The People’s Harvest Forum: Food Sovereignty & Animal Rights

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I feel so privileged to be part of this amazing upcoming event – The People’s Harvest Forum. I’ll be joining everyone over skype! It’s not often people are talking about food sovereignty and animal rights/liberation in the same space, let alone decolonisation and broader social justice issues. I would love to organise something like this in the UK. But for those of you the other side of the sea, don’t miss it:

The People’s Harvest forum is a Millahcayotl project: a two-day event on working towards food justice and food sovereignty. Taking place December 5 and 6, 2015 in San Francisco. 

We will speak about the impacts of agribusiness on the environment, animals and people and discuss ways to build alternatives and reclaim our food systems. This forum is unique in that we will integrate an animal rights perspective in working towards food sovereignty. We don’t believe that animals are food or that we need to exploit them to grow food.

Check out all the info & register here: http://veganic.space

More about the event:

This first event will emphasize food struggles in the Bay Area and urban spaces. How can we create and gain ownership of healthy food systems in cities? We will bring the concept of reclaiming the fields to urban spaces: reclaiming the streets and the right of the people to the city is central to building healthy, resilient and autonomous communities.

This will be a space to share ideas and skills to approach these issues from different angles and build a robust movement. It will include presentations and workshops on veganic gardening and farming, setting it at the intersection of food justice and animal rights movements.

Whether you wish to advocate for food sovereignty within a new paradigm or simply take some new skills back to your garden or potted plants, we hope you will join us!

Announcing the Food Sovereignty Course – October 2015

Food Sovereignty – Each One, Teach One

3 Day Course exploring the principles & practices of Food Sovereignty in a UK context

2nd – 4th October 2015

At Brook End LAND Centre near Street/Glastonbury, Somerset (1hour south of Bristol)

Supermarket protest begining 690This two day course will introduce you to, or deepen your knowledge of, what Food Sovereignty means in a specifically UK context. It will also demonstrate the different ways in which you can enthuse others in your community of the importance of engaging with local food systems for social change.

What will happen over the weekend?

  • Together explore the fundamentals of food sovereignty in the UK, nationally and regionally
  • Look at the political and social issues around how marginalised groups are affected by the food systems of the UK
  • Examine the historical context of how food systems have developed in the UK and how they create injustice and inequality as well as obesity and poor food access currently
  • Look at a range of popular educational tools for communicating with your community
  • Become familiar with the different food movements in the UK as well as globally
  • Share best practice for designing and running a food conversation workshop in your locality

By the end of the weekend…

You will be a confident food system activist, ready and willing to support others to participate more in discovering and recovering their power to say what they want to eat, when, how and where.

What this means for you…

You are a leader in your life, your household and your community because you care about the future of food in the UK and beyond. This weekend will help you gain the skills and confidence to take your passion further. You will be linked to a centre for excellence in popular education on issues you care about and you will be able to network with like-minded others.

DSC_8045-630x419We will support you financially to participate and you will be encouraged to participate in the UK Food Sovereignty Movement, which will be having a national gathering in October 23-26 near Hebden Bridge and Todmorden, which is organising around bringing a change to the UK food system.

How to Book

Places limited. Please book ASAP.

To find out more email:

  • Mama D: communitycentredknowledge@gmail.com
  • Nicole: nicole@feedavalon.org.uk

For more info about Food Sovereignty:

Pillars of Food Sovereignty:

  • Focuses on Food for People: rejects food as commodities & places people at the centre of food systems
  • Values food providers: asserts food providers’ right to live and work in dignity
  • Localises food systems: local and regional provision takes precedence over supplying distant markets
  • Puts control locally: places control in the hands of local food providers
  • Builds knowledge and skills: builds on farmer generated knowledge & rejects technologies like GM
  • Works with Nature: works with nature to develop diverse, low-input agroecological production

The course is taking place to feed into the Food Sovereignty Gathering – A national gathering to build a stronger movement for
food sovereignty in the UK in Todmorden, Yorkshire over the weekend of 23-26 October 2015.

Reclaim the Fields Action Camp is moving!

From Reclaim the Fields:

We are very excited to announce that 10 days after announcing the camp, the access license which would have enabled drilling, has lapsed. The Dudleston Community Protection Camp is being dismantled and local campaign group FrackFreeDudleston have made the following announcement below.

The camp will now be moving to Borras Community Protection Camp which is closer to the prison and needs and welcomes community support. For more information on their local struggle visit: http://www.frackfreewrexham.org.uk/the-camp/

With a change in location, there are a few practical alterations. Please make sure you read all of the pages & information about the camp: http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/reclaim-the-fields-international-action-camp-2015/

We are extremely grateful to Borras Community Protection Camp for their offer to host (no small task!) and are very excited about the gathering.

06 wrexham says no

Press release from FrackFreeDudleston:

FrackFreeDudleston, along with the Dudleston Community Protection Camp, would like to make the following announcement. The proposed CBM test drilling will not now happen because the Access Licence with Mr Hickson, the landowner, has lapsed. When Dart Energy started the process of applying for permission to drill in spring 2014 they thought that the actual drilling would take place that autumn. The residents of the Dudleston area looked into the proposals with an open mind and then almost unanimously concluded that it was seriously bad news for the community and the environment and would not provide a meaningful source of energy for the country. Since then Defra have been forced to publish their own research showing that communities will indeed suffer. The modest amounts of money being promised to local councils as a softener for granting permission will do nothing to mitigate the impact on the people who live nearby.

The planning application was contested by the whole community and is continuing its slow and tortuous passage through the planning appeal process. Now that the Access Licence with Mr Hickson has lapsed, it is technically possible for Dart to win the appeal and end up with a permission that they have no ability to utilise. FrackFreeDudleston, on behalf of the community, are confident that that won’t happen and are working with Shropshire Council to present a thoroughly robust case that should establish a national precedent for an unconventional gas application being refused planning permission at appeal.

In July 2014, the Dudleston Community Protection Camp arrived at the site with the aim of physically preventing any drilling from taking place, as had happened in other areas around the UK. In Chester the planning permission was granted over a year ago and has still not been implemented because a similar community protection camp was established on the site and remains there today. That is happily no longer going to be necessary here and we would like to thank Yellow and his colleagues on behalf of the community for their dedication to the cause.

An important question is whether the threat of drilling to find gas has gone away from this area for good. There are no certainties, however we have established that this area is geologically unsuitable. We have also established that we have a very united community, willing to stand up for itself in defence of the rural way of life that we enjoy. Almost all landowners in the area now understand the harm that would be inflicted by even just test drilling for gas and they know that they would be letting everyone else down if they were to sign up. Provided we remain united, the threat has pretty much gone away.

Food Sovereignty Gathering in the UK this October

Since our last energising national gathering in 2012, the food sovereignty movement in the UK has grown with hundreds of projects thriving across the UK. It is time to gather again, share the amazing progress we have made over the past few years and plan perspectives for the future.

This is a call out for you to save the date and join us for four days of discussions, organising, skill sharing and action planning. All aimed at strengthening the movement for a democratic, sustainable and fair food system in the UK and globally.

The plans so far:

When: October 23-26 2015
Where: Hebden Bridge/Todmorden (West Yorkshire HX7)

Sign up above and we’ll keep you up to date with the plans.  Details of a suggested donation towards event costs and food will be released when we have a clearer idea of things.

We are planning four days of discussions, organising, skill sharing and action planning aimed at strengthening the movement for a democratic, sustainable and fair food system in the UK and globally.

This event will be about planning the future of the movement for food sovereignty in the UK. We want to:

  • Celebrate the strengths of the food sovereignty movement
  • Build a community of friends and networks
  • Be inclusive to people who have not yet engaged with food sovereignty
  • Agree a set of targets and policies to focus on as movement
  • To create representative, diverse and fair structures with which we can make decisions with as a movement

More details of this event will be confirmed later on in 2015. Sign up now and then we’ll keep you in touch with the plans and developments.

Any questions: Contact info@foodsovereigntynow.org.uk

For updates visit: http://foodsovereigntynow.org.uk/

Photos & Resources from the Soil Summer School

We had a fantastic weekend exploring soils at the second Soil Summer School organised by Feed Avalon. Together we shared our skills and knowledge in how to identify, care for and build soils in our systems. We looked at the politics of soils and the collective action we can take to defend them. We made compost tea, learnt about biochar and brought the soil food web alive.

See photographs from the weekend below.

Click here to find our full collection of digital handouts: http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Soil-Summer-School-Digital-Handouts.zip

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Earth First Summer Gathering

Don’t miss this year’s Earth First Summer Gathering in the UK. Five days of skill sharing for grassroots ecological direct action – make links, share ideas and get involved in the struggles against fracking, new roads and more.

For full details visit: http://earthfirstgathering.org/

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Out Here: New film about Queer Farming in the US

New film about Queer Farming in the US. We need one of these in the UK! Check out the trailer and more info on the project here: http://outheremovie.com/

Out Here is a full-length documentary film created by the Queer Farmer Film Project. Completed after 4 years in production, it looks at the experiences of queer farmers across the country and asks – what does it mean to be a queer farmer, is agriculture a safe space for queer people, and what are the relationships between food production and queerness? It is the filmmaker’s dream that this project will give voice and visibility to queer people in agriculture and inspire a flagrant national discussion about gender and sexuality as they are related to our food system.