Food Sovereignty, Global Warming and Resisting Militarism
Saturday, May 16th 2015
From Delphi Lodge to Louisburgh, Co. Mayo.
Registration from 12.45pm; Walk beginning at 1.30pm
Walk Leaders: Abjata Khalif (Kenya), Maitet Ledesma (Philippines) and Sharon Staples (Wales)
Music: RoJ Whelan
Please park cars in Louisburgh: no parking available at Delphi Lodge – a shuttle bus will be provided.
Many themes have been explored in the Famine Walk over the past 27 years. The Philippines was the focus of the first ever famine walk as Niall O’Brien, recently released from prison, outlined the experience of living under the Marcos military dictatorship. Significantly, the Philippines is again a focus of this year’s walk as Maitet Ledesma updates us on the current situation there, with particular reference to the devastating impacts of militarism and global warming.
The issue of food and famine has always been a central theme of the walk, as it is this year. As nations continue to turn to war as a first resort, in many cases, food security is further threatened, global warming is intensified and corporate control of food is extended, despite the fact that small-scale producers remain the mainstay of global food supplies. Food sovereignty is the common ground on which the realities and hopes of many of these small producers meet.
Conflicts are raging in many places throughout the planet – fed largely by the military/corporate nexus in its insatiable appetite for expansion and exploitation. The unremitting aggression of Western capitalist greed has led to growing anger and resentment in many parts of the world, leading to violence which is met by further violence and to the development and deployment of ever more cruel and inhumane weaponry, a burgeoning growth in what is euphemistically titled the ‘security industry’.
Then, out of the darkness a light shines! Chelsea Manning sees from the inside the horror of war and the extent of the lies used to justify it, and, taking her courage in her hands, exposes the truth to the world. For her troubles she is called a traitor and given a sentence of 35 years in prison. Chelsea’s courage has now won her a committed solidarity group here in Ireland. We are delighted that Chelsea’s aunt, Sharon, will be one of the leaders of this year’s Famine Walk.
Abjata Khalif is well acquainted with conflict, global warming and food insecurity on the borders of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. He also knows about conflict resolution, about tackling global warming and about empowering people to resist, to build community and to work together in solidarity. Abjata has used the experience of surviving a massacre as a child in his village as motivation for his life’s work of building peace, promoting development, supporting food sovereignty and resolving conflict. He too will be among our walk leaders this year in Doolough.
Please help Afri to continue its work by getting sponsorship and taking part in this walk. We are asking each participant to raise at least €20 in sponsorship to ensure that Afri can continue its important work.
Please assemble in Louisburgh for registration at 12.45pm. Shuttle buses will bring walkers to start point from 1.30pm. A brief ceremony (2 minutes) will take place at the Famine Memorial in Delphi Lodge before walkers return to Louisburgh. Please note there is no parking available at Delphi Lodge. The walk is approximately 11 miles and a shuttle car will be available along the route if needed.
Tea/coffee (no food) will be provided at a halfway point along the way. There will also be toilet facilities at the halfway point as well as along the lake.
IN THE INTEREST OF HEALTH AND SAFETY, PLEASE WALK ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD FOR THE DURATION OF THE WALK.
Gather in Teach na nÓl, Louisburgh, for ceol agus craic with RoJ Whelan and the ‘Manning Street Preachers’ on Saturday night from 9pm.
Afri gratefully acknowledges the support of Irish Aid, Trócaire and Concern.