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Grassroots' cross-border partnerships.
By The Via Campesina
September 28th, 2010
La Via Campesina, a global peasant movement representing small farmers, landless workers, fisherfolk, rural women, youth and indigenous peoples, with 150 member organizations from 70 countries on five continents, has denounced the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust’s recent acquisition of Monsanto Company shares. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was founded in 1994 by Microsoft founder William H. Gates, and today exerts a hegemonic influence on global agricultural development policy. The Foundation channels hundreds of millions of dollars into projects that encourage peasants and farmers to use Monsanto’s genetically-engineered (GE) seed and agrochemicals.
By Lindsay Shade
July 16th, 2010
Grassroots International recently supported a delegation of Haitian social movements to attend the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit. This diverse group represented several of our partners and allies on the ground in Haiti and offered them a unique networking and educational platform.
Doudou Pierre, representing our partner the National Congress of the Papaye Peasant Movement and our close ally, the National Haitian Network for Food Security and Food Sovereignty, recently told us that the experience changed his perception of the U.S.
By Alisa Pimentel
Among the almost 20,000 activists gathered in Detroit for the US Social Forum this week are several Grassroots International partners and allies. Grassroots International regularly provides funding to our partners and allies to participate in movement-building and leadership development gatherings.
Last month, I traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia for a number of reasons. The main one was to attend the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Many of Grassroots International’s partners from Latin America, Asia and Africa were also there – some of whom we supported to attend – and it was a great opportunity for me to meet with them and with many of our allies in one central location. They were all at the conference because for them the climate crisis is immediate in its impact and not some theoretical scenario for the future.
Frankly, a lot! Here's just three factoids to think about (and there are many more)
• One out of 6 people globally does not have access to clean water.
• Nearly half the world’s population — that’s 2.5 billion people — does not have access to basic sanitation facilities.
• Large-scale corporate agricultural production consumes 70% of the world’s fresh water.
You see, for us at Grassroots International water is a political lens through which we can see the injustice in the world: who has it, who controls it, who profits from it; and who never has enough, and doesn’t control nor profit from it
Cultures in different parts of our planet have long held rivers to be life-giving. Early human civilizations are even known by their connection to the river systems whose banks they arose from like the Indus-Ganga, the Nile and the Yangtze Kiang-Huang He. But today human actions and inaction have literally throttled our rivers through industrial pollution, mega dams, diversification, deforestation and the list goes on.... But people are fighting back -- especially those most directly impacted. In my home country India, numerous popular movements have emerged like the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA-Save the Narmada Movement) and the Ganga Mukti Andolan (GMA-Free the Ganga Movement).
Grassroots International ally the World March of Women has launched a Call to Action on the occasion of International Women's Day, March 8, 2010. The World March of Women is also a close ally of many Grassroots International partners such as La Via Campesina. Grassroots supports and joins the WMW call to action and celebrates International Women's Day with them and our partners and allies across the globe.
Grassroots International partner La Via Campesina celebrated international women's day, March 8, 2010 with a re-affirmation of their global campaign to end violence against women. Last November 25th, on the occasion of International Day against Gender Violence, the Via called for an end to all forms of violence against women and called on its members to work with their ally, the World March of Women to coordinate actions against gender violence. The Via launched its campaign to end violence against women at its fifth international congress in 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique.
Recently the Advisory Committee of the U.N. Human Rights Council approved the report “Discrimination in the Context of Right to Food.” Their endorsement of the report is a significant first step towards the recognition of peasant’s rights—something that Grassroots International and our partner the Via Campesina have advocated for years.
We now hope that the leadership of the U.N. Human Rights Council will embrace the recommendation of its advisory board. It will be one step forward for justice.