Success for the Summer University of ATTAC CADTM Morocco

7 August by ATTAC/CADTM Morocco


ATTAC CADTM Morocco organized its summer university in Tangiers on 29, 30 and 31 July 2022, with for its theme ‘a development model that guarantees popular sovereignty must break with capitalism.’



Opening public lecture

It was organized on the premises of the Confédération démocratique du Travail (CDT, Democratic Confederation of Labour) on Friday 29 July 2022. ATTAC CADTM Morocco has worked with this trade union for quite a few years and several of its members are active in it.

Some 70 people attended. The first talk examined the crisis of capitalism, and the second organizations involved in struggle.

Multi-dimensional crisis of capitalism in its neo-liberal stage

The systemic crisis of capitalism is getting deeper. The financial sector is shrinking and risks of a financial bubble bursting are more and more likely with a very thin margin for its regulation. In the context of the health crisis and of the war on Ukraine, inflation Inflation The cumulated rise of prices as a whole (e.g. a rise in the price of petroleum, eventually leading to a rise in salaries, then to the rise of other prices, etc.). Inflation implies a fall in the value of money since, as time goes by, larger sums are required to purchase particular items. This is the reason why corporate-driven policies seek to keep inflation down. has considerably increased. Central banks (ECB ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is a European institution based in Frankfurt, founded in 1998, to which the countries of the Eurozone have transferred their monetary powers. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone. Its three decision-making organs (the Executive Board, the Governing Council and the General Council) are composed of governors of the central banks of the member states and/or recognized specialists. According to its statutes, it is politically ‘independent’ but it is directly influenced by the world of finance.

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/html/index.en.html
and the Fed FED
Federal Reserve
Officially, Federal Reserve System, is the United States’ central bank created in 1913 by the ’Federal Reserve Act’, also called the ’Owen-Glass Act’, after a series of banking crises, particularly the ’Bank Panic’ of 1907.

FED – decentralized central bank : http://www.federalreserve.gov/
) have raised key interest rates Interest rates When A lends money to B, B repays the amount lent by A (the capital) as well as a supplementary sum known as interest, so that A has an interest in agreeing to this financial operation. The interest is determined by the interest rate, which may be high or low. To take a very simple example: if A borrows 100 million dollars for 10 years at a fixed interest rate of 5%, the first year he will repay a tenth of the capital initially borrowed (10 million dollars) plus 5% of the capital owed, i.e. 5 million dollars, that is a total of 15 million dollars. In the second year, he will again repay 10% of the capital borrowed, but the 5% now only applies to the remaining 90 million dollars still due, i.e. 4.5 million dollars, or a total of 14.5 million dollars. And so on, until the tenth year when he will repay the last 10 million dollars, plus 5% of that remaining 10 million dollars, i.e. 0.5 million dollars, giving a total of 10.5 million dollars. Over 10 years, the total amount repaid will come to 127.5 million dollars. The repayment of the capital is not usually made in equal instalments. In the initial years, the repayment concerns mainly the interest, and the proportion of capital repaid increases over the years. In this case, if repayments are stopped, the capital still due is higher…

The nominal interest rate is the rate at which the loan is contracted. The real interest rate is the nominal rate reduced by the rate of inflation.
. Debt will be more expensive for the most indebted countries and many of them are at risk of collapse.

The environmental crisis is more and more irreversible. Maps of high temperatures and wild forest fires are evidence that our planet is burning.

The flames of inflation and of wildfire mostly affect the most deprived people, who also suffer hunger and malnutrition in the context of the acute global food crisis.

There are now climate refugees as well as those fleeing wars and geostrategic conflict. Social and economic injustice combine with ecological injustice.

Organizations involved in struggle

Major international struggles such as Black Lives Matter, Indian peasants, mobilizations against climate change, feminist strikes, etc. lack a global political perspective. Far-right political movements are thriving. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the wave of popular uprisings since 2011 has steadily receded. Counter-revolution and political despotism are moving forward. In Morocco, the cycle of struggle that started with the 20 February 2011 movement was all but closed off with the repression of the Hirak on the Rif. Social struggles are still extant, but few and far between. Trade unions are very weak. Curtailed freedoms make it more difficult to struggle.

Yet hope is not lost. We are determined to continue resisting capitalism and political despotism.

A dozen interventions from the audience contributed to our understanding of the crisis of capitalism and the damage it does to the environment and people and suggested ways out of the crisis.

Contributions of relatives of political prisoners

La mère d’Omar Radi

Le père d’Omar Radi.

This was one of the most moving moments of the conference. Omar Radi’s father and mother expressed their appreciation of ATTAC CADTM Morocco’s initiative to give their son’s name to our summer university. They again denounced Omar’s detention (he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment). Their commitment to his liberation is part of the larger struggle for the freedom of all political prisoners in Morocco, and for social justice.

The words spoken by the two sisters of Nureddin Aouaj, sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, were very moving. They said how happy they were to be able to participate in an event which strengthens their confidence and their hope.

La sœur de Noureddine Aouaj

The conference ended with slogans chanted by enthusiastic young activists in a mood of solidarity and optimism.

The workshops

Two workshops were organized on Saturday 30 July :

What kind of development?

Held in the morning, the first workshop brought out the limits of the ‘development model’ as officially set out in Morocco in May 2021. It rests on an acceleration of neo-liberal reforms to improve big business and open up more investment opportunities to multinational corporations. Its economic, social and environmental costs will be mostly paid by wage-owners, small producers and the poorer sections of the population. A large part of its funding relies on debt.

The debate with the audience mainly concerned what is really meant by ‘development’ within capitalism and discussed alternatives at regional and international levels. They can only be carried out if there is a break with capitalism, with its logic based on 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 commodification of nature and of all human activities. Through its work of popular education and its commitment towards the lower classes, ATTAC CADTM Morocco brings an anti-capitalist bias to social mobilizations. Its main demands for the cancellation of public debt and of the private debt of poorer households, of free trade agreements, its denunciation of political despotism, etc. are only stepping stones towards a radical programme of more global struggle founded ona clear break from the diktats of the World Bank 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.

, the 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
and the WTO WTO
World Trade Organisation
The WTO, founded on 1st January 1995, replaced the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT). The main innovation is that the WTO enjoys the status of an international organization. Its role is to ensure that no member States adopt any kind of protectionism whatsoever, in order to accelerate the liberalization global trading and to facilitate the strategies of the multinationals. It has an international court (the Dispute Settlement Body) which judges any alleged violations of its founding text drawn up in Marrakesh.

, socialization of banks and setting up a democracy based on the sovereignty of the people.

Strategic priorities in a post-Covid context

In the afternoon, the second workshop examined what ATTAC CADTM Morocco added as ‘activist value’ in the current context.

ATTAC CADTM Morocco’s identity, that has been shaped over two decades, is visible in its strategic priorities manifested in the topics on which it works: debt, free trade agreements, ecology, food sovereignty, feminism, regional and international dimensions in the CADTM network, and political despotism.

Its priorities are more topical than ever in the context of the global crisis of capitalism, and more specifically of Covid and the invasion of Ukraine. However, it meets great difficulties in reaching a wider audience: the absence of anti-capitalist commitment for most left-wing organizations, the neo-liberal consensus around the current political regime, and harsher repression of mobilizations and critical voices, the limitations of the association’s own capacities, the non-renewal of its legal authorization and the limits that places on our activities (opening a bank account, access to public rooms, etc.). Possibilities of overcoming those obstacles are to be found in the perspective of a new rise of social mobilizations that can push popular uprising on to the next level, not only in Morocco but in the whole MENA/Arab region.

Workshop on Sunday 31 July :
The need to be anti-capitalist today

This need results from the analysis of the multi-dimensional of globalized capitalism and its social and ecological consequences. Capitalism is not a fatality. An alternative is possible. Another Morocco is possible and necessary, as we keep repeating at ATTAC CADTM Morocco. It will be achieved through mobilization of all exploited and oppressed people. The role of ATTAC CADTM Morocco is to accompany their struggles and to contribute to collective reflection on new forms of organization that will make it possible for new generations to take hold of their destiny.

This university provided space for reflection, education, sharing and self-criticism. We are convinced that fighting capitalism is the only way to build another world of social and environmental justice and freedom.

The university ended on a small cheerful musical gathering.

Participants

52 people participated in this University, among whom 17 women; participants represented 9 local groups of ATTAC CADTM Morocco.

The University was a success. It had a wide echo on social networks. It also prompted some people to be become members.

More photos and videos on the Facebook page of ATTAC Moroccohttps://web.facebook.com/attac.maroc/


Translated by Christine Pagnoulle and Vicki Briault Manus.

ATTAC/CADTM Morocco

membre du réseau CADTM, l’Association pour la Taxation des Transactions en Aide aux Citoyens au Maroc (ATTAC Maroc) a été créée en 2000. ATTAC Maroc est membre du réseau international du Comité pour l’annulation de la dette du tiers monde (CADTM) depuis 2006 (devenu Comité pour l’abolition des dettes illégitimes depuis juin 2016). Nous comptons 11 groupes locaux au Maroc. ATTAC veut être un réseau aidant à l’appropriation par les acteurs engagés dans l’activité sociale, associative, syndicale et plus largement militante des enjeux de la mondialisation sur les problématiques de résistance sociale et citoyenne.
www.attacmaroc.org
http://arabic.cadtm.org/

Adresse : n°140, rue Cadi Bribri Akkari 10000. Rabat. Maroc
Email : attac.cadtm.maroc at gmail.com
Site Web attacmaroc.org Tel 00 212 6 61 17 30 39

Translation(s)

CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

8 rue Jonfosse
4000 - Liège- Belgique

00324 60 97 96 80
info@cadtm.org

cadtm.org