US Food Sovereignty 3rd Assembly Declaration

October 15, 2015                                                   

Indianola, Iowa

The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, representing 35 organizations of farmers, fishermen, farm workers, food chain workers, indigenous peoples, urban agriculturalists, faith groups and allies from across the U.S. gathering in Indianola, Iowa October 12-15, 2015 for our 3rd Assembly marking 5 years of work, we declare that food sovereignty is necessary as a solution to the crisis facing humanity today.  That crisis is one of accelerating self-destruction by means of extreme forms of economic exploitation and degradation, of both workers and the natural world.  Strengthening food sovereignty will nourish all humanity and also cool the planet.  Food Sovereignty means defending the dignity and well-being of those working in the food system and also preserving the common goods necessary for life:  land, water, biodiversity including seeds.  We denounce and oppose the privatization of those common goods and the commodification of our labor.

We have reflected on our 5 years as an alliance and defined our next steps and taken decisions with an eye to strengthening our alliance.  We intend to grow into a powerful movement!

We gathered with our hosts Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom of Des Moines (WILPF) and stand in solidarity with them and all Iowans in opposing the proposed oil pipeline that would only accelerate the destruction of life on the planet.  We denounce the industrialization of agriculture in Iowa and across the U.S. and call for a transition back to traditional forms of agriculture that protect the soils and better feed our communities.  We view the extraction and burning of fossil fuels as parallel to the extraction of fertility from soils exposed to large-scale monocultures.

Yesterday we awarded the Food Sovereignty Prize to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC) and to the National Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), organizations that for decades have struggled to defend lands and ways of life that are essential to sustain.  They have shown that “Black Farmers Matter” and, as Cornelius Blanding who received the award on behalf of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives said, “Black Lands Matter.”

Miriam Miranda, general coordinator of OFRANEH from Honduras challenged the members of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance to fight against the self-destructive path that the consumerist, capitalist society of the U.S. and other industrialized countries has forced people to walk, a trail that leads to endless tears.

As we move forward as an alliance, we intend to build on our achievements to date, by strengthening and expanding the food sovereignty movement, energizing greater consciousness raising, encouraging more articulation of our local and regional work and deepening our analysis.  We intend to act ever more forcefully to push back the powers of greed, exploitation and exclusion and to widen the space and potential of organized people upon the lands, by the sea and at the halls of power.

No to privatization of life!

No to self-destructive energy and resource exploitation!

Yes to defending and conserving the common goods of nature.

Yes to the practice of agrecology.

Yes to the building of a movement capable of transforming our world!