Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

International Day of Peasant Struggle

Posted April 16, 2012 by Dale Wiehoff   

Land Grab

The Eldorado dos Carajás massacre took place on April 17, 1996 in Para, a state in southern Brazil. On that day, the police gunned down 19 peasants from the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (Landless Workers Movement) or MST who were demanding access to land.  The anniversary of that massacre is commemorated around the world as International Day of Peasant Struggle.
The focus of this year’s anniversary is land grabbing, “a global phenomenon led by local, national and transnational elites and investors, with the participation of governments and local authorities, in order to control the world's most precious resources.”
At a recent European Union parliamentary conference on land grabbing, IATP’s President, Jim Harkness spoke about land grabbing inside the U.S. and China. In addition to controlling land and natural resources that come from the land, Harkness discussed the financialization of land grabs, where land speculation is driven by the potential of future profits, not even the opportunity for gain by use. Speaking on Global Agricultural Policy in an Age of Land Grabs, he said, “Land grabs are the most deadly manifestation of this brutally predatory way of organizing economies…”
IATP joins with farmers and peasants, our friends and partners around the world in support of the International Day of Peasant Struggle and calls for an end to land grabs and a moratorium on large-scale land purchases.
Video:  Land grabbing: What happens in China and the United States, and what it means on a global scale

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