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Oxfam supporter’s song calls for action on land grabs

by Oxfam | November 29, 2012

“Oxfam warns of spiraling land grabs in developing countries.”
“Land acquired over past decade could have produced food for a billion people”
“'Land grabs' leave people hungry and homeless says Oxfam”

These are some of the headlines that inspired “Dear JimOpens a new window”, a folk song addressed to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, by Ottawa musician and Oxfam supporter Jake Holton. 

Jake was moved by Oxfam’s global campaign to stop land grabs. The campaign asks the World Bank to set an example to investors by putting a six-month freeze on all large-scale agricultural land acquisitions.

Big land deals are happening on a staggering scale. Poor communities often lose the land they rely on to feed their families and make a living. Communities are being kicked off their land, sometimes violently, without consultation or compensation. 

In Canada, we turned to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Canada’s governor at the World Bank, as someone who has the power to make our voices heard. Jake turned his guitar in the same direction, hoping to catch the Minister’s ear.

You can check out Jake’s song on YouTube, calling on Canada’s Finance Minister to take action at the World Bank in support of a six-month freeze on large-scale land acquisitions. You can also read the lyrics to the song below. 

Join Jake and thousands of others across Canada, asking the Minister to stand up at the World Bank spring meetings and help to implement a freeze.

Kelly Bowden
Oxfam Canada


Dear Jim Lyrics

Dear Jim 
This is out of control
Land grabs all over the world
And it’s taking its toll

Dear Jim 
We lost entire communities
With no opportunity
To protect their homes

And as the land sits idle
And the speculators speculate
This is greed unbridled
But it’s never too late to change 

Dear Jim 
Here’s a proposition
Acting through institutions
For a real solution

To begin
Let’s enact a policy
For a temporary freeze
On investments involving these
Types of land grabs

Because the cold reality
Is it affects the poor and hungry
And the women and children
Who have no protection
Against large scale acquisitions like these
Types of land grabs

Dear Jim
As the representative
To the World Bank 
For Canadians like me
It is you who can voice my concerns
Maybe we will see some real returns
And improve land security

And as the land sits idle
And the speculators speculate
This is greed unbridled
But it’s never too late to change 


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