Slain Peasants Commemorated Worldwide

April 17th 1996, is commemorated by millions of peasants around the world as The International Day of Peasant’s Struggle – to memorialise the massacre of 19 landless farmers in Eldorado dos Carajás, Brazil, and to continue the struggle for land and life.

Two decades after that incident took place peasants and peasant leaders continue to be assaulted and killed for defending their rights. The killing of Honduras activist, Berta Caceres, and other peasants in Columbia, Philippines and Brazil in recent weeks and the criminalisation of social protest and many other forms of human rights abuses still continue.

2016-03-27-Internet-Affiche-Via-Campesina-EnglishThe New Zealand Peasants’ Association denounces all forms of injustice that affect the peasant way of life, an important heritage of the people at the service of humanity.

Constant attempts are being made to advance the agribusiness model that imposes the practice of monoculture which privatises land and natural resources in order to increase profit, denying their preexisting appropriation by society for the common good. Monocultural farming destroys biodiversity, uses more and more toxic inputs, drives peasants off their land, and forces governments and nation states to bow to the industry’s will.

While our government continues to build repressive alliances with big businesses to promote profit taking, Peasants NZ believes the time has come to build an economy based on an equality between humanity and nature, and founded on Food Sovereignty principles.

“It’s unacceptable that in 2016 farmers are still being killed for defending the very basis of life: the nature and the right to grow food” said Elizabeth Mpofu, General coordinator of La Via Campesina.

With hundreds of actions taking place peasants and their allies are united in solidarity to defend their land and to push back the frontal assault on artisanal farmers in all parts of the world. The actions, led locally by peasant member organisations of La Via Campesina and by many other groups, collectives and organisations, involve reclaiming grabbed lands, demonstrations against agribusiness models, food sovereignty fairs, seed exchanges, video screenings, conferences and more.