On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise
Great talk by Jyoti Fernandez of the Landworkers Alliance on the opening night of the We Feed the World exhibition reminding us of the role we all can all play in standing up for a fairer food and farming system.
The Joint Action Committee Against Foreign Retail and E-commerce greatly condemns the go-head to Walmart’s takeover of Flipkart by the Competition Commission of India. Flipkart indulges in gross and widely-reported violations of current FDI norms for e-commerce as expressed in the Press Note 3. These violations are all market distorting. The government has sat over scores of complaints given to it for such violations, and a case is also currently in the Supreme Court. Before investigating and deciding on these existing ongoing by Flipkart, billions of dollars of new FDI cannot be allowed to come in and compound these ongoing violations against India’s markets, economy and citizens.
We mark the Day of the Landless this year amid ever pervasive landlessness and land grabbing, driven by the competition of global powers and local elites to control the world’s resources at the expense of small food producers and the food sovereignty of poor countries. This is accompanied by rising militarism and violent repression of rural communities. Among those worst affected by deepening poverty and hunger as well as increasing human rights violations are the rural youth.
This Thursday 25 January, a lawsuit was opened against three newspapers (Mediapart, L’Obs and Le Point) and two NGOs (Sherpa and ReAct), who are accused of defamation by the Luxembourgian holding Socfin and its Cameroonian subsidiary Socapalm, for articles reporting on the mobilisation of villagers and farmers in West Africa who live near farms managed by these two companies. These companies have strong links to the Bolloré group, and Vincent Bolloré himself serves on their board of directors.
Thirty-three years ago today, the horrendous Bhopal gas tragedy at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in India immediately killed 3,000 people and 15,000 more subsequently. Survivors, exposed to the deadly gas and their children, continue to suffer from the world’s worst industrial disaster. Thousands of tons of hazardous wastes remain buried underground and the area remains contaminated. Meanwhile, Union Carbide, which became a subsidiary of Dow-Chemical Co. in 2001, has yet to fully account for the tragedy.
We, the undersigned organizations representing XXXX of people around the world, have been accompanying allied groups in El Salvador in support of their work to prevent gold mining in their communities since 2009. That is the year when your Pac Rim Cayman subsidiary filed an unjust investor - state lawsuit with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against El Salvador. It is also the same year when three anti-mining community leaders and an unborn baby were brutally murdered in northern El Salvador, in the area where your company was conducting its operations.
This week, international conservation and environmental leaders are calling on governments at the 2016 UN Convention on Biodiversity to establish a moratorium on the controversial genetic extinction technology called gene drives. Gene drives, developed through new gene-editing techniques- are designed to force a particular genetically engineered trait to spread through an entire wild population – potentially changing entire species or even causing deliberate extinctions. The statement urges governments to put in place an urgent, global moratorium on the development and release of the new technology, which poses serious and potentially irreversible threats to biodiversity, as well as national sovereignty, peace and food security.
Over 400 civil society organisations from more than 50 countries today issued a joint open letter to the seventeen banks providing a US$2.5 billion project loan to Dakota Access LLC. The letter, endorsed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, demands that the banks involved immediately halt all further disbursements of the loan and require the project sponsor to stop construction work until all outstanding issues are resolved to the full satisfaction of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The letter and the full list of signatories can be found below.
Early on the morning of November 4, armed police raided the “Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes” (ENFF) in Guararema, Sao Paulo, detained members of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) members and fired live ammunition. We call for an immediate end to the repression and criminalization of the MST and other grassroots organizations in Brazil, and for the release of all those arrested on groundless charges. Advocacy for land rights and peaceful protest are not a crime. They are essential rights protected under Brazil’s constitution and that must be respected by all Brazilian authorities.