The Commons

Since the implementation of the Forestry Master Plan (FMP) by the military government in 2014, the struggles of landless villagers, indigenous peoples, urban and rural poor, and frontline communities have often been met with violence in the form of physical attacks, killings, enforced disappearance, burning and destruction of houses and property, “mandatory attitude adjustment,” and the use of SLAPP[1] against activists and community members.

I have deep connection with the land. My maternal grandfather was a farmer of coffee and fruit who proudly cultivated his family farm. He woke up before the crack of dawn, ate his breakfast, and ventured out into the small coffee farm with his old but trusty sickle in hand. Later, he would come back with the day’s bounty. He would be tired by that time but a certain happiness engulfed him. This was his routine for the rest of his productive years.

Lahore, India—Twenty-three (23) male tenants from the village of Dera Sehghal, Muridkey city in Sheikupura district a tenant, have been in prison for a year now. Police have charged them with theft, robbery, and other heinous crimes, but these were false accusations made just to force them to vacate the land they had been cultivating as tenants since 1970.

By Analie Gepulani Neiteler*

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