17 April 2015: International Day of Peasant and Farmer Struggle against Transnational Companies and Free Trade Agreements
Peasant and farmers are persecuted and suffer violence on a daily basis as a result of the actions of agribusiness and the implementation of neoliberal policies in the countryside. For the International Peasant and Farmer Movement, it is urgent to speed up the approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people living in rural areas. The Declaration will be a tool to support the struggle for life and dignity in the countryside.
Since 1996 – in honour of the 19 landless peasants massacred in Brazil – the International Peasant Movement has celebrated this global day of action and mobilization. It is a day to celebrate and strengthen people’s solidarity and resistance, and to deepen the alliance between city and countryside in support of a societal project based on social justice and the dignity of peoples.
We, the women and men peasants and small-scale farmers, indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, and landless people of the world are struggling to build a model of production based on peasant and small-scale agriculture and food sovereignty. Free Trade Agreements run counter to this project; they further increase the displacement, expulsion, and disappearance of peasants by promoting a capitalist industrialised mode of production heavily reliant on agrochemicals. These agreements are negotiated under the influence, and for the interests, of a handful of transnational corporations; the voice of the people is excluded.