La Via Campesino is a tenacious international “peasants” movement long admired by the Greenhorns. (We covered them in a 2011 blog post about their food sovereignty youth training program and a post earlier this year on their declaration against the powers that be.) They seek to unite peasants, landless agrarians, woman farmers, and rural youth to fight to defend and promote small-scale sustainable agriculture as a lifestyle and livelihood. In Syria, the organization works with activists and peasants through the 15th Garden Network to continue distributing seeds to farmers deep in the war-torn country.
We hear their statement. We stand with it, and we’d love to BOOST it through the network! Greenhorns, read and distribute widely!
La Via Campesina Statement on Syria Situation
(Harare, December 8, 2016) The war in Syria goes on, never ending bombardments directly aimed at the civilian population, destroying any social infrastructure including hospitals, food markets and food production. At the moment the regime is on its way to destroy totally East-Aleppo and other cities and regions will follow. Despite the incredible aggression of the Syrian government together with supporting governments and loyal paramilitary groups against the Syrian people, a strong resistance fighting for a political and democratic alternative exists. Syrian peasant and citizens keep on defending themselves, fighting for a self-determined future and demand a political solution of the conflict.
They keep on growing food crops under the most adverse circumstances in rural and also in any spaces in the cities. Food that helps them to survive and strengthen their resilience and their independence to resist becoming victim of the Syrian regime’s policy of “starve or surrender”. La Via Campesina supports these self-organized structures through the 15th Garden, a network of Syrian peasants and activists who risk their lives every day to bring seeds into many areas in Syria so that people can keep on growing their food.
This terrible war will not bring any solution to this conflict other than destroying Syria and making millions more flee to other parts of the world. It is crucial that the UN together with other governments not involved in the massacre of the civilian population and the destruction of Syria undertake any effort to stop the bombing and push all parties involved to build a political solution that integrates all the Syrian people at all levels and hereby acknowledge the right for self-determination of the Syrian people.
We call upon other social movements and organizations to pressure their governments to undertake any effort to stop this war on the Syrian people and build a political process towards the reconstruction and peace and democracy.