In the food sovereignty movement, we advocate for socially just, ecologically sound, and democratically organised food and agriculture systems. Everyone has a right to access the means for a good life and right livelihood. The practice of sustainable and self-sufficient agricultural ecosystems is often aligned with the permaculture guiding values of People Care, Earth Care, and Fair Share.
These values extend off-farm into the greater community with which farmers and food workers are inextricably a part.
How to put these values into everyday practice isn’t always easy. Recent debates about the role of vaccination in protecting our communities during the global COVID-19 pandemic have underscored some differences in opinion in even fair-minded people about how to live the values of care and fair share. Vaccine mandates have escalated these debates, and a series of ‘freedom rallies’ have been held in Australian capital cities in protest.
Regardless of where we stand on vaccines, mandates, or government responses, we need to stand together against alliances with the far-right.
The far-right are accelerating their mobilisation efforts in Australia, led by white supremacist groups, including the ‘Proud Boys’, ‘Antipodean Resistance’, and the ‘Lads Society’. Some of these groups have had a key role in organising the so-called “freedom rallies”, along with libertarian and populist groups. The Melbourne Freedom Rally, for instance, organised an Australia [Invasion] Day parade in January 2021 when the Victorian Government cancelled it. That event actively platformed the Proud Boys and the AustraliaOne Party, as you can read in the organisation’s report.
These groups engage in hate speech and violence against First Nations people, people of colour, women, the LGBTQI+ community, and disabled people. While individuals are not one-dimensional, the xenophobic ideology of the far-right is.
While not the same as the overtly hateful and racist tenets of fascism, the core values of libertarianism that trumpet individual rights and liberty are incompatible with philosophical frameworks that privilege human rights over individual rights, focus on protecting the most vulnerable, and advocate that individuals should act to promote the common good. We reject narratives that put individual rights before collective well-being. The two are foundationally linked. Any individual sovereignty is dependent upon the existence of a healthy and responsive community.
As members of the broad spectrum of the fair food community, we do not support any alliance with, or platforming of far-right ideas or organisations, which are manifestly the opposite of the values of caring for the earth and people in our communities.
The fair food community is diverse, from backyard to community and market gardeners, farmers, permies and permaculture teachers, sustainable food systems advocates, public health workers, chefs, and right to food and food sovereignty activists. To respect the human rights of its diverse members, our community needs to practice our ethics of people care and fair share. That means refusing to platform or form alliances with far-right groups.
It isn’t enough to say that our movement isn’t racist and cares for people, if we don’t act on our values and stand up for the vulnerable members of our community. As the anti-fascist philosopher Hannah Arendt said, ‘evil thrives on apathy and it cannot survive without it.’
We, the undersigned, align with democratic and anti-fascist values not only in principle, but also in practice.
If you are committed to building a socially just and democratically organised fair food community based on people care, earth care, and fair share, please join us and sign and share this statement to show you stand against alliances with fascism and show your support for a safe and inclusive fair food community.
Sign here, and see the growing list of signatories below.
|Cam Walker||Friends of the Earth Australia|
|La Vergne Lehmann||Garden of Earthy Treasures||Totally support the statement|
|Samantha Downing||IRMA Landscape|
|Jen Rae||Fair Share Fare|
|Tim Read||Friends of the Earth||Great initiative , solidarity in challenging times, esp. important with climate disruption and ecosystem decline looming so large|
|Lucy||Independent food grower|
|Bree||Permaculture South Australia|
|Terry Eyssens||La Trobe University|
|Tanya van der Weert||Seeding Abundance|
|Tim Marshall||Organic Consumers Association of Australia||Do not form alliances with right wing organisations.|
|Megan platte||Together for a fair share|
|Adam Mads Cait||the young agrarians|
|Sandra Salmon||Princes Hill Secondary College|
|Randal and Juanita Breen||Echo Valley Farm|
|Jodie McQueen||Paradise Road Farm|
|Caitlin Molloy||Market gardener||The fight against fascism and the far right is essential and I stand with you all in it|
|Hugh and Katie Finlay||Grow Great Fruit|
|Dave Key||Key Permaculture and Constructions|
|Mark Spencer||Climactic Collective||As a collective of independent, climate-engaged podcasts, I affirm our intolerance of fascism, nationalism, nativism and colonialism. Migration in the face of climate change is a right, and a reality.|
|Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance|
|Elizabeth Couse||Liberation Permaculture|
|Matthew Evans & Sadie Chrestman||Fat Pig Farm|
|The Orchard Keepers|
|Tammi & Stuart Jonas||Jonai Farms & Meatsmiths|
|Nick & Brydie Holliday||Belvedere Farm|