Thursday, February 05, 2009

Declaration: World Social Forum

World Social Forum: We Won't Pay for the Crisis. The
Rich Must Pay!

Climate and Capitalism February 4, 2009

Declaration of the Assembly of Social Movements at the
World Social Forum 2009, Belem, Brazil.

We the social movements from all over the world came
together on the occasion of the 8th World Social Forum
in Belém, Amazonia, where the peoples have been
resisting attempts to usurp Nature, their lands and
their cultures. We are here in Latin America, where
over the last decade the social movements and the
indigenous movements have joined forces and radically
question the capitalist system from their cosmovision.
Over the last few years, in Latin America highly
radical social struggles have resulted in the overthrow
of neoliberal governments and the empowerment of
governments that have carried out many positive reforms
such as the nationalisation of core sectors of the
economy and democratic constitutional reforms.

In this context the social movements in Latin America
have responded appropriately, deciding to support the
positive measures adopted by these governments while
keeping a critical distance. These experiences will be
of help in order to strengthen the peoples' staunch
resistance against the policies of governments,
corporations and banks who shift the burden of the
crisis onto the oppressed. We the social movements of
the globe are currently facing a historic challenge.
The international capitalist crisis manifests itself as
detrimental to humankind in various ways: it affects
food, finance, the economy, climate, energy, population
migration  and civilisation itself, as there is also a
crisis in international order and political structures.

We are facing a global crisis which is a direct
consequence of the capitalist system and therefore
cannot find a solution within the system. All the
measures that have been taken so far to overcome the
crisis merely aim at socialising losses so as to ensure
the survival of a system based on privatising strategic
economic sectors, public services, natural and energy
resources and on the commoditisation of life and the
exploitation of labour and of nature as well as on the
transfer of resources from the Periphery to the Centre
and from workers to the capitalist class.

The present system is based on exploitation,
competition, promotion of individual private interests
to the detriment of the collective interest, and the
frenzied accumulation of wealth by a handful of rich
people. It results in bloody wars, fuels xenophobia,
racism and religious fundamentalisms; it intensifies
the exploitation of women and the criminalisation of
social movements. In the context of the present crisis
the rights of peoples are systematically denied. The
Israeli government's savage aggression against the
Palestinian people is a violation of International Law
and amounts to a war crime, a crime against humanity,
and a symbol of the denial of a people's rights that
can be observed in other parts of the world. The
shameful impunity must be stopped. The social movements
reassert their active support of the struggle of the
Palestinian people as well as of all actions against
oppression by peoples worldwide.

In order to overcome the crisis we have to grapple with
the root of the problem and progress as fast as
possible towards the construction of a radical
alternative that would do away with the capitalist
system and patriarchal domination. We must work towards
a society that meets social needs and respects nature's
rights as well as supporting democratic participation
in a context of full political freedom. We must see to
it that all international treaties on our indivisible
civic, political, economic, social and cultural rights,
both individual and collective, are implemented.

In this perspective we must contribute to the largest
possible popular mobilisation to enforce a number of
urgent measures such as:

* Nationalising the banking sector without
compensations and with full social monitoring,

* Reducing working time without any wage cut,

* Taking measures to ensure food and energy

* Stopping wars, withdraw occupation troops and
dismantle military foreign bases,

* Acknowledging the peoples' sovereignty and autonomy
ensuring their right to self-determination,

* Guaranteeing rights to land, territory, work,
education and health for all,

* Democratize access to means of communication and

The social emancipation process carried by the
feminist, environmentalist and socialist movements in
the 21st century aims at liberating society from
capitalist domination of the means of production,
communication and services, achieved by supporting
forms of ownership that favour the social interest:
small family freehold, public, cooperative, communal
and collective property.

Such an alternative will necessarily be feminist since
it is impossible to build a society based on social
justice and equality of rights when half of humankind
is oppressed and exploited.

Lastly, we commit ourselves to enriching the
construction of a society based on a life lived in
harmony with oneself, others and the world around ("el
buen vivir") by acknowledging the active participation
and contribution of the native peoples.

We, the social movements, are faced with a historic
opportunity to develop emancipatory initiatives on a
global scale. Only through the social struggle of the
masses can populations overcome the crisis. In order to
promote this struggle, it is essential to work on
consciousness-raising and mobilisation from the
grassroots. The challenge for the social movements is
to achieve a convergence of global mobilisation. It is
also to strengthen our ability to act by supporting the
convergence of all movements striving to withstand
oppression and exploitation.

We thus commit ourselves to:

* Launch a Global Week of Action against Capitalism and
War from March 28 to April 4, 2009 with: anti-G20
mobilisation on March 28, mobilisation against war and
crisis on March 30, a Day of Solidarity with the
Palestinian People to promote boycott, disinvestment
and sanctions against Israel on March 30, mobilisation
for the 60th Anniversary of NATO on April 4, etc.

* Increase occasions for mobilisation through the year:
March 8, International Women Day; April 17,
International Day for Food Sovereignty; May 1,
International Workers' Day; October 12, Global
Mobilisation of Struggle for Mother Earth, against
colonisation and commodification of life.

* Schedule an agenda of acts of resistance against the
G8 Summit in Sardinia, the Climate Summit in
Copenhagen, the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and
Tobago, etc.

Through such demands and initiatives we thus respond to
the crisis with radical and emancipatory solutions.


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