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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.

The anti-colonial struggle for the self-determination of the Haitian people has reached the United Nations

By staff - La Via Campesina, April 10, 2024

Fully intertwined with current geopolitical dynamics, the anti-(neo)colonial struggle in Haiti is central. Confronting existential challenges, the Haitian people engage in a protracted struggle for emancipation and self-determination. This endeavor necessitates a robust and mobilized internationalist solidarity movement. Dominant imperialist forces persist in asserting control over the small Caribbean island to gain strategic advantages, thwarting Haiti’s path to true independence and national sovereignty.

The current situation in the country is marked by unprecedented violence and systematic human rights violations, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations, particularly those from lower classes and rural communities. With half of the nation now under the sway of criminal gangs, manipulated by the national oligarchy aligned with imperialist interests, dissent is confined and social unrest quelled. In response, Haiti’s social movement, comprising peasant organizations, progressive political entities, unions, and feminist groups, collectively organizes to carve out autonomous spaces for self-centered development. These alternative models to the prevailing racist and neo-colonial paradigm are perceived as disruptive, prompting the targeting of the social movement by imperialist and neo-colonial forces, hence the exploitation of criminal gangs.

In Haiti’s context, the United Nations has historically played a deleterious role. Under its auspices, interventions spanning three decades have exacerbated rather than alleviated the nation’s plight. These so-called “peacekeeping missions,” ostensibly aimed at restoring political stability and combating corruption, have only further destabilized the situation. The UN Security Council’s recent proposal for a foreign military intervention to tackle the country’s gang problem underscores this point.

The Struggle of Landless Peasants

Unions Must Go Beyond Calling for a Cease-Fire in Gaza

By Jeff Schuhrke - Jacobin, February 13, 2024

Four months into Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza that has killed over twenty-eight thousand Palestinians, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) — the US labor federation whose member unions represent 12.5 million workers — issued a statement on February 8 urging a negotiated cease-fire to end the violence.

The move came after over two hundred US unions and labor bodies — including national unions like the United Electrical Workers (UE), American Postal Workers Union (APWU), United Auto Workers (UAW), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), National Nurses United (NNU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), National Education Association (NEA), Communications Workers of America (CWA), and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — had already made cease-fire calls of their own. Many unions, especially at the local level, have also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian liberation movement.

With the backing of the AFL-CIO and the nation’s two largest unions (NEA and SEIU), support for a cease-fire is now the mainstream position of the American labor movement. Given US labor officialdom’s history of providing substantial political and material aid to the state of Israel — along with its frequent partnering with US empire (which I examine in my forthcoming book, Blue Collar Empire) — this is a remarkable development highlighting the power of rank-and-file organizing to push union leaders on critical issues, and signaling the possibility of building a more internationalist labor movement.

Now, the task for rank-and-file members who successfully organized to get their unions to issue cease-fire statements increasingly is to translate that commitment into concrete action to stop what the International Court of Justice considers Israel’s plausible acts of genocide. Across the US labor movement, networks of pro-Palestine workers are continuing to organize to get their unions to cut economic ties with Israel, put pressure on political candidates and elected officials, and interrupt the flow of union-made weapons and research to the Israeli military.

Eco Socialism: The Only Way To Save Our World?

UAW Builds on Calls for Ceasefire, Christians Attacked in Gaza

By Union Jake and Adam Keller - Valley Labor Report, December 19, 2023

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.

SEA CHANGE: UAW Signs on to Calls for Ceasefire

Retired Union Member Explains Why Veterans Should Want Peace

Climate Community Pledge in Support of a Ceasefire

By staff - Climate Justice Alliance, November 27, 2023

As climate and environmental justice organizers, social justice advocates, scientists, conservationists, environmentalists, policy experts, and concerned individuals, we are clear about the harms of war, not only on people, but also on the environment. For generations, Palestinians have been living under a system of apartheid, breathing in toxic air and consuming food grown on soil contaminated by bombs and other tools of destruction.

With this newest round of genocidal attacks by Israel on the civilian Palestinian population, which has forced thousands to flee and live without water, food and electricity and resulted in a rising death toll by the thousands, the Israeli government has defied international law. President Biden must oppose this.

We know that war breeds death, not democracy, and will only further harm people, replicate new cycles of violence, and impact the planet for generations to come. U.S. taxpayer dollars must not be used to support a policy of genocide.

We pledge to stand in solidarity with all those fighting for justice and peace, especially those families who have lost loved ones in both Israel and Palestine, and all those who continue to be under fire today.

As signers of this pledge, we call on our members of Congress to immediately:

  • Support a ceasefire now and 
  • Stop sending aid to Israel, which is often used for the very bombs and weapons being unleashed, as a form of collective punishment, on the Palestinian population.

Click HERE to Sign On.

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