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International Day of Peasant Struggles: Build Solidarity! Enough with the genocide, evictions and violence!

By staff - La Via Campesina, April 17, 2024

17 April 2024 – Today is the International Day of Peasant Struggles. A moment when we, La Via Campesina, commemorate the 28th anniversary of the El Dorado de Carajás Massacre in Brazil and denounce the impunity with which peasant and indigenous people are harassed, attacked and criminalized around the world. Every year, our movement dedicates this day to mobilize in support of the ongoing struggles of peasants, rural communities, indigenous groups, pastoralists, fisherfolk, migrants, and rural workers.

As a global peasant movement, we persistently denounce and resist various forms of oppression—genocides, wars, hunger, evictions, persecution, criminalization, and systemic violence—within a geopolitical landscape dominated by the advancing forces of imperialism, neocolonialism, and exploitative capitalism. Our efforts, that also found a full consensus at the recetly concluded 8th International Conference, encompass a diverse set of initiatives, including the UN Working Group to monitor the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, the efforts to broaden the global movement for Food Sovereignty by actively contributing towards the Nyéléni Global Forum for Food Sovereignty in 2025, a host of global solidarity campaigns, and our sustained advocacy for an alternative trade framework based on Food Sovereignty. These actions exemplify La Via Campesina’s response to the crisis-ridden context we confront.

On this International Day of Peasant Struggles, our member organizations worldwide are engaged in a myriad of activities. These include demonstrations of denunciation and solidarity, seed exchanges, planting of traditional crops, sale of agroecological products, conferences with other social movements, and various other actions. These efforts nourish global processes and propel collective demands for Food Sovereignty and social justice. Below is a succinct overview of the most notable struggles at the global level.

At the FAO panel on Family Farms, La Via Campesina fiercely defends peasant farms

By Morgan Ody - La Via Campesina, January 24, 2024

In a passionate speech delivered at the Food and Agricultural Organization on January 23, 2024, Morgan Ody, the General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, put forth a fierce defense of the peasant way of life and the urgent necessity to defend peasant farming in the face of global crises.

Declaration of the 1st International Meeting of Diversities and Supporters

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 18, 2023

From the 1st Meeting of Diversities in the 8th Conference of La Via Campesina, we, LVC peasants who identify ourselves as sexually and gender diverse, and our allies, want to celebrate the creation of this space. Here, we meet to exchange ideas, debate and reflect on a reality that drives us, as an international organization, to continue transforming the ways we relate to one another in order to end all the discrimination, prejudice and all forms of violence that gender non-conforming people experience.

We are certain that a new society free of all oppression on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, diverse abilities and class will only be possible when all the people who make up La Via Campesina can treat each other with respect, guaranteeing basic human rights, peasant rights, as well as the rights that have been historically denied to sexually and gender diverse persons and that aim at creating emancipated human relations.

We celebrate the diversity in our soil, waters, forests, farms, and territories. We celebrate our communities’ social and cultural diversity because it builds strength and resilience. As people who embody these diversities, we do not ask to be tolerated; this is not about pity or charity. This is about knowing that a socially diverse movement for agroecology and food sovereignty is a stronger movement and that the liberation of everyone is intertwined with the liberation of our societies.

Declaration of Solidarity and Commitment to the rights of Migrants and Refugees around the world

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 18, 2023

#18D23 On the International Day of Migrants and Refugees, La Via Campesina calls on states to ratify and implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrants and their Families. LVC rejects the proposed EU agreement on migration and proposes a Global Solidarity Pact for the rights of migrants and refugees.

The situation of millions of migrant people and families around the world continues to worsen. Every day, the grabbing and plundering of resources and the destruction of local economies, mainly by transnational economic powers, in addition to wars, terrorism, and environmental and climate disasters, are increasing. All of this is made worse by global capitalism and colonialism, forcing people from their territories. Authoritarian governments and international institutions are complicit, putting in place a regulatory and military structure that stigmatizes, represses, and murders those who decide to migrate at the borders. Once they reach their destination, these people (many of whom are in the agricultural sector) suffer exploitation, discrimination, and racism. In economies that take advantage of migrant labor, such as Europe or the United States, and in countries through which migration passes, the segregation and oppression these people face are made worse by policies of hate and violence against the most vulnerable. This is promoted by the extreme right and fascism, playing into the political and economic power of those who already own our planet.

La Via Campesina includes many organizations of migrants and rural waged workers. The movement continues to demand the recognition and support of both the peasants who remain and fight in their territories and those who decide to migrate to improve their lives and their communities.

Peasant Youth Unveils Vision: 5th International Youth Assembly Declaration

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 16, 2023

We have on this land all of that which makes life worth living
On this land
The lady of our land
The mother of all beginnings
And the mother of all ends
She was called Palestine

Mahmoud Darwish

We, the young peasants, convened our 5th International Assembly of the Youth Articulation of La Vía Campesina in Bogotá, Colombia, on December 1, 2023. We started our gathering by centering our sense of belonging to the land that we come from. We reaffirmed our solidarity and shared all of our love with the people of Palestine and their longstanding struggle for liberation, especially in the current context of blatant genocide, violent occupation, and the siege of Gaza by Israel. We commit to continue amplifying the message of their struggles with our communities and the general public and engage in direct and ongoing actions in support of the Palestinian people.

We gathered to address and contemplate the profound crises gripping global agriculture and food systems while sharpening our strategies, actions and solutions . We engaged in vital discussions, sharing experiences and wisdom of our people, focusing on four critical themes: the crisis of generational continuity in agriculture, climate justice and agroecology, a critical analysis of new digital technologies, and the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People working in Rural Areas from a youth perspective.

Committed to advancing collective visions and proposals rooted in solidarity, internationalism, and systemic transformation, we presented our consolidated ideas at the 8th Conference of La Via Campesina. Consequently, our 5th International Youth Assembly was a landmark event to reinvigorate our strategies and commitment to the movement. As we transition from one International Coordination Committee (ICC) youth member per continent to one ICC youth member per region we further strengthen and expand our active participation with commitment to inclusivity, balance, diversity and intergenerational exchange thus strengthening our work within and from our regions thus strengthening our work within and from our regions.

VIIIth International Conference, La Via Campesina: Bogotá Declaration

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 9, 2023

More than 400 delegates of La Via Campesina, representing 185 organizations and movements in 83 countries, together with allies, are gathered in Bogotá, Colombia to celebrate our 8th International Conference from the 1st to the 8th of December of 2023.

We, the peasants, rural workers, landless, indigenous peoples, pastoralists, artisanal fisherfolk, forest dwellers, rural women, youth and diversities and other peoples who work in the countryside around the world and united within La Via Campesina, declare that “Faced with global crises, we build food sovereignty to ensure a future for humanity!” towards a just and decent food system for all, recognizing peoples’ needs, respecting nature, putting people before profit and resisting corporate capture.

The 8th Conference is happening at a time when the Colombian social movements are celebrating a major political victory, the creation of an agrarian jurisdiction, and the constitutional recognition of peasants as political subjects with rights. Our participation in the monitoring and follow-up of the peace agreement in Colombia inspires us as peasants to continue building peace worldwide.

Harvesting Disparity: Climate Change, Food and Water Security, and Migrants of the UAE

By staff - Fair Square, December 9, 2023

The image of climate-friendly menus being pushed at this year’s global climate conference, COP28 in Dubai, UAE, clashes with the stark reality faced by vulnerable communities in the host country, and its impact on the environment, a new report released today unveils.

The official COP28 website proclaims that, “Our focus is to deliver sustainable, affordable, delicious, and nutritious food. COP28 UAE will deliver a catering menu which is largely plant based, emphasizing local and regional produce and promoting environmentally-friendly food consumption.” The site also describes how the COP28 Presidency is “striving to show the world how climate-friendly food can be tasty, healthy and affordable.”

However the team of investigators behind the report – who are based in the Gulf and remaining anonymous to protect their safety – found that outside the venue, the reality for many workers in the UAE was in stark contrast to “environmentally-friendly food consumption”.

The 40-page report, Harvesting Disparity: Climate Change, Food and Water Security, and Migrants of the UAE, explores pronounced disparities in access to quality, nutritious food for migrant workers who grapple with working hours and wage theft that hinder their ability to secure proper meals, while also examining the broader impacts of UAE food supply chain practices on climate and vulnerable communities abroad.

Download a copy of this publication here (PDF).

Historical Challenges for Peasant Movements around the World

By Joao Pedro Stedile - La Via Campesina, December 6, 2023

In these two days we did a collective exercise to diagnose the situation and now we are going to debate what to do for the next 5-10 years, so I wanted to ask for your attention to bring some reflections that can help systematize common elements around the world.

We have to make an effort to understand what the global issues are, as they confront us and affect everyone.

I am going to divide my reflection into 3 chapters:

Peasants from 81 countries around the world reflect on the past 30 years and look to the future

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 5, 2023

The International Peasants movement, La Via Campesina, opened its 8th International Conference on the 3rd of December in Bogotá, Colombia. Comprised of 182 farmers’ organizations from 81 countries, La Via Campesina holds its International Conference every four years, but the 8th was held six years after the 7th Conference held in Bilbao, Spain in 2017 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the opening of the plenary session, the Youth Assembly was held on the first day, and then the Women’s, Men Against Patriarchy, and Gender Diversity assemblies were held on the second day. The 8th International Conference is scheduled to run for eight days from December, 1 to 8.

From South Korea, Kim Jung-yeol, ICC member for La Via Campesina Southeast and East Asia, Yoon Geum-soon, former ICC member for Southeast and East Asia, Kwon Oh-hyun, Vice Chair of the Korean Peasants League (KPL), Yang Ok-hee, President of the Korean Women Peasants Association (KWPA), Lee Jun-kyu, secretary general of the Goesan KPL, and Kim Ji-young, secretary general of the Jeju Daejeong-eup KWPA are participating as delegates.

The 8th International Conference will mark the 30th anniversary of La Via Campesina, which was founded in 1993, and will focus on reflecting on its progress, sharing the experiences of peasants around the world in the face of climate change, war, and other threats, and outlining the activities of La Via Campesina’s affiliated farmer organizations around the world for the next four years. In particular, the Conference will consolidate the meaning of the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Peasants on December 17th, 2018, and will focus more on the need to strengthen international solidarity for the realization of peasants’ rights and the achievement of food sovereignty.

The opening ceremony, which took place on the 3rd of December, was led by the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations Council (CLOC), which played a key role in the preparation of the Conference. On that day, CLOC held a symbolic ceremony emphasizing solidarity, struggle, and unity, holding up signs on communication, agroecology, and land reform, and eliciting a response from the anticolonialist participants.

Food Sovereignty from the perspective of La Via Campesina

By staff - La Via Campesina, December 5, 2023

Food sovereignty is the grassroots demand for a rights-based re-organization of the food system, grounded in gender equality, agroecology, and solidarity. La Via Campesina first proposed the concept of food sovereignty in 1996, and over the last several decades, this transnational movement has been working tirelessly to deepen critical analyses of the obstacles and opportunities towards building food sovereignty.

On Monday, December 4th, the second day of the 8th International Conference of La Vía Campesina, two sessions were devoted to expanding conceptions of food sovereignty. Drawing upon the perspectives of grassroots activists from across the globe, movement leaders drew attention to the impact of transnational financial mechanisms, international institutions, and multinational corporations in creating and perpetuating a structurally inequitable food system. With clarity about the struggles of the global food system, activists shared experiences and strategies of grassroots activism, providing context for one of LVC’s slogans, which is being strongly emphasized throughout the Conference: “Globalize the struggle, globalize hope.”

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