Grassroots International and U.S. Friends of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (FMST) are delighted to host Luis Antonio Pasquetti, from the National Committee of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), a member of Via Campesina, during his tour in the United States.
Wisconsin based Family Farm Defenders (FFD) is a leading member of Grassroots International's ally National Family Farm Coalition. FFD was formed in 1994 and works to create a family farmer-controlled and consumer oriented food system, and has been a leading ally of farm workers and minority farmers including indigenous farmers. John Peck, the executive director of FFD recently wrote an article warning against the threat of agrofuels for family farmers in the Global South and here in the U.S.
The Farm Bill is one of the last major pieces of legislation that will make it to the floor of the Senate during the current legislative season, which makes it a ripe target for political maneuvering and special-interest pork.
Grassroots is working with a coalition of allies to fight for farming policies that will protect the human right to food, support family farmers in the United States and abroad and build a healthier food and farming system for consumers, communities and the environment.
The Senate's plan to set aside $25 million for locally-sourced food aid is a big win for family farmers in some of the world's poorest regions, but there is a lot that is still at stake in this farm bill.
World Food Day was recently observed around the world with people everywhere taking the opportunity to organize and act on our obligations to ensure "The Right to Food." Here in the United States, the Right to Food is as relevant as anywhere, especially in light of our recent imported food safety crisis that is causing many citizens to question their grocery purchases.
We have some exciting news to share.
Your voice was heard in the U.S. Senate.
The Farm Bill, scheduled to be voted on by the full Senate next week, includes funding for a $25 million pilot project for locally-sourced food aid for hungry people around the world.
We want to thank you for your support of this crucial legislation.
This is a big win.
At the last minute, Senator Pat Roberts (KS-R) threatened to call an amendment that would have squashed the pilot project. Thanks to the support of activists like you, this program that will offer support to family farmers around the world and improve our ability to feed the hungry is alive.
When Hope Triumphs Over Fear: An Invisible Global Revolution: Frances Moore Lappé at the Jamaica Plain Forum
Thursday, November 1st
First Church in Jamaica Plain
Unitarian Universalist Sanctuary
6 Eliot St (Across from the Monument)
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130
In 2006 an energized electorate seemed poised to reassert ownership of the democratic process. Since the elections, however, polls show that citizens confidence in government has resumed its downward trend. Far from waning, disillusion and disengagement continue to spread.
Why is this happening, and how can we stop it?
The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) officially launched their new Rainforest Agribusiness campaign this week, targeting ADM, Bunge and Cargill (ABC) for the role they are playing in the massive expansion of soy and palm oil plantations throughout the world. Global South movements including our partners in the Via Campesina are doing similar campaigns in various parts of the world.
WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders are being urged by environmental, family farmer, and social justice organizations to ensure that a radical biofuels provision passed by the Senate be left out of final energy legislation under consideration this fall.
In a letter being sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today, the groups warn that the massive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) passed by the Senate earlier this year could lead to significant environmental and social harm. The RFS would mandate the use of 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022, a five-fold increase over current levels.
Join activists, researchers and policymakers from the U.S., Canada and Mexico in Minneapolis, MN, to review how NAFTA has affected all three countries, learn about efforts to expand NAFTA, and exchange ideas on a new fair trade agenda.
[This is a final report by George Naylor, President of the National Family Farm Coalition from the Via Campesina's International Forum on Agrofuels and Food Sovereignty, August 30-31, 2007 in Mexico City. --Ed.]
Would it seem strange to you if your country had become dependent on food imports, but your government starts promoting the idea that the agricultural system needs to produce agrofuel, too?
How about if 3.5 million of your fellow citizens migrated out of the country since 2000, many because they could no longer make a living on the farm?
We can do it with your help.
There are promising signs that this crucial legislation may pass the Senate, but we need your help to make it happen. Every call counts as the Farm Bill gets closer to a vote.
Call your Senators now and ask them to support food aid that works.
What single bill – albeit with a great many tentacles – currently sits before Congress and will define the future of so much of the commons – our land use, soil and water quality, the future of our rural communities?
Look no further than the tip of your fork: the Farm Bill.
Michael Pollan, in the New York Times magazine, April 22, 2007, described it this way: “This resolutely unglamorous and head-hurtingly complicated piece of legislation…sets the rules for the American food system – indeed to a considerable extent, for the world’s food system.”
More than 5000 people rallied on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, June 10th to call for an end to the 40 year Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They represented over 300 organizations from around the country including Grassroots International—Grassroots’ Executive Director Nikhil Aziz participated in the rally. The organizations ranged from faith-based groups and labor unions to civil rights, students’, women’s and lesbian and gay groups. They demanded that the U.S. government act to bring about a lasting and just peace and an end to the occupation and conflict.
Reports about a backroom deal between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Charles Rangel and the White House on "fast track" -- the authorization the President sought to extend that gives him power to practically bypass Congress on free trade deals because it can only vote on and cannot amend the deals President makes -- in return for concessions in other areas were floating around Washington for some time. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dennis Olson and Alexandra Spieldoch report on what this means for agriculture, here in the U.S. and in the global South.
I had the incredible opportunity to coordinate a meeting between the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC) and the U.S. farmers and farm worker delegates to Nyeleni.
Present at the meeting were Omar Doanna, UAWC and Stop the Wall, Fuad Abu Sail, UAWC, Khalid Hedmi, UAWC, Zakaraya, a Palestinian farmer, Dena Hoff, NFFC, John Kinsman and John Peck, Family Farm Defenders, Carlos Marentes, Border Agricultural Workers.
The meeting was a rare chance for farmer-activists from very different places to share farming experiences, compare notes on movement-building strategy and show that human connection can conquer political divides.