Wednesday the 17th of April 2013 saw a curious combination of events for land workers. It saw the ironic orgy of public funds to commemorate Thatcher’s death as well as International Day of Peasant Struggle, the day established to commemorate the massacre of 19 landless peasant activists in Dorado dos Carajas, Brazil. That same Wednesday saw the establishment of a new movement in Britain to promote the interests of small holders and sustainable land workers. This is ‘The Landworkers Alliance;’ Wales and England’s branch of Via Campesina, the peasant movement that is working for food sovereignty in 78 countries, boasting 200 million members worldwide.
Three people from this emergent branch of Via Campesina: Sara Melendro, Humphrey Lloyd and Jyoti Fernandes took time off their farms in the UK to travel to the AGM of Via Campesina Europe held this year in Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands. This was a unique event bringing together representatives of farmer’s organisations from across Europe in the unexpected location of a semi-arid Atlantic Island. Here the three representatives from the UK were brought face to face with the inspiring workings of this international movement: ‘We have the dexterity of an organisation combined with the courage of a social movement.’ Said Julia, farmer from Germany of Via Campesina Europe.
Whilst the struggle for the small farmer can seem over whelming in this world of increasing industrialisation and political control of the land, here, in the grass roots farmers movement, the hope is found. ‘There are 12 million of us in Europe alone. We’re stronger but we think we’re weaker we must take risks we must not be afraid.’ Said Christian, representative of Conferation Paysanne, France. On the afternoon of the 17th of April the British representatives presented their application which was received with smiles, applause and shouts of, ‘Globalizacion de la lucha, Globalizacion de la esperanza, Globalizacion de la Libertad.’
-‘Globalisation of the struggle, globalisation of hope, globalisation of liberty.’