‘We Are Farmers. We Are Not Terrorists’

A Q&A with a Filipino activist leading the fight for the rights of peasant farmers in their homeland

A crowd of protesters holding vertical red flags and carrying a large banner with Tagalog writing.
Photo from a 2015 KMP demonstration, before Duterte took office. Duterte campaigned on the populist promise of redistribution, but since taking office in 2016, not only has he failed to deliver that land, he has cracked down on those who dare to fight for it. Photo: Pacific Press contributor/Getty Images

Since Duterte came to power, there have been 288 documented killings of peasants, farmworkers, and fisherfolk related to land dispute cases and advocacy for agrarian reform, including 87 farmers since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A screenshot of the text message hitlist sent to Karapatan.
A screenshot of the text message hitlist sent to Karapatan.
A screenshot of the text message hitlist sent to Karapatan.

We are farmers. We are not terrorists. We produce food. So that’s why one of our important demands is to stop killing farmers. Stop killing peasants who feed the nation.

Posters in Manila accusing KMP of being a terrorist front and deceiving peasants.
Posters in Manila accusing KMP of being a terrorist front and deceiving peasants.
Posters in Manila accusing KMP of being a terrorist front and deceiving peasants. Photo courtesy of KMP

So that’s why we request the American people to post our position paper and our demands, and also the photos of victims. We believe that your support is very important. Your support is very vital to our call for land, food, and justice.

Heated editor, writer, chief $$$ officer, serial food-salter

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