As a scholar-activist collective, AgroecologyNow! works with civil society groups and networks who cultivate and take care of the land, strive to retain and pass on their knowledge, and struggle to protect their people and territories from environmental destruction, exploitation, theft, and occupation across the globe, including in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of Gaza and the West Bank.
In recent years, some of us have been working alongside colleagues in Gaza, as well as with the municipalities of Gaza City and Khan Yunis, to support a just transition to urban agroecology and food sovereignty with over 250 women producers. Only yesterday, on the 12th October, we were due to welcome 30 farmers and activists onto our new Diploma in urban agroecology and food sovereignty, at the University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS) in Gaza City. Today, as their ability to survive the siege gets harder, and their phone batteries die, we receive their messages to tell the next generations about the Palestinians, people that love their land, people with names and dreams.
We fear for the lives of all in Gaza, particularly these women and our students, of our partners’ teams, and their families and friends. What we may be about to witness is extraordinary : the total destruction of civilian infrastructure, including water, food and transport, and the forced displacement, which some have described as mass ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. This invasion comes on top of 56 years of Israeli occupation, 16 years of blockade, on top of past wars on Gaza, including ground invasions that have wreaked havoc on Gaza’s food and farming landscape.
The people of Gaza are now told to seek shelter, without having any safe place to move. The convention on the protection of civilians during times of war states that: “Daily food rations for internees shall be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep internees in a good state of health and prevent the development of nutritional deficiencies.” Human Rights Law should be applied evenly and respected by Israel, and all UN and European Union member states. Without humanitarian corridors, and blocks to water, food and fuel, the situation for Gaza’s population is dire.
Decades of blockade, harassment, and imprisonment under an apartheid regime have been perpetrated largely with the complicity of western countries and silenced public opinion, it is time to rise up and speak out against the genocide of the Palestinian people. What is unfolding before our eyes is an emergency and crime against humanity.
We now send out this message in support to the call of Palestinians :
- We demand an immediate ceasefire now!
- Allow humanitarian aid in immediately!
- UN protection for Palestinians in Gaza now!
We call on fellow scholars, activists, and farmers to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and all other Peoples who are victims of violence and struggle for dignity of life, and to join us in with these demands.
The Agroecology Now! Collective