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Workers' Power

ON WORLD DAY OF FOOD SOVEREIGNTY, STRUGGLING FOR LAND IN BRAZIL

Families in a Landless Workers Movement squatter encampment, hoping to win legal title to the land. Photo: Andy Lin.

October 16 is World Food Day. To ensure that there is food for the world, and that it is not controlled by corporations, small farmers and allies across the globe have also named October 16 the Day of Action for Food Sovereignty and against Transnational Organizations. A posting by La Via Campesina, the coalition of more than 160 peasants and small-farmer movements across continents, says that it “organizes this day of solidarity, resistance, and mobilisation in order to make citizens aware of the current threats to peoples’ food sovereignty.” (To find out about U.S. actions for this day, click here.)

Mayan Peoples Movement Defeats Monsanto Law in Guatemala

By Carol Schachet

Cross Posted from Grassroots International

Widespread protests and strategic organizing succeeded in defending Mayan lands and food sovereignty in Guatemala. This marks a major – and unprecedented – victory as the congress repealed the “Monsanto Law,” preventing threatened exclusivity on patented seeds to a handful of transnational companies.

Daniel Pascual, director of Grassroots International’s partner organization the Committee for Campesino Unity (CUC), said the widespread demonstrations against the "Monsanto law" showed that Mayan people consider it a flagrant violation of national sovereignty.  He added, “This is a victory for the movement, but do not forget there are other laws that we need to repeal that are designed to favor certain companies and control the movement resistance to defend the territory.”

The article below, originally posted on the Via Campesina website, describes the victory and ongoing efforts to protect seeds, land and food sovereignty in Guatemala.

ON NATIONAL DAY OF MAIZE IN MEXICO, PROTECTING THE SACRED PLANT

Today, September 29, 2014, Mexicans celebrate National Day of Maize, with demonstrations, marches, and expositions. Known as the Land of Maize, Mexico now imports one-third of this sacred icon and staple food, mostly from the US. A fierce battle is being waged over corn that is still grown in Mexico, with small farmers and seed sovereignty activists pitted against Monsanto and other GMO giants, the Mexican government, the US government, and the World Trade Organization.