The Fossil Free Agriculture campaign has been in full swing now for more than a year. Throughout this last year we have discovered more and more about the shape of this campaign.
Our goal is to dismantle industrial agriculture and be part of a growing agroecological movement. We work towards this goal by taking direct action, raising awareness and supporting farmers. We will outline our activities of the last year.
The most local is the struggle to save the Lutkemeerpolder, an agricultural space in the Nieuwe-West of Amsterdam. We have worked in collaboration with several groups, including Platform Behoud Lutkemeer, on setting up the Tuinen van Lutkemeer, multiple action camps, such as Kampeer Lutkemeer and the 3rd Food Autonomy Festival, organizing demo’s, and heavily engaging in petitioning the government of Amsterdam to protect this space.
On a more international scale Free the Soil is a campaign to draw attention to YARA, the Norwegian synthetic nitrogen fertilizer producer. In September, a blockade of Yara’s Brunsbuttel facility was organized by collectives from across northern Europe, including ASEED. During the camp we reflected on what we learnt each day.
Additionally ASEED participates in and supports many other mass actions and smaller actions in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and across Europe. From No Border Camp, to Power Beyond Borders, to Ende Gelande, ASEED strives to form connections with other climate and social justice campaigns, in order to empower our direct action culture.
One of our strongest suits at ASEED is raising awareness. We do this by giving workshops at many of the camps and actions we help organize or attend. This past year our workshops have been focused primarily on nitrogen fertilizers, exposing the neo-colonial practices of industrial agriculture, and agroecology.
In addition to workshops we also organize solidarity events with folks from different intersections with agriculture. We host guest talks, discussions, documentary nights, and more, most frequently in Amsterdam and Utrecht. The structure of these events has been organized around our bi-monthly themes for the past 7 months.
Additionally ASEED has established a monthly reading group, which also focuses on digging deeper into the bi-monthly themes. The themes have ranged from discussions around violence, to indigenous resistance to degrowth. Reports of the reading groups are available on our website.
We believe that in order to move towards system change we must understand the systems which rule us now, and educate ourselves about alternatives.
The third facet of our campaign centers on those who are already growing new systems. ASEED aims to support small scale farmers by connecting people to their local growers, participating in local farming, and setting up projects like our current Solidarity Farming project, which gives undocumented people a chance to not only participate in growing food, but also to earn money while doing it.
Many of our volunteers are engaged in farming in some way, from keeping their own gardens, to supporting their local community supported agriculture projects.
The Food Autonomy Festival is also an integral part of supporting farmers and resistance to state and corporate controlled agriculture. This event, which started as a day event and grew into a three day action camp, brings together small scale farmers, avid gardeners, food waste initiatives and all those curious about these activities. There are practical workshops and lectures and a multitude of opportunities to engage with, and celebrate, alternatives to the current system of industrial agriculture.
In 2020, and with the emergence of the Corona pandemic, ASEED plans to continue all these activities. We are finding new formats for hosting debates, discussions, and engaging in small, safe and meaningful actions.
Join us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org