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declaration against the criminalisation, persecution and judicialization of the struggle for the defence of life, rights, land, water, seeds and mother earth

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International Conference on Agrarian Reform

La Via Campesino, The Peasant’s Movement
Marabá, 15 April 2016

From 13 to 17 April 2016, in Marabá, Pará, Brazil, more than 130 delegates from 28 countries around the world were brought together as part of La Vía Campesina and allied movements, as part of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform, a symbol of the fight for freedom for men and women in the fields, the mangroves and on the sea. The aim of the conference was to draw up a much-needed proposal for Popular Agrarian Reform to override capitalist and neoliberal expansion. 

At this time of struggle and resistance for peoples of the world, we debated thecriminalisation, persecution and judicialization of the struggle for the defense of life, rights, land, water, seeds and mother earth, promoted by capitalist interests imposing political, economic, military and social terrorism. This all occurs with the consent of State Governments by means of their lethal projects such as extraction-based infrastructure projects, or capitalist ‘development’ (tourism, carbon markets, mining, hydroelectricity, monoculture, agribusiness, industrial agriculture and mariculture), as well as the militarisation of our lands. Deprivation, social instability and repression are widespread as a result of systematic assassinations, massacres, forced disappearances, high rates of femicide, imprisonment and arbitrary detention, intimidation, harassment and threats, prosecution of leaders, forced migration and wars against ordinary people.

On top of this there is political instability with the purpose of maintaining an imbalance among populations over the world, as well as frequent coups on the US government’s radar, a state which begins by creating unstable, failed states, as is the case in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, and the current attempted coup against the Brazilian people and the systematic meddling in the Venezuelan process.

We see collusion between the State, private companies, corporations and elites who create a culture of impunity that allows perpetrators to escape unpunished.

Faced with this wave of unbridled criminalisation of those of us who defend water, land, mangroves, sea, territory and life, we denounce and call for the punishment of those responsible for thousands of assassinations of social leaders, we denounce the legal prosecution of thousands of campaigners, we call for the liberation of thousands of political prisoners, we denounce the extreme case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, one of the most symbolic leaders in the fight against capital plundering and a campaigner for peace in Honduras. We urgently need an end to the criminalization of the fight for land, mangroves and sea, and the social struggle.

Today, more than ever, we reaffirm that our fight is part of the defence of human rights and life. For life we give everything, for death we give nothing.

Throughout our lifelong struggle, not one moment of silence for our dead!

 

La Via Campesino is an international movement  that seeks to unite peasants, landless, woman farmers, and rural youth to fight to defend and promote small-scale sustainable agriculture as a lifestyle and livelihood. Read more about their work here! And check out our 2011 blog post about their food sovereignty youth training program.


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farm transition planning for women

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Farm Transition Planning for Women: Course Starts March 16 in Plattsburgh, March 17 in Canton, NY.

Plattsburgh, Canton, NY. Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York Annie’s Project will host the Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Succession, Business, Estate and Retirement Planning for Farm and Ranch Women course starting March 16 in Plattsburgh and March 17 in Canton. Women from any county may attend the programs.

The Plattsburgh course will be held at Cornell Cooperation Extension Clinton County, 6064 Route 22, from 10 am to 2:30 pm on March 16, 23, and 30, and April 6.

The Canton course will be held at the St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm, Route 68, from 10 am to 2:30 pm on March 17, 24, and April 7 and 14.

The cost of the course is $100 per person for 15 hours of instruction. Lunch or light supper and course materials are included in the cost. To register, contact Kimberley Morrill at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 603.568.1404, kmm434@cornell.edu, or register online at  https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/_10512.

Annie’s Project, anniesproject.org, is a nationally recognized educational program now serving more than 12,000 farm women in 33 states. The Managing for Today and Tomorrow curriculum empowers women to be strong farm business managers, to enhance their conservation practices and agricultural sustainability, contribute to rural communities and be a positive influence on family decision making. The course provides participants with tools and resources to help begin the process of farm transitioning to the next generation or owner.

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farmher, supporting women in agriculture

FarmHer, Inc. by Marji Guyler-Alaniz: Angelique | Wabi Sabi Farm &emdash;

Angelique at Wabi Sabi Farm, photograph by Marji Guyler-Alaniz

Iowa photographer Marji Guyler-Alaniz gets it. She just gets it. In her own words, “Too often in our world, the beauty of a woman; of an image, is judged by a face. These are beautiful women, doing beautiful work and my goal is to bring an appreciation to what they do.”

The photographs in FarmHer, Guyler-Alaniz’s long term photo documentary on women in agriculture, show women herding cattle, harvesting, throwing tires into the backs of pickups, and carefully addressing administrative tasks. We love the project for so many reasons that it’s hard not to wax long and laudatory about it. (The photographs honor women without objectifying them; they give a much-needed face to women in agriculture; they document the absolutely essential role that women play in our agriculture system: providing food, fostering community, and sharing with others.)

But, as always, the photographs speak for themselves. Read more about Guyler-Alaniz and her project here, and consider supporting the documentary by buying a photograph or some of the sweet merch on the site.


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think you know what a farmer looks like?

Preliminary results from the 2012 Census of Agriculture show the increasing role of women in U.S. agriculture—especially on organic and small-scale farms.
Lindsay Morris Carpenter
When Lindsey Morris Carpenter was a college student studying art in Philadelphia, she never expected that, just a decade later, she would spend most of her days fixing up tractors, turning piles of manure, and corralling chickens.
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Today, Carpenter’s certified-organic operation, Grassroots Farm, grows fruit, vegetables, hops, and herbs; she also sells pesticide-free cut flowers and eggs from the farm’s chickens. Being as environmentally sustainable as possible is paramount to Grassroots’ operations, Carpenter says. So, too, is a commitment to provide healthy, fresh food to local people regardless of the size of their bank accounts.

“One of my biggest priorities is affordability,” Carpenter said. She doesn’t want to be the Whole Foods of farm-to-table produce. To that end, she designed her community supported agriculture program to be relatively affordable. She charges only $25 a week for a box of produce, which she offers 16 weeks out of the year.

Carpenter is one of America’s new and growing class of women farmers. Her focus on sustainability and social justice represent part of the promise women bring to the sector, while the difficulties she faces demonstrate some of the challenges that stand in their way. —-> Click to read more! 

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casting call for city women turning towards the farming life

Orion Entertainment
Cole Huling, a casting producer for Orion Entertainment, is currently working on a new TV series that features women who are leaving behind the city/suburban life to become farmers/ranchers/etc., working the land and raising animals. They are looking for women who have recently moved to a farm as well as women who are preparing to move.
 Women with a sense of adventure, lots of energy, and a great story to tell are encouraged to get in contact!
Contact details:
Cole Huling
Casting Producer 
Orion Entertainment


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beginning women farmer training

The Central New York Resource Conservation and Development Project is accepting applications for a year long, statewide training program for beginning women farmers. Women farmers – and aspiring farmers – from around New York State are encouraged to signup for the course that promotes goal setting; financial, business, and marketing plans; land and infrastructure planning; soil fertility, and planned grazing. Continue reading