On 9 September 2015 under the project of the MTCP II Bangladesh Krishok Federation organized an exchange of views meeting between government-non-government officials and peasants at Bhurungamari sub-district in Kurigram district. Bhurungamari Upazelia Chairman Md. Nurunnabi Chowdhury, Female Vice-Chairman Most. Farida Parveen, Bhurungamari Upazila Agricultural officer Md. Aktaruzzaman, Bhurungamari Union Council Ex-Chairman Md. Tarikul Islam alias Bulu Sikder, Social activist Md. Shah Mohammad Arifuzzaman, Bangladesh Kishani Sabha Organizing Seceretary Asma Begum and Bangladesh Krishok Federation president Badrul Alam were present, among others. The agricultural officer elaborated the detailed services they normally provided to the peasants. He proposed to organize the exchange of views meeting at union level as well. He promised to join such meetings for the benefit of the peasants. The Upazila Chairman made the commitment to stand by the organic method. They also lauded the government's different initiatives to improve the betterment of the small scale peasants. BKF president Badrul Alam called upon peasants to be united to realize the services which peasants deserve to get from the government.
Organized by Bangladesh Kishani Sabha an Upazila level round table linkage meeting was held at 3 pm on 20 August 2015 on services related to agriculture between the government officers and peasant leaders at Tulasar Union Parishad Hall Room in Sariatpur Sadar Upzella. Sadar Upzella Deputy Agriculture officer spoke in the meeting. He elaborated the services available for the peasants in the locality. The peasant leaders asked the questions to the officers for their better understanding. The officers told the peasants to contact them directly if they need any services. This is for the first time for the grass-root people to talk with the government personnel who are duty-bound to provide with services to them. The peasants are happy that they find the potential services to be received in future. Moreover, the meeting will make the bridge of mutual relationship between service providers and recipients. More than 200 people attended the round table.
Aminur Rasul Babul speaking at a press conference, on submission of 'memorandum of 11 coastal organisations to the Shipping Minister demanding safe waterway journeys during Eid vacation at the National Press Club Wednesday. — Focusbangla photo
Eleven coastal-based organisations submitted Wednesday a memorandum to the Shipping Minister demanding safe watery journeys for coastal people during Eid vacations, reports UNB.
They urged to stop the operation of all launches with faulty designs and ensure pre-registration of all passengers.
They put forward the memorandum from a press conference held at the Jatiya Press Club.
The press conference, titled 'Memorandum of 11 coastal organisations to the Shipping Minister demanding safe waterway journeys during Eid and stopping the operation of launches with faulty designs, ensure the registration of all passengers' was jointly organised by Akash, Arpan, Udayan Bangladesh, Green Belt Trust, Safe water way movement, DOCAP, PULS Bangladesh, SOMAJ, CDP, Safe water way implementation alliance and COAST Trust.
Mustafa Kamal Akanda of COAST Trust moderated the press conference while M Mujibul Haque Munir of the Safe water way implementation alliance presented the keynotes. The other speakers were Aminur Rasul Babul of Safe River Way Movement, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation and Abdul Kader Hajari of Arpan.
In his keynote presentation, Mujibul Haque Munir said the 8th July is the 'black day' for the river way communications of Bangladesh as a launch, 'MV Nasrin' on the day in 2013 sank on its way to Bhola from Dhaka with homebound people during the Eid vacation.
From a survey of Safe River Way Alliance it was found that about 402 people were killed or missing in only Bhola district due to that accident.
About 128 families lost their only source of earnings, about six children lost almost all of their family members, including the father, mother and siblings.
On 13 June 2015 Bangladesh Kishani Sabha accompanied by other 9 peasants' organizations held a human chain reacting to the national budget 2015-16. The human chain demanded substantive (20%) allocation for the agricultural sector in the country. The present proposed budget allocation for agriculture is insignificant and might be suicidal for achieving self-sufficiency in food which is the prime target of the government. Sabina Yasmin who is the Central Committee Member of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha led the human chain held in Rangpur district town.
Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha Barisal District Units observed the great May Day--International Labor Solidarity Day-- in befitting manner in Barisal district town hall. They organised a discussion meeting with members of the organizations in order to realize the significance of the May Day. They asked all the peasants and workers to fight against the capitalist system which is contributing to climate chance. They also opined for a exploitation and discrimination free society which will ensure fair wage for the workers and food sovereignty for all. They also put emphasis on the question of a comprehensive and genuine agrarian reform for the eradication of rural poverty.
At the end of discussion they brought out a procession and paraded different street in the city chanting slogan with the spirit of May Day.
Dear All Friends of ANPFa,
We expressed our deepest concern that yesterday you faced terrible earth quake which we Bangladesh also shared somewhat, and are extremely horrified in. Me and two of my female colleagues just run away from the top floor of the 5 storied office building. We just felt the trembling and swaying frequently.
Although there are 3 death tolls found across country the damage of properties took place at different points.
We guessed the situation in Nepal is much more terrible than we have in Bangladesh as the epicenter of earth quake in Nepal. It is important to learn that ANPFa people got saved.
We expressed our deep condolence to those who lost their lives and properties in Nepal. We wish you much strength and courage so that you may overcome such a hard situation easily.
In my view, there is a connection of earth quake with the climate change. I do not know where. Of course, science can explain. However, it is quite true that the nature has become agitated much owing to over-exploitation by the capitalist system. Yet we the innocent people are paying for this at the expense of our lives.
At the end, we wish the salvation for departed souls and immediate health recovery of the survivors.
All the best regards,
On behalf of
Bangladesh Krishok Federation
Bangladesh Kishani Sabha
Bangladesh Adivasi Samity
March 25, 2015 – World Social Forum Tunis 2015
The migration of peoples across arbitrary barriers is an integral part of human history. Rooted in the search for better living conditions, this movement of peoples from one place to another was later transformed into a social, economic, and political process that has largely served to benefit ruling elites – the slave traders of the past and the multinationals of the present. Today, as capital demands exceptional freedoms for itself – combined with greater restrictions on the poor – wars, social exclusion, economic injustice, and the global climate crisis are forcing millions of human beings to seek refuge across internationally imposed boundaries.
As financial capital and agribusiness concentrates its power and holdings – diminishing opportunities for diversified and sustainable smallholder farming – precarious livelihoods continue to aggressively push a growing number of rural people off their farms and into the city.
Neoliberal policies, free trade agreements, the development of industrial agriculture, the concentration of production areas… all have destructive effects on the environment, biodiversity, the climate and local, especially peasant, economies. These aggressive policies that impose a development model based on the exploitation of resources, the grabbing of the commons, the stealing of agricultural lands and the exploitation of peasants as well as that of women and men who work the land, have a particularly harsh effect on peasant communities. Ruined people have no other option to leave family, land and community to seek the means of survival some place else, in the big cities or in any countries.
Once urbanized, our people are unlikely to find opportunities in our countries and soon become the migrants of today, the cheap labor of the corporate interests. In the most telling of cases, peasant farmers leave family farming only to become the low-paid agricultural workers of corporate giants Monsanto, Cargill, and DuPont. This occurs both internally – within Mexico or Palestine for example – as well as externally, as we cross borders to work for those who forced us off our lands.
We of La Via Campesina, the world's largest social movement with millions of peasants, women, youth, indigenous peoples, afro-descendants, fisherfolk and – very often due to involuntary displacement – migrants and rural workers, denounce the fact that we, the poor majorities, are those who suffer most as climate change provokes extreme climatic events across our territories. The term “climate refugee” is now being used to describe those of us forced from our lands by the global climate crisis, by an industrialized food and social system that blames its victims and pardons its culprits.
To advance the struggle for Food Sovereignty and help bring an end to the corporate control of the global food system, we declare that it is necessary to:
1. End all violence and repression against migrants perpetrated in the context of the so-called “War on Terror”. Remove the issue of migration from the rhetoric around “threats” to national (or domestic) security since these are different questions altogether;
2. Stop the separation of undocumented migrant families, which has provoked a crisis in childhood migration. Halt the confinement of migrant children in detention centers, in unhealthy and inhumane conditions that violate their most elementary rights. End the deportation of all unprotected children;
3. Protect all refugees through international institutions (such as the UN) and NGOs of recognized moral authority (such as Amnesty International), safeguarding their rights as refugees and providing protection for all those living in refugee camps;
4. Halt and revoke all policies that criminalize migrants, policies that increase persecution, detentions, expulsions, and physical attacks. States should be obliged to respect international agreements and, if they have yet to do so, adhere to the International Convention on the Protection of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Modify all local and national legislation so as to comply with said agreements;
5. Legalize “clandestine” migration so as to combat criminalization;
6. Allow (or guarantee) to migrants access to the labor market under conditions equivalent to workers 'national'.
7. Oppose all temporary worker programs, which serve only to divide the working class and weaken our organizations and struggles. With respect to temporary agricultural workers (braceros, guest workers, contratados de origen, etc.), these agreements serve only to benefit industrial agricultural by providing it with cheap and docile farm labor;
8. Organize all migrants, strengthening our rights to bargain collectively and to strike. Practice solidarity on an ongoing, permanent basis, firmly adopting the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all”;
9. Dismantle all free trade agreements, especially those with the greatest impacts on collective resources, rural communities, and indigenous peoples. Implement Food Sovereignty, in direct contrast and in dispute with the corporate-controlled food system;
10. Challenge the capitalist model of economic growth and so-called “green” development, which does not address the causes of the climate crisis, a crisis that is exacerbating the migration crisis. The results of the climate crisis – extensive droughts, floods, avalanches, earthquakes, tidal waves, etc., which are ever more frequent, are now responsible for 25% of all involuntary migration worldwide, now estimated at 210 million people [according to the International Organization for Migration (www.iom.int)];
11. Recognize the corporate causes of the global climate crisis and force transnational corporations and their governments in the industrialized nations to accept their responsibility in the surge of climate refugees. At the national level, incorporate the victims of environmental displacement into social development strategies that help to organize and empower these peoples;
12. Develop action plans with specific timeframes into national policies of research and development, giving priority to sustainable peasant agriculture as a viable option to combat the climate crisis and reduce the impacts of environmental displacement;
13. Bring Down All Walls: Mexico-USA, Melilla, Ceuta, Palestine (West Bank), Western Sahara, etc., because they not only represent a barbaric aggression against humanity, separating peoples, but also represent an affront to nature. While existing geographic borders already contribute to ecological disasters, new dividing walls only worsen the situation;
14. End all wars of territorial occupation, the extraction of wealth and the enslavement of indigenous peoples.
We are here in the World Social Forum 2015 in Tunis to let everybody know, that this is our commitment and that we are ready to unite with all the social and popular movements to build an international alliance of peasants, migrant workers, indigenous peoples and social fighters for a more humane, dignify and better world.
On 16 March 2015 Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Barisal District Unit organized the 2nd District Conference in Barisal Aushwini Kumar Town Hall. Bangladesh Krishok Federation Central President Badrul Alam was present as chief guest while the leaders from different districts of both organization joined the conference as guests. Around 600 delegates, both male and female attended the conference hailing from different sub-districts of Barisal. Barisal District Unit President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation Harun Bhandari submitted the report of activities for the last more than 5 years while Mitu Begum of Bangladesh Kishani Sabha, Barisal district presided over the conference. In the report it is mentioned that the organizations have been well-rooted in the different areas of the district. The report stressed much the strong need of support and co-ordination to build movement around Khaslnad for the benefit of landless people in the district. The chief guest Badrul Alam expressed optimism on the continued struggle of the landless people to establish their right to land which of the source of livelihood of people in the locality. He seriously criticized the role of land grabbers and influentials who are systematically evicting the landless people from the Rasulpur Khaschar in association with few corrupt bureaucrats. The conference formed new committees of Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Bangladesh Kishani Sabha for Barisal District which took oath to continue the struggle in days to come for the emancipation of peasantry including building of the the Khasland movement.
Pathak Lal Golder