Posted: June 2, 2015 at 8:31 am
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) works to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system. We believe all people have the right to healthy, culturally appropriate food, produced in an ecologically sound manner. As a US-based alliance of food justice, anti-hunger, labor, environmental, faith-based, and food producer groups, we uphold the right to food as a basic human right and work to connect our local and national struggles to the international movement for food sovereignty.
USFSA Calls for Immediate Release of Saeed Baloch, General Secretary of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
Posted: January 27, 2016 at 10:26 am
USFSA Member organizations and allies send urgent letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry to push the Pakistani government to release Mr. Baloch, who was unjustly arrested and detained.
On January 16, Mr. Saeed Baloch, the General Secretary of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) was arrested by elements of the Pakistan Army and has since been detained without charges. Mr. Baloch has been a Human Rights activist since the 1980s, and has been involved with PFF since its inception. PFF is a member of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), a global social movement for the food sovereignty and human rights of fisher peoples around the world.
In their fight to protect fisher people and mother earth, Mr. Baloch and the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum have often confronted the policies of the Pakistan government which are harmful to the people and the planet. These elements of the Pakistan Army have targeted social activists before, using a broad anti-terrorism law to crack down on human rights defenders.
It is important to pressure the US government now, and the USFSA has sent the letter below to the US State Department. Please share the letter to push for Mr. Saeed’s immediate release.
On Facebook: Secretary of State John Kerry and the US State Department (www.facebook.com/usdos/), Demand that the government of Pakistan release Mr. Saeed Baloch, human rights defender for fisherfolks, from unalwful imprison immediately! Read the statement from the US Food Sovereignty Alliance here: http://bit.ly/205wme4.
January 27, 2016
Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State
U.S. State Department
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Honorable Secretary Kerry,
The undersigned organizations and individuals condemn the unjust arrest of Saeed Baloch by paramilitary forces in Pakistan. We demand his immediate release. If the government of Pakistan refuses, we request an explanation as to the charges brought against him and a warrant for his arrest. In that case, Mr. Baloch must receive due process of law and be brought to a civilian court in the presence of a judge with witnesses. He must receive legal counsel of his choice and have regular contact with his lawyers and family.
Since the 1980’s, Mr. Saeed Baloch has been an ardent human rights activist, labor unionist and movement leader. He is the Secretary General of the Fishermen’s Cooperative Society (FCS) in Karachi and of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), which protects the socioeconomic and political rights of indigenous fishing communities in Pakistan and maintains more than 70,000 members. Mr. Baloch is also a senior member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
On January 16, 2016, he was taken into custody for questioning by the Pakistan Rangers who work under the command of the Pakistan Army. Since then, he has been detained without clear charges or evidence of wrongdoing. Civil society organizations in Pakistan have launched a petition with the Sindh High Court and have requested a meeting with Director General of the Rangers.
To date, there is still no arrest warrant; he has not been to court; and, both the charges against him and the reason for detention have not been made public. Additionally, Mr. Baloch has not seen his family or legal advisors and is being held at an undisclosed location. This is a violation of his basic human rights.
We urgently request that the U.S. State Department investigate this situation and pressure the Pakistani government to immediately release Mr. Baloch. If the government of Pakistan wants to bring charges against him, they must follow due process of law and uphold human rights.
Community to Community; Bellingham, Washington
Family Farm Defenders; Madison, Wisconsin
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; Minneapolis, Minnesota
Institute for Policy Studies; Washington, DC
National Family Farm Coalition; Washington, DC
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance; Gloucester, Massachusetts
Soil Generation; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States Food Sovereignty Alliance
Voices for Earth Justice; Southfield, Michigan
WhyHunger; New York, New York
Andrianna Natsoulas, Food Voices; Las Cruces, New Mexico
Philip McMichael, Professor, Cornell University; Ithaca, New York
Wendy Wolford, Professor, Cornell University; Ithaca, New York
Under Secretary Sarah Sewall, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Jalil Abbas Jilani, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the United States of America
MONTH OF COMMUNITY POWER to Reclaim the Commons Kicks off with Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance Action
Posted: September 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm
Organizations across the US mobilize against privatizing land and water, work for democratic control of our food system
PLYMOUTH, MA – The United States Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), an alliance of 37 organizations working for the right to food for all communities, is coordinating the Month of Community Power to Reclaim the Commons this October, which spotlights local communities’ resistance to the privatization of food, water, land, oceans, and the greater Commons.1 An estimated 20 actions are expected to take place across the United States, led by communities fighting for the rights to produce their own food and for the rights of food producers. The USFSA’s member organizations and allies believe that land and water are common resources that should benefit the people, especially to provide food for those most in need — not exploited for private profit or corporate gain.
Posted: September 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm
In this moment when it is vital to assert that Black lives matter, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance honors Black and Afro-Indigenous farmers, fisherfolk, and stewards of ancestral lands and water. We especially commemorate them as a vital part of our food and agriculture system – growers and workers who are creating food sovereignty, meaning a world with healthy, ecologically produced food, and democratic control over food systems.
In 2015, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance’s two prize winners are:
Federation of Southern Cooperatives
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives strengthens a vital piece of food sovereignty: helping keep lands in the hands of family farmers, in this case primarily African-American ones.. (read more)
The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)
The Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) was created in 1979 to protect the economic, social, and cultural rights of 46 Garifuna communities along the Atlantic coast of Honduras. At once Afro-descendent and indigenous, the Garifuna people are connected to both the land and the sea, and sustain themselves through farming and fishing…(read more)
The Food Sovereignty Prize spotlights grassroots activists working for a more democratic food system. The honorees are being recognized for promoting food sovereignty by:
raising public awareness, organizing on-the-ground action, and/or developing and implementing programs and policies,
recognizing the importance of collective action in bringing about social change,
building global linkages into their work, and
prioritizing the leadership of women, indigenous peoples, people of color, migrant workers and other food providers marginalized by the global food system.
The Food Sovereignty Prize was first awarded in 2009 as an alternative to the World Food Prize founded by “the father of the Green Revolution,” the late Norman Borlaug. While the World Food Prize emphasizes increased production through technology, the Food Sovereignty Prize champions solutions coming from those most impacted by the injustices of the global food system. In honoring those who are taking back their food systems, the Food Sovereignty Prize affirms that nothing short of the true democratization of our food system will enable us to end hunger once and for all.
The Food Sovereignty Prize is awarded by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance.
Posted: August 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm
You are invited to participate in the 2015 Food Week of Action and the Month of Community Power! The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) and the Presbyterian Hunger Program are joining with allies and partners globally in actions that raise awareness and help end hunger and poverty by building more just food and farm systems and by reclaiming our commons!
Let the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and people near and far know what you have planned for October, the Food Week or World Food Day! Fill out this easy form to get the word out.
People in the U.S. and worldwide are taking back their food systems – fighting for their land and waterways, reclaiming vacant lots, teaching others how to grow food, and developing local distribution systems – while simultaneously creating jobs, providing fresh food, preserving the environment, building rural-urban connections, advocating for just policies, and revitalizing their communities. Local control of seeds—by farmers, gardeners and seed keeping groups—is crucial for food security and food sovereignty.
AND…Take action and encourage the same from others. Learn about the Priority Actions for this year and find other resources here.
The 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize will be presented in Des Moines, Iowa.