Five sites of struggle and potential transformation

US' land and food nexus
21 October 2014
Report

Corporate control of the food system in the US continues to undermine the livelihoods of farmers, farmworkers, fisherpeople, communities of color, and indigenous peoples in the US, but there are also increasing examples of community-based resistance, grassroots solidarity, and broad-based alliances that are resisting the corporate takeover.

In the face of such momentous challenges, the capacity of local, regional, and community-based movements to create systemic change depends on their ability to link their respective struggles while at the same time confronting and resolving the historical, cultural, and strategic differences among them. While these differences are many, a number of crosscutting issues can be identified that help us to make sense of 1) the rapid transformations underway in our nation’s land and resource base, and 2) the ways in which communities have organized themselves to confront these threats. While numerous issues intersect with the question of land, here we identify five strategic “nexuses” to help us understand how land converges with historically embedded power relations in the United States:

  • The Land-Labor Nexus
  • The Land-Race Nexus
  • The Land-Finance Nexus
  • The Land-Water Nexus
  • The Land-Climate Nexus

While each nexus represents an area of capital expansion, growing crisis, and deepening inequality, it also embodies a key site of intensifying resistance and potential for systemic change.

This is the seventh brief in the Land & Sovereignty in the Americas series, co-published by Food First and the Transnational Institute.

About the series:

The Land & Sovereignty in the Americas series pulls together research and analysis from activists and scholars working to understand and halt the alarming trend in “land grabbing”—from rural Brazil and Central America to US cities like Oakland and Detroit—and to support rural and urban communities in their efforts to protect their lands as the basis for self-determination, food justice and food sovereignty. The series—which includes short issue briefs and books—is a project of the Land & Sovereignty in the Americas (LSA) activist-researcher collective, coordinated by Food First. For media inquiries about this series, or to arrange an interview with an author, please contact land@foodfirst.org.