On 17th April 1996 in Brazil, 19 landless farmers were killed, 69 were injured and a further 3 died a few days later.
They were part of a group of 1,500 people who were protesting for agrarian reform, but according to the website Via Campesina, 155 military police turned up and started shooting, firing tear gas, live ammunition and machine guns.
According to this report, half of the world’s population are peasants and small scale farmers, who grow 70 per cent of the world’s food, yet typically own only about a quarter of the land they work on. This leaves many vulnerable to land grabs and threatens their livelihoods.
15 years after the Brazil massacre, the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle continues to commemorate those who died with events and actions taking place all over the world in defence of small scale farmers and peasants struggling for their rights.
For a list of all events and lectures taking place today click here, and here are some other articles about what it’s all about:
With gruesome headlines dominating international news about Mexico, and even more gruesome imagery accompanying them within Mexico itself, there are always conflicting stories floating around. The Mexican Government often finds itself defending its stance on drug crime as murder rates rise dramatically on a daily basis, currently standing at around 50,000 drug related deaths since the current Government came to power. But in the run up to the presidential election, the Government is using cartoons to try to dispel the myths about what’s really going on. It makes it extra specially interesting then to read that there’s actually only one legal gun store in the whole of the country.
A motorcycle taxi driver in Thailand has become a bit of a celebrity in the last few weeks. He carries his camera around with him anyway, taking photos and tweeting all sorts of things – but back in February – he heard loud explosions nearby and sped off to take a look. By doing so, he was the first on the scene, and therefore scooped an international media story…
When a natural disaster happens, images are broadcast around the world, and rightfully aid pours in, enabling programmes to be set up to deal with the immediate, and longer term aftermath of the disaster. But what happens after a couple of years, when the aid organizations have completed their initial phase programmes and inevitably leave the country? This post on Haiti Grassroots Watch looks at this question in terms of what is happening now in Haiti.
Gender Equality in the UK? Apparently Not.
Only 1 in 10 British married men does an equal amount of housework as his wife! This does appear to be changing though…albeit rather slowly – more than eight out of ten women born in 1958 said that they do more laundry and ironing than their husband, but of those born in 1970, this figure reduced to 7 in ten, according to this article.
How Video Volunteers have been empowering local changemakers
Video Volunteers believes that every community, no matter how small or remote, should be able to have at least one local changemaker within it – someone who can broadcast their issues to the world. But despite the vast numbers of mobile phone connections in the world, many of which now have video capabilities, this is not happening as much as they think it should. This article on their website is the first in a series of four, which talks about how they’ve been tackling this problem for the last year.
Sahel is on the verge of humanitarian emergency says Oxfam
Oxfam has launched an appeal to raise $36.3m (£23m) to help them reach 1 million of the 13 million people at risk of food insecurity in Sahel, West Africa. Watch this video to find out more…
$1 a day
How do you define poverty? There are plenty of reports out there that talk about how so much of the world has to live on less than $1 to $2 a day. So because of this shockingly low standard, one of the Millennium Development Goals was to halve by 2015 the number of people living in such extreme poverty. Apparently, this goal has now been reached, which should be great news, but this article gives a good background to why it’s more complicated than you might think.