World Social Forum in Nairobi

African struggles, global struggles

Declaration of the Assembly of Social Movements

18 February 2007 by Assembly of Social Movements


Chaired by Trevor Ngwane (South Africa) and Wahu Kaara(Kenya)

The opening declaration of the assembly (below) was read by Wahu Kaara (Kenya organising committee of the WSF)

We, social movements from across Africa and across the world, have come together here in Nairobi at the 2007 World Social Forum to highlight and celebrate Africa and her social movements; Africa and her unbroken history of struggle against foreign domination, colonialism and neo-colonialism; Africa and her contributions to humanity; Africa and her role in the quest for another world.

We are here to celebrate and reaffirm the spirit of the World Social Forum as a space of struggle and solidarity which is open to all people and social movements regardless of their ability to pay.

We denounce tendencies towards commercialisation, privatisation and militarisation of the WSF space. Hundreds of our sisters and brothers who welcomed us to Nairobi have been excluded because of high costs of participation.

We are also deeply concerned about the presence of organisations working against the rights of women, marginalised people, and against sexual rights and diversity, in contradiction to the WSF Charter of Principles.

The Assembly of Social Movements has created a platform for Kenyans and other Africans from different backgrounds and communities to present their struggles, alternatives, cultures, talents and skills. It is also a space for civil society organisations and social movements to interact and share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. the issues and problems affecting them.

Since the first assembly in 2001, we have contributed to building and strengthening successful international networks of civil societies and social movements and reinforced our spirit of solidarity and our struggles against all forms of oppression and domination.

[We recognise that the diversity of movements and popular initiatives against neo-liberalism, world hegemony of capitalism and imperial wars, is an expression of a world resistance.]

[We have now to move towards a phase of effective alternatives. Many local initiatives are already existing and should be expanded: what is happening in Latin America and other parts of the world — thanks to the joint action of social movements — shows the way to establish concrete alternatives to world capitalist domination.]

As social movements from all five continents gathering in Nairobi, we express our solidarity with the social movements in Latin America whose persistent and continuing struggle has led to electoral victories for the Left in several countries.

[Additional text proposed by Samir Amin, and accepted by the assembly]

ACTIONS
We are calling for a broad international mobilisation against the G8 G8 Group composed of the most powerful countries of the planet: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA, with Russia a full member since June 2002. Their heads of state meet annually, usually in June or July. in Rostock and Heiligendamm (Germany) 2-8 June 2007.
We will mobilise in our communities and movements for an International Day of Action in 2008.

The declaration was accepted with acclamation

ADDITIONAL DAYS OF ACTION PROPOSED TO, AND SUPPORTED BY,
THE ASSEMBLY OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

LGTB
June 2007: Support the mobilisations for the respect of sexual diversity to make real the slogan “In a diverse world, equality is first” which will take place in June 2007 and 2008.

DEBT
14-21 October 2007: A Global Week of Action against debt (15 October - 20th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara; 16 October - World Food Day 17 October - International Day to Eradicate Poverty; 20 October - World Youth Day; 19-21 October - IMF IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.

When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.

As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).

The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.

http://imf.org
-WB World Bank
WB
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

Annual meetings)

WAR AND OCCUPATION
February 24: No Trident, Troops out of Iraq Demo, London, UK (Contact: campaigns(at)cnduk.org; office(at)stopwar.org.uk)

5-9 March 2007 : International Conference for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, Quito/Manta, Ecuador, (Contact: nobases(at)yahoo.com)

17-20 March: Global Days of Action against Occupation of Iraq

29 March - 1 April 2007: Fifth Cairo Conference,E Cairo, Egypt (Contact: office(at)stopwar.org.uk/02072786694)

2 June 2007: G8 Protests, Rostock, Germany, call for all anti-war coalitions to put anti-war effort in the centre of the protest against the G8

15 May 2007: Global Protests marking the Palestine Nakbah

7-9 June: Global Days of Action to protest 40th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine Territories

29 November 2007: Call for Solidarity Activities with Palestine (global)

May 2008: “Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War” 2008, Tokyo, Japan
(Contact: article-9(at)peaceboat.gr.jp)

PALESTINE
9-10 June 2007: Global days of action to mark the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights, under the banner “The world says no to Israeli Occupation”

15 May 2007: Global day of action to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian nakbah (catastrophe) and calling for the implementation of resolution 194 which calls for the right of the Palestinian people to return to their land.

WATER
18-20 March, 2007 - March 2009: Gather at the World Assembly of Citizens and Elected Officials in the European Parliament in Brussels, to demand that governments implement the right to water before the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which is 10 December 2008. From this point, via the global action month, Blue October, and other mobilisations, we will challenge the illegitimate World Water Forum, Istanbul March 2009.

CLIMATE CHANGE
8 December, 2007: International Day of Action on Climate Change

HOUSING
October 2007: Launch of the worldwide campaign on “zero evictions” .
18 May, 2007: commemorating the anniversary of the Mugabe government’s eviction offensive in Zimbabwe.

HAITI
14 August 2007: Social forum in solidarity with Haiti.

MILITARY BASES
17 February, 2007: March and mobilisation in Italy against the enlargement of the Vicenza US military base.

MIGRATION
7 October, 2007: Day of action for the rights of migrants and the free movement of peoples in commemoration of the tragedies of Cueta and Mellila.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS...

>From the Peoples Parliament, Kenya
“For many of us this is the first WSF. What I like about the WSF is that it brings the world to me as a Kenyan poor person: not only the world but the best of the world. In this room, I have met people who believe in the same things as the Peoples Parliament and people who are courageous enough to believe that a better world is possible. I am concerned that there are many Kenyans have not been able to attend the WSF. We have had to come every single morning to get those doors open so that ordinary Kenyan citizens can attend the WSF. We believe the WSF is a conversation by, between, and amongst people. It is not fair that 90 per cent of the people in the rooms are not Kenyans. That is not just. We have fought day after day after day to get in. But we are not just fighting to get in: we are fighting to be recognized because we are people too.”

>From No Vox, Global
“At the next forum we want the”have not“movements to be represented and to be involved in the construction of the forum from the beginning. We cannot reproduce in our own space that things that we struggle against.”

>From the Labour and Globalisation Assembly
“The proposal from the Labour and Globalisation Assembly is to create a permanent international network jointly with trade unions, social movements, researchers and research centres in order to strengthen our work on issues related to work, culture and workers’ rights in face of neoliberal globalisation’s attack.”

>From Danny Glover, TransAfrica/actor, USA
“We have to allow the movement of people on the ground — whether they are women or artisans or labourers — to be the clarion call of what is to be done. We have to support and encourage that effort. You are the embodiment of that effort right now: your voice, your vision, is primary in what needs to be done to stop and defeat the policies of oppression, the policies which keep us apart, and keep us from telling the truth about out own existence. You are the essence of that. Amandla!”

>From the Latin American and Caribbean Social Movements
“... in the words of the Angolan poet Antonio Netto, to construct this new world it is not enough that our cause is just and pure: purity and justice should exist within us. More than words, the fight to transform humanity needs actions that will bring together our hearts and our consciousness. Unfortunately this is not what we saw at this social forum. Because many Kenyan organisations were unable to participate because of logistical and economic reasons within their country.”

>From the indigenous forums of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Via Campesina, OCLAE
“... we are asking to the movements and to leaders and personalities to launch together the candidacy of Evo Morales for the Nobel prize.”

>From the Africa Water Network
“We celebrate the launch of the new African Water Network, supported by activists from more than 40 African countries, plus social movements from around the world. This new network is committed to work against the privatisation of water and joins other strong regional water networks, like Red Vida in the Americas.”

>From the Climate Justice Strategy Group
“Climate change is an issue of global justice. The only solution is structural change to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels. We reject carbon trading Market activities
trading
Buying and selling of financial instruments such as shares, futures, derivatives, options, and warrants conducted in the hope of making a short-term profit.
via free market fraud that commodifies and further destroys land, water and air.”

List of speakers and written proposals

1.Samir Amin, World Forum on Alternatives, Egypt
2.Marcy Kadenyeka, Kibera Peoples Settlement Network, Kenya
3.Luseni Kamara, trade unions, Republic of Guinea
4.Wangui Mbatia, Peoples Parliament, Kenya
5.Rose, Grass Roots Global Justice, USA
6.Phumi Mtetwa, LGTB South-South Dialogue
7.Salif Segou, RMDD and Jubilee South, Niger
8.No Vox, representing the “have nots” in all parts of the world: homeless, jobless, nameless, sans papiers, stateless
9.Sam Farai Monro, Uhuru Network, Zimbabwe
10.Camille Chalmers, PAPDA, Jubilee South, Haiti
11.Alessandra Mecozzi, FIOM/CGIL Italy, Labour and Globalisation Assembly
12.Hassan Sunmonu, Organisation for African Trade Union Unity
13.Danny Glover, TransAfrica Forum, actor, USA
14.George Martin, United for Peace and Justice, USA and Anti-war Assembly
15.Sidiki Daff, President of the People’s Research Centre for City Action (CERPAC), Senegal, African coordinator, International Alliance of Habitants
16.Antonio Carlos Spis, CUT, Brazil, for the Latin American and Caribbean social movements
17.Paul Kimba, Kenya
18.Rubens Diniz, Latin American and Caribbean Continental Student Organization (OCLAE)
19.Al-hassan Adam, The National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water, Ghana
20.Ruth Thomas Pellicer for the Climate Justice Strategy Group (Greenway International, France; etc group; Durban Group for Climate Justice; ECO PAX MUNDI, Kenya/UK; Tamilnadu Environment Council)
21.Jennifer, health movement, Kenya
22.Luciano Resende and Jessica Braitwaithe, International Youth and Student Forum and OCLAE
23.Jamal Juma’, Palestine delegation to the WSF, Stop the Wall (and also speaking for three other Palestinian speakers who graciously gave their slot to Jamal in the interests of time
24.Immacula, Haiti solidarity movement:
25.Mondli Hlatshwayo, Social Movements Indaba, South Africa:
26.Fatimetsu, Coordination of the Saharawi Social Forum
27.Nicola Delussu, No Bases, Italia
28.Maria Olivia Sant’ana, Brasil
29.Okinawa law student
30.Trevor Ngwane, Anti-privatisation Forum South Africa
31.Sally Burch, ALAI, for the Global Campaign for Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS)
32.PhilipThornhill, Global Climate Campaign, Campaign against Climate Change, Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth International:
33.On Migration (no name)
34.Hajja Fatma Abeyd, Kenya Anti-Rape Movement
35.Azril Bacal, Paulo Friere Institute, Brazil
36.Basic Income Grant ( Proposed: Claudia Haarma, seconded: Keith Vermeulen)
37.Invitation to the G8, Dorothea Haerlin and John Holloway
38.Transnational Unity in the Struggle for Migrant Workers Rights, Boston Delegation to the World Social Forum 2007
39.Declaration sur la dette, Forum social de Nairobi, Kenya.



This report was compiled by Nicola Bullard Focus on the global south from an audio recording and written proposals. Please accept her apologies for any mistakes, misspelt names and so on. Please send all your corrections to her: n.bullard@focusweb.org. Thanks to Nicola.

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