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July 21st, 2011
By Alicia Tozour
Grassroots International joined nearly 500 other organizations around the world in signing the “Dakar Appeal Against Land Grabbing.” The appeal, originally drafted at the World Social Forum in Dakar in February 2011, calls upon governments to immediately cease all massive land grabs and return the plundered land to communities.
This is second blog in the Field Notes series. Read the first one here. Grassroots’ Program Coordinator for Latin America Saulo Araújo is reporting as he visits partners and allies in Central America.
This blog is part of a series of blogs that Grassroots’ Latin America Program Coordinator, Saulo Araújo will be posting during his site visit to Central America. Through the “Field Notes” blogs, Saulo will share contextual analysis and information from partners and allies.
The Via Campesina declared April 17 as "International Day of Peasants' Struggles." This day commemorates the 1996 slaughter by the Brazilian police of 19 peasants of the Landless Worker Movement (MST) while they mobilized to gain access to some land. The struggle for recognition of peasant rights remains a priority of the Via Campesina, one of Grassroots International's partners, and they are coordinating hundreds of actions worldwide.
Below is an article from Grassroots International partner, the Via Campesina, in preparation for the International Day of Peasants’ Struggles. The Via is an international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity and strongly opposes corporate driven agriculture and transnational companies that are destroying people and nature.
Below is an update from Grassroots International’s partner, the Via Campesina, concerning the situation of farmers in Japan. To keep up to date with the Nouminren blog, visit http://earlybirds.ddo.jp/earlybirds/saigai/?lang=en.
News from Nouminren, La Via Campesina member in Japan
“I do not think that I can farm this year, but with the members of local NOUMINREN, we will take one step after another to make a come back of our agriculture in our village!
Farmers demonstrated the strength of their solidarity with pro-union forces in Wisconsin through the creative force of a “tractorcade,” and the inspiring power of their words and actions. Grassroots International allies from the Family Farm Defenders and the National Family Farm Coalition played prominent roles in the effort to show support to Wisconsin workers.
Grassroots International joins with those around the world in expressing our sadness and concern for the people of Japan in the wake of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Thousands have died, and many more are missing or being evacuated due to ongoing health and safety threats.
While Grassroots International does not have a program in East Asia or Japan, we wanted to share a statement of solidarity from our partner the Vía Campesina and offer resources for those who wish to directly support groups working in the region, including three options for donations.