Since March 13, 2017, over 50 local indigenous peasants known as Sedulur Kendeng have been sitting with their feet in cement boxes in protest. This is their second such protest in eleven months.
It is both a symbolic and literal plea to President Joko Widodo, more commonly known as Jokowi, to halt the construction of a cement factory in Rembang, Central Java. They are protesting against the planned mining operation of PT Semen Indonesia—a state owned enterprise. The mega-plan is supported by Ganjar Pranowo, the Central Governor of Java, and Rini Soemarno, the Minister of State-owned Enterprises. Both are politicians from PDIP (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) who led Jokowi to his presidency back in 2014.Read More »
by Nikita Sattiraju
Over three lakh farmers have committed suicide in India since 1995. A majority of them were concentrated in five major agricultural states of the country – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh. Even Punjab recorded a high number of 449 farmer suicides in 2015, next only to Maharashtra. Farm suicides have been steadily increasing over the years. On an average, around 15,400 farmers ended their lives each year between 1995 and 2003. This number increased to more than 16,000 between 2004 and 2012.Read More »
Chairman Mao Tse-tung (now, Mao Zedong) solemnly proclaims the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Tiananmen rostrum, October 1, 1949. The just-concluded first session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative meeting elected a Central People’s Committee in Beijing, September 30, 1949. Chairman Mao Zedong declared to the world: the Chinese people, who account for a quarter of humanity, must stand up. Since then China’s history has opened up a new era. People’s Republic of China founding ceremony was held at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, October 1, 1949.Read More »
by Arup Baisya
After a long period, the agrarian question or the peasant question has once again come to the fore. The agrarian crisis and the left decline in rural areas make it imperative to have a look on agrarian relations. In the great Indian academic debate on peasant question in the 1960s and 1970s which is known as ‘mode of production debate’, there was no unanimity of opinions. The Naxalbari peasant upsurge vindicated the stand of the section of left who severed ties with mainstream left and formed CPIML declaring the Indian state character as semi-feudal and semi-colonial. This characterization was in consonance with the Mao’s formulation of ‘erosion and retention’ of feudal relation in the era of imperialism and semi-colonial settings. The Naxalbari upsurge actually happened in the backdrop of a phase of class struggle that was unleashed during that period in the Indian agricultural sector. The question arises what happened to the agrarian relations of production after this phase of class struggle. Did this phase mark the beginning of gradual transition of feudalism to capitalism from below as it happened in France? The question also arises whether the continuation of same strategy followed by the CPIML groups in the rural areas post-Naxalbari upsurge has any bearing on the shrinking mass base. Read More »
[Note: Today is the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle. Journal of People, Peasants and Workers remembers the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for rights of the peasants and farmers, land and life. Following are three articles on the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle.]
Peasants mobilize to mark two decades of struggle to defend land and life
La Via Campesina
Harare, April 15, 2016: On April 17, The International Day of Peasant’s Struggle millions of peasants and their allies – women and men – around the world are uniting in action to commemorate the massacre of 19 landless farmers in 1996in Brazil and to continue the struggle for land and life. Two decades after that despicable incident took place in Eldorado dos Carajás, peasants and peasant leaders continue to be assaulted and killed for defending their rights. The killing of Honduras activist Berta Caceres and other peasants in Columbia, Philippines and Brazil in recent weeks and the criminalization of social protest and many other forms of human rights abuses continue.
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European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC)
In the Brussels, April 16, 2016: It has been twenty years since the tragic day in Brazil’s northern state of Pará where 19 peasant men and women were murdered by government security forces. Considered by many as the culmination of the regional – and global – persecution against those defending their land against corporate interest, today the persecution and violence perpetrated against us has not eased.Read More »
April 16, 2016
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance calls for mobilizations for food sovereignty and food justice that put food producers – farmers, workers, urban gardeners, fishermen – back in control of their land and their food.
April 17th is an important day in the struggle for food sovereignty. Twenty years ago, 19 members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in Brazil were killed during a peaceful action to obtain land for farming and other livelihoods.Read More »
By Subhendu Das Gupta
Countercurrents.org | January 11, 2016
Workers will occupy all closed down mills and factories this year, 2016. Workers organized in cooperatives will establish small-scale factories, small health centers, and small schools, clear out junkyards and illegally occupied spaces for play fields, cultural activities including concert, drama, screening of cinema and gossiping in free hours, and construct houses for poor families within the premises of the locked out mills and factories. Workers will construct their permanent residential facilities by replacing old, labor lines. Government will provide electricity and supply water to these labor residential facilities.Read More »