Deconstructing & Decolonizing Science for Agroecology

Deconstructing & Decolonizing Science for Agroecology

Next week I will be giving my Middle of Year Presentation with Gaia University. You are super welcome to join the webinar! It’s 4pm UK time.

“During this webinar, Nicole will share her work on deconstructing science – specifically how applied agroecological science, such as soil science or plant ecology, is inseparable from agrarian social thought and social movements. This call aims to begin conversations on deconstructing science, exploring its historical and contemporary relationships to the state, capitalism, and colonialism while still embracing critical research and inquiry.

There will be a short presentation follow”

Report: Education for Agroecology

OP2 Eduction for AgroecologyI am currently in the process of completing an MSc Political Agroecology with Gaia University. It’s pretty slow-going as a part-time endeavor amongst all my other projects and all the stressful challenges I’ve had to contend with at late!

However, I am excited to share my second Project Report for my Capstone Year. It’s called Education for Agroecology and you can find it here: http://portfolios.gaiauniversity.org/view/view.php?id=9344

In this report, I share the key findings of my research exploring education and agroecology. I have sought to discover successful models from around the world that have been inspiring and supporting people to practice agroecology; the application of ecology to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems. Agroecology has been described as a whole-systems approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture and local food system experiences. The field of agroecology has been framed as both a science, movement, and practice.

This report shares the insights into how successful agroecology learning opportunities have been designed, structured and resourced. It also includes commentary on the various curriculums, as well as the common forms of pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching). Finally, it highlights the role of education in accelerating agroecology and gives recommendations to organisers and educators in this field.

I would love to hear your feedback. Drop me an email at nicole@emptycagesdesign.org

Reclaim the Fields European Assembly 2017

Check out the call-out from Reclaim the Fields for the next European Assembly:
http://reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/assembly2017-poster-1024x724.jpeg
You are invited to join the European assembly of Reclaim the Fields 2017, which will take place in Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany, between 18th and 22nd of January 2017. The meeting will be hosted by the community-supported agriculture project Gartencoop and will take place in the autonomous center “KTS”.

 

***About the assembly***

 

The  assemblies happen every year during winter. Generally they bring together people active in RTF constellation, but everybody is welcome. 
The goals of the assembly are:
  • meet and exchange information amongst the stars and local groups since last year;
  • exchange and debate on themes that matters to us across Europe and beyond;
  • to see where we are at with our European Reclaim the Fields constellation: what was decided last year, for what results, what we need to do to continue, and what future plans we have;
  • to have fun and build relationships between us!

 

The last European Assembly happened in January 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, and was hosted by the Radical Allotment Gardens, the Polish RtF star. You can check the last Reclaim the Fields Bulletin here.

 

***Registration form***

 

If you or your group will join the assembly please fill in the Registration Form. This is very important for the people that do the organisation, so that everything will be prepared good when participants arrive. 
If you have any suggestion for the program, there is a special place in the form where you can let us know in advance about it.

 

***Local context***

 

This year the assembly takes place in the so called “green-city” of Freiburg, Germany. The very contradictory ecologists-capital was strongly part of the uprising anti-nuclear movement, which started by empeaching the construction of a nuclear-plant at Wyhl in the 70’s. But even if throughout the 80’s a militant ecologist, squatting, feminist and antagonistic movement played an important role, social movements decreased progressively, like in most western-european towns, after the wall came down.

 

 
In our days, the 220.000 inhabitant city still has a big amount of alternative institutions and projects, for example in left media (rdl.de, cinerebelde.org, linksunten.indymedia.org), housing (syndikat.org, schattenparker.net), antira-struggle  (aktionbleiberecht.de, iz3w.org, freiburger-forum.net) or alternative food-production (gartencoop.org, lebensgarten-dreisamtal.de, luzernenhof.de).

 

But the “green rebels” from the 70’s are in power, in Freiburg and in the region, and keep cultivating the lie of green capitalism. They are bright actors, within the neoliberal and repressive evolutions we live in.

 

The people welcoming you are involved at the 300-household agricultural-cooperative GartenCoop as well as in different of the abovely named struggles. The social/autonomous Center KTS Freiburg exists since the mid-90’s and has been legalized about 18 years ago. The biggest part of the meeting will take place at the center – some of the program might be visiting farms and projects in the surroundings. We’ll shurely spend time at the asperagus, strawberry and corn-dominated countryside as well – and there is the black forrest in walking distance for walks and talks.

 

***Practical info***

 

Freiburg finds itself between Colmar, Basel and  Offenburg
and is best accessible by train and busses or the A5-motorway. (The two petrol-stations on the motorway are a bit shitty in therms of accessibility)

 

There are many airports in Zürich, Basel/Mulhouse or Strasbourg (all are between 45 and 70 minutes drive)

 

In Freiburg Bus no 11 and Tram no 5 (better) stops at “Pressehaus”. The KTS finds itself behind the railway-bridge above the main road, just  take the stairs to your left behind the bridge.

 

KTS, Baslerstrasse 103, 79100 Freiburg
+0049 /0/ 761 / 400 20 96

 

Depending  on the number of people, the accomodation will be decentralized. About 40 people could sleep at the KTS at most, others will stay at other housing-projects, wagenplatz or private flats. Accessibility for people with a disability is limited in the center. There are bathrooms and a  medium-size kitchen, computer-rooms, screen-printing and a free shop. We will have vegetables from the cooperative-farms and other friends. Hopefully the baking-cooperative can make bread for us.

 

***Contact***

 

Please spread this invitation to the stars in your region.

 

Talk at the People’s Harvest Forum 2016

missionmural1I had the privilege of being invited to speak (via skype) at the second People’s Harvest Forum in San Francisco, USA.  I was asked to speak about Food Sovereignty and Vegan Agroecology.

About the forum:

The People’s Harvest Forum is a grassroots event on working towards food justice and food sovereignty. We speak about the widespread impacts agribusiness has on our society and on the environment, and discuss ways to build alternatives and reclaim our food systems. This forum is unique in that we integrate an animal rights perspective in working towards food sovereignty. It promotes veganic gardening and farming, setting them at the intersection of food justice and animal rights movements.

Food Sovereignty and Vegan Agroecology

Below is a copy of my talk on the day. Please drop me an email if you are keen to connect these struggles too – nicole@emptycagesdesign.org

Hi Everyone,

 

It’s a privilege to be invited to speak for a second time at the People’s Harvest Forum. I’m super jealous I can’t be there. I hope you’ve had a great weekend. It is really inspiring to know events such as these are taking place, with such a strong intersection of different struggles and movements.

 

I have been asked to talk about Food Sovereignty and Vegan Agroecology. I hope to talk for about 20 mins and then leave the time open for questions and discussions within the room. Just to set the context of my work and engagement in this field – I am based in Somerset, in the south west of the UK, where I help manage four acres of land that is designed and cared for on agroecological principles. Our site is “vegan organic” in that we don’t use any inputs from farmed animals or pesticides etc. We grow organic salad and food for events that we host – which are mostly educational courses for folks in our area.

 

Three years ago I helped to start Feed Avalon, which is a workers cooperative set up to to support the establishment of socially-just and ecological food production in our local towns of Glastonbury and Street, and the surrounding areas. There are six of us, all working-class women who survive on low incomes in our community. I am the EAT Project Coordinator, EAT stands for education and training. So I organise courses in food growing and cooking and other related skills (such as community organising and popular education) for low income individuals and families in our area. We also have two community gardens, a hand-built community kitchen and a whole bunch of other projects.

 

Until I turned 21, I had never even managed a garden and I actually learnt how to grow food during a prison sentence. So for me, food growing has been truly transformational and part of this journey has been politicising my growing work and engaging with struggles for food sovereignty.

 

So food sovereignty, I believe, is something you’ve already talked about this weekend and many are most likely familiar with the term. But just to recap for folks: Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It was defined in 2007 at a forum in a village called Nyelini in Mali in Africa. It is important to note that the food sovereignty framework has come from the Global South and was birthed by La Via Campesina. LVC is the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. LVC is made up of over 164 local and national organizations in 73 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Altogether, it represents about 200 million farmers. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.

 

So that’s a super brief intro to food sovereignty… but for me doing this work… It was really clear for me that while I was really enjoying food growing and community food work, there were still so many people without access to land, so many folks in my area without access to decent food because of poverty… or ultimately that myself and others, were being fed by a global food system that is highly exploitative and destroying ecosystems worldwide, accelerating climate change and so forth.

 

A close friend of mine, Isy who wrote the “Another Dinner is Possible” cookbook wrote that:

 

“Many of these community food projects present us with amazing opportunities to collectively make our lives better, more sustainable, meaningful & interesting. However without a context of explicitly addressing & challenging the global exploitative food system as a whole they are basically reinforcing privilege. The system will not change because a few of us eat better.”

 

Therefore I tried to seek allies who were resisting and attempting to dismantle the capitalist food system. And in March 2011, 10 weeks after coming out of prison, I found Reclaim the Fields, who had their first gathering in the UK that month at a site called Grow Heathrow – a squatted land project set up to fight the expansion of Heathrow Airport in London.

 

Reclaim the Fields is a constellation of people and collective projects across Europe willing to go back to the land and reassume the control over food production. RTF began in 2007 as a kind of youth break-out group at a La Via Campesina gathering. The people that started RTF wanted an alternative to the NGO-dominated, euro-centric, neocolonialist organisations who didn’t think critically about race, class and gender and other issues.

 

I thought I would read the “Who we are statement” written collectively by stars in the RTF constellation (that’s how we like to think of projects – as part of a constellation, looser than a network but somehow more powerful). So I just wanted to set the scene of the this struggle and one of they key actors in Europe. Ok…

 

“We are a group of peasants, landless and prospective peasants, as well as people who are taking back control over food production.

 

We understand “peasants” as people who produce food on a small scale, for themselves or for the community, possibly selling a part of it. This also includes agricultural workers.

We support and encourage people to stay on the land and go back to the countryside. We promote food sovereignty (as defined in the Nyéléni declaration) and peasant agriculture, particularly among young people and urban dwellers, as well as alternative ways of life. In Europe, the concept ‘food sovereignty’ is not very common and could be clarified with ideas such as ‘food autonomy’ and control over food systems by inclusive communities, not only nations or states.

 

We are determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real-needs-oriented, small-scale production and initiatives. We are putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles.

 

In order to achieve this, we participate in local actions through activist groups and cooperate with existing initiatives. This is why we choose not to be a homogeneous group, but to open up to the diversity of actors fighting the capitalist food production model. We address the issues of access to land, collective farming, seed rights and seed exchange. We strengthen the impact of our work through cooperation with activists who focus on different tasks but who share the same vision.

 

Nevertheless, our openness has some limits. We are determined to take back control over our lives and refuse any form of authoritarianism and hierarchy. We respect nature and living beings, but will neither accept nor tolerate any form of discrimination, be it based on race, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or social status. We refuse and will actively oppose every form of exploitation of other people. With the same force and energy, we act with kindness and conviviality, making solidarity a concrete practice of our daily life.

 

We support the struggles and visions of la Via Campesina, and work to strengthen them. We wish to share the knowledge and the experience from years of struggle and peasant life and enrich it with the perspectives and strength of those of us who are not peasants, or not yet peasants. We all suffer the consequences of the same policies, and are all part of the same fight.”

 

Since 2007 RTF has:

  • organized several European camps attended by hundreds of people – these tend to be in places seeking solidarity, such as fighting gold mining in Romania, or defending La Zad, a land occupation resisting an airport in France,
  •    RTF have also participated in global mobilisations with La Vía Campesina,
  •    took direct actions to fight for the land,
  •    and held assemblies each year from Sweden to Catalonia and Hungary.

 

Last summer, we organised a huge international action camp against the building of a mega-prison in Wales. It was hosted at an anti-fracking camp, and bought together people from all different struggles. We blockaded the prison construction site, built new gardens at the camp, and had tens of workshops on subjects like food sovereignty, migrant solidarity, composting gender and more.

 

So for me as a grower, and as someone seeking to build alternative models to industrial agriculture. As well as someone brought up with no land-based skills or heritage, living in the oldest industrialised country in the world, it was clear there was a lot to learn.

 

In order to build the food systems we are desiring, to achieve food sovereignty, it’s clear that we need integrated knowledge systems that draw on both traditional and indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, as well as holistic science and ongoing participatory research. This is where agroecology comes into its own.

 

Agroecology is the application of ecology to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems. It is a whole-systems approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture, and local food system experiences. It has been described as a science, movement and practice.

 

In a past training I undertook with Miguel Altieri and Clara Nicholls, both Professors of Agroecology at the University of California, Berkeley. They shared the key principles of agroecology, that can be applied to different agroecosystems around the world:

 

  • Enhance the recycling of fertility and optimise nutrient availability without reliance on imported fertiliser
  • Create favourable soil conditions for plant growth by managing organic matter, improving soil structure, cultivating ground cover and enhancing soil biotic activity;
  • Minimise the loss of resources by way of microclimate management, water harvesting and soil management;
  • Promote agricultural biodiversity in time and space;
  • Enhance beneficial biological interactions in agricultural systems

 

As you can see – plant-based systems, without farmed animals, can put all of these principles into practice.

 

When I teach on the vegan permaculture course, I ask the students, ‘What is your favourite animal in a permaculture system?” They kind of look at me in horror thinking this course was meant to not be about farming animals. But then I ask them what about wildlife, and suddenly the go-round becomes rich – birds, butterflies, bees, moles, worms… and we begin to see that actually plant-based permaculture systems are rich with animals. They are rich with biodiversity. The difference is the animals interacting with the system are not enslaved, they are not exploited, they are self-determining. And this for me is the most beautiful thing about this work.

 

And while we are transitioning from animal agriculture, attempting to restore ecosystems and build food sovereignty, domesticated animals of course have to have homes and habitats in our landscapes. I’ve done some design work with animal sanctuaries that are planting nut trees, fruit trees and other gardens to help keep their costs down in their work rescuing abused animals, as well as supporting animal health and habitat establishment.

 

What a vegan agroecology could look like is a beautiful, beautiful vision – community gardens and farms, market gardens with quality living soil nourished by composts and compost teas, mycelium and mulching. Mushroom farms. Agroforestry projects, nut trees and fruit orchards, small-scale grain raising, allotments, medicinal plant sanctuaries… hillsides currently grazed by sheep restored into woodlands rich with wild foods for foraging and habitat for wildlife to return. Restored streams no longer polluted by fish farms and industrial agriculture. Over-fished oceans returning to life with incredible biodiversity and health. If these systems were the outcome of a food sovereignty movement, then we would also see social justice and community self-determination for human communities.

 

As an animal liberationist, working in this way by building thriving systems, is nourishing and strengthening. I have fought the state so hard (and still am in my work organising against the prison industrial complex). The industries that commodify animals and profit from their bodies are huge and overwhelming. And defeating them through ongoing grassroots resistance, direct action and campaigns is essential. However, part of this work, also needs to be re-designing our food systems – the biggest exploiter of animals on this planet, and the biggest factor determining our landscapes globally right now – therefore, I hope others can see that working to amplify agroecology and food sovereignty is essential in the struggle for animal liberation and to eradicate all forms of oppression.

 

I was also asked to share a bit about my work so I’ll end with some shameless plugs. I have a website called Empty Cages Design – it aims to bring together threads around permaculture, food sovereignty, veganism and more, as well as struggles against prison and repression. I host an annual vegan permaculture course where participants come together for 10 days in two blocks, to learn about grassroots design methodologies, gain practical skills and experience how it feels in practice. We have a unique bursary system, and unlike many other courses taught in the UK, generally have a much more diverse group coming together to learn permaculture design. I teach with Graham Burnett, who wrote the Vegan Book of Permaculture, who is a fantastic guy committed to using permaculture for liberation.

 

I have also supported the Vegan Organic Network, more intensely in past years. My current projects are developing a distance learning course that could spread veganic agroecology and plant based permaculture principles and strategies more globally and help plug the gap in this learning provision. We are also preparing for our next Reclaim the Fields assembly in Germany this January and continuing to work on a super local grassroots level with Feed Avalon. I also study and work with an organisation called Gaia University, who I can’t recommend highly enough.

 

And finally, I’d like to thank Nassim for their hardwork in making this event happen – and all the other people behind the scenes who I haven’t met yet. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you’ve been inspired this weekend to take action to transform our food systems and our world.

 

New report: How to amplify agroecology

schermafbeelding-2016-11-17-om-10-40-07-e1479376501441A new report has just been released online on how to amplify agroecology. It brings together the insights from a landmark meeting on building the agroecology movement. Over 70 individuals shared the fruit from decades of hard work and activism.

Check it out here: https://www.ileia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/AEF-Report-2016-BAJA-FINAL-1.pdf

They came together to discuss factors for successful amplification of agroecology, as opposed to traditional ‘scaling up’, and identified key lessons from their work.

The four day Agroecology Learning Exchange took place in Uganda and was organised by the AgroEcology Fund and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa in May 2016.

Report on the Reclaim the Fields European Winter Assembly in Warsaw

IMG_964021-24 January 2016 – at the ROD – Warsaw

A group of almost forty participants met over four days in the garden allotments squatted by the ROD collective in the suburbs of Warsaw.

We represented different land projects and forms of resistance across Europe, from Great Britain, Germany, Romania, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria and of course Poland.

We had time for formal discussions in order to find out what stage the different projects in Reclaim the Fields are at: the new website which will soon replace the old, the writing of the 11th bulletin, the importance of using the current communication tools effectively before creating new ones, etc etc.

IMG_9692The other highlights of this assembly were :

  • discovering the social and agricultural context in Poland, with a focus on the garden occupation in ROD.
  • a discussion (with a brilliant video conference over Skype) about how to reinforce solidarity initiatives which aim to provide Kurdish and Syrian communities with non-hybrid seeds for vegetable gardens!
  • A discussion on how to act upon the necessity for a renewal of direct action tactics against GMO in Europe.
  • A projection of a short film about the current situation of agricultural projects in the ZAD in Notre Dame des Landes. Following this a communique was written from the European Assembly in support of the recently evicted peasants and to restate a clear rejection of any attempt to start work on the Zone.

The assembly ended with participation in a food distribution alongside Food Not Bombs Warsaw and followed by a small party at the ROD.

We were superbly hosted by our Polish friends, whose fight to occupy and revive the allotment gardens is inspiring. Do not hesitate to pass by and visit them in Warsaw… and to stay a while. Keep your ears open in case they are threatened by eviction.

Not forgetting to thank the people from the Syrena squat in the city center, as well as the BLA collective who provided the equipment for multilingual translation.

IMG_9673

Join the next Reclaim the Fields European Assembly in Poland in January 2016

RTF Assembly Web 2016 small

Join the next Reclaim the Fields European Assembly in Poland in January 2016!

When: Thursday 21st January – Sunday 24th January 2016
Where: Warsaw, Poland. Exact location will be announced closer to the date. Please book travel to Warsaw.

Why:
The goals of the assembly are:

  • To meet and exchange information amongst the stars and local groups since last year
  • To exchange and debate on a theme that matters to us across Europe
  • To see where we are at with our European Reclaim the Fields constellation: what was decided last year, for what results, what we need to do to continue, and what future plans do we have.
  • To have fun and build relationships between us!

The Assemblies generally bring together people already active in the RTF constellation (or those that are aware/informed on the dynamics and latest discussions of the network.) But everybody is welcome!

Why in Poland?

RTF Poland was created after the last European Assembly that took place in Nottingham (embed link – www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/01/26/…. They have a lot of energy, have been making great actions and want to make stronger links with us. They are also interested in sharing experiences about way of actions, to spread some practices arount them. We also want to welcome them into the constellation! Read more about them below.

Get Involved

– to prepare the content :

  • Can you help with content preparation for the Assembly? ( prepare timetable, prepare facilitation, …)
  • Do you have suggestions for the debate?
  • Are you part of a working group? What are the needs of the working group at the gathering?
  • Do you have ideas for the next camp or assembly? Please prepare them & email them even as a basic idea.

if you have answer to one of this question, please send a mail to contactrtf@riseup.net

– to help the logistic
Help fundraise or financially contribute to the gathering! We would like to be abble to support people with travel costs that could otherwise not participate… every contribution is welcome !

Registration
We will share a link to an online registration form in December so we know how many people are coming & what we need to prepare.

Contact:
If you have any questions concerning logistics or content of the meeting please contact contactrtf@riseup.net

Language at the meeting/Interpretation

The meeting will be supportet by bla interpretation equipment collective. That means that we will have the facilities to make everyone listen and speak in the languages they feel most comfortable in. that way we want to help break down hierarchies due to language barriers. interpretors come out of the crowd – maybe also you would like to contrubute to the interpretation at the meeting!
in the registration form you’ll find space/a section to note you’re needs and wants and contrubution you might want to offer to the assembly.

About the hosts – ROD

ROD is an untranslatable play on words. Originally the shortcut R.O.D. menas Rodzinne Ogrody Działkowe (Family Allotment Gardens) but we translate it as Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe (Radical Allotment Gardens).

The main goals of ROD collective: The basic of existence our group is autonomous, voluntary and self-organized initiative, free from any kind of hierarchy and discrimination. The members of collective try to be involved in reclaim the fields movement by occupying and ecological using the area of the allotment gardens – to secure it from devastation by the developers.

Warsaw have particular conditions under land grabing context. The main tool using by big business to legally land grab is a process called “re-privatization”. It mean that Warsow City Council tries to “give back” all buildings and land to the descendants of pre-war owners. That means 80% of Warsow. Exactly the same amount of city was destroy after war, and rebuild by tenants and people from whole of Poland with public money. Now so called “developer companies” look up old descendants (or finding a false ones) buying for a ridiculous price rights to the buildings or lands from them and becoming new owners. One of the effects of this is now there is 600.000 empty business spaces in places when few years ago were townhouses. Further tens of thousands old flats are empty. At the same time in the outskirts of the city closed settlements are growing, built by the same companies.

Land which is occupied by ROD collective was grabbed under this re-privatization process. But to say that we are there because particular situation of this land would be too much. We just chose this place because it was good place to start spread info about Land grabbing and show sustainable living in practice, as well as occupy resistance tactics. Anyway, it was clear for us that sooner or later something would happen. The area was just too nice to be not interesting to some developers. So it is also true that even though we were not looking a conflict we were open to the possibility of finding it.

ROD is kind of laboratory where in a radical and friendly atmosphere we got knowledge and skills about planting vegatables and herbs, derive energy from renewable sources, food processing, constructing spaces, tools, things for everyday using and organizing a social life for the community and the neighborhood with using the different tactics of resistance and struggle against capitalism. We strive for self-sufficiency and sovereignty, and we work in accordance with the principle of do it yourself.

For more information about Reclaim the Fields Poland visit: reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org

Background to the Assemblies
We still understand RtF as an organizational constellation of stars which is in constant movement and process. Stars are persons, collectives or projects who/which share the RtFs values and relate themselves and their work to the RtF goals. The stars are organized and meet in local networks which are autonomous and have their own objectives. The local networks are the base of the RtF constellation since it is essential for RtF to work from the bottom up. Apart from the local networks, there are working groups and thematic groups.

On the European level there are three different kinds of meetings:

  • Functional meetings once a year during winter time. The objective is to get feedback from the working groups, plan the camp, get news from the local networks and have an exchange about what is happening in the different local contexts.
  • Thematic meetings take place whenever people/local networks/working groups organize one. The idea is to work on specific topics. This can be for example a discussion of concepts, an exchange on agricultural techniques and knowledge or the support of a local struggle.
  • European camps take place in summer and are bigger and take longer than the other meetings. The objective is to make RtF grow by ‘going to new places’, supporting local struggles and sharing skills, knowledge and ideas. The last camp took place in the UK against the mega prison (embed link – www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/09/06/…

Read the last bulletin here for more info about we did at the last Assembly in Nottingham: reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-conte…

FRANCAIS

Viens à la prochaine assemblée européenne de Reclaim The Fields en Pologne en janvier 2016 !

quand : du jeudi 21 au dimanche 24 janvier 2016
: Varsovie, Pologne. l’endroit exact sera annoncé plus tard, mais réservez dés maintenant votre trajet jusqu’à Varsovie.

Pourquoi ?
les objectifs de l’assemblée sont :
– rencontrer et échanger des informations entre les étoiles, les groupes locaux de ce qu’il s’est passé depuis l’année dernière
– échanger et débattre de thèmes qui nous intéressent à l’échelle européenne
– voir où on est au sein de la constellation de RTF : ce qui avait été décidé l’année dernière, ce qui en a résulté, ce qu’il y a besoin de faire pour continuer, et quels projets futurs on a
– s’amuser et construire des liens entre nous !

Les assemblées rassemblent généralement des personnes déjà actives dans la constellation de RTF ( ou celles qui sont au courant/informées des dynamiques et dernières discussions en cours au sein du réseau). Mais tout le monde est le-la bienvenu-e !

Pourquoi en Pologne ?
RTF Pologne a été créée à la suite de la dernière assemblée européenne qui a eu lieu à Nottingham … Il y a plein d’énergie, illes ont fait de belles actions, et ont envie de renforcer les liens ave RTF, et de partager des expériences autour de moyens d’actions pour les diffuser. On a envie de les accueillir dans la constellation !
(Plus de détails en dessous)

Pour participer

– pour le contenu

– souhaites tu participer à la préparation du contenu de l’assemblée ? ( préparation de programme, de la facilitation, …)
– est ce que tu as des suggestions de débats ?
– si tu fais partie d’un groupe de travail, quels sont les besoins de ce groupe pendant cette assemblée ?
-des idées pour un prochain camp ou une prochaine assemblée ? prépare les et envoies les mêmes si l’idée en est au début.

si tu as répondu oui à une de ces questions, envoie un mail à contactrtf@riseup.net

– pour aider la logistique
– participe au financement ou à la recherche de fonds ! on a envie d’être capable de soutenir les personnes que les frais de transports empêcheraient de venir..toute contribution est la bienvenue!

Inscriptions
On mettra un lien pour des inscriptions en ligne en décembre, pour savoir combien de personnes viendront et ce qu’il y a à préparer.

Contact :
si vous avez des questions concernant la logistique ou le contenu, contacte contactrtf@riseup.net

Language pendant les rencontres/traductions

Les rencontres disposeront de matériel de traduction simultanée grâce au collectif BLA.Cela signifie qu’il y aura des moyens pour que chacun-e puisse entendre et parler dans la langue dans laquelle il ou elle se sent le plus à l’aise. De cette manière, nous voulons participer à détruire les hiérarchies dues aux barrières linguisitiques. Les traducteur-trice-s viennent des participant-e-s : et peut être que toi aussi tu aura envie de participer à la traduction pendant les rencontres ! Lors de l’inscription, tu trouveras une rubrique dans laquelle indiquer de quoi tu as besoin et envie, et de quelle manière tu peux participer à la traduction pendant les rencontres.

A propos du collectif qui accueille – ROD

ROD est un jeu de mots intraduisibles. A l’origine, le sigle ROD signifie quelque chose comme “jardins familiaux” ( Rodzinne Ogrody Dzialkowe) mais nous l’avons transformé en “jardins radicaux” ( Radykalne Ogrody Dzialkowe).

Les objectifs principaux du collectif ROD : Le principe de l’existence de notre groupe est l’initiative autonome, volontaire et auto-organisée, libre de toute forme de hiérarchie et discrimination. Les membres de notre collectif essayent de participer au mouvement de reclaim the fields en occupant et en ayant un usage écologique de l’espace de ces parcelles de jardins – pour les protéger de la dévastation des promoteurs.

Il y a à Varsovie des conditions particulières dans le contexte d’accaparement des terres.Le principal outil utilisé par le monde des affaires pour s’accaparer légalement les terres est un processus appelé “re-privatisation”. Cela signifie que le conseil municipal de Varsovie essaye de “rendre” tous les bâtiments et terres aux descendants des propriétaires d’avant-guerre? Ce qui représente 80 % de Varsovie. Exactement la même proportion de ville qui a été détruite après la guerre et reconstruite par les locataires et la population de toute la Pologne avec de l’argent public. Maintenant, les soi-disants “compagnies de développement” cherchent de vieux descendants ( ou en trouvent des faux) pour leur acheter à un prix ridicule les droits sur les batiments et les terres et devenir les nouveaux propriétaires. Un des effets de ceci est qu’il y a maintenant 600 000 espaces commerciaux vides là où il y a peu d’année il y avait des maisons de ville. Plusieurs dizaines de milliers de vieux appartements sont vides. Dans le même temps, dans les banlieues de la ville, des quartiers cloturés apparaissent, construits par les mêmes entreprises.

La terre occupée par le collectif ROD a été accaparé par ce processus de re-privatisation. Mais dire que nous somme ici à cause de cette situation particulière serait excessif. Nous avons juste choisi ce lieu parce que c’était un bon endroit pour commencer à diffuser de l’information sur l’accaparement des terres et montrer des modes de vie durables en pratique, autant que des tactiques de résistance par l’occupation de terre. Quoiqu’il en soit, c’était clair pour nous que tôt ou tard, quelque chose allait se passer. La zone était juste trop belle pour ne pas intéresser quelques promoteurs. Alors c’est vrai aussi que même si nous n’étions pas à la recherche d’un conflit, nous étions ouverts à la possibilité d’en trouver un.

ROD est une sorte de laboratoire, où, dans une atmosphère amicale et radicale, nous acquiérons des connaissances et savoir-faire en plantation de légumes et plantes aromatiques, production d’énergie à partir de sources renouvelables, production alimentaire, construction d’espaces, d’outils, d’objet de tous les jours, et dans l’organisation d’une vie sociale pour la communauté et le voisinage en utilisant différentes tactiques de résistance et de lutte contre le capitalisme. Nous luttons pour l’autosuffisance et la souveraineté alimentaire et nous travaillons sur le principe de do-it-yourself.

Pour plus d’informations à propos de Reclaim The Fields Pologne, visite reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org

Contexte des assemblée

Nous comprenons RTF comme une organisation de constellation d’étoiles en mouvement et évolution constante. Les étoiles sont les personnes, collectifs ou projets qui partagent les valeurs de RTF et se sentent lié-e-s, personnellement ou par leurs pratiques aux objectifs de RTF. Les étoiles sont organisées et se rencontrent dans des réseaux locaux qui sont autonomes et ont leurs objectifs propres. Les réseaux locaux sont la base de la constellation de RTF, puisqu’il est essentiel pour RTF de partir de la base. En plus des réseaux locaux, il y a des groupes de travail et des groupes thématiques.

A l’échelle européenne, il y a trois niveaux différents de rencontres :

– des rencontres de fonctionnement, une fois par an en hiver. Les objectifs sont de faire des retours des groupes de travail, de préparer un camp, d’avoir des nouvelles des réseaux locaux, et d’échanger sur ce qu’il arrive chez chacun-e.

– des rencontres thématiques : qui ont lieu chaque fois que des personnes/réseaux locaux/groupes de travail en organise. L’idée est de travailler sur des sujets précis. Ca peut être par exemple des discussions théoriques, des échanges sur des techniques agricoles ou des connaissances ou le soutien à une lutte locale.

– des camps européens : qui ont lieu en été et qui sont plus grands et plus longs que les autres rencontres. L’objectif est de faire grandir RTF en “allant dans de nouveaux lieux”, pour supporter des luttes locales, partager des savoir-faire, des connaissances.
Le dernier camp a eu lieu en Grande Bretagne, contre une mégaprison.
( www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/09/06/….

Pour en savoir plus sur la dernière assemblée à Nottingham :
reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-conte…

DEUTSCH

Komm zum nächsten Reclaim the Fields-Treffen im Januar 2016 in Polen!

Wann: Donnerstag, 21. Januar – Sonntag, 24. Januar 2016

Wo: Warschau, Polen. Der genauer Ort wird noch bekanntgegeben. Plant eure Reise einfach nach Warschau.

Warum: Die Ziele des Treffens sind:
-Neuigkeiten seit dem letzten Treffen unter den Sternen und Lokalgruppen auszutauschen
-sich auszutauschen und über Themen diskutieren, die uns quer durch Europa beschäftigen
-sehen wo die RtF Konstellation gerade steht: was wurde letztes mal entschieden und was hat sich daraus entwickelt, was wollen wir weiterführen, welche Pläne schmieden wir für die
•    Zukunft
-Spaß zu haben und Beziehungen unter uns aufzubauen

Die Treffen sind dazu gedacht Menschen zusammen zu bringen die schon in Rtf aktiv sind (oder Menschen, denen die Dynamiken bekannt sind/die die letzten Diskussionen der Konstellation kennen.) Es sind aber nichtsdestotrotz alle willkommen!

Warum in Polen?
“Reclaim the Fields Polen” wurde nach dem letzten Treffen in Nottingham, UK, gegründet http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/01/26/feedback-from-european-assembly/%29.  Die Menschen vor Ort haben viel Energie und großartige Aktionen gemacht, und haben Lust sich mit der RtF Konstellation weiter und stärker zu verknüpfen. Willkommen in der Konstellation!
Ihr könnt weiter unten mehr über sie lesen.

Mitmachen
-Kannst du bei der inhaltlichen Vorbereitung mithelfen?
-Möchtest du inhaltliche Punkte/Diskussionen/… einbringen?
-Bist du Teil einer Arbeitsgruppe: Was braucht/möchte die Arbeitsgruppe auf dem Treffen einbringen?
-Hast du Ideen für das nächste Camp oder das nächste Treffen? Bereitet euren Input dazu am besten vor und schickt es schonmal per email, auch wenn es nur eine erste Idee ist.
-Helft beim Fundraising/der Finanzierung des Treffens mit oder beteiligt euch mit Spenden! Wir möchten z.B. Menschen mit ihren Fahrkosten unterstützen, die sonst nicht kommen könnten.

Sprache/Dolmetschen auf dem Treffen
Das Treffen wird von bla, einem Dolmetsch-Equipment Kollektiv, unterstützt. Das bedeutet, die Möglichkeit zu haben, dass alle in der Sprache zuhören und sprechen können, in der sie sich am wohlsten fühlen. Auf diese Weise wollen wir versuchen Hierarchien zu brechen, die aufgrund von Sprache entstehen. Die Dolmetscher_innen kommen aus der Gruppe der sich treffenden – vielleicht hast du ja auch Lust das Dolmetschen beim Treffen zu unterstützen! Bei der Anmeldung gibt es die Möglichkeit deine Sprach-Bedürfnisse und eventuelles Dolmetschen das du anbieten möchtest anzugeben.

Anmelden
Es wird noch ein Link herumgeschickt werden unter dem mensch sich anmelden kann. Das ermöglicht uns auf die korrekte Anzahl Menschen vorzubereiten, sodass wir wissen wieviele Leute kommen und was vorbereitet werden muss.

Kontakt
Wenn du Fragen zum Treffen hast (z.B. zur Unterbringung oder Inhaltliches) schreibe an: contactrtf@riseup.net

Über die Gastgeber_innen ROD:
ROD ist ein unübersetzbares Wortspiel. ROD ist die Abkürzung für Rodzinne Ogrody Działkowe, was Familien Schrebergärten bedeutet. Aber wir haben es als Radykalne Ogrody Działkowe übersetzt: Radikale Schrebergärten.
Die Hauptziele des ROD Kollektivs sind:
Die Grundlagen der Gruppe sind autonome, freiwillige und selbstorganisierte Initiative, frei von jeder Hierarchie und Diskriminierung. Die Mitglieder des Kollektivs versuchen in der Reclaim the Fields Bewegung teilzuhaben indem sie das Areal der Schrebergärten besetzen und ökologisch nutzen um es vor der Zerstörung durch die Stadtentwickler_innen zu schützen.

Im Landgrabbing Kontext hat Warschau besondere Bedingungen. Das Hauptwerkzeug, das von großen Unternehmengenutzt wird um sich Land rechtlich abgesichert unter den Nagel zureißen, ist ein sogenannter „Re-Privatisierungs“-Prozess. Der Warschauer Stadtrat versucht Nachfahren von vor-Kriegs-Besitzer_innen Land und Gebäude „zurückzugeben“. Das betrifft ca 80% von Warschau. Der gleiche Prozentsatz der Stadt wurde im Krieg zerstört, und durch Mieter_innen/Pächter_innen und Menschen aus ganz Polen mit öffentlichen Geldern wieder aufgebaut. Jetzt erforschen sogenannte “Entwicklungsunternehmen” Nachfahren (oder finden Falsche) um ihnen Land oder Gebäude für einen lächerlichen Preis abzukaufen und die neuen Besitzer_innen zu werden.

Einer der Effekte den dies hat ist, dass jetzt 600.000 gewerbliche Immobilien leerstehen, wo einige Jahre zuvor noch Stadthäuser standen. Darüber hinaus stehen zehntausende alte Wohnungen leer. Zur gleichen Zeit wachsen an den Stadträndern geschlossene (private) Siedlungen, die von den gleichen Unternehmen gebaut werden.

Das vom ROD Kollektiv besetzte Land wurde sich von Unternehmen in diesem “Re-Privatisierungs”-Prozess gegriffen. Das ist aber nicht der einzige Grund für unsere Besetzung. Wir haben es ausgesucht weil es ein guter Ort war um anzufangen Informationen über Landgrabbing zu verbreiten und eine nachhaltige Lebensweise durch die Widerstands-Taktik Besetzung in der Praxis zu zeigen. Trotzdem war es für uns klar, dass früher oder später etwas passieren würde. Das Gebiet war einfach zu gut um nicht interessant für einige “Entwickler_innen” zu sein. Wir suchen aber nicht explizit nach Konflikt, sind aber durchaus bereit welchen zu haben.)

ROD ist eine Art Labor in dem wir uns in radikaler und freundlicher Atmosphäre Wissen und Fähigkeiten zu Gemüse- und Kräuteranbau, Energiegewinnung durch erneuerbare Ressourcen, Nahrungsmittelverarbeitung, Räume errichten, Werkzeugen, Dingen für den täglichen Gebrauch und der Organisierung eines sozialen Lebens der Gemeinschaft und Nachbarschaft anzueignen, indem wir die verschiedenen Strategien von Widerstand und Kampf gegen den Kapitalismus nutzen. Wir streben nach Selbstversorgung und arbeiten nach dem Do it Yourself -Prinzip.

Mehr Infos über Reclaim the Fields Polen auf: http://reclaimthefieldspl.noblogs.org

Hintergrund der RtF-Treffeng
Wir verstehen RtF als eine organisatorische Konstellation von Sternen, die ein Prozess und konstant in Bewegung ist. Sterne sind Personen, Kollektive oder Projekte, die die Ideen von RtF teilen und sich selbst und ihre Arbeit zu RtF-Zielen in beziehung setzen. Die Sterne sind lokal organisiert und treffen sich in lokalen Netzwerken, die autonom sind und ihre eigenen Ziele haben. Die lokalen Netzwerke sind die Basis der RtF-Konstellation, denn die Arbeit “von unten” ist wichtig für RtF. Neben den lokalen Netzwerken gibt es Arbeitsgruppen und thematische Gruppen.

Auf der “europäischen” Ebene gibt es drei verschiedene Treffen:

-Organisations-Treffen jährlich im Winter. Das Ziel hier ist feedback von den Arbeitsgruppen zu geben, das RtF-Camp zu planen, Neuigkeiten von den lokalen Netzwerken zu teilen, und einen Austausch darüber zu bekommen, was in den verschiedenen lokalne Kontexten geschieht.
-thematische Treffen gibt es wann immer Menschen/lokale Netzwerke/Arbeitsgruppen welche organisieren. Die Idee hierbei ist an spezifischen Themen zu arbeiten. Das kann z.B. eine Diskussion von Konzepten, Austausch landwirtschaftlicher Techniken und Wissen, oder die Unterstützung eines lokalen Kampfes (?) sein.
-Camps finden im Sommer statt und sind großer und länger als die anderen Treffen. Ziel ist RtF zu vergrößern indem wir an neue Orte gehen, lokalen Kämpfe unterstützen und Wissen und Ideen zu teilen. Das letzte Camp war in Großbritannien gegen einen Riesenknast – http://www.reclaimthefields.org.uk/2015/09/06/reclaim-the-fields-international-action-camp/%29

Hier findest du das letzte Buletin vom Treffen in Nottingham: http://reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/bulletin10_1EN.pdf

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

cropped-cornonthecob1

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.

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.