6 March 2009 by Assembly of Social Movements
From the 28th March to the 4th April, women and men from all over the world will be in the streets to protest against capitalism and war and to affirm that they will not pay for the crisis. Launched by the Social Movements’ Assembly, three main moments mark this week of mobilisation
*28th March: Mobilisations in protest of the Group of 20 meeting (the G20
The Group of Twenty (G20 or G-20) is a group made up of nineteen countries and the European Union whose ministers, central-bank directors and heads of state meet regularly. It was created in 1999 after the series of financial crises in the 1990s. Its aim is to encourage international consultation on the principle of broadening dialogue in keeping with the growing economic importance of a certain number of countries. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, USA, UK and the European Union (represented by the presidents of the Council and of the European Central Bank).
), composed of representatives of Central Banks and governments from the 20 countries that represent two thirds of world commerce and population and more than 90% of the gross world product. The 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, 180 members in 1997), 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.
http://worldbank.org and the International Monetary Fund 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 (IMF) are also members of the G20. They will meet in London (United Kingdom) at the beginning of April.
*30th March: Day of mobilisation against the war and the crisis, and in solidarity with the Palestinian people. This day coincides with Palestinian Land Day, which remembers the 1976 Israeli massacre of Palestinians in Galilee. It was chosen to strengthen the campaign for boycott, disinvestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
*4th April: Day that marks the 60th anniversary of 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. – North American Trade Organisation, an alliance of military cooperation between the USA and several European countries. NATO will meet between the 3rd and 4th April in Baden-Baden and Kehl, in Germany, and in Strasbourg, in France.
In Europe, movements will concentrate their actions in London and Strasbourg. There are many different street activities (such as marches, flyering and bike rides) planned in the following countries: Australia, the Basque Country, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Catalonia, France, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Holland (the Netherlands), India, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Quebec, the Spanish State, the United Kingdom (Scotland and England) and the USA.
During this week and particularly on the days mentioned above, movements will affirm that in order to overcome the different crises (food, finance, economy, climate, energy and population migration), it is necessary to tackle with the root of the problem and build a radical alternative to the capitalist system and patriarchal domination.
In the face of the false answers presented by companies, banks and governments to deal with the crisis – such as dismissals and privatisation of public services, natural and energy resources – which merely aim at socialising losses, social movements will demand a number of urgent measures such as:
Nationalising the banking sector without compensations and with full social monitoring,
Reducing working time without wage cuts,
Taking measures to ensure food and energy sovereignty,
Stopping wars, withdrawing occupation troops and dismantling foreign military bases,
Acknowledging peoples’ sovereignty and autonomy, and ensuring their right to self-determination,
Guaranteeing rights to land, territory, work, education and health for all,
Democratising access to means of communication and knowledge.
Click on the following link to read the full Declaration of the Social Movements’ Assembly, held during the WSF 2009 in Belém:
For further information about the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign, visit the website: http://www.bdsmovement.net/
Read below some of the actions already scheduled:
30th March: In Melbourne, the Coalition of Palestinian Support Groups is launching a campaign called “The Sack Connex, Boycott Israel”.
28th March: In Brussels, an action drawing attention to the financial crisis and the Palestinian question will take place under the slogan “Palestine occupied, Dexia implied”, as well as a symbolic action between 1.30pm and 16.30pm with the performing of the street theatre “Who will pay for the crisis?” In addition, as part of the mobilisations against the crisis and war, the largest Belgian trade union (FGTB) has launched a campaign with the theme “Capitalism is seriously bad for our health”. More information (in French): http://www.contre-attaque.be/
30th March: In São Paulo a national demonstration organised by various different social movements and Brazilian trade union networks will affirm that: “Workers will not pay for the crisis!” The demonstration will begin in the Avenue Paulista and will continue throughout the centre of the city. The act will be accompanied by actions and demonstrations in cities around the country. Look at the flyer by clicking on the following link:
Demonstrations against the ratification of the Mercosur-Israel trade agreement, and in support of the BDS (boycott, disinvestments and sanctions) campaign against Israel will also take place in the centre of the city, organised by the Solidarity with the Palestinian People’s Front.
30th March: In Toronto, “Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar”, a talk by George Galloway organised by the Toronto Stop the War Coalition.
CATALONIA, THE BASQUE COUNTRY AND THE SPANISH STATE
28th March: Demonstrations against the crisis and G20 and in solidarity with Palestinian people will be held in Albacete, Almería, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cádiz, Córdoba, Alicante, Elche, Madrid, Murcia, Pontevedra, Tarragona and Valencia. Check the agenda at: http://www.nodo50.org/?page=convocatorias&id_article=189
3rd April: Demonstrations and blockades are planned in the city of Baden-Baden, one of the entrance points for Heads of State and military chiefs who will participate in the NATO ceremonies in Strasbourg. More information: http://gipfelsoli.org/Home/Strasbourg_Baden-Baden_2009/NATO_2009_Links
2nd April: In Crete, demonstration in support of sports boycott and protest of the Greece – Israel soccer match in Heraclion.
28th March – 31st March: Cycling event calling for the suspension of the EU – Israel Association Agreement. Bicyclists will begin at the International Courts of Justice at The Hague on the 28th and arrive at European Parliament in Brussels on the 31st to deliver a petition to European MPs. Organised by The Peace Cycle.
30th March: In Delhi, Exhibition, poetry and films commemorating Palestinian Land Day.
28th March: Demonstration will take place at 2.30pm in Rome under the slogan “Loro la crisi, noi la soluzione” (“Their crisis, our solutions”), organised by COBAS. Sit-in at various shopping centres in Milan, Turin, Pisa, Bologna, Rome, and Naples, organized by Forum Palestine will also be held.
4th April: large demonstration organised by CGIL and other organisations and networks through the streets of Rome in direction of the Circo Massimo.
28th March: the World March of Women will participate in actions in support of women artists, and to affirm that women will not pay for the crisis. They will be accompanied by a feminist drumming group and will base their actions around the themes of women’s work, the common good, food security, domestic violence and peace.
30th March: in Kristiansand and Oslo debates and workshops around the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign as a tool to pressure Israel. In selected neighbourhoods of Oslo, the Socialist Youth will engage in a face to face boycott action, going door to door and informing inhabitants about the BDS campaign, which products to boycott, and how they can get involved. Finally, the Palestine Committee and others will hold a joint BDS demonstration at the Israeli embassy in Oslo.
In Karachi, a conference on the Palestinian situation will be held on 28th March. On 2nd April, demonstrations against the G20 will take place in the city streets.
28th March: In Montreal, peaceful demonstration in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex at 1.30pm to say no to the G20, considered an illegitimate forum in which to solve the crisis.
On 30th March, symbolic olive tree planting in front of the Israeli consulate, and an exhibition and sharing of testimonies with regards to the Gaza situation.
28th March to 4th April: London will receive participants from all over Europe for the demonstrations against the capitalistic system and the crisis, on the 28th March, and against the war and the NATO, on the 2nd April. Surprise actions, meetings and debates will take place during the week, as well as a camp in the city centre. Further information: www.putpeoplefirst.org.uk
In Glasgow and Edinburgh, in Scotland, boycotts of supermarkets will take place on the 29th March in solidarity with Palestine.
On 30th March, mass calls to Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets’ customer services to complain about the sale of Israeli products across the UK.
29th March: Film projections, discussion around BDS actions with speakers recently returned from Gaza and on links between Mexico and Palestine walls, will be held in Santa Cruz, and on the 30th March in San Diego and Los Angeles, California. In New York, the Campaign for the Boycott of Israel will launch a broad boycott campaign against the Motorola Company on the 30th.
28th March: In Paris, demonstration organised by a wide coalition of organisations, movements, trade unions and political parties will leave from the Place de l’Opera at 2 pm. Activities are also scheduled in a further 30 cities. Read the full list at: http://www.stop-g20.org/
On this same day, various activities in solidarity with Palestine, such as demonstrations, film exhibitions and conferences will take place in Paris, Lille, Le Mans, St Brieuc and St Denis, organised by the France – Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS, in French).
On the 4th April, under the slogan « No to war! No to NATO ! », thousands of people from all over Europe will meet in Strasbourg where different forms of action will take place to demand an end to militarisation and to NATO: workshops, flyering to raise awareness, street blockades, meetings and civil disobedience actions. A large demonstration is scheduled to depart at 1pm. An alternative camp also will be organised. Further information (only in French): http://sommet-otan-2009.blogspot.com
1. For further details on the actions in support of Palestine, visit the web site: http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/349
2. Send updates to the above list to the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECLARATION OF THE ASSEMBLY of SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AT THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM 2009
Anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, feminist, environmentalist and socialist alternatives are necessary
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 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. , 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 sovereignty
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.
Democratise access to means of communication and knowledge.
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 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. 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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