On the front line

On the front line

These interviews were made with the special support of Real World Radio

1 – Food Sovereignty resists the rise of fascism because it allows us to organize life in a different way

“By organizing life in a different way — questioning how and what we eat, supporting small farmers, and sharing domestic chores so that they are not only in the hands of women —Food Sovereignty helps us to resist the rise of fascism,” said Miriam Nobre, agronomist and feminist activist with the World March of Women in Brazil.
Among the key threats facing Food Sovereignty, she highlighted: attacks on indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities whose territories are looted; persecution and physical violence against women considered “witches”; and criticism from neo-pentecostal religious figures against the community rituals that allow for knowledge to be passed down between generations, for instance, when sowing maize.

“Attempts by conservative sectors to return to the patriarchal family model are added to the dismantling of public policies that promote young people staying in the countryside, and the alliance between agribusiness, drug trafficking and militarization as constant threats to communities. We must fight for the right of young generations to be farmers and for them to be able to practice agroecology,” said Nobre.
Full piece here.

2 – The fight for Food Sovereignty: a battle against the fascist offensive

Peasant leader Carlos Marentes, a long-standing leader from La Vía Campesina International, tells Real World Radio about the challenges in the struggle for food sovereignty “in these political times of oligarchy and increasingly extreme conservatism, of States leaning to the far-right wing with terrible neofascist positions such as in the US.”

Marentes is member of the organization “Border Agricultural Workers Project” located at the border between US city of El Paso, Texas, and Mexican city Juárez, Chihuahua State. The organization is part of La Vía Campesina International.
The leader explained that his organization works to organize rural workers to fight for food sovereignty. Marentes considered that this struggle takes place in two ways: the work against “this war led by (US President ) Donald Trump and the most regressive sectors experienced in the different countries,” and the rebuilding of peasant economies and the economies of rural and indigenous communities so as to avoid the displacement of human beings.
Full piece here.

3 – Controversial Citizenship Law in India brings new wave of mobilizations against the far-right

A new Citizenship Law that discriminates against Muslims and the poorest sectors of society in India has given way to a wave of massive protests that challenge the far-right wing and that are key in the struggle for land rights.

“They don’t want Muslims, they don’t want tribal (communities), they don’t want Dalits (the “untouchables”, the poorest and most discriminated people in the Indian caste system), they don’t want the poor or working class. All this nationalism, controlling the power in a few hands, needs to be challenged,” said activist Roma Malik, from the organization All India Union of Forest Working People, in an interview with Real World Radio. “And I feel that the land struggle is the fundamental struggle, and women are at the forefront, they are already challenging the fascist government,” she stressed.

The leader believes that the struggle for food sovereignty carried out by peasant organizations must ensure that those who grow food have the right to land and ownership over the means of production.
Full piece here.

4 – Fascist/nationalist discourses are taking advantage of the crisis in the European countryside to promote neoliberal policies

Andoni García, a farmer from the Basque Country and member of the Coordination Committee of La Vía Campesina Europe (ECVC) warned in an interview with Real World Radio about the use of “nationalist sentiment” in right-wing political discourse as a feature of the rising conservatism and fascism on the continent.

Contrary to other European countries, “the Spanish government does not hide the fact that they are neoliberal or that they do not support public policies, but they take advantage of the feeling of abandonment and impotence in the countryside and the lack of responses to the crisis to co-opt farmers and build xenophobic discourse against migrants that come to Europe to work”, said García.

The ECVC also warns about the criminalization suffered by farmers (especially cattle farmers) by some animal welfare movements and announced that the conflicts between urban and rural areas will be addressed in the next assembly of LVC Europe, planned for April this year.

To resist the rise of fascism, García said that we must raise awareness of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and that the left wing parties must think about how to address peasant problems because they are not giving an adequate response.
Full piece here.

5 – The Right to say NO

Rural women across Southern African are resisting against the patriarchal advance of militia groups and dictatorial governments in some countries of the region, says activist Mercia Andrews, regional coordinator for the Rural Women’s Assembly.

“The Rural Women’s Assembly joins hands with farmers’ movements, with peasant movements, and we have joined campaigns that say we have the right to say NO: We have the right to determine the nature of development in these areas. We have the right to say NO to mining, NO to agroindustry. We have the right to say NO to the way in which forests are being cut down,” stressed Andrews.

The actions of the Rural Women’s Assembly focus on defending the commons, against the invasion of multinational corporations, and land/resource grabbing. The defense of food sovereignty and native seeds is at the center of their struggles and campaigns.
Full piece here.