Street and online people’s protests against the ‘global corporate food empire’ greeted the opening of the UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), as the Global People’s Summit (GPS) on Food Systems launched a Global Day of Action on the third and final day of its counter-summit to the UN FSS happening virtually and in New York.
The International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS), International Women’s Alliance, and International Migrants Alliance protested in front of the UN headquarters in New York to denounce the corporate capture of the UN and the “global corporate food empire” led by agrochemical, food and agribusiness transnational corporations and multi-billionaire Bill Gates. The UN FSS is being criticized by people’s movements and civil society as a platform for consolidating corporate control over food and agriculture and perpetuating neoliberal food systems that have wreaked havoc on the lives of small food producers, especially from the Global South, who supply 80% of the world’s food.
“We are here to bring the demands of peoples from the Global South for just, equitable, healthy and sustainable food systems to the doorstep of the world’s policymakers. For over a year, the UN has ignored the people’s calls to sever its ties with the World Economic Forum. Instead, it has worked ever closer with the global elite and has co-opted policy frameworks to serve corporate interests. We are here to say, enough! The people will resist this path to greater destruction of our livelihoods, health, cultures and the planet,” said Nina Macapinlac, ILPS North America coordinator.
In Jakarta, eight activists were arrested while holding a rally in front of the presidential palace. Led by the Front Perjuangan Rakyat (FPR), Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria and ILPS Indonesia, the protesters from workers, peasants, youth and the urban poor slammed policies that worsen hunger amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Indonesian government must be responsible for sufficient and affordable food in villages and cities, support for production by peasants, and fair prices. The government must stop the construction of the Food Estate to fulfill national food supplies. Our food must be produced by our peasants and not foreign corporations,” said Dimas Symphati, FPR secretary general…..