries.
Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Doha/COP-18, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Politics, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration
6 December 2012. Source: Via Campesina
World Social Forum on Migrations, Manila, Philippines:
We have seen climate change related phenomena with intensity never seen before, like Hurricane Sandy, in many parts of the world in the past year. We no longer have the luxury of time as incidents of increasingly severe storms, floods, droughts, disruption of water cycles and other similar events are becoming the “new normal” for many countries. It is also becoming apparent that climate change is instigating more forced migration, and will create more climate refugees. An estimated 200 million people could be displaced by climate change by 2050. In 2010 alone, it was estimated that more than 30 million people were forcibly displaced by environmental and weather-related disasters across Asia and this number will continue to rise. Climate change has also been wreaking havoc on crops and farmlands, worsening the already growing food crisis and pushing even more people into hunger.
Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Events, Food Sovereignty, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration