Indonesian farmers to join demo against WTO in Hong Kong

Source – December 6, 2005
Indonesian Farmers Federation general secretary Henry Saragih (globaljustice)
Indonesian Farmers Federation general secretary Henry Saragih (globaljustice)

Intania Nur Kusuma, Jakarta – The World Trade Organisation (WTO) will hold its 6th ministerial level meeting in Hong Kong on 13-18 December. The meeting will face opposition with around 2,000 farmers planning to hold a demonstration – including 50 farmers from Indonesia.

This was conveyed by the secretary general of the Indonesian Farmers Federation (FSPI), Henry Saragih, at a press conference at his offices on Jalan Mampang Prapatan XIV in Jakarta on Tuesday December 6.

Saragih explained that the 50 – who represent all of Indonesia’s farmers – would leave for Hong Kong on December 11. The farmers will join with 2,000 others from all over the world under the banner of the La Via Campesina movement.

The actions will be demanding an end to the liberalisation of trade in the food sector because they believe that the WTO does not have the authority to deal with agricultural issues because agriculture is not a commodity to be traded.

“The farmers’ action will be held in a peaceful manner in the form of a long-march or mass gathering”, said Saragih adding that he would himself also accompanying the farmers.

Saragih also took the opportunity to say that rice imports have been carried out by the Indonesian government under duress and pressure from the WTO. “This is the insanity of international capitalism. FSPI is struggling for food sovereignty. Because when food sovereignty exists, products that represent the cornerstone in fulfilling [a country’s] food requirements, can be protected”, he explained. (san)

[Translated by James Balowski.]