Agrarian reform and the rights of peasants, farm workers and fisherfolk against feudal, semi-feudal and capitalist exploitation and oppression

Full Resolution on Concern No. 6

The unprecedented global economic crisis and political disorder resulting from the inherent crisis and irreparable deterioration of the world capitalist system has further pushed imperialism to exploit and oppress the peasants and working people of the world..  

While wealth and resources, including land, water and forests are increasingly concentrated and reconcentrated in the hands of a few, the vast majority of the world’s population, the peasants, farm workers, peasant women, fisherfolk, dalits, herders and pastoralists are subjected further to the demands of imperialist globalization, facing increasing domination and exploitation by monopoly capital and its domestic lackeys resulting in their further impoverishment and marginalization. 

The most evident and gruesome crime committed by the world capitalist system is the wholesale denial of genuine land reform and the perpetual extraction and destruction of resources of farmers and millions of people in underdeveloped nations. Land monopoly and economic backwardness is ensured in underdeveloped nations to make them heavily dependent to foreign exploiting economies through unbridled cycle of export-oriented and import dependent economy.

Indeed, the age-old problem of landlessness in underdeveloped nations as designed, orchestrated and institutionalized by US imperialism is still the principal problem of the vast majority of farmers, especially in underdeveloped countries.

Over the last 100years, US imperialism institutionalized and aggravated landlessness and feudalism in underdeveloped nations crossing the continents of South America, South Africa, South, Central, and Southeast Asia.  

In China, the current capitalist path taken by the ruling capitalist bureaucrats who were inspired and agitated by US ideological and political offensive against socialism had led the campaign to displace farmers from their farmlands, brought back feudalism, landlordism and land monopolization and offered public lands for corporate takeovers. 

At present, the US and the Group of 8 and Group of 20 countries are pushing for global landgrabbing in underdeveloped nations, the purpose of which is mainly to further exploit and siphon whatever resources like food and cheap raw materials the imperialist could extract and aggressively take advantage of from the cheap and docile labor offered by colonial and semi-colonial states to the imperialist camp.

Apologists and instruments of US imperialism such as the United Nations (UN), the totally discredited World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), other multilateral institutions and pseudo organizations have vigorously campaigned for market oriented, market-assisted and market-designed land reform program to allow transnational takeover of farmlands and natural resources. This aggressive pitch has become the precursor of global land grabbing in underdeveloped nations by imperialist nations over the last two to three years.

In agriculture, the imperialist monopolies through their agro-corporations, aided by puppet states, are perpetually engaged in anarchic dumping of surplus products and export their idle capitals for fast-track accumulation in poor countries to complement the imperialist agenda of transnational exploitation of raw materials and cheap and docile labor.

The policies of import liberalization, privatization and deregulation, principally authored and engineered by the United States and co-imperialist powers have destroyed the livelihoods of millions of rural families who rely on farming, and on rural work and production for their source of income. They cannot compete with cheap imports from the rich countries that are dumping their heavily subsidized agricultural products in underdeveloped countries.

The failure of the Doha Round and the stalled 6th WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in 2005 prompted the US and other centers of world capitalism to pursue bilateral talks in the form of free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as the ‘Aid for Trade’ which was meant to be a complement to the Doha Agenda. Regional trade formations like Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) were designed to ensure and perpetuate their dominance over the world’s economy and trade and satisfy their endless thirst for super profits at the expense of exploited peasants, farmworkers, peasant women, fisherfolk and other rural producers across the globe.

In recent years, the Group of 8 and Group of 20 nations spearheaded by the United States has been doing the global circus to discuss ways on how to resolve the current world economic depression and political disorder which further exposed the bankruptcy and evil of the global capitalist system and syndicated rule of the imperialist bloc.

These mobile coffee sessions of the Group of 20 nations failed to achieve anything except further confusion and chaos among members of the imperialist on how to resolve the global crisis of capitalist system and arrest the rising tide of resistance against neo-liberal globalization in and out of the imperialist states. On the other hand, members of the imperialist camp use their gatherings to outdo and outsmart each other in protecting their respective economic turf, further intensifying the inter-imperialist war and intramurals within their ranks. They have also used these imperialist sponsored conferences to come to terms on how to exacerbate their exploitation of peasants and working people in underdeveloped nations—thus further agitating the peasants and the working people to fight for land, jobs and liberation.

Reports stressed that the impact of global landlessness, absence of thoroughgoing land reform and the long running offensive of neo-liberal globalization had taken its toll on the marginalized and underprivilged pushing nearly 3 billion people or about 50 percent of the world’s population to the deepest quagmire of poverty. Nearly 3 billion people today live in less than two dollars a day.

Imperialist greed and plunder  is to blame for the death of 26,000 to 30,000 children all over the world who die each day, 1.1 billion people in poor countries who have no access to water and 1.6 billion people who still live in darkness and without electricity. Further data show a total of 1.9 billion children in poor nations continue to face a bleak future, with 640 million of them are deprived of adequate shelter, 400 million with no access to safe and adequate water and 270 million with no access to health services.

Elsewhere, farmers and farm workers in Europe and North America also have to endure the intensifying crisis of global capitalism. Small family farms are marginalized and eventually eaten up by big agribusiness corporations. In the United States, small family farms are held hostage by big agro-corporations through contract growing where farming families are compelled to sell their produce to big agro-corporations. State subsidies and social services are removed while incentives are redirected to big corporate farms.

High food prices compounded by sky rocketing prices of oil and other petroleum products instigated by the US through massive speculation and all-out privatization, monopolization and destruction of natural and human resources contributed further to the destruction of rural labor and working population all over the world.

Organizations of peasants, farm workers, peasant women, and fisherfolk the world over are fighting back against state repression and are politically agitated to rise against these obnoxious trends. They are actively campaigning for their democratic rights to land and fishing grounds as only genuine agrarian and fisheries reform can give them their due. They are forging ties with the other oppressed sectors of society, especially the workers and indigenous peoples, in joint campaigns for development and industrialization that is geared toward the needs of the people.

Increasingly, other progressive and democratic sectors and organizations are supporting the just demands of the peasants, peasant women, dalits, farm workers and fisherfolk as they are also opposing imperialist globalization.

Disguising state fascism or state repression as “war against terror,” puppet states of imperialist powers dropped any pretension of democracy and went aboveboard in establishing martial law and repressive regimes in suppressing the people’s resistance against imperialism and imperialist globalization and their client governments and states. People’s resistance, are met with all-out militarization and violations of people’s human rights and civil liberties not only in poor and underdeveloped countries, but as well as in host nations of imperialist powers.

The gallant resistance and defiance of the global rural people against the onslaught of imperialism and US military intervention, Washington terrorism and wars of aggression has pushed the US State Department to come up with the US Counter-Insurgency Guide (US Coin Guide) in 2009. This is a political-military product of Washington’s summing up of its brutal campaign of military intervention and wars of aggression since 1969 in different countries all over the world. It was designed to combat people’s resistance against imperialism, with combination of psywar and annihilation by military hardware.

Prior to 2009, the US has been condemned by the world’s people for its aggression and day-to-day massacre of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine through the political-military support of puppet states and its military institutions. The US war of aggression in Latin America, Middle East, South, Central and Southeast Asia, and particularly in India under Operation Green Hunt and in the Philippines under Oplan Bantay Laya netted the serial murder, enforced disappearances and filing of trumped- up charges against political activists critical of US imperialism and and their puppet governments.

Under the US Coin Guide, the US imperialist is expected to create more wars of aggression, military intervention and dirty imperialist war against the people resisting US imperialist agenda. The increasing deployment of US military personnel in South America, South Africa, Middle East, Central, South and Southeast Asia under different military pacts with puppet states and mercenary armed forces strongly indicates that the US will soon gear for more active psy war and real military war in the very near future in anticipation to global people’s resistance against imperialism and neo-liberal globalization, feudalism and state fascism and terrorism.

The militant struggles of the peasants, farm workers, peasant women and fisherfolk is already bearing fruit through many initial victories. Despite increasing reign of state terror characterized by violent break up of people’s protests, full-blown militarization, political killings, persecution, liquidation of political activists by state agents and enforced abductions, numerous farmers, supported by militant peasant organizations, have been able to resist eviction from their lands, succeeded in reducing land rent and vastly improved the conditions of the farm workers. Other organized farmers have been able to carry out land occupations through militant assertion of their rights.

In the Philippines, farmers and farm workers asserting their rights to land were able to occupy and cultivate more than 2,000 hectares of the 6,453 hectares sugar estate illegally and immorally acquired by the family of Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Assertion and defense of land rights are spreading like wild fire in many regions of the Philippines and in many parts of India.

Militant protest demonstrations have confronted meetings of the WTO, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the regional trade blocs and the political grandstanding of Group of 8 and Group of 20 nations, and have exposed and opposed these imperialist meetings in the parliament of the streets and in the court of world opinion.

In the countryside where armed revolutions are taking place, the peasantry has succeeded in implementing genuine agrarian reform programs from its minimum program (e.g. the lowering of land rents, increase in prices of agricultural products, etc) to maximum level of free land distribution.

We vow to continue the struggle of the farmers, farm workers, dalits, peasant women, pastoralist, herders and fisherfolk against all forms of imperialist and feudal oppression and exploitation.

Therefore, we put forward and approve the following immediate calls for action

  1. Intensify the global people’s struggle for genuine agrarian and fisheries reform.

  2. Resist all forms of imperialist maneuver in global agriculture including but not limited to the sinister agenda of G-8 and G-20 group of nations. Actively confront and campaign against the imperialist camp agenda enshrined in free trade agreements, bilateral free trade pacts and those being sold for political acceptance by instruments of imperialist bloc like the UN, the IMF-WB, WTO to cite a few.

  3. Remain vigilant and active in exposing and opposing agrochemical and agribusiness transnational monopolies and stop anti-people and pro-imperialist agenda in global agriculture.

  4. Fight all forms of state repression and continuing political persecution against farmers, farmworkers, dalits, peasant women and fisherfolk who pursue their democratic rights through militant struggle. Free all peasant political prisoners. Expose and oppose criminalization of agrarian cases.

  5. Expose and oppose the US Coin Guide. Aggressively stage national, regional and global campaign against this Washington designed and orchestrated military plan which seek to terrorize the struggling farmers and people of the world. Put political obstacles and resist joint US-national military exercises such as the RP-US joint military exercises, which are directed against militant and progressive organizations, anti-imperialist forces and national liberation movements.

  6. Expose, oppose and resist the global maneuver of imperialist led G-8 and G-20 and their free-trade campaigns like AFTA, NAFTA, CAFTA, and APEC, as well as bilateral trade agreements like Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa), RP-US Free Trade, US-South Korea, to name a few. The ’Aid for Trade’ should not be used to promote developed countries’ ‘free trade agenda”.

  7. Reject and resist the deceptive programs of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank (e.g. the market-assisted land reform and its mega-infrastructure projects) and other multilateral organizations that are only meant to intensify peasants landlessness and exploitation.

  8. Expose and actively debate and frustrate pseudo farmers’ organization and NGOs masquerading as pro-farmers and pro-poor and who are serving as agents of imperialism and reaction. 

We recognize the importance of strong peasant movements in our own countries as we also resolve to forge firm solidarity among farmers, peasant women, dalits, agricultural workers, fisherfolk, herders, pastoralist and the working people and anti-imperialist forces all over the world to advance democratic demands and struggles against imperialist globalization and plunder.

We further resolve to adopt the following plan of action: 

  1. Active recruitment of organizations, especially peasant organization, for membership to ILPS. Further expand and consolidate the ILPS, especially the ILPS study commission on concern number 6.

  2. Providing venues for a deeper understanding of farmers and rural people’s struggles, the situation they face and the challenges they confront through education, collective discussion and exchange of information and literatures and exchange visits.

  3. Work for the global formation of the anti-imperialist peasant alliance for the advancement of the peasant cause for land, truth, justice and democracy and the world’s people’s fight against imperialism.

  4. Actively coordinate the international campaign against global displacement of farmers and rural people the world over to be led by anti-imperialist peasant formations.

  5. Launch an international campaign to expose and oppose extra-judicial killings, political persecution, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations under the guise of ‘war of terror’.

  6. Engage FAO and other instruments of imperialist countries to drumbeat, promote and popularize the global rural people’s demand for land, food, justice and liberation and political exposition of imperialist agenda in agrarian reform and global agriculture.

  7. Support each other’s national and local campaigns as an expression of international solidarity.

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