Fighting Against Land and Resource Grabs for Comprehensive Land Reform
Land is becoming increasingly valuable, and globally, small farmers are losing their land as it is bought by foreign governments, international corporations, and Wall Street investors. Small farmers in the U.S. are unable to stay on their rural farmland, and urban land is lost to the gentrification of cities and waterfronts. Farmers are losing control over productive resources (land, water, seeds) and rights to save, exchange and share those resources; fishermen have increasingly limited access to the water; community gardens are cleared for expensive housing and commercial development projects; and farmers from other countries are often forced to migrate to the U.S. to work as food and farm workers. Changes in land and fisheries use and ownership are critical for developing just and sustainable local food economies and ending hunger and poverty. As a common link to all struggles for food justice and sovereignty, efforts to win community access to and control over land, water, seeds and the oceans can enhance and frame all struggles.
Food sovereignty and food justice are intimately connected to immigrant rights because in the U.S., it is often immigrants
who work in the fields, on our fishing boats, in factories and processing plants, and in our grocery stores. Moreover, many immigrants
come to the U.S. to work in agriculture and other industries in the food system because our system of unregulated trade, along with our foreign and agricultural policies, have in turn displaced them from their land: any approach that seeks to address immigration within the U.S. must therefore address the issues of trade. The USFSA thus supports not only the right of immigrants
to stay in the country to which they have immigrated, but also the right and ability to stay home, a right which is violated by trade rules and corporate interests.
Read the USFSA’s Immigration Policy Principles for Food Sovereignty
Immigration Policy Principles for Food Sovereignty
Principios de la Politica Inmigratoria y la Soberania Alimentaria
Resources on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
On April 10 at 1 pm ET, the USFSA will host a learning call about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being called NAFTA for the Pacific, and its implications for farmers and immigration. If you want to join the call, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the call information.
by La Via Campesina, October 19, 2011
With each passing year, it is becoming more and more clear how the struggle for food sovereignty is interrelated with the struggle for the future of the planet. We now know that the industrial agriculture system is one of the main contributors to climate change. We also know that the people who are on the frontlines of the struggle for a just food system (i.e. family farmers, farmworkers, indigenous communities, and low-income urban communities of color) are the ones who experience some of the first and worst impacts of climate disruption – from droughts and floods, to soaring food prices, to contamination of precious land and water from the extraction of oil, gas, and coal. At the same time that our communities experience some of the worst impacts, we are also the source of the best solutions to heal and protect our land, water, seeds, and food systems, as part of Mother Earth. We draw inspiration from and commit ourselves to fight for the Rights of Mother Earth, a concept that has existed for thousands of years in indigenous communities around the world, and which has recently been described in depth through the Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
. Across the country, our communities are developing creative and resilient ways to defend the planet and prevent harmful exploitation by unaccountable governments and corporations. Examples include the cross-border struggle against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline; local fights for public dollars to enable communities to harvest rainwater for food production; marine stewardship; efforts to preserve the centuries-old and ever-evolving ecological relationship between peasant/family farmers and local seeds, free from corporate control; and the global struggle for climate justice. We look forward to finding ways to lift up these struggles from a local to national and international level.
As we all know, the food system in the U.S. is dysfunctional and unjust. Our own movement reflects many of these contradictions and divides – this is why the Assembly was so important and why members of the USFSA recommitted to work together to ensure that as social justice advocates, we are conscious of issues of privilege and oppression in our work together. We will learn more together about issues of race and racism, and will work together to create a leadership structure that reflects the grassroots base-building, frontline communities that are most impacted by injustices in the food system.
Throughout the Assembly, participants reaffirmed the value of a US Food Sovereignty Alliance as a space for grassroots and national groups to build their power together in the food system and to provide solidarity to each other’s struggles, particularly in the face of corporate domination. We will continue to look for opportunities to take action in solidarity with each other.