La Via Campesina | Newsletter | April Edition
This edition of the newsletter is the result of a collective effort of organisations, which are part of La Via Campesina movement worldwide.
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Peasants mobilise to mark two decades of struggle to defend land and life

With hundreds of actions taking placed in all continents  peasants and their allies are united in solidarity to defend their land and to push back the frontal assault on their fellow people in all parts of the world. The actions, led locally by peasant organisations who are members of La Via Campesina and by many other groups, collectives and organisations, involve reclaiming grabbed lands, demonstrations against agro-business models, food sovereignty fairs, seed exchanges, video screenings, conferences and more. (Read the full press release here). This edition of the newsletter brings to you highlights from actions that took place around the world. 

#17April2016 | Highlights 

'The Maraba Declaration'

From the International Conference of Agrarian Reform, Maraba, Para, Brazil

"We are organizations of peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, landless, farm workers, herders, fisherfolk, collectors, forest dwellers, rural women and youth, as well as allied organizations from across the world. We are here to remember the massacre of rural workers in El Dorado dos Carajás, Pará, which took place exactly 20 years ago and led to the creation of the International Day of Peasant Struggle, celebrated every year on April 17th. We are also here to demand that the governments of the world follow through on their commitments to agrarian reform, made 10 years ago at the FAO’s International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD) in Porto Alegre, Brazil."


Every day should be international day of peasants' struggles

The 20th anniversary of the International Day of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Struggle was marked on Sunday – a date that highlights the persecution and violence suffered by peasants and farmers around the world. 

It’s probably a date not many people have even heard of. Another one of those “international days of something really, really important” that passes by almost daily. But consider this: Peasants and small farmers make up half of the world’s population and grow at least 70% of our food, using less than 30% of agricultural resources. 


Dhaka: Solidarity Action by BAFLF & NWFA

Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF) and National Women Farmers & Workers Association (NWFA) have observed the International Day of Peasants Struggle to commemorate the massacre of landless farmers in Brazil as well as the recent killing of farmers and landless defenders for struggling their land, food and livelihood throughout the world including Bangladesh, Honduras, Columbia, Philippines and Brazil. To mark the Day, BAFLF and NWFA organized a rally in Gazipur, Dhaka.


London: The Landworkers’ Alliance: Public land for public good

The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) hung a 7m banner over the entrance to the treasury today to highlight the continued sell off of publicly owned farmland and council housing under the Government’s austerity programme. The action took place as part of La Via Campesina’s ‘International day of Agrarian Struggle’ that will see co-ordinated actions across more than 70 countries highlighting threats to the livelihoods of 200 million ecological and family farmers worldwide. The LWA’s action focused on the 9,500 acres of publicly owned farmland and 219 working farms that have been sold by local councils since 2010 under pressure from the Government to raise capital and meet fiscal deficits.


Bucharest: The Right to Food Sovereignty – public peasant consultation

Eco Ruralis Association together with partners, held the Conference for The Right to Food Sovereignty – public peasant consultation – on 24 April, 2016,  at the Conference Center of the National Statistics Institute of Romania (Libertății Bvd., no. 16, sector 5, Bucharest). It was be the first time that Romania hosts a Food Sovereignty event, putting peasants in the center of decisions for the future of farming and food.



Bangalore: Migrant peasants launched the organisation in the city on April 17


Nairobi: Kenyan Peasants League held an activity at the Freedom Corner in Nairobi to mark the International Day of Solidarity

Palestine: UAWC's statement on the occasion of International Peasant Day

The largest peasant movement in the world, La Via Campesina, commemorated on the 17th April, the international Peasant Day, that commemorates the massacre of 19 landless farmers demanding access to land and justice in 1996. This day is also the Palestinian prisoners' day, a day of commemoration in honor of our detainees. Also, it came few days after the Palestinian Land Day, a day when all the Palestinian people have revolutionized to defend the Palestinian land from the settlers' confiscation.


USA: Statement by USFSA on International Day of Peasants and Farmers Struggles - April 17th

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance calls for mobilizations for food sovereignty and food justice that put food producers - farmers, workers, urban gardeners, fishermen - back in control of their land and their food. April 17th is an important day in the struggle for food sovereignty.



Karachi: PFF opposes capitalism model of agriculture to save land and livelihoods

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has launched a week-long mobilization campaign with peasants in Sindh province to commemorate the International Day of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Struggle, scheduled on April 17, 2016. The theme of the world peasant day for this year is ' Life, Land, and Healthy Food'. PFF chairperson Muhammad Ali Shah in a statement issued on Wednesday said they are going to express solidarity with world peasants.



ECVC: International Day of Peasant Struggles 2016: Celebration, resistance and mourning

This 17th of April, reasserting our demands for land and rights, honoring those that have paid this struggle with their lives, and celebrating our peasant movement, ECVC and its members carried out a series of actions, conferences, farmer’s markets throughout the continent; the same way as it’s been organized throughout the world. The peasant struggle for land and rights is global.


Maraba: In defense of democracy and the social civil rights in Brazil

We are in solidarity with the people in struggle in Brazil and the Brazilian people because we understand that this attack of the coup hungry Right, is orchestrated as a great imperialist coup in other parts of the world, especially in Latin America. We repudiate all attempts to cause a political coup and defend the continuation of the mandate of President Dilma Rouseff, acquired legally through democratic elections.


Brussels: Justice for Berta – Join us to stand in solidarity with COPINH

Friends of the Earth Europe and Protection International Invitation: Two Honduran activists from COPINH - the indigenous group that was led by murdered environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres - came to Brussels on Wednesday 20 April to share their experiences of resistance and repression and call for justice for Berta.



Check out La Via Campesina's Facebook Page and Twitter timeline for more photographs and videos. 


To see all the peasant actions in an Image Slideshow click here.
To share them on Facebook, click here
Themba Kone - About April 17, 2016.
"Peasants were there before, they exist today and will exist tomorrow"

Themba Chauke from The Landless Peoples' Movement in South Africa reaffirms his solidarity to the peasant struggle on the occasion of the International Day of the Peasant Struggle. He was in Maraba, Brazil to also attend the International Conference of Agrarian Reforms. "Peasants were there before, they exist today and will exist today, tomorrow and forever. That was why as La Via Campesina, we express solidarity with the peasants of Brazil and around the world", added Themba Chauke.

Watch it on Via Campesina TV

Shalmali Guttal,  April 17 2016.
"Not a moment of silence, but a life time of struggle"

Shalmali Guttal, from Focus on the Global South India speaks about the increasing accounts of criminalisation of dissent and attack on peasants that is occurring in many parts of the world, including India and reasserts the importance of global peasant solidarity in the form of International Day of Peasant's Struggle.

Speaking to us during the International Conference of Agrarian reform in Maraba, Brazil, Shalmali also expressed her honour  and pride in being with the peasants from around the world, in their moments of resistance.

Watch it on Via Campesina TV

A fruitful struggle
International Conference on Agrarian Reforms | Interviews to Real World Radio
Marta Di Piero, of the Associazione Italiana per l´Agricoltura Biologica and the European Coordination of La Via Campesina and Pará, Temba Chauke of the Landless Movement, Via Campesina South Africa, spoke to Real World Radio during the International Conference on Agrarian Reforms in Maraba, Brazil. 

Watch it on Via Campesina TV
17 avril 2016 // Journée des Luttes Paysannes à Bruxelles
April 17, 2016 | Peasant Struggle Day in Brussels | by Zin TV
Evey year, RESAP organizes events on April 17, as part of the International Day of Peasant Struggle. This year while proclaiming "no landless, no landless peasants" they drew attention to the problem of the acquisition of agricultural land in Europe or forced eviction of indigenous territories in other parts of the world.

Watch it on Via Campesina TV
7th Conference | La Via Campesina
Here is the music video created for the 7th conference of La Via Campesina that will take place in July 2017 in the Basque country. The words were written by the writer Joseba Sarrionaindia and the singers are from the group "En tol Sarmieto" with the participation of Ines Osinaga (Gose).

Watch it on Via Campesina TV

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