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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.
Nominate Your WFAN “Sustainable Farming Mom of the Year” by May 7!
Have you seen the hoopla lately from Monsanto about nominating candidates for their “Farmer Mom of the Year?” They’re giving away $5,000 to five lucky winners. Interestingly, nominees aren’t eligible unless they raise a certain number of acres of commodity crops or livestock. Anybody notice which farmers that leaves out?
In response, WFAN is offering a chance for you to nominate candidates for “Sustainable Farming Mom of the Year,” to honor the mothers in your life, biological or spiritual, who have set examples or guided you along your path to supporting sustainable, healthy food systems.
Send your nomination to us by emailing a description of why you think your nominee should be recognized for Mother’s Day (May 9). WFAN will choose one nominee to feature in a summer WFAN News profile, but ALL nominees will be featured on our website starting on Mother’s Day.
Don’t forget to send photos if you can! Email nominations to us by Friday, May 7.
On a related note, check out April Davila’s blog, “Nonsanto,” about her experiences trying to live without Monsanto for a month.
Love v. Vilsack could be settled by legislation
Back in 2000 Rosemary Love of Harlem, Montana brought a discrimination lawsuit with other women farmers alleging
they were denied loans by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) because they are women. The suit is known as Love v. Vilsack, and if this suit sounds familiar it is because African American farmers, Native American farmers, and Hispanic farmers have brought similar discrimination lawsuits against the USDA.
Now, as Jerry Hagstrom reports for Agweek online, House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT) has introduced legislation that “finally could bring settlement of a discrimination lawsuit” filed by Love and the other women farmers. Continue reading