600,000-strong Indian peasant union expresses support to Cavite fisher-folk against gov’t order to dismantle mussel farms and fisheries structure

Fisherfolk and urban poor led by Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organizations in the Philippines, PAMALAKAYA) and Anakpawis Party-list Cavite Provincial Chapter, hold protest at Manila Bay, Cavite province in the Philippines, against the DENR order to dismantle mussel farms and fisheries structures. Photo by PAMALAKAYA.

Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India – The 684,000-strong Andhra Pradesh Vyavsaya VruthidarulaUnion (APVVU) expressed its support to the small fisherfolk and urban poor fish workers in Cavite province, south of Manila in the Philippines, under the leadership of Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya, National Federation of Small Fisherfolk Organizations)and Anakpawis Party-list Cavite Provincial Chapter on their struggle against the order issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to dismantle their community-based mussel and oyster farms and other fisheries structure in Manila Bay.

APVVU is a state-level federation of trade unions of rural informal workers particularly from agriculture, fishing, forest; rural artisans, sharecroppers, marginal farmers, construction workers &shepherds. The unions are spread over in 14 districts of Andhra & Telangana states. It is affiliated with the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) along with Pamalakaya, and the People’s Coalition on FoodSovereignty (PCFS).

“We denounce the Philippine government for ordering such inhumane act, especially under this pandemic. It is devoid of respecting fishing rights, and even humanity. It intends to destroy sources of food and livelihood. The Duterte government has only exposed itself to the world that it is cruel and obtuse of basic socio-economic and cultural rights, and fundamental needs of a human being. We seriously call for the revocation of the said order and for the government to respect the right to work, food, shelter, and adequate standard of living of the small fisherfolk sector in the Cavite province,” said P. Chennai, APVVU Secretary of National Coordination, Chairperson of APC and Executive Committee Member of PCFS.

He added that the Filipino fisherfolk is akin to the Dalits, the lowest caste in Indian society, and Adivasis indigenous peoples, whose basic rights to even produce food and sources of income are violated and worse, displaced from communities of subsistence.

“We vow to support the struggle of Cavite fisher-folk for their defense of fishing rights and food systems. We will expose the Duterte government to the Indian society that it does not deserve another day to remain in power. It worships profit from neoliberal agenda, and it is not human, so it has no place in society,” he ended. ###

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