« Food Sovereignty implies new social relations, free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social and economic classes and generations. » - Nyeleni Mali Declaration 2007
What this is saying is that to have real food sovereignty, rights for and over food production, processing and eating, there needs to be justice between women and men, black and white and brown, rich and poor, young and old.
Given 500 years of oppression, after 500 years of resistance, within 500 years of resilient action, we are once again declaring our natural right to be heard NOW.
If we look at the term sovereignty in food sovereignty, we need to ask ourselves, have we forgotten the ideal of Justice for all, which is our common cause ?
Justice for every living being. Justice for the Earth's ecology. Justice too that sustainable brings together, and to the fore, a diversity of interests, visions and stories, that have a natural right to co-exist and thrive within Mother Earth.
We, as a constituency of the marginal to the proclaimed categories of this forum, have been effectively told that we will not be considered a bonafide voice in this assembly, that we are to wait until the next forum before becoming an « already existing constituency ». Imagine, this has emerged from a forum which bears the name of one of our own ancestors.
Does this decision reflect our original values ? Does it show a capacity to adapt, evolve, include and reflect all that makes an organic movement develop ?
We demand a new framing of food sovereignty as expressed in a European context. This is to include access to decision making as an « already existing constitution », one that has to date been made invisible and has no voice.
We need to examine, reflect and discover why this has happened, why we cannot be seen or heard. We need to examine why spaces and processes exclude whole communities, discourses and critical perspectives of Earth's sovereign people.
How will the “Food Sovereignty” movement grow between 2016 and 2021, if, in its inner mechanisms, there is no way for those at its margins to hold us all to account, express difference and stimulate creativity?
We appeal to each and every one at this gathering to join us in examining our collective conscience and to include those who are unable to be here: the street sleepers, the zero-hours food workers, those with disabilities, the disinherited refugees, the traditional market sellers, sojourners from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. We demand that you, who have been entrusted to make decisions on our behalf and who are empowered and privileged, hear us! Do what is right before this assembly and do what is just before the Earth.
If you engage with us,
If we build open processes into all planning mechanisms,
If we remain accountable to our visions, we can together move the Food Sovereignty movement into the future.