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April 17: Day of Peasant Struggles against Transnational Corporations and Free Trade Agreements

April 17: Day of Peasant Struggles against Transnational Corporations and Free Trade Agreements

La Via Campesina International defined April 17 as the International Day of Peasant Struggles to make visible and denounce the criminalization of the protest, persecution and violence that the peasantry faces on a daily basis due to the implementation of the neoliberal model and agribusiness in the countryside.

For the International Peasant Movement it is urgent to speed up the approval of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other people who work in rural areas as a tool to fight to guarantee a dignified life in the countryside.

This April 17, 2015, La Via Campesina Internacional will focus its mobilization on the impacts of Transnational Companies and Free Trade Agreements for Peasant Agriculture and National Sovereignty. Therefore, in this Global Action Day we call to strengthen the social struggle and the organization of peoples throughout the world to claim land and agrarian reform, as well as the ancestral right to land and territories as two indispensable conditions for Peasant Agriculture and the Food Sovereignty of the Peoples.

Since 1996 - in memory of the massacre of 19 landless peasants in Brazil - the international peasant movement has grown and strengthened the journey of action and global mobilization, strengthening solidarity and resistance, as well as deepening the alliance between the countryside and the the city in favor of a project of society based on social justice and the dignity of the peoples.

We, the peasants and peasants, indigenous, Afro-descendants, without land, fight for a model of Peasant and sovereign Agriculture, for which the Free Trade Agreements have been constituted in treaties of free dispossession, expulsion and disappearance of the peasantry, since they are based on a capitalist, industrial, subsidized and highly toxic agriculture that is negotiated under the influence and interests of a few transnational corporations.

For La Via Campesina, the opening policies and the deregulation processes only favor transnationals, since these Trade Treaties and Agreements, whether multilateral or bilateral, basically seek to protect foreign companies, establishing a set of conditions, measures, and rules. to ensure full protection of investments by foreign companies, while this market liberalization has severe economic and social impacts on peasants from both the North and South.

With FTAs, commercial rights take precedence over all other rights.

To exemplify, currently, the Free Trade and Investment Liberalization Agreements between the European Union with the United States and Canada are being debated, which would be the most important ever signed.

Which will have a global impact and will determine the new norms in favor of the transnationals. And they will have the tools to manipulate all regulations, norms and public policies to increase their profits: the mechanism for the Resolution of Conflicts between Investors and States (RCIE) and the Council for Regulatory Cooperation.

Thus, states, regions and communities will lose their power to protect citizens and their environment.

In that sense, we denounce the "arbitration" Mechanism used by these transnational companies which constitutes a kind of globalization, transnationalization and privatization of the judicial system, in which private companies dictate the norms, as well as a strategy to weaken states and national sovereignties.

In the case of the notorious World Trade Organization (WTO), which is trying to renew itself so as not to lose total relevance, this year comes with a new offensive against national systems of food production, distribution, and storage, seeking to weaken public systems protection for the people.

In this Global Action Day, La Via Campesina calls on its organizations, allies and friends to carry out a series of actions in the countries and territories in order to reinforce this global struggle. These activities can be mobilizations, land seizures, seed exchanges, food sovereignty fairs, forums, cultural events, etc. We ask you to register these actions by sending us information about them so that in this way we can make this great world day of struggle visible [email protected]

We will publish a map of actions around the world at www.viacampesina.or

We also encourage you to share photos, videos, posters and audios for www.tv.viacampesina.org

La Via Campesina


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