Declaration of Solidarity
More than a billion people are suffering from hunger
In the twentieth century, more than a billion human beings are suffering from hunger. Every 4 seconds, one person dies as a result of hunger, the majority of them children under five years of age. Twenty-five percent of the population of the earth are consuming eighty-five percent of its available resources and, in addition to that, they are consuming thirty percent more resources than the earth is capable of replenishing.
Half of the inhabitants of our earth are farmers and of these, three quarters do their work solely by hand. Guaranteeing these people the conditions for sustaining their lives through their work is one of the major elements of sustainable development. The alternative can only be violence for millions of poor people who are starving, deprived of resources, displaced and turned into cheap labour in the ghettos of large cities.
Land, water, seeds, forests and minerals—the common goods of humanity—are now being monopolized by investors with the consent of governments or through their incapacity. All across the planet, local self-subsistent agriculture is being displaced by mining and forest exploitation, large-scale dams, tourist zones, hyper-intensive monocultural farms of transgenic products or bio-fuels for export. This exploitation of the land is growing daily.
Parallel to this there is a influx of foodstuffs into the markets of the south, which are produced in the rich countries through highly mechanized means and with subsidies. This creates a perverse undercurrent that ruins local farmers.
March for Justice, for the rights to Food, to Land, to Water, to Seeds and to Forest
The nonviolent march for justice—Jansatyagraha 2012—is being organized by the Ekta Parishad movement and will take place in India from October 2011 to October 2012. This will be a powerful and symbolic event. In its final stage—during October 2012—there will be over 100,000 people gathered together, poor people, landless peasants, tribals and untouchables. They will march for thirty days in order to have their rights to livelihood resources and a dignified life recognized.
This march is a historic opportunity to shed light on the fundamental questions of social and economic justice: the sharing of wealth, access to natural resource, food sovereignty, the debts of poor countries, the place of the most deprived in our societies, the role of women—as well as the issues of participative democracy, the responsibilities of multinationals and the international financial system. It is opportunity to decide about a model of development which will be sustainable and equitable. It is not a case of assisting peoples in situations of misery but rather of recognizing their rights and supporting their initiative to gain control over the resources that are indispensable to their lives, to enable them to work and have initiative.
We invite individuals and civil society organizations to support this march in whatever way is possible. We also invite you to demand—in a determined but non-violent way—before all international groups (for example, the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank, the G20, the European Union, etc.,) the rights of local peoples to have access to natural resources (land, water, seeds and forests). These rights imply the attention of existing laws and their enforcement by systems of control and regulation. In international law also the right to food sovereignty ought to be recognized as superior to the rights of commerce and investment.
On all continents it is crucial to globalize our solidarity. In 2012, we call on citizens to organize non-violent actions that are concerted and simultaneous (marches, sit-ins, human chains, moments of silence, concerts, etc.,) and which link to the march for justice that is happening in India. We think that the important period is between the 2nd of October (the international day of non-violence) and the 17th of October (the international day of struggle against poverty).
Sign the Declaration
The Declaration is available in English, French, German and Spanish. It can be downloaded on one of the following websites.