International Day of Peasant Struggle Kicks Off Global Action for Resource Rights
By Corrina Steward
April 18th, 2006
On Monday, April 17 movements all over the world kicked off global mobilizations and actions in support of peasants' struggles for land, water and food rights.
The Via Campesina, an international movement of family farmers, landless workers, fisher folk and women's and indigenous' organizations, designated April 17th the International Day of Peasant Struggle to commemorate the 1996 Massacre in Carajas, Brazil. The incident resulted in the murders of 19 members of the Landless Workers' Movement (MST), a member of the Via Campesina and a Grassroots partner.
Since then the Via Campesina and its member organizations have worked together with other movements to organize actions to protect peasants' human rights. This year's actions are focused on four advocacy goals:
1) Implement agrarian reform programs in areas with strong social disparities, poverty and food insecurity as a means to broaden sustainable access to and control over land and related resources;
2) Remove agriculture from the World Trade Organization, protect domestic food production against low priced imports and promote fair prices for family farmers;
3) Stop genetically modified food and related technologies, particularly terminator gene technology that creates infertile seeds; and
4) Stop the criminalization of, and violence against, peasant organizations like the MST for fighting for their human rights.
Mobilizations and actions will take place around the world, including in the U.S., until May 1st. Click here for more information on the planned actions and mobilizations.