European Coordination Via Campesina is determined to defend family farming and small-farmers in Europe

European Coordination Via Campesina Press release

(17 April- Fuerteventura)

From 15th to 17th April, ECVC, a European association of small-farmers that brings together 27 farming bodies from 17 countries across Europe, including outside the EU, held its annual General Assembly in the Canary Islands, Spain. One of the Outermost Regions of the European Union, it is not only where Rafael Hernandez, president of Coag Canarias and outgoing member of the management team, grows his crops but also where Mario Cabrera Gonzales, President of the Government of the Island of Fuerteventura, has declared his intention to develop food sovereignty by promoting local production and autonomy.

This is a goal shared by ECVC, and represents a real challenge at a time when the CAP, currently under reform, has come under attack from agribusiness and defenders of major European farming, who are opposed to any change. The CAP offers little hope to the organisations represented by ECVC despite their considerable contribution to the institutional debate, aimed at defending small and medium-scale farmers, the majority of whom are based in the EU. Poverty and unemployment is exacting a rising toll on citizens as a result of the European crisis, which starkly demonstrates the limits of the liberal dogma at work. We must stop destroying farming jobs and instead enable more rural businesses. Achieving access to quality food for all in Europe requires a large number of farms, sustainable production methods and a physical shift in food supply chains.

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We demand peace in Korean peninsula

Statement of la Via Campesina

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(Jakarta, 15 of April 2013) In March, the US and SK mobilized over 200 thousand soldiers in the Foal Eagle and Key Resolve Military Exercises. In reaction to what it interpreted as military provocations, North Korea responded by rescinding the 1953 cease fire. The United States responded by dispatching the B-52, a strategic bomber with nuclear capability, and the B-2, a strategic stealth bomber, fighters to further bolster the military exercises. North Korea responded by upgrading its battle readiness to its highest level and placing on standby launch its strategic rockets. The US government responded by placing a nuclear submarine in the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula – making this US military mobilization the largest one since the Iraq War. North Korea reacted by sending mid-range missiles towards its eastern sea coast and notifying its intent to launch them. It also advised the complete withdrawal of foreign diplomatic corps. Finally, it closed the Gaesong Industrial Complex, the last buffer zone between North and South and an important symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. 

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Europe, Parliamentarians have voted for a Europe of annuities

Press release of the European Coordination Via Campesina

Where is the social legitimacy of this?

(Brussels, March 14, 2013). Contrary to the communication message released by the European Parliament following the CAP reform vote, the CAP will be neither more equitable nor more capable of guaranteeing food security. Nor will to be much greener if the final decision follows the position taken by the Parliament.

The refusal to lower the symbolic threshold of the ceiling at 300.000€, proposed by the European Commission, per famer, is an insult to tax-payers, to the European Court of Auditors, and to the millions of small- and medium-sized farms that receive less than 20% of the CAP funds.

At a time when the financial and economic crisis is resulting in significantly increases in both unemployment and poverty, the fact of granting 80% of funding to big farms is a bad signal that will fail to draw taxpayers any closer to the European Union.

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India, Farmers Movements Launch Gram Swaraj School

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Feb 15: On the occasion of the 77th birth anniversary of the iconic farmers' leader Prof. M.D. Nanjundaswamy, the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) and the Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) organized a series of events from the 13th to the 16th Feb to commemorate his memory. The North and South Indian farmers movements jointly inaugurated their own Gram Swaraj (Village self rule) School called the “Prof. Nanjundaswamy Life school” as well as an auditorium called “Mahinder Singh Tikait School of Struggles,” named in the honor of the late BKU farmers' leader. The Gram Swaraj School is located at the KRRS farmers' training center - Amrita Bhoomi in the Chamragajar Nagar district of Karnataka. The activities were spearheaded by Chukki Nanjundaswamy, managing trustee of Amrita Bhoomi and daughter of late Prof. M.D. Nanjundaswamy.

Eminent social activist Medha Patkar, Dalit writer Shri Devanuru Mahadeva and the firebrand adivasi (indigenous) activist CK Janu of Kerala participated in the inauguration ceremony. Later other distinguished activists like policy analyst Devinder Sharma, “waterman of India” Rajendra Singh, Social scientist Prof. Yogendra Yadav, seeds conservation expert Krishna Prasad, Founder of Timbaktu Collective Babloo Ganguly, and others joined the cadres at a farmers training camp. The speakers made compelling presentations that were enjoyed greatly by the farmers on a variety of issues ranging from the type of politics needed by the farmers movements today, land, cooperative building,peoples' politics, water crisis, climate change, seed sovereignty, agro-ecology. The camp aspires to build solidarity and strengthen alliances between the farmers movement and the other various peoples movements and organizations across India to save agriculture and create a true people oriented development model. Farmers from all over the country participated in this landmark event.

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