Assert our right to land, exercise our right to resist! resist corporate landgrabs and imperialist aggression!

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PCFS | 16 March 2024

DOTL 2024: Assert our right to land, exercise our right to resist! resist corporate landgrabs and imperialist aggression!

The worsening food crisis is generating greater resistance to defending the right to land. Rural people across the world are resisting imperialism – the world’s biggest landgrabber.

Imperialism is moving to sustain its domination over our lands and food systems. The prevailing neoliberal food systems are not designed to meet global food needs and provide livable incomes for the rural poor. World hunger figures are glaring: three out of every 10 in the world are moderately to severely food insecure, with famine knocking at the door.

Monopoly corporations are dominating agriculture, the top land use that takes up 45% of the world’s habitable land. Majority of the 2,900 documented transnational land deals clinched in the past two decades – covering 107.64 million hectares – are agricultural investments for monocrops, which account almost half of the total covering more than 28 million hectares. A third of these deals are for non-food agricultural commodities and biomass for biofuels, taking up 20.8 million hectares of land. More than 70% of all deals are clinched in the Global South.

Land use conversion has become rampant, especially in Africa, to accommodate these transnational investments that notoriously displace rural and Indigenous communities in the Global South. Agricultural expansion, which already caused 80% of forest clearance from 2000 to 2010 and a net loss of 47 million hectares in the past decade despite global efforts to save our forests, is expected to take up more land by converting global forests and shrublands that currently cover 51% of the world’s habitable land. 

Now, with the climate emergency gaining global attention, imperialist powers and their corporations are taking advantage of the crisis to grab more lands and extract profit. They are placing themselves as the primary movers of climate action and food systems transformation while villainizing the ordinary folk for their greenhouse gas emissions, no matter how trivial on the global scale. Ironically, they are responsible for agriculture’s quarter share of global greenhouse gas emissions. The G7 alone – which are among the top 20 land superpowers – are the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, accounting for almost a third of the more than 80% cumulatively emitted by G20 from the global total.

International finance institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, are joining the climate bandwagon as part of the biggest scam of the decade – the “acceleration” of the Sustainable Development Goals by the 2030 target, hatched to secure corporate profit amid global crises. Land use financing is being pushed in the upcoming May World Bank Land Conference to sugarcoat land tenure security with climate action. This will drive more landgrab investments in developing countries and oblige their governments to fully open their markets and pour in public funds in support of corporate-led climate solutions.

Local bureaucrats and elites are also complicit in this imperialist maneuver to take over our lands, relaxing their land policies to allow greater foreign control. These reforms are happening in Africa, LAC, and most especially Asia, headlined by the authoritarian regimes of Cambodia and Indonesia.

The result of these landgrabs is the massive land dispossession and poverty among the rural people, and they are forced to migrate to urban areas for employment or sell their labor to the corporations that have grabbed their lands. Agricultural workers now account for more than a quarter of the 4 billion people relying on agriculture for livelihood, which is half of the global population. The majority are in Asia – at 695 million – but the 250 million agricultural workers in Africa account for more than 50% of their total employment. Agricultural workers are among the most exploited labor sectors, marked by depressed wages, precarity, and hazardous working conditions. The ILO estimates that corporate agriculture is killing at least 170,000 agricultural workers yearly.

Imperialist aggression takes the cake in the deadliest and most destructive means to brazenly grab lands. The US-backed Israel occupation of the Palestinian land is a showcase of the extent imperialists and colonizers will take for the incursion of our lands and territories – the wipeout of an entire race. The Arab region is on the brink of famine as the US-Israel genocidal war intensifies in Gaza and spreads out in neighboring countries. 

Asia is also at risk, as the US is provoking geopolitical tensions with China through its Indo-Pacific strategy. Rural bombings are also escalating in countries where militarism is on the rise, particularly in Burma, India, and the Philippines.

The global hunger and landlessness situation may be grim, but we take inspiration from rural people’s movements across the globe who have been resolute in asserting their right to land as defined by historical justice and self-determination, beyond the confines of property rights and land titles. 

Neoliberal policies enabling landgrabs are facing backlash worldwide. Farmers and farm unions in India are back in the streets; they are marching to New Delhi to demand higher prices for their produce, inspired by the historical protest that repealed the Three Farm Laws in 2021. Across Europe, farmers groups are hounding the European parliament against the EU’s Green Deal that will restrict their livelihoods and incomes. Filipino peasants are at the forefront of the fight against charter change, which would allow 100% foreign ownership of land among other anti-people reforms. 

Imperialist wars and state repression are also defied, as we have seen in the continuing Palestinian resistance and the growing global solidarity against the US-Israel genocidal war. Likewise, the people and ethnic groups of Burma are advancing their resistance against the three-year military junta. Farmers protests have also taken place across Latin America, and they have persisted despite the deadly suppression.

In many countries such as Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe, the landless have occupied disputed lands as an act of resistance and assertion of land rights. They militantly stand their ground to challenge unjust land laws and urge for genuine agrarian reform. Many movements in Asia and Africa have also integrated agroecology in the course of defending or reclaiming their lands, in turn healing the damages caused by corporate control and safeguarding our planet.

Asserting our right to land is exercising our right to resist, and we do so in all its forms to break the chains of imperialism – including its neoliberal reforms and aggression – that bleed our land and food systems dry of profit and blood.

As such, we are marking this year’s Day of the Landless with the call “Assert our right to land, exercise our right to resist!”

The Day of the Landless was originally coined by the Asian Peasant Coalition in 2015, marking its founding anniversary. The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty has adopted DOTL in 2018 as an annual global action to give spotlight on the issue of global landlessness and highlight the land struggles of rural peoples in the Global South.


  • Expose and oppose the role of imperialism in grabbing and destroying our lands.
    • Hold the IMF-WB accountable for facilitating landgrabs and aggravating the global food crisis. Condemn the upcoming WB Land Conference and reiterate the call to shut down the IMF-WB.
    • Stand against imperialist aggression. Highlight the people’s resistance against imperialist wars and militarism, especially Palestinian struggle against the US-Israel genocide and occupation.
    • Concretize the links of local/national land struggles with imperialism and the imperative of asserting the right to land in upholding justice and realizing people’s food sovereignty.
  • Heighten the struggle for land rights. Unmask the deception and dangers of imperialist schemes behind today’s neoliberal food systems transformation such as land use financing, neoliberal land tenure, and corporate-led climate solutions.
  • Celebrate the different ways rural people’s movements defend and assert land rights as an exercise of their right to resist. Build solidarity, support their actions, and amplify their calls.
  • Launch widespread educational discussions in rural communities and the general public on these issues and the value of militant struggles in defense and assertion of people’s right to land.



This year’s DOTL campaign is designed to extend until May, in time for the World Bank Land Conference (13-17 May 2024) and Palestine’s Day of Return (15 May). May is also the ILPS Global Month of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

JOIN THE GLOBAL DAYS OF ACTION. Express our assertion for people’s right to land and solidarity with the landless people worldwide on-ground and online on the following dates:

  • March 29: Day of the Landless – Organize decentralized mass actions/mobilizations at the community and/or country level to highlight different land struggles of rural people across the globe.
  • March 30: Palestine Land Day – Show our global solidarity for Palestine, giving emphasis to their resistance, through local actions and social media postings.
  • April 22: Earth Day – Join the global action and protest against corporate-led climate solutions. Highlight how local land struggles promote genuine and people-led sustainability.
  • May 1: International Workers’ Day – Join the May Day rallies and spotlight the plight and demands of agricultural workers.
  • May 13: Speakout for the Landless – Reject the upcoming WB Land Conference and its false solutions through local mass action/mobilizations. Join the hybrid speakout.
  • May 15: Palestinian Day of Return – Hold solidarity actions on-ground and online. Echo the call to recognize the Palestinian right of return.

Hold community-level/local buildup actions particularly in the week leading to the global days of action.


PARTICIPATE IN LANDLESS VOICES, a series of consultative forums where rural peoples organizations can share about their land issues and struggles amid the global food crisis. The outcomes of the forum series will be shared in the May 13 Speakout of the Landless and will be used in the creation of the Rural People’s Agenda as part of the community consultations of the Global People’s Caravan for Food, Land, and Climate Justice.

Thematic sessions:

  • Land struggles vs imperialist-backed wars, aggression, and occupation (March 21)
  • Land struggles vs international finance institutions (April 12)
  • Land and agricultural workers (April 25)
  • Land and resistance (May 6)

Sign up to join:


SIGN UP IN OUR WEBINARS, which aim to raise the people’s political understanding of how imperialism and its agents are generating global landlessness and its link with local land struggles, and the merit of people’s resistance and solidarity in its various forms in fighting for people’s right to land and food sovereignty. 

  • From Landgrabs to Cash Grabs: Exposing the IMF-WB’s role in enabling landgrabs (April 18) | Register to join: 
  • Peasants Rise Up: The Palestinian Resistance and Right of Return (May 15)

REGISTER YOUR EVENT. Share with us your local activities and actions in contribution to this year’s DOTL commemoration. Please email the details to [email protected] to be included in the lineup of the 2024 DOTL activities.

SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY. Amplify the calls of rural people’s movements and show support for each other’s campaigns. Post them on social media with the hashtag #DayOfTheLandless and #OurLandOurResistance so that we could also share.

This year’s DOTL is organized by the Asian Peasant Coalition, People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty, Int’l Indigenous People’s Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation, and PAN Asia Pacific. The campaign is also part of the Global People’s Caravan for Food, Land, and Climate Justice and the Silenced Suffering. ###

  •   PCFS
  • 16 Mar 2024
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