International Day of Peasant Struggle in 2012

International Day of Peasant Struggle in 2012

April 17 is the International Day of Peasant Struggle, commemorating the massacre of 19 peasants struggling for land and justice in Brazil in 1996. Every year on that day actions take place around the world in defence of peasants and small-scale farmers struggling for their rights.

European  civil  society  organizations  and  movements  are asked to come together to  recognize International Day of Peasant Struggle and to amplify their demand for European  and  global  Food Sovereignty in a week of action and vibrant demonstrations.

Call for week of action around April 17th 

 International Day of Peasant Struggle

Celebrating European Food Sovereignty in Recognition of Peasant Struggle

This call comes six months after the first European Forum for Food Sovereignty, Nyeleni Europe 2011, where 400 delegates from European countries met in Krems, Austria. The forum featured over 120 organizations and individuals representing civil society and social movements who discussed the impact of current European and global policies. There, they committed themselves to strengthening their collective capacity to reclaiming community control over food system, to resisting the agro-industrial system and to expanding and consolidating a strong European movement for Food Sovereignty. (You can watch a video of the forum here:

Food  Sovereignty  implies  and  covers  a  wide  range  of  aspects:  the  way  we  produce  and  consume  food,  what  kind  of  food  we  eat,  rights  of  workers  and  citizens,  the  impacts  of  food  production  on  the  environment,  alternative  food  distribution  systems,  participatory  research  systems,  sovereign  and  democratic  food and agriculture policies. 

The current food system has been reduced to a model of industrialized agriculture controlled by a few transnational food corporations together with a small group of huge retailers. It is a model designed to generate profits, and therefore completely fails to meet its obligations. Instead of being dedicated to the production of food which is healthy, affordable and benefits people, it focuses increasingly on the production of raw materials such as agrofuels, animal feeds or commodity plantations using environmentally harmful practices . On the one hand, it has caused the enormous loss of agricultural holdings and the people who make their living from those holdings, while on the other hand it promotes a diet which is harmful to health and which contains insufficient fruit, vegetables and cereals.

It is time to change the system!

While sister movement La Via Campesina calls for action on landgrabbing on April 17, the  European  movement for Food Sovereignty calls for mobilization around more varied Food Sovereignty issues, and to raise their voices for a change in national, European and internatiola policies to stop land and water grabbing, to stand up for the production of better food at fairer prices for farmers, fight for seed sovereignty and provenance, support alternative distribution networks, demand ending food speculation and  agrofuels promoting policies, limit the power of supermarkets, stop the proliferation of GMOs, ask for the halt of biodiversity loss and promomte in general a more environmentally friendly farming which also helps to cool down the planet.

In the week of April 16 – 22 Nyeleni Europe Movement for Food Sovereignty invites civil society organizations and individuals to organize direct actions, manifestations, demonstrations, public talks, film screenings, or any event to reaffirm your vision of the right of all peoples to define their own food and agriculture policies and systems, without harming either people or precious natural resources, as Food Sovereignty implies.

Inform us of your actions by sending an email to viacampesina [at]"> viacampesina [at] You can also share your activity with others and inform us of your plans by writing brief report of your action and take photographs or record videos to be featured on the website.

Please also take ownership of your role in this food sovereignty movement by translating this call into your own language and sharing it in your country. The more languages we communicate in, the greater our vigour, diversity and strength.

Food Sovereignty Now!

How to contact persons already involved with this movement:

For more information on the Nyeleni European Food Sovereignty Movement visit

For more information on your local Food Sovereignty movement, you can contact your nearest contact person by region or constituency listed below.

By Region:

Mediterranean/Southern Europe:

Italian Food Sovereignty Platform – Luca Colombo l.colombo [at]"> l.colombo [at]

Western Europe:

ECVC  –  Silvio Distillo: silvio [at]

Irish Food Sovereignty Movement – Sian Crowley siancrowley [at]

Scandinavian/Northern Europe:

ECVC  –  Silvio Distillo: silvio [at]

Eastern Europe:

Borislav Sandov borislav.sandov [at], Anna Korzenszky korzanna [at]

Southern Eastern Europe:

Ekin Kurtic ekinkurtic [at], Jenny Gkiougki kikkerjen [at]

The Caucasus:

Amin Mammadov  amigo.ihp [at]

Ex-Yugoslavian Countries:

Aleksandar Medic  a.medic42 [at]

Central Europe:

Austrian Platform  – Irmi Salzer irmi.salzer [at]

Ludwig Rumetshofer  ludwig.rumetshofer [at],

ECVC  –  Silvio Distillo: silvio [at]

By Constituency:

Farmers Organisations: ECVC  –  Geneviève Savigny genevieve.savigny [at]

Consumers Organisations: URGENCI  –  Jocelyn Parot  jocelyn.parot [at]

Environment Organisations: FoEE- Stanka Becheva  stanka.becheva [at]

Youth Groups: Henrik Maaß   maass [at]