Investors meeting at this week’s Agricultural Investment summit in London got a clear message from protestors gathered outside – land is for people, not for profit!
Organisers of the £3,660-a-head conference call farmland “one of the greatest investments in the world” and bill the summit as an opportunity to “overcome the perceived obstacles to investment” with titles of talks such as “Agriculture in Africa: ‘land grab’ or untapped opportunity?”
But those of us gathered outside made it quite clear what we think about investors taking land away from local communities. ActionAid, along with others from a wide coalition of organisations, greeted participants leaving the first day of the summit with placards, banners and chants...
“Hey! Ho! Land's for food and not for dough!”
We also gave out copies of the civil society statement launched yesterday declaring “Land grabbing by pension funds and other financial institutions must be stopped.”
And to get our message across to those who preferred to stay inside for networking drinks, rather than face the protest outside, we borrowed the summit’s official hashtag #agconf, telling them just what we thought of their conference.
Thanks to all our friends, old and new, including Friends of the Earth, War on Want, World Development Movement, Biofuelwatch, Global Witness, The Land Is Ours, the Gaia Foundation, Reclaim the Fields UK and Re: Common, for helping make it a great protest!