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March 30th 2008 Heiligendamm

- Call for April 17: International Peasant's struggle Day

Thursday, 29 March 2007

- Bush and G8 World Leaders Await over 100,000 Protestors in Germany as Police Nervously Anticipate Massive Protests

- Anti-globalization groups brace for major protests during G8 summit

Call for April 17: International Peasant's struggle Day
Thursday, 29 March 2007

The 17th of April is the International Peasant's Struggle Day, establishedafter the massacre of 19 landless peasants belonging to the Landless Movement(MST) in Brazil on the 17th of April 1996 during the second conference ofLaVia Campesina in Tlaxcala Mexico.

In commemoration of the International Peasant's Struggle Day, La Via Campesinaand its allies are organizing activities and actions all over the world.Peasants and friends will rally around the following demands:

1.The WTO negotiations should not resume.
We want the WTO to permanently remain in the lethargy state it entered in July2006. Under the WTO policies, the crisis of food, agriculture and familyfarming has deepened in every corner of the world.

We call peasants' organizations and other social movements to urge theirgovernments to put an end to the so-called Doha Development Agenda (DDA). Inreality there will not be any development as long as countries are competingwith each others to grab each others food and agriculture markets.

Challenging the Doha Development Agenda, peasants, fisher folks, pastoralists,workers, women and ordinary people in the world are demanding theimplementation of food sovereignty.

(Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturallyappropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods,and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It putsthose who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systemsand policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.

It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers astrategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime,and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determinedby local producers. Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economiesand markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture,artisanal - fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production,distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economicsustainability.

Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just income to allpeoples and the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition. Itensures that the rights to use and manage our lands, territories, waters,seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who producefood.

Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression andinequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes andgenerations. (Excerpt of the Declaration of Nyeleni 2007, International Forumon Food Sovereignty in Selingue, Mali, February 2007))

We call peasants organizations and other social movements to discuss withtheir governments about trade and production alternatives based on foodsovereignty and out of the WTO.
2.Stop Free Frade Agreements (FTAs) and Economic Partnership Agreements(EPAs) in food and agriculture.
FTA and EPAs are just a breakthrough created to deal with the collapse of theWTO negotiations and to speed up the liberalization process. They are notalternatives to the WTO, but the other side of the same sharp blade, theblade of neo-liberalism.

Bilateral agreements and partnerships should be made between peasants andordinary people based on the principle of solidarity. People to peoplerelations in solidarity will create brotherhood and sisterhood, while FTAwill pave the way for transnational corporations to destroy people'seconomies.
3.End with the colonial model of monoculture.
History shows that that exploitation of other countries' agricultural wealthusually happens through monocultures farming. This was the colonial mode ofproduction because the rulers were only concerned about getting commoditiesin huge volume at the cheapest price. They did not care about the impact ofmonocultures on the land and on the workers. It led to environmentaldestruction and slavery.

Until today, agriculture systems based on monocultures keep exploiting humanbeings and the environment. They create overproduction, which in turndestroys the peasants' economy because of the dumping of agriculturalproduces.

We urge all governments to phase out from monoculture farming and to develop asustainable agriculture based on family farms that respects the ecology oragro-ecology and produces healthy and nutritious food.

4.Oppose the World Bank policies on land and rural development The World Bank has been imposing policies leading to privatisation of land,water, public services, seeds, etc. As a consequence, farmers and ruralcommunities are kicked out of the land and are loosing their livelihood,while big corporations are grabbing most of the world resources.

Those policies are even implemented under the name of "agrarian reform" (theMarket Assisted Land Reform of the World Bank).
We call people's organisations not to be cheated by those neo-liberal policiesand to keep struggling for genuine agrarian reform which ensures the rightsof communities to access and control of their land, territories, water andagricultural biodiversity.

Instead of listening to the World Bank and IMF's advice, governments shouldwork with their people towards social justice.

5.Reject the G8 domination!
The G8 countries are only representing 13,5 % of the world population, butthey control 62,6% ofthe world economy. They are shaping the world order(economy, development, conflicts, environment...) in a way that affects everyhuman being. This world order drives us in a situation where the number ofhungry people has increased from 840 to 854 million in 2006 while a tinygroup of millionaires have doubled their capital from 16 to 33 billiondollars.

A few months before the G8 summit in June in Germany, we are denouncing thepolicies put forward by the G8 governments in order to maintain their powerand to protect the interests of the big companies, at the expense of thegreat majority of the world population.


1.Organize public debates, workshops, discussions, seminars, culturalevents, and rallies on food sovereignty as the alternative to the neoliberalmodel. You can use the results of Nyeleni 2007, the Forum for foodsovereignty (Mali, February 2007) to disseminate information and to make surethat food sovereignty principles are implemented in your country. Invitegovernment officials, academics and social movements to take part. (moreinformation at

2.Take part in the global action and activities on 19th of April to stopEU-ACP EPAs.

3.Join the campaign against green deserts!

4.La Via Campesina, together with many other social movements, will takepart in the mobilizations against the G8 in Rostock, Germany, June 2 and 3 toshow that alternative policies are possible. We call people to go to Rostockfor the mobilizations against the G8.

La Via Campesina calls all its member organizations in the world to prepareand organize activities, events and actions in commemoration of 17 April. Weinvite all Via Campesina members to commemorate this event in their farmlandswith their communities and organisations in their villages, provinces andcountries.

We also call other social movements to celebrate this event.

Please inform us about the activities you are planning. We will publish allactions and activities in our website. If you want to get more information please contact:

International Operative Secretariat of La Via Campesina (Contact Person: Tejo Pramono)
Jln. Mampang Prapatan XIV No. 5 Jakarta Selatan, Jakarta 12790Indonesia.
Phone : +62-21-7991890 Facs : +62-21-7993426
And/or join the April 17 listserv by sending a blank message

Or contact our regional staffs that are close to where you live:
Africa (Isabelle Dos Reis)
Maputo - Mozambique Tel/Fax : (+258) 2132 7895
South-East and East Asia (Irma Yanni)
Jln. Mampang Prapatan XIV No. 5 Jakarta Selatan, Jakarta 12790Indonesia
Phone : +62-21-7991890 Facs : +62-21-7993426Email:

Caribbean (Francisca Peguero)
Av Independencia No 1063, Zona Universitaria, Distrito Nacional, Apdo Postal
905-2, Feria.
Tel/Fax: 00-1-809 686 7517 Fax: +1-809-682 0075
Europe (Morgan Ody)
Rue de la Sablonnière18
B - 1000 Bruxelles - Métro: Madou
tel + 32 2 2173112 fax: + 32 2 2184509
Central America (Wendy Cruz)
Colonia Alameda, 11 Avenida (Alfonso Guillen Zelaya), entre 3 y 4 Calles, Casa2025, Apartado Postal 3628 Tegucigalpa, M.D.C. - Honduras, C.A. Tel/fax: +5042359915/ +5042324679.Email:
South America (Rita Zanotto)
Alameda Barao de Limeira, 1232 - 01202-002 - Sao Paulo -SP - Brasil Phone - 613325 3909
North America(Jessica Roe)
110 Maryland Ave., N.E. Suite 307 Washington , DC 20002 - USA email:jroe@nffc.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you needJavaScript enabled to view it

South Asia (Gayathri Girrish)
Email :

Bush and G8 World Leaders Await over 100,000 Protestors in Germany as Police Nervously Anticipate Massive Protests

German police have recently upped the number of police preparing for anti-G8 protests to 18,000, an unprecedented number for a G8 Summit, scheduled to take place in Heilingendamm, Germany, June 6-8, 2007. Protest groups vow to shut down annual G8 Summit over growing concerns of long-term G8 inactivity on climate change, African poverty, HIV/AIDS, and further issues related to globalization. German Anti-G8 Infotour kicks of USA East Coast Tour.

Jason Kirkpatrick, G8 Infotour: 818-661-0648,,

When President Bush, Tony Blair, and their host German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet at the annual G8 meeting of the leaders of the worlds eight largest economies, they will likely meet the largest protest the G8 has ever seen. German G8 Police Chief Knut Abramowski estimates 100,000 people will take part in the protests, and has recently upped the amount of active duty police officers to 18,000.

"People are tired of the empty promises of the G8," said Jason Kirkpatrick, a former Vice-Mayor of Arcata, California, who is currently giving a 30 city USA lecture tour as member of the German based anti-G8 Infotour. "Because the G8 has been making empty promises about improving the environment and helping the poorest of Africa for years, this year over 100 various groups in Germany are planning to protest against the G8."

Karla Kamper, from the German protest group Dissent stated, "Germans are informed and quite concerned about the negative effects of the G8 summit, and this is why over 20,000 people have protested against every G8 Summit since the annual closed door meeting has visited Germany since 1985. Police have predicted trouble starting with the day that President Bush arrives in Germany on June 5th, and we expect that thousands will attempt to avoid Bush's airplane from even landing."

The German based G8 Infotour is following up on their 240 city tour in 25 European countries by starting a 40 city USA infotour last week. Their goal is to teach Americans about the history and failures of the G8 summit, and to encourage people to actively protest against the continuing problems created by eight world leaders at their annual summit in Heiligendamm.

USA Infotour dates available here:
* 30 Mar, 6pm, Boston, Spontaneous Celebrations,
* 1 April: Penn State, PA Peace Center, 7 p.m.
* 2 April: Philadelphia, PA, A-Space,
* 3 April: Baltimore, MD, Red Emma's
* 4 April: Washington D.C., Brian Mackenzie Infoshop, 7 p.m.
* 5 April: Chapel Hill, NC, 5 p.m.
* 6 April: Durham, NC
* 8 April: Greensboro, NC
* 9 April: Ashville, NC
* 11 April: Atlanta, GA Madratz Infoshop, 6 p.m.
* 13 April: New Orleans, LA
* 15 April: Houston; TX
* 16 April: Austin, TX Monkey Wrench Bookstore, 8 p.m.

More web-links:

Dissent! Network, Direct Action against G8:
German NGO Platform:
German site with information for visiting protesters:
Basic info about G8:

Anti-globalization groups brace for major protests during G8 summit

German anti-globalization groups are preparing for a series of violent and non-violent protests during the upcoming G8 summit, scheduled to take place in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm from June 6-8.
"There is an ongoing debate among anti-globalization groups as to how to protest during the G8 summit. Some are calling for soft actions but some are calling for more violent measures such as blocking airports and throwing stones," said the spokesman of a Berlin-based non-government agency (Venro), Gerhard Gad during a recent press briefing.
"Groups like Attac have harsher positions," he added.
More than 100,000 people are expected to demonstrate against the G8 summit as a record number of over 16,000 police will be ready to contain the protest wave, making it the largest security operation in the history of Germany.
Protestors hope to stage a sit-in at the military airport in the northern city of Rostock-Laage where the G8 delegations are due to land, in a bid to block their arrival.
Anti-G8 demonstrators will include also labor union, pro- environment, student, pacifist and radical leftist groups.
"The environment issue will be the dominant theme during the G8 protests. There is a danger that this issue will wash away all the other themes," added Gad who is a third world development aid activist.
Opponents of globalization will also hold the largest-ever alternative summit of globalization critics in the northeastern German city of Rostock from June 5 through7 which will take place parallel to the G8 summit in Heiligendamm.
More than 10 podium discussions as well as around 100 seminars will be conducted at the alternative summit which will focus on the issues of the G8 meeting.
"We want to show that there are alternatives to the policies of the industrial nations," said Attac spokesperson, Peter Wahl.
Around 40 groups will participate in the alternative summit.
Alarmed by a number of pre-G8 militant attacks in northern Germany, police has formed a special nationwide commission, codenamed 'Kavala'