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Junk WTO! Demands Asian Peasant Coalition

Junk WTO! Demands Asian Peasant Coalition

As Cancun prepares to host the 5th Ministerial of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in September, thousands of peasants from different organisations under the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) forge solidarity with peasants worldwide by launching massive protest actions in different cities in Asia demanding their governments to get out of the WTO.

Indian peasants and agricultural workers belonging to the Federation of Agricultural Workers and Marginal Farmers Union (APVVU), one of the convenors of the APC, have joined forces with other people’s organisations demanding the Indian government to quit WTO. Huge rallies of peasants and other mass movements will take place in all district headquarters and state capitals in India on September 4.

While Nepal is yet to be a member of the WTO, Nepalese peasant organisations are gearing up for its onslaught on their agriculture. The strong All Nepal Peasants Association (ANPA), one of the primary convenors of the APC, has joined hands with other peasant organisations in Nepal to protest its government’s decision to join the WTO. A huge anti-WTO and globalisation rally of peasants and other mass organisations will take place on September 4 and 9 in Kathmandu.

In the Philippines, the militant Peasant Movement in the Philippines (KMP), a leading organisation in the APC, will hold nationwide mobilisations on September 10 in protest of the Cancun Meeting. This nationwide simultaneous rally is expected to draw more than 20,000 protesters. With the theme, “Land, Food, Jobs Not Imperialist Plunder! Get Out of WTO!", angry peasants and other mass organisations will stage protest actions in front of the US Embassy in Manila on the same day.

APC asserts that WTO has been devastating Asian agriculture and endangered food security of the region. The Agreement on Agriculture and other agreements of the WTO have resulted to landlessness and further marginalisation of peasants. WTO’s unequal trade policies promoted dumping of heavily subsidised imported agricultural products to most underdeveloped Asian countries, killing the livelihood of farmers and threatening the food sovereignty of their nation.

APC members and their networks have been launching anti-WTO build-up activities prior to their huge mobilisations. These include rallies, hunger strikes, education campaigns in the local and national levels, workshops, forums, and camp-outs. Similar actions have been taking place in other Asian countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

APC urges other peasant organisations in the region and elsewhere to launch similar protest actions against the WTO.

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