Declarations from La Via Campesina, VII International Conference
“Peasants, men and women, all over the world feed our peoples, without them cultivating the land we would not have food. Friends of the Earth International joins La Via Campesina’s struggle in defence of food sovereignty. We aim to tear down the walls and the advance of capital over our territories once and for all. Together with La Via Campesina we build the movement to change the system and defend food sovereignty and our peoples’ rights.”
Karin Nansen, Chair Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth International was honoured to be part of La Via Campesina’s (LVC’s) VII International Conference. As allies and friends we share many values: our respective structures, youth values committed to justice and activism, and the values of Real World Radio. We share common agendas and related work: Food Sovereignty Alliances in Latin America and Africa, the Nyeleni Forum in Europe and the UN World Committee on Food Security, Forest and Biodiversity at the CBD and FAO; The UN Binding Treaty on Transnational corporations and Human Rights and the struggle against FTAs, and the commitment to climate justice and real solutions to climate change and the fight against false solutions.
“It’s inspiring to be at this conference, to share and understand the problems faced by peasants around the world and to bring the message back home of how we, as a grassroots federation, can support the struggles of peasants.”
Stanka Becheva, Friends of the Earth Europe
Globalize the struggle! Globalize hope!
One highlight of the conference was the potent manifestation LVC’s strength as a popular movement working towards system change. Its strength lies in the number of regional and national/local peasant movements it unites and mobilizes to feed the world and address the root causes of climate change.
“The goals of this Conference have been met, these have been seven very intense days and the Conference is not the place to be an intellectual or academic; it is a moment to share, to cry, to laugh.”
Paul Nicholson, La Via Campesina founder, speaking to Real World Radio
The místicas from all the regions were a powerful reflection of the problems faced by peasants all over the world and the strength of the struggle they are leading in their territories.
LVC plays a key role in advancing food sovereignty and agroecology, building real climate solutions, defending peoples’ rights and fighting against privatization and corporate control of the commons. LVC promotes unity and convergence among social movements, struggles and justice agendas.
This inspiring conference culminated in three declarations, from La Via Campesina, the women’s assembly and the Youth assembly:
VIIth International Conference, La Via Campesina: Euskal Herria Declaration: “We feed our peoples and build the movement to change the world.”
“In our peasant and indigenous agriculture we continue to do what we have done for millennia: produce healthy food for our families, communities and peoples.”
“Growing and strengthening as a movement means paying attention to grassroots work, building alliances, fighting with conviction against patriarchy, imperialism and financial capital, with commitment and discipline. This struggle is critical to humanity and to the survival of Mother Earth. From Euskal Herria, we call on the peoples of the world to struggle together with us. It is time to build a more fraternal world based on solidarity among peoples.”
VII International Conference: Women’s Assembly Declaration. Building the movement to change the world with feminism and food sovereignty.
“We reiterate our commitment of resistance in the field, of full participation in the organisations, to fight violence against women until it has been completely eradicated, to condemn war and contribute to peace building with social justice, to defend Mother Earth and to fight to recover good living for all humankind.”
“We, rural women, will continue to organize ourselves, to fight for the right to live with dignity, justice and equality.”
“The organizations need to take the participation and inclusion of women seriously. WE may say that organizations are democratic but if we don’t manage to fully include women, there won’t be democracy.”
Lidia Senra, Ex-SLG General Secretary, Spain, speaking to Real World Radio
VII International Conference: Youth Assembly Declaration. The seeds we sow in the present will feed us in the future. The land is fertile and ready.
“The struggle of Global Youth is not ours alone. We need to continue building solidarity and convergence amongst our struggles through the sharing of information and collective creation of knowledge.”
“We, the youth of La Via Campesina, will harness our rich diversity in culture, geography, identity and language to continue to strengthen our movement through constant struggle and active mobilization. We reaffirm our struggle for land, territories and our collective right to the resources required to practice peasant agroecology as a way of life. We reaffirm our capacity, commitment and right to fulfil our essential role in building Food Sovereignty.”
All images © La Via Campesina