25 September 2021 > 26 September 2021


CADTM University 2021: Global Crisis, Debt Cancellation for Social Justice!

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and its aggravating effect on the multidimensional crisis congenital to capitalism, the same destructive policies are still being imposed: the rich continue to capture ever greater parts of the World’s wealth at the expense of the environment and of the poorest sectors of the World’s populations. Yet there are clear and easy alternative choices that may be made! Prominent among them: debt cancellation for more social justice!

To get a closer look at the various issues raised by the current situation and in collaboration with several collectives and at various venues, the CADTM organizes its annual summer university in an adapted and interesting new format!

Three of our meetings will take place on line and others face-to-face. Thus, not only will they be accessible to the largest possible public but they will, at the same time, bring together struggles, from the smallest to the biggest, from all over the globe to exchange and share experiences. For the CADTM, it is essential to revitalize the initiative that started at Seattle in 1999, to re-launch an alter-globalization movement on a solid international solidarity basis, and to ring out loud and clear: “the world is not for sale, our lives are worth more than their profits.”

Due to a resurgence of contaminations linked to Covid in Liege, and to the new sanitary measures announced and applied by the city of Liege as of Wednesday, September 22, 2021, we regret to inform you of the cancellation of the CADTM University which should have taken place this weekend in the premises of the Auberge Simenon.

The health situation, which has a strong impact on the number of registrations, does not allow us to organize the CADTM University in good conditions, both for the participants and for the speakers.

As a consequence, the workshops and conferences initially planned will be postponed in the coming weeks, activities that we will hold mostly online.

Practical information

Dates: from Tuesday 14 to Sunday 26 September

- 3 webinars from 14 to 23 September
- At Auberge Simenon (Rue Georges Simenon 2, 4020 Liège, Belgium) on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 September

To reach Auberge Simenon on foot or bike from Guillemins railway station (about 3 km), go straight in front of the station, towards the Meuse, cross on the elegant footbridge called La Belle Liègeoise, turn left but on the right side of Palais des Congrès, take the underpass under the crossroad, then foot and cycle path on the right bank of the river as far as another footbridge, turn right along boulevard Saucy, cross a round-about and continue straight on along place de l’Yser to Auberge Simenon.

Meals: Vegan breakfasts and lunches are included.

Accommodation: Rooms are located at Auberge Simenon.

Fees: Limited income: €10 / General admission: €30 / Extra support: from €50

Languages: French, English and Spanish interpretation will be provided for all the webinars and a number of face-to-face workshops.

If you have questions or comments contact us by email at info[at]cadtm.org
Car sharing
If participants wish to organize car sharing from Brussels, Paris or any other place, they can use this self-managed Framapad: https://bimestriel.framapad.org/p/covoiturage-9iq8?lang=fr


Times are CET (Brussels, Paris…). To find out times in other zones, check here
Tuesday 14 September, 6.30-8.30 p.m.- Your debt or your life: a feminist approach to the multidimensional crisis
With Silvia Federici and Verónica Gago

Silvia Federici, an Italian-American scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist and anarchist tradition. She is one of the leading figures in anti-capitalist feminism. Witha long history of activism and critical examination of the capitalist globalization process and its impact on the environment, from the wages for housework campaign in New York in the early 1970s to her struggle against structural adjustment policies in Africa.

Verónica Gago is a Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and at the {Universidad Nacional de San Martín} (Unsam), she is also a researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) of Argentina. A feminist activist of the Collective “Ni una menos” Argentina, she is a cornerstone reference to understand the issue of debt and finance in a feminist perspective.
The increase in public and private debt has direct consequences on households’ resources and women’s lives. It is most often the women who take on the responsibilities for social reproduction and are often pressured into debt to feed and support their families, to find shelter, to get access to health care and education, etc. When crises occur, women lose their means to repay their debts. Debt also prevents women from escaping situations of domestic violence. This is how gender oppression combines with financial extortion. Since debt is a tool that reinforces capitalism, it also strengthens patriarchy: women are burdened with more and more tasks that ought to be covered by public services. Seeing how debt, capitalism and patriarchy combine to the same end, proposals put forward by feminist movements are essential to build alternatives and put the sustainability of well-being before the sustainability of markets.
Thursday 16 September, 6.30-8.30 p.m. - What solutions for the countries of the South crushed by the burden of the debt?
With Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky (Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights from 2014 to 2020), Ndongo Samba Sylla (Senegalese economist, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Dakar and Collective for The Renewal of Africa (CORA)), Iolanda Fresnillo (Eurodad) and Omar Aziki (Attac/CADTM Morocco)
While many countries of the South were already facing difficulties in 2015, the severe consequences of the CoViD-19 pandemic have aggravated their debt situation. Over a third of them are on the verge of defaulting or have already suspended payment on all or part of their debt. Since March 2020, international institutions have repeated declarations of intent without really taking the measure of the current crisis. Faced with the distress of the populations, it is urgent to act for the cancellation of the debt of the countries of the South! But how? Through restructuring or suspension? Through cancellation or repudiation? Through an audit or an international device under the aegis of the UN? Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky will present the solutions put forward by UNCTAD UNCTAD
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
This was established in 1964, after pressure from the developing countries, to offset the GATT effects.

. Ndongo Samba Sylla will explain the specific constraints relating to debts on countries of the South. Iolanda Fresnillo and Omar Aziki will develop the recommendations of their respective networks.
Thursday 23 September, 6.30-8.30 p.m. – Should debts held by the ECB be cancelled?
With Renaud Lambert (Monde Diplomatique), Benjamin Lemoine (researcher with the CNRS and author of L’ordre de la dette. Enquête sur les infortunes de l’État et la prospérité des marchés), Éric Toussaint (spokesperson for CADTM International), Aline Farès (author of Chroniques d’une ex-banquière) and Eva Betavatzi (member of CADTM Belgium).
In February 2021, the question of what to do with the €2,500 billion of sovereign debt held by the European Central Bank was all over the media. On 5 February, 150 economists from 13 European countries published an op-ed calling for the cancellation of those debts. Three weeks later, in another op-ed, 80 economists called for another solution. Meanwhile, as expected, the president of the ECB Christine Lagarde stated that cancelling this debt ran against the EU treaties and could not therefore be considered. So, for or against? Would it be a mere temporary relief or a real political lever?

Programme with in person participation

Saturday 25 September
9.30-10 a.m. - Registration
10-12 - Opening plenary
12-1.30 - Lunch at Auberge Simenon
1.30-3.30 p.m. - Pedagogical game: the Time Line
With César Chantraine and Romain Possocco, CADTM Belgium
IMF, World Bank, structural adjustment policies, 1980 debt crisis, HIPC initiative, united front against the debt – what is it all about? Why is the Third World in so much Debt? The ideal workshop to understand the ‘debt system’.
1.30-3.30 - Belgium’s claims on countries of the South
With Renaud Vivien (Entraide et Fraternité) and Anaïs Carton (CADTM Belgium)
Whatever it costs, let’s cancel the debts owed by countries of the South to Belgian banks! The part of private creditors in the total debt of countries of the South has steeply increased over the last decade. But this trend has a cost for countries of the South that become more subjected to market volatility and are exposed to sharp increases in interest rates. So far no financial institution has made the slightest gesture to relieve their debt. Yet six financial institutions that are active in Belgium, including four with their head offices in Belgium, play a major part in the indebtedness of countries of the South. What are those institutions? On what countries do they have claims? How could they be goaded to alleviate debts? The objective of this workshop is to determine private creditors’ responsibility in the indebtedness of countries of the South, but also to prompt suggestions for actions against the banks.
3.30-4 - Tea and coffee break
4-6 - Sharing experiences about current struggles: what solidarity responses?
With Travail social en lutte, La santé en lutte, METAL, Still standing for Culture, Écoles en lutte, Cortèges de braise
Political choices in the management of the economic crisis related to the health crisis have led to a deterioration of living and working conditions for many. As a consequence the past year has seen the creation or the boosting of various groups and collectives ‘in struggle’ (social work, health care, housing, education,...) and of other social movement (BLM, Braises,…). We wish to share our experiences on how we organize actions and mobilizations, and to stop and think about better political, social and economic responses and thus contribute to those struggles and movements.
4-6 - Getting small farmers out of the debt trap, the struggle for small farmer and food autonomy
With Mathieu Dalmais (ISF-Agrista network, agronomist and former member of Confédération paysanne) and Dominique Paturel (researcher with INRA on issues relative to precariousness, access to food and food democracy)
While alternatives to agro-capitalism have been multiplying all over for the last decade, the agro-industrial system is still dominant in our Western countries and the number of farmers living in decent conditions is largely lower than what it should be in order to feed the population correctly. The majority of farmers who have become farmer-entrepreneurs in the pay of the banks are now over 50 years old, and a good number of them are in debt and/or have no buyers for their farms, which are then swallowed into expanding estates. Simultaneously, the health crisis has increased inequalities in access to food and the number of people – especially in the cities – who depend on food aid or have no access to healthy food has exploded. In spite of renewed interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. in short circuits and alternative initiatives, it is still the dominant capitalist actors of the agro-industrial complex who are getting stronger at the expense of the health of a large part of the population, with an ever increasing pressure on the environment. In this workshop, with researchers, farmers and activists, we’ll try to find out how to implement political strategies such as food social security, and achieve peasant and food autonomy.
8 p.m. - Rest and distraction! (evening meal not included)
Sunday 26 September
930-10 - Registration
10-12 - Debt and migrations
With Bintou Touré (Comité des femmes sans papiers), Natalia Hirtz (researcher and advisor at Groupe de recherche pour une stratégie économique alternative - Gresea), France Arets, activist with the Collectif de Résistance Aux Centres Pour Étrangers - CRACPE), Said Bouamama (sociologist and activist with the Front Uni des Immigrations et des Quartiers Populaires - FUIQP)
Since debt plays a key role in structuring postcolonial relationships, this workshop questions how sovereign and private debts force people in the Global South to migrate. Starting from these findings we can examine how debt determines each stage of the migration route, and identify the responsibility of countries of the North and the European Union in the perpetuation of post-colonial domination of countries of the South. We will also determine the specific role played by migration and border control policies in an international division of labour. It will also be an opportunity to take stock of the different struggles going on in Belgium and elsewhere. Bintou Touré, will shed light on specific difficulties harrowing undocumented women in Belgium. Natalia Hirtz will develop how the migration policies of major economic powers contribute to preserve an international division of labour enforced by racist and patriarchal capitalism. France Arets will explain the current situation in detention centres. Said Bouamama will detail the connections between debt system, colonization and migrations.
10-12 - Feminist solidairity economy
With Joëlle Tetart (Financité), Estrella Fernandez (Financité) and Laurenne Makubikua (CADTM Belgium)
Is solidarity economy a source of empowerment for women* who invest in it or is it eventually essentialist?’ To answer this question, Joëlle Tetart, Estrella Fernandez and Laurenne Makubikua invite us to spend two hours s discussing notions of popular economy, social and solidarity economy, social and solidarity finance. It should be an opportunity to examine how self-financed communities actually work as well as various models of ‘tontines’ and collective kitchens in urban communities and to take stock of the various initiatives taken by womens groups* in terms of popular economy all over the world.
12-1.30 - Lunch at Auberge Simenon
1.30-3.30 - How can we counter far-right opportunism in times of crisis?
With Eva Betavatzi (CADTM Belgium)
Authoritarianism and racism have undeniably increased with the health crisis. Mainstream media relay fascist-leaning discourse while small groups of the far-right become more and more visible. What can be done to counteract their open provocations? How can international and collective solidarities be rebuilt?
1.30-3.30 - Meeting with Zapatistas
3.30-4 p.m. - Tea and coffee break
4-6 p.m. - Closing plenary

Coming up



8 rue Jonfosse
4000 - Liège- Belgique

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