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(en) France, UCL AL #320 - Ecology, Congress of the Confédération paysanne: Compost reformism (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 18 Nov 2021 08:03:59 +0200

Last July the congress of the Confederation of Peasants was held. Following the total failure of the negotiations of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the debates of the delegates on the strategy to be adopted were lively and revealing of political disagreements. ---- On July 7 and 8, the congress of the Confédération paysanne took place in Velanne-en-Isère. Already postponed because of the Covid, this congress was held on the farm of Pierre and Marie-Pierre in order to guarantee its maintenance. A beautiful farm with many self-built buildings made from chainsaw-cut logs, Pierre participates in the Peasant Workshop, an association which promotes the technical autonomy of peasants [1]. Sharing and technical assistance are part of agricultural solidarity. At a time when public policies favor the technological headlong rush, it is imperative to reappropriate a certain amount of knowledge.

This congress comes at a pivotal moment. The union comes out of important negotiations on the CAP during which it obtained nothing. A lot of time, analyzes, proposals, energies have been provided and have come up against a wall. The ministry was in a logic of status quo. " We do not want demonstrations by farmers one year before the presidential elections ." Inequalities persist, the consequent aid for small farms will not see the light of day.

The question of strategy then arises for the delegates. The balance of power, despite actions and demonstrations, was not substantial enough. Negotiations alone weigh nothing against a government that is not in the compromise.

It is within the framework of these strategic collective reflections that unions claiming to be " reformist " have put forward a motion to " reaffirm our institutional logic ". The orientation report noted that in the face of institutions, there are two tendencies within the Confédération Paysanne: " an anarchist vision " which struggles to be legitimate, and a " legalist " which sees in the play of institutions the possibility. to advance proposals.

The dead end of the CAP
It is the latter which was on the offensive within the congress. The idea being to marginalize speeches delegitimizing institutions and above all to limit as much as possible the work that could be done with fringes of the so-called autonomous or anarchist social movement. This position seeks a corporatist refocusing and focus on agricultural and agricultural themes.

The intervention of the reformists, in a context of total failure of the negotiations, was very badly perceived by an overwhelming majority of the congressmen. Between the feeling of contempt for activists who struggle to build struggles and the major political differences, the debate, lively and incisive, ended with the total rejection of these reformist positions.

We are at a strategic crossroads for the agricultural left which, with the acceleration of climate change, is faced with the imperatives of transforming agricultural systems and uncompromising power aligned with the positions of majority unionism. If this congress drew some outlines, it will be necessary in the years to come to build a force which comes to shake up the established powers.

Georges Claas (UCL Var)

To validate

[1]L'Atelier paysan, Taking back the land from machines - Manifesto for peasant and food autonomy , Seuil, 2021

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