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April 17: International Day of Peasant Struggle

Every year on April 17, the International Day of Peasant Struggle commemorates the 1996 killing of 19 landless peasants in Brazil. At the time, about 1,500 landless peasants had been blocking a road in the northern state of Para when police opened fire on the demonstrators.

La Via Campesina, an international movement of small-scale farming organizations, is encouraging people to take action around the world “in defense of peasants and small-scale farmers struggling for their rights.”

This year, La Via Campesina is focusing people’s attention on land grabs. They want small-scale farmers to denounce land grabs by filling out this poster [1] with their country, the name of the person who is involved in the land grab, and the number of hectares of land involved, plus send a picture of how they are protesting.

La Via Campesina plans to publish a map on their website of all the different actions that will take place on International Peasant Day.

Broadcasters can use La Via Campesina as a resource to find out what actions are taking place in their area. They can also ask the organization to put you in touch with the local farmers’ organizations that are planning an action.

For more information, email La Via Campesina: viacampesina@viacampesina.org [2] or visit their website www.viacampesina.org [3] . You can also get more information from the Facebook event page set up for the day: http://www.facebook.com/events/262282300519236/?ref=ts [4]