France: La Via Campesina’s solidarity statement following the election results : Via Campesina

Bagnolet, July 11, 2012:For several weeks now, La Via Campesina, the international peasant movement, has been following political events in France with concern. After the second round of parliamentary elections, we join in the sense of relief and congratulate the French for having managed to contain the far right.

Wherever the far right comes to power, it pits people against each other, denies human rights, persecutes ethnic, religious or gender minorities, attacks social policies and defends the privileges of the wealthiest. Peasants and rural workers are often the first victims of these antisocial and authoritarian policies.

We note with concern that far-right groups around the world are exploiting the unrest caused by decades of neoliberal policies in rural areas to win rural voters. We call on social movements to take seriously the need to restore hope to rural and small-town residents by demanding and proposing policies based on food sovereignty, agroecology, peasant rights and public services.

A new political phase is beginning in France. We call on democratic and progressive political forces in France to break with neoliberal and neocolonial thinking and to build coalitions with other countries, especially in the South, for social and environmental justice, human rights and international solidarity. In particular, we call on the new French government, which is to be formed in the next few days, to join the countries that have recognized the Palestinian state and are working for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, it should initiate a process to resolve the illegal debt imposed on Haiti at the time of its independence. The government should also reject and withdraw from the interventionist actions of the “Main Group” in Haiti (a group of ambassadors that has exercised a disproportionate influence on Haitian political life). Furthermore, it is important for France to resume constructive dialogue with the Kanak people, support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other Rural Inhabitants (UNDROP), the initiative to convene a new International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ICARRD+20), support a binding treaty on transnational corporations and participate in the efforts to create a new international trade framework based on food sovereignty.

La Via Campesina expresses its unwavering commitment to solidarity among peoples. The values ​​of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” cannot be empty words, but compasses for public policies.

Let’s globalize the fight, let’s globalize hope!

This post is also available in French.