We, members of the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, express our solidarity with Via Campesina International and allies in the US and worldwide in this day of April 17, the International Day of Peasant Struggle.
On April 17, 1996, nineteen landless peasants, members of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) were brutally murdered in El Dourado dos Carajás, state of Pará by the police. From 1980 to 2003, 212 peasants and rural workers’ union leaders have been killed in the same state in Brazil and justice has been served only in a small portion of those cases.
Along with our brothers and sisters, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance pays homage to the victims of the massacre of El Dourado dos Carajas and many others who have fallen to the repression and criminalization of the peasant and indigenous peoples’ struggle for land rights.
The struggle for justice, land rights and food sovereignty from Detroit, Michigan to Oakland, California to Immokalee, Florida is ever present in our lives. Today, on April 17, we join Via Campesina International and the MST in a day of action to defend peasants’ rights to land and food sovereignty.
Globalize the struggle, Globalize the hope.
Actions, events, and campaigns YOU can support for April 17, International Day of Peasants’ Struggles
- April 9, Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) joined a meeting of Darden Restaurant executives in New York City to tell them that consumers want to eat at a restaurant that treats its workers with dignity, as part of the ROC’s Dignity at Darden campaign: http://www.dignityatdarden.org/.
- April 14, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and its allies in New York City staged the “Pigtail March for Justice” to make Wendy’s pay a fair wage for farmworkers and join the Fair Food Campaign. Take action with the CIW here: http://www.ciw-online.org/action.html.
- April 17, 12pm EDT/9am PDT Conference call with Alexandre Conceição, member of the national coordination committee of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST). The US Friends of MST is organizing this learning call about the land struggle in Brazil as a contribution to the work of families and individuals who are also fighting for the same goals in the United States. Sign the petition to support the MST: http://www.mstbrazil.org/.
- April 17, join an Urgent Response Team to protect Honduran campesinos struggling for land amid violence. Both Spanish and English speakers are needed to call and pressure Honduran officials to uphold basic human rights. Organized by COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras), email Stephen Bartlett to join this Urgent Response Team at sbartlett (at) ag-missions (dot) org.
- April 19, the Family Farm Defenders will hold a demonstration at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to protest speculation and corporate greed that are putting small farmers out of business in the US and plunging small-scale farmers into poverty around the globe: http://familyfarmers.org/.
- April 20, Detroit Food Justice Task Force protests against racism, poverty, land, and political takeover by an Emergency Financial Manager at Flagstar Bank, one of the leading banks responsible for thousands of evictions – 70 cents out of every dollar Detroit receives goes to repay loans that have been accumulating for almost 50 years.
- May 1, International Workers Day and Immigration Marches throughout the country.
- May 5, March for Dignity, Fighting for the rights of immigrants, farm workers, and real immigration reform, Bellingham WA, with Community 2 Community – De Comunidad a Comunidad.
- Support the Food Chain Workers Alliance Minimum Wage Campaign by signing their petition here: http://foodchainworkers.org/?page_id=2329. Also, read their report, “The Hands That Feed Us” and join “the Welcome Table!”
- Sign this petition to support family fishers in New England before April 29.