Special Grassroots voices section prepared by LRAN
This special Grassroots Voices (GV) section includes a variety of contributions that illustrate major changes over the last 20 years in the thinking of rural social movements concerning agrarian reform, land and territory, particularly in the case of La Via Campesina (LVC). It is motivated and informed by a workshop held by LVC in Bukit Tinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia, from 10–13 July 2012, on Agrarian reform and the defense of land and territory in the 21st century: the challenge and future.
Transformations in the model of economic development in Brazil have forced changes in the nature of the struggle for land and agrarian reform. There is no longer room to call for a classic bourgeois agrarian reform, supported by an industrial bourgeoisie or by nationalist forces.
Nevertheless…agrarian reform is ever more urgent and necessary. Today the struggle for agrarian reform has become a class struggle against the model of agriculture dominated by Capital. This means that the peasants’ struggle for land rights and a new model of agriculture face a new correlation of forces – with powers of coercion and consensus building that are stronger than those of traditional landowners in the past – and new social actors arrayed against them: capitalized landowners, financial capital, and transnational corporations.
Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) of Brazil
Since the founding of La Via Campesina and the launching of the Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform, we have had many significant achievements, and at the same time the world has undergone major changes… But the changes are not just in the world around us. We also have grown in our struggle, thanks to the exchange among cultures, to our processes, our victories and our setbacks, and to the diversity of our peoples. That is why over the past few days we have been meeting to reflect upon and update our visions and concepts in the struggle for agrarian reform and the defense of land and territory. We have begun to outline some key elements of a new vision of agrarian reform and the sovereignty of peoples over their territories.
Bukit Tinggi Declaration on Agrarian Reform in the 21st Century,
La Via Campesina and the Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform
- read online at Taylor and Francis