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European Coordination Via Campesina

Reclaim the Fields

European Camp To Cultivate Alternatives

30th of September – 4th of October 2009, Minerve (France)

The young people of European Coordination of Via Campesina are organizing an European camp to gather people who wish to settle in agriculture, who are young peasants, landless peasants and/or who want to recover food sovereignty.

The growing global crisis on farming, climate, energy, biodiversity and societies has a great impact on billions of people’s lives. This crisis is tightly linked to the replacement of sustainable small-scale farming by industrial and corporate ways of production and consumption. Just as numerous billions have been given to the banks over the last year, the support of governments for neo-liberal policies continue to annihilate small-scale farming and peasantry all over the world. These policies destroy ways of life which have proved to maintain a harmonious link between human beings and their environment. In Europe these driving forces almost bring small-scale farming and peasantry to the point of extinction by making it difficult for settled peasants to survive and for young farmers to settle.

 

We want to be peasants to regain control over our lives and to put our values into practice. By cultivating we show our involvement in our land, environment and with the people, in our neighbourhood or in a faraway countries, with whom we share life on this little planet. In this way we help to secure a future for generations to come. We can put an end to the devastating process by strengthening the position of young peasants, re localizing the economy and using our creativity to create a vigorous and sustainable European countryside. A future in Europe is only possible if there are many new and young peasants!

There are a lot of struggles that we need to strengthen: for access to land, for fair agricultural prices, for the social recognition of farmers, against the domination of the industrial farming model and for fair agricultural policies. We want to gather to empower ourselves and make it possible for those who want to farm to do so.

The camp is open for young peasants and for those who are interested to become a peasant. You are warmly invited to come to exchange and share your experiences and to get inspired by those of others. There will be a wide variety of practical, political and theoretical workshops on access to land, urban farming, agricultural policies, agro-ecology, consumer-producer-alliances and more issues. You are welcome to contribute to the program with your own workshop: please let us know by filling-up the form on the website and by sending it to us before the 15th of September.

The camp takes place on a collective farm in southern France. It will be organized with the help of all the participants of the camp. A daily assembly will organize the life in the camp, like the collective kitchen, cleaning and announcements on the program. You will be asked for a small contribution for the meals and accommodation.

For further practical information please see the website www.reclaimthefields.org

If you wish to receive more information or get involved, please contact: camp2009@reclaimthefields.org