Reclaim the Fields is a constellation of people and collective projects willing to go back to the land and reassume the control over food production.
We are determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real needs oriented small scale production and initiatives, putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles.
- we organized several European camps attended by hundreds of enthusiasts,
- participated in global mobilisations with La Vía Campesina,
- took direct actions to fight for the land,
- and held assemblies from Sweden to Catalonia and Hungary.
A new definition of the word Peasant
Nowadays, there are people participating in Reclaim the Fields in Austria, Belgium, Catalonia, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Suecia, Switzerland and several active local groups have been created with their own agenda. We want to break frontiers between professional farmers and self-consummers around the joint idea of collective re-appropriation of food production. We try to link urban gardens with peasant farming, consumers-producers initiatives with land squatters, etc.
We like to think of Reclaim the Fields as a constellation, giving visibility to the wide range of our struggles, showing that each piece of land we manage to take back, each seed we produce, etc. proves our persistence and stubbornness to start experiencing here and now the changes we propose for the whole society. Talking about stars is actually an invitation to go touch the ground, go back to the land, and get organised to contribute to tomorrow's social changes.
At the last European meeting in February 2014 in Nikitsch/Austria we worked on the functioning of the RtF-constellation. This is what came out: We still understand RtF as an organizational constellation of stars which is in constant movement and process. Stars are persons, collectives or projects who/which share the RtFs values and relate themselves and their work to the RtF goals. The stars are organized and meet in local networks which are autonomous and have their own objectives. The local networks are the base of the RtF constellation since it is essential for RtF to work from the bottom up. Apart from the local networks, there are seven working groups (website, bulletin, translation, finance, propaganda, infokiosk and a group organizing the next meeting). And five thematic groups (seeds, farm network, gender, access to land and presentation of RtF).
- farm network, to build a European network for practical and political training
- seed exchange, to foment seed autonomy, biodivesity and fight against GMOs
- website, to create digital tools to get organized online and bring our voice to the Net
- carrots, to ensure continuity in our collective process
- farm collectives, to promote and reflect on new collective ways of living and struggling from the countryside
On the European level there are three different kinds of meetings:
Functional meetings once a year during winter time. The objective is to get feedback from the working groups, plan the camp, get news from the local networks and have an exchange about what is happening in the different local contexts.
Thematic meetings take place whenever people/local networks/working groups organize one. The idea is to work on specific topics. This can be for example a discussion of concepts, an exchange on agricultural techniques and knowledge or the support of a local struggle.
European camps take place in summer and are bigger and take longer than the other meetings. The objective is to make RtF grow by „going to new places“, support local struggles and share skills, knowledge and ideas. The last two camps took place in Rosia Montana/Romania in 2011 and in Manheim/Germany in 2013.