Food Sovereignty at the Growing Food and Justice for All Gathering

“Mother Earth says: ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’” This was among the messages conveyed through an interactive socio-drama, or mistica, that took place on the first evening of the recent Growing Food and Justice Initiative (GFJI) Gathering. The enactment involved a group of peasants (family farmers) who were sharing in an abundant harvest, with Mother Earth watching over them, until a bunch of vultures flew in to steal the fruits of their labors.  The vultures also pass it exams came bearing ‘bad eggs’ (e.g., GMOs, corporate control, land grabs) that they dropped into a single, carefully guarded basket.  As the vultures were guarding their eggs, the peasants organized themselves, and, donning green bandanas and colorful banners, overpowered the vultures and replaced the bad eggs with many more good eggs (e.g., biodiversity, seed banks, community control) that they placed in multiple baskets for all to share.  Everybody celebrated this victory, especially Mother Earth.

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Simple yet powerful, the mistica captured the essence of the global food sovereignty movement, in which peasants and others most marginalized by the current global food system are fighting to save the world’s food, land, water, seeds, and people from corporate domination.  Here in the US, while we might not have the same peasant, or family farmer, base as many other countries, there are countless examples of people being exploited by the current food system and countless examples of resistance.  Many of these Windows 7 Home Basic SP1 Key Code efforts are being led by people of color, who make up the majority of workers in the food system and who also face disproportionate rates of diet-related diseases. The GFJI Gathering therefore provided an ideal venue to explore what food sovereignty// means in a US context, how the global struggle for food sovereignty can inform struggles against racism and food injustice in the US, and where these domestic and global struggles intersect.

The next day of the Gathering, participants gathered to explore these very issues through a series of sessions on food sovereignty.  In the first session, sponsored by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, 70+ participants broke into groups, in which each person identified their most important local struggle, as well as identifying an institution, corporation or policy that presented a barrier in that struggle.  The groups then explored ways in which a national food sovereignty movement could add value to these local struggles, while helping Windows 7 Home Basic Key Code to tackle the structural barriers that were identified.  Amidst the diversity of ideas and proposals shared, there were a number of recurring themes, such as the urgent need to push for fair immigration reform, as a critical step towards advancing food sovereignty in the US.  The rich content that was generated from that session will feed into the upcoming assembly of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, which will take place in Oakland on November 9th.

In the next workshop, sponsored by Family Farm Defenders, participants further explored the meaning of food sovereignty by examining La Via Campesina’s 7 principles of food sovereignty, then discussed barriers and opportunities for putting these principles into practice in their own work.  Out of this discussion arose an intense and lively debate on the on the role of corporations in hindering or supporting food sovereignty and the challenge of working towards food sovereignty without supporting the very structures of oppression that we are working to dismantle.  While there of course was not enough time to resolve these very large questions, everyone affirmed the importance of having these sorts of conversations as a movement, and the importance of GFJI in providing the space to do so.

Christina Schiavoni