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Some 450 peasant movements representing all parts of the world meet to continue the fight against capitalism and propose concrete measures to build an alternative world based on dignity and Food Sovereignty.
This conference, held every four years, is a unique and vibrant gathering of peasant movements and is the most important and significant space for decision-making in La Via Campesina.
"It is unique because we are a movement that is diverse and yet united in our struggles. We are the people who work the land and who feed the world, but our territories are under constant attack. We face increasing criminalization. This conference is a step forward in the internationalization of our struggles, creating a strategy to curb the powers of global capitalism and build a movement for change ", says Elizabeth Mpofu, a Zimbabwean peasant and General Coordinator of La Via Campesina.
"La Via Campesina continues to grow. We currently have some 200 organizations. We are an international political model," says Unai Aranguren, a European member of the International Coordination Committee of La Via Campesina.
The VII International Conference was preceded by the IV International Youth Assembly (July 16 -17) and the V International Women's Assembly (July 17 - 18), which provided the space for youth and peasant women of the movement to demonstrate. the unique challenges and proposals in this fight.
The Youth Assembly reflected how they are the most affected by migration. The need for social movements to invest in young peasant farmers and promote agrarian reform that will provide young people with access and control over land and territory, also broadens training on peasant agroecological practices, which today are more urgent than ever. The young people also extended solidarity to the "March in Defense of Food Sovereignty and Mother Earth", organized by the Movement for the Earth, in Euskal Herria.
The Women's Assembly drew attention to the increasing cases of violence that women are suffering at home, on farms, and everywhere in patriarchal society. They are also committed to continuing their fight to create a movement for change with feminism and food sovereignty.
During the intense four-day program, the peasant movement will reflect and debate on different topics including Food Sovereignty, peasant agroecology, independent training networks, migrant rights, trade, climate justice and criminalization of social movements and creation of alliances ( see here).
The draft of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other working people in rural areas will be discussed, an initiative of La Via Campesina that has reached an advanced stage of negotiations in the Human Rights Council of the UN. New strategic lines of action will be defined, setting the tone for the fight for the next 4 years and new members and leadership will be welcomed.
On Sunday, July 23, La Via Campesina, EHNE Bizkaia (the host organization and member organization of the global movement in the Basque Country) and the allies will march with local peasants to Bilbao in solidarity with the struggles to defend their lands and territories against large infrastructure projects.
On Monday 24, field visits will be organized for all conference participants. More field visits are planned throughout the Basque Country for July 26-28 for selected representatives from the 9 regions of La Via Campesina.
For interview requests, contact the press team:
Ainara Frade: +34 671417531 [email protected] (EUS, ES, EN)
Viviana Rojas Flores: +34 6616 41838 | +593 9952 13177 |[email protected] (ES, PT)
Andres Arce: +34 6616 41528 | +32 4895 52297 | [email protected] (EN, FR, ES)