17 April: International Day of Peasants Struggles

Resist the commercialisation of nature – Stop land grabbing!

Call for mobilisation

The dramatic environmental, economic and social crises that we are
currently observing have surprisingly not led to a complete change in the
direction taken by most national and international elites. On the contrary,
we are seeing an increased offensive by economic super-powers to grab all
the resources still available to make a profit. Land has become a valuable
commodity entering speculative trade, followed by water, seeds etc. This
hyper-commercialisation of the commons leads to a massive dispossession of
the people who are simply living on the land. Women and men farmers are
particularly affected.

At the same time, resistance is blooming everywhere. All over the world,
urban and rural communities hit by the same wave of privatisation and
destruction of life are resisting against transnational companies which
impose the rule of profit over the people’s needs and rights.

People’s resistance against GMOs has recently led to some victories:
sustainable agroecological farming initiatives have developed in cities and
in the countryside to feed local populations; thousands of people have
protested against the absurdity of some “development projects” such as
destructive mines, airports, shopping malls, or industrial plantations.
Farmers and civil society groups have strongly opposed land grabbing

The international peasants? movement La Via Campesina has been defending
and expanding the practice and policies of food sovereignty around the
world for 20 years. To launch another 20 years of struggle, we are calling
for a massive mobilisation day on 17 April, the International Day of
Peasants? Struggles, to reclaim our food system which is being increasingly
occupied by transnational capital. We invite everyone to organise
activities, protests, art exhibitions, direct actions, discussions, film
screenings, farmers markets etc., in your village, school, office,
neighbourhood, organisation, community…

Wherever you are, join this collective celebration on 17 April!

– Inform us about your plans by sending an email to
– Subscribe to our special mailing list by sending a blank email to
– Send us reports, pictures and videos of your action! We will publish
them on the new Via Campesina TV channel.
– We will publish the map of actions around the world on
– Join our Facebook event!

Origins of this Day of Action: On 17 April 1996, in Eldorado dos Carajás
in the Amazonian state of Pará in Brazil, the state military police
massacred peasants involved in the Movement of Landless Rural Workers
(MST), killing 19 individuals. That day, 1500 women and men participating
in the MST occupied and blocked a highway with the intention of pressuring
the state and federal governments for agrarian reform. At about 4pm, 155
state military police from two brigades surrounded the MST on the highway,
firing tear-gas and live ammunition from machine guns. In addition to the
19 MST killed during the massacre, three more died later from injuries, and
69 people were wounded. State authorities ? the police, the army and
powerful local landowners ? were involved in planning and executing the
massacre. More than fifteen years later, none of those responsible for the
massacre at Eldorado dos Carajás has been imprisoned or punished.

La Via Campesina
Via Campesina is an international movement of peasants, small- and
medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural
youth and agricultural workers. We are an autonomous, pluralist and
multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic, or other
type of affiliation. Born in 1993, La Via Campesina now gathers about 150
organisations in 70 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Follow us on facebook <http://www.facebook.com/viacampesinaOFFICIAL>
twitter <https://twitter.com/via_campesina>

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*International Operational Secretariat:

Jln. Mampang Prapatan XIV no 5 Jakarta Selatan, Jakarta 12790 Indonesia****

Tel/fax: +62-21-7991890/+62-21-7993426

Email: viacampesina@viacampesina.org


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