European Social Forum 2004: The Call of the Assembly of Social Movements

16 November 2004 by Collective

We come from all the campaigns and social movements, “no vox” organisations, trade unions, human rights organisations, international solidarity organisations, anti-war and peace and feminist movements. We come from every region in Europe to gather in London for the third European Social Forum. We are many, and our strength is our diversity.

Today war represents the harshest and most real face of neo-liberalism. The war and the occupation of Iraq, the occupation of Palestine, the massacre in Chechnya, and the hidden wars in Africa are crushing the future of humanity. The war in Iraq was justified by lies. Today Iraq is humiliated and destroyed. Iraqis are prisoners of war and terror. The occupation brought neither freedom, nor better conditions of life. On the contrary, today the supporters of the thesis of “clash of civilisation” are stronger.

We are fighting for the withdrawal of the occupying troops in Iraq, for an immediate halt to the bombing and for the immediate restitution of sovereignty to the Iraqi people. We support the right of the Iraqi people to resist the occupation.

We support the Palestinian and Israeli movements fighting for a just and lasting peace. Following the judgement of the UN International Court of Justice and the unanimous vote of the European countries in the UN General Assembly we call for an end to the Israeli occupation and the dismantling of the apartheid wall. We call for political and economic sanctions on the Israeli government as long as they continue to violate international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people. For these reasons we will mobilise for the international week of action against the apartheid wall from 9 to 16 November, and for European days of action on December 10 and 11, the anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

The destabilisation of global climate poses an unprecedented threat to our children’s future and to humanity: We support the call from environmental organisations for international action on climate change in 2005. We support the campaigns against GMOs and for safe agriculture, food and environment.

In February 2005 we will join the actions of protest against the NATO NATO
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO ensures US military protection for the Europeans in case of aggression, but above all it gives the USA supremacy over the Western Bloc. Western European countries agreed to place their armed forces within a defence system under US command, and thus recognize the preponderance of the USA. NATO was founded in 1949 in Washington, but became less prominent after the end of the Cold War. In 2002, it had 19 members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the UK, the USA, to which were added Greece and Turkey in 1952, the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955 (replaced by Unified Germany in 1990), Spain in 1982, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in 1999.
summit in Nice. We oppose 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. ’s self-assumed task of global government and neo-liberal policies, and therefore we pledge to mobilise massively on the occasion of the G8 summit in Scotland in July 2005.

We want another Europe, which rejects sexism and violence against women and recognises the right to choose an abortion. We support the international day of mobilisation against violence against women on 25 November and the European initiative. We support mobilisation to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March. We support the European initiative on 27/28 May in Marseilles proposed by the World March for Women.

The ESF is opposed to all forms of segregated provision for disabled people. In all work about disabled people the ESF supports the principal of ‘Nothing about us without us’. All ESF organisations should actively include disabled people. The ESF opposes all eugenics and fights for the rights to life and full civil rights for disabled people. All ESF events must be fully accessible for disabled people. We recognise that sign language is a basic necessity for the inclusion of Deaf people.

We stand against racism and Fortress Europe and for the rights of migrants and asylum seekers; for freedom of movement; for citizenship of residence and the closing of detention centres. We oppose deportation of migrants. We propose a day of action on 2 April 2005, against racism, for freedom of movement and for the right to stay as an alternative to a Europe based on exclusion and exploitation.

The Assembly of the Social Movements supports the Indymedia global solidarity statement and condemns the seizure of the indymedia servers as an attack on free speech, press freedom, privacy and the right to communicate, and calls for a full investigation in the seizure of the Indymedia Servers.

We express our solidarity to the Greek sailor Giorgos Monastiriotis, who was condemned 3 years and 4 months when he refused to take part in a military mission in the Gulf and thus participate in the war against Iraq. We demand the immediate drop of any charges against him. We express our solidarity to all soldiers of all nationalities who refuse to take part in the occupation and the repression of Iraqi resistance.

At a time when the draft for the European Constitutional treaty is about to be ratified, we must state that the peoples of Europe need to be consulted directly. The draft does not meet our aspirations. This constitution treaty consecrates neo-liberalism as the official doctrine of the EU; it makes competition the basis for European community law, and indeed for all human activity; it completely ignores the objectives of ecologically sustainable society. This constitutional treaty does not grant equal rights, the free movement of people and citizenship for everyone in the country they live in, whatever their nationality; it gives NATO a role in European foreign policy and defence, and pushes for the militarisation of the EU. Finally it puts the market first by marginalising the social sphere, and hence accelerating the destruction of public services.

We are fighting for another Europe. Our mobilisations bring hope of a Europe where job insecurity and unemployment are not part of the agenda. We are fighting for a viable agriculture controlled by the farmers themselves, an agriculture that preserves jobs, and defends the quality of environment and food products as public assets. We want to open Europe to the world, with the right to asylum, free movement of people and citizenship for everyone in the country they live in. We demand real social equality between men and women, and equal pay. Our Europe will respect and promote cultural and linguistic diversity and respect the right of peoples to self-determination and allow all the different peoples of Europe to decide upon their futures Futures A futures contract is a standardized advance commitment, negotiated on an organized futures market, to deliver a specified quantity of a precisely defined underlying asset at a specified time – the ‘delivery date’ – and place. Futures contracts are the most widely traded financial instruments in the world. democratically. We are struggling for another Europe, which is respectful of workers’ rights and guarantees Guarantees Acts that provide a creditor with security in complement to the debtor’s commitment. A distinction is made between real guarantees (lien, pledge, mortgage, prior charge) and personal guarantees (surety, aval, letter of intent, independent guarantee). a decent salary and a high level of social protection. We are struggling against any laws that establish insecurity through new ways of subcontracting work.

We are fighting for a Europe that refuses war, a continent of international solidarity and ecologically sustainable society. We fight for disarmament, against nuclear weapons, and against US and NATO military bases. We support all those who refuse to serve in the military.

We reject the privatisation of public services and common goods Common goods In economics, common goods are characterized by being collectively owned, as opposed to either privately or publicly owned. In philosophy, the term denotes what is shared by the members of one community, whether a town or indeed all humanity, from a juridical, political or moral standpoint. like water. We are fighting for human, social, economic, political and environmental rights to defeat and overcome the rule of the market, the logic of profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. and the domination of the third world by debt. We refuse the use of “war on terrorism” to attack civil and democratic rights, and to criminalise dissent and social conflict.

The European Social Movement supports the national mobilisation of the Italian movement on 30 October to mark the signing of the European Constitutional Treaty - against war, liberalisation and racism, to get the troops out of Iraq and for another Europe. The European Social Movement supports the national mobilisation in Barcelona against the summit of Zapatero, Chirac and Schroeder on the European constitution in January 2005. We support the mobilisation on November 11, 2004 against the Bolkestein directive.

At a time when the new European Commission shamelessly boasts a high profile of laissez-faire politics, we must start a process of mobilisation in all European countries in order to impose the recognition of both collective and individual social, political, economic, cultural and ecological rights for men and women alike. To enable all the peoples of Europe to join this process, we must build a movement that overrides our differences and groups all the forces of the peoples of Europe ready to be involved in the struggle against European neo-liberalism.

20th March 2005 marks the second anniversary of the start of the war against Iraq. On 22 and 23 March the European Council meets in Brussels. We call for national mobilisations in all European countries. We call for a central demonstration in Brussels on 19 March against war, racism, and against a neo-liberal Europe, against privatisation, against the Bolkestein project and against the attacks on working time; for a Europe of rights and solidarity between the peoples. We call all the social movements and the European trade union movements to take to the streets on this day.

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