April 17th: International Day of Peasant Struggles
On April 17, we commemorate International Day of Peasant Struggles alongside La Via Campesina and people’s movements around the world. We recognize the continued criminalization, persecution, and oppression of farmers, workers, and indigenous communities internationally and work to dismantle the systems that allow those injustices to occur.
This International Day of Peasant Struggles is significant in its memory of the 1996 massacre of Eldorado do Carajás during a march led by the Landless Workers Movement (MST). The goal of the action was to march to the state capital, Belém, to get the paper work to be able to settle on the Macaxeira Farm, at the time occupied by 3,500 landless families. The brutal operation by the military police killed 21 rural workers, 19 of whom died at the scene and two who later died at the hospital.
The celebration of International Day of Peasant Struggles is significant in the year of 2022 because of the continued intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and its effects, global food insecurity, among others; but it’s also significant because it marks 30 years of the struggle of La Via Campesina. Entering their fourth decade of collective struggles for food sovereignty, popular agrarian reform and dignity, the first began their processes during a gathering in 1992 and have been growing stronger ever since.
Join us in recognizing the ongoing struggles for food sovereignty and for the rights of farmers, workers, and indigenous communities.