Uniting for the Rights of Peasants and Workers

posted Apr 14, 2011, 12:46 PM by US Food Sovereignty Alliance   [ updated Apr 15, 2011, 4:17 PM ]
Stand up and be counted!!  Join one of these actions or an action near you, and let us know about it (info@usfoodsovereigntyalliance.org), so we can let others feel our collective power!

Coming out of the great democratic upsurge in Wisconsin, where workers and farmers stood together, small-scale farmers and peasants are joining with food and farmworkers to support food sovereignty and are asking for your solidarity against the policies and practices that are hurting us all.
On April 17, people worldwide celebrate the struggle of peasants and rural people to survive and to feed the world while commemorating the 1996 death of 19 farmers in Brazil assassinated while struggling for land and dignity. More than 100 events occur each year to defend a food system based on food sovereignty, justice and equality:  small-scale farming, agro-ecology and local production. Governments can support this paradigm by giving farmers access to land, water, seeds, credit and education, and by protecting them from cheap imports, creating public or farmer-owned stocks and managing production. Food sovereignty would provide livelihoods to billions of people and reduce poverty, particularly in rural areas where 75 per cent of the 1.4 billion people suffering from extreme poverty reside.

One of several events commemorating April 17 includes:
Friday, April 15, Chicago, IL, Noon - Family Farm Defenders and American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association will lead food and social activists on a noon rally and protest of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange/Board of Trade (141 W. Jackson) against corporate speculation of ag commodities; an educational leafleting session at a big-box grocery store, communal potluck and discussion will follow. Click here for more details on FB. Member organization PANNA has great coverage of the event here.

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance calls on all those who are struggling for food sovereignty to participate in May 1st actions in their local communities. May 1st is International Workers Day. In the U.S., this day has also become a day of mobilization for immigrant workers' rights and legalization for undocumented workers. Millions of small farmers and peasants around the globe have been displaced from their land because of the corporate takeover of agriculture in their home country and by unfair trade policies that allow cheap food products to be dumped into their country. 

Because of this loss of their land, millions are forced to become economic refugees and many end up coming to the U.S., looking for a way to support themselves and their families. Millions end up as workers in the U.S. food system - farmworkers, meatpacking workers, restaurant workers, and more. The food system exploits these immigrants and people of color - 5 of the 8 worst-paying jobs in the U.S. are in the food system. Therefore, as part of our commitment to dismantling racism and to struggle for justice and equality in the food system, US Food Sovereignty Alliance therefore calls on everyone to mobilize on May 1st. To find a May 1st event in your area, go to www.maydayunited.org and www.reformimmigrationforamerica.org