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Confronting the Fantasy of the WTO with the Stories of Real Farmers

December 2005

Our latest dispatch from Hong Kong comes from George Naylor, who farms near Churdan, Iowa, is a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and is President of the National Family Farm Coalition:

Hong Kong.

I’m afraid it’s lost it’s exotic quality. Now almost everything is name brand. At least there’s good public transportation, so traffic jams wouldn’t be one reason to leave the city for the family farm like I left California 30 years ago.

Shopping for a cell phone the other night, a young salesperson wanted to know why anyone would oppose the WTO. “It does so many good things,” he said.


I wish I’d had the time to find out what he saw as a future for a young Hong Kong resident like himself. To what would one advance?

Maybe the brand name entertaiment of the times is enough.

We’ve been cooking up an action to get the attention of the press.

Our message:

People in suits talking in circles about blue boxes, green boxes, market access, and domestic support create an illusion that conceals the reality on farms and in rural communities.

Finally, Via Campesina farmers will come out from behind the “black box” to tell our real stories and deliver a gift box to the world’s people, the gift of food sovereignty.

As William Greider asks, “Who will tell the people?”

The word IS getting out. It’s wonderful working with the other farmers and farm workers of Via Campesina and the Food Sovereignty Network.

Thanks for all the help back home. See you later.

–George Naylor

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