Padkos: Food Sovereignty

Monday 05 December 2011

Today is ‘International Food Sovereignty Day to Cool Down the Earth’

Today, La Via Campesina, the international network of movements of peasants, landless, rural workers, and small farmers, has called for an ‘International Food Sovereignty Day to Cool Down the Earth’ during the COP17 civil society mobilisations. In this serving of Padkos, CLP looks at the history, politics and content of food sovereignty.

Today we are compelled to ask: how is it possible to remain faithful to the struggles and spirit that animated food sovereignty? In the light of unfolding developments at COP 17, the question must not be avoided. In CLP’s view, the official COP 17 process represents an “(anti)politics that is dead and morbid” but we also insist that “much of ‘civil society’ praxis [alongside the official processes] is deeply embedded in the politics of the terrain of the state – it too, is dead and morbid”.

We conclude that: “If food sovereignty is our necessary future – and it is – it will be led and thought by those who suffer most under the current crisis and who think its resistance. … The struggle for popular sovereignty, as much over food as any other aspect of our collective life, will require ongoing rupture and rebellion from below – certainly against capital and the state at all levels. But that struggle is also against any of the ways in which the power of a few over the many denies human freedom, even when that’s in the manipulative ‘representation’ of people by organs of civil society or against the domination of ordinary people by unaccountable and power-hungry practices and individuals who emerge from time-to-time within social movements”.