WSF 2005: Call from social movements for mobilisations against the war, neoliberalism, exploitation and exclusion

16 February 2005 by Assembly of Social Movements

We are social movements gathered in the 5th World Social Forum. The great success of the plural and massive participation in the Forum gives us the possibility and the responsibility to organize more and better our campaigns and mobilizations, to expand and strengthen our struggles.

Four years ago the collective and global call for ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE broke the lie that neoliberal domination is unavoidable as well as the acceptance of the “normality” of war, of social inequalities, racism, casts,
patriarchy, imperialism and the destruction of the environment. As people take this truth as their own their strength becomes unstoppable and it starts materialising in concrete actions of resistance, for demands and

Therefore what is new about our proposal is the outbreak and the scale of
the social movements in all continents and their ability to build within
diversity new convergences and common actions at global level.

In that frame, tens of millions of men and women were mobilized in all
corners of the world for peace, against the war and the invasion led by Bush
against Iraq. Summits like 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. 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.

, 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.
and the World Bank World Bank
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.

where few intend to decide for everybody, were questioned and de-legitimized
by the action of social movements. Popular struggles in defence of nature,
the rights of people and the common good, against their privatization, such
as in Bolivia, Uruguay and other peoples, demonstrated the possibility of
creating a crisis for neoliberal domination. New spaces for political and
social struggle were opened to us.

Neoliberalism is incapable of offering a dignified and democratic future to
humanity. Nevertheless, nowadays it again takes the initiative responding to
its crisis of legitimacy with force, militarization, repression,
criminalization of social struggles, political authoritarianism and
ideological reaction. Millions of men and women suffer every day. We want
here to remember the war in Congo that has already caused four million
victims. For all that, another world is not only possible, but necessary and

Conscious that we still have a long way ahead of us, we call all movements
of the world to fight for peace, human, social and democratic rights, for
the right of people to decide their destiny and for the immediate
cancellation of foreign debt from the countries of the South, from the
AGENDA that we 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. in the 5th World Social Forum:


- We call all organizations and social movements which have participated in the World Social Forum and those who could not be in Porto Alegre, to work together in the campaign for the IMMEDIATE and UNCONDITIONAL CANCELLATION OF THE FOREIGN and illegitimate DEBT of the countries of the
South, beginning with the countries victims of tsunami and other that have undergone terrible disasters and crisis in the recent months.

- We support Social Movements from the South that declare themselves CREDITORS of historical, social and ecological debts. We demand the end of the implementation of projects and “integration agreements” which facilitate the looting of natural resources form the countries of the South.

We support demands from peasant and fisherfolk Social Movements in areas affected by the Tsunami, in order to have the resources for emergency aid and reconstruction managed directly by local communities in order to avoid new debts, colonization and militarization.

- After two years of the Iraq invasion, global opposition to the war is constantly increasing. It is time for the anti-warm movement to increase actions and do not retreat.

We demand the end of the Iraq occupation. We demand the US to stop threatening Iran, Venezuela and other countries. We commit to establish more contacts with the occupation forces in Iraq and the Middle East. We will strengthen our campaigns against transnationals committed with the invasion, we support soldiers who oppose to participate in the war and we defend activists that have been persecuted for being against the war. We call all movements to organize on March 19th a global day of actions to demand the
retreat of US troops from Iraq. No more war!

- We support all campaigns for disarmament and demilitarization, including the campaign against US military bases in the world, the campaigns for nuclear disarmament, for the control of arms trade and the cut on
military spending.

- Under the pretext of “Free Trade” neoliberal capitalism advances under the weakness of the US, in the de-regulation of economies and the “legalization” of privileges for transnational corporations through free trade Agreements (FTAs). After the failure of FTAA due to popular pressure,
now Central America and other countries have been obliged to subscribe to Bilateral Free Trade Agreements that we the people reject. In Europe the European Union Bolkenstein directive wants to impose the complete privatization of public services. We call everyone to mobilize during the
Global Action Rally, from April 10th to 17th, in the Summit of the People of the Americas, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in November 2005; and during the 6th WTO meeting in Hong Kong, in December 2005.

- We support the Women’s World March which is organizing a campaign of global feminist actions throughout the world starting from São Paulo on March 8th and ending on October 17th in Burkina Faso, to restate their commitment with in the struggle against neoliberalism, patriarchy, exclusion
and domination. We call all movements to organize feminist actions during this period against free trade, sex trade, militarization and food sovereignty.

- We support the efforts of social movements and organizations that promote the struggle for dignity, justice, equality and human rights specially the dalit movement; afro-descendents, indigenous people, romas,
burakumins and the most oppressed and repressed sectors of society.

- We call for mass mobilization against the G8 meeting in Scotland on July 2nd to 8th. We will take to the streets and will participate in the counter-meeting in Edinburgh and Gleneagles. We demand: poverty to go to history, to stop the war, to cancel debt and impose a global tax on
financial transactions to finance development.

- We protest against neoliberal policies and the EU military support in Latin America. We call for a solidarity mobilization among the peoples during the Meeting from Latin American and European Union Presidents in May
2006, in Vienna, Austria.

- We struggle for the universal right to healthy and sufficient food.

We struggle for the right of the peoples, nations and peasants to produce their own food. We manifest against subsidies to exports which destroy the economies of rural communities. Let’s avoid food dumping.

We reject GMO Genetically Modified Organisms
Living organisms (plant or animal) which have undergone genetic manipulation in order to modify their characteristics, usually to make them resistant to a herbicide or pesticide. In 2000, GMOs were planted over more than 40 million hectares, three quarters of that being soybeans and maize. The main countries involved in this production are the USA, Argentina and Canada. Genetically modified plants are usually produced intensively for cattle fodder for the rich countries. Their existence raises three problems.

- The health problem. Apart from the presence of new genes whose effects are not always known, resistance to a herbicide implies that the producer will be increasing use of the herbicide. GMO products (especially American soybeans) end up gorged with herbicide whose effects on human health are unknown. Furthermore, to incorporate a new gene, it is associated with an antibiotic-resistant gene. Healthy cells are heavily exposed to the herbicide and the whole is cultivated in a solution with this antibiotic so that only the modified cells are conserved.

- The legal problem. GMOs are only being developed on the initiative of big agro-business transnationals like Monsanto, who are after the royalties on related patents. They thrust aggressively forward, forcing their way through legislation that is inadequate to deal with these new issues. Farmers then become dependent on these firms. States protect themselves as best they can, but often go along with the firms, and are completely at a loss when seed thought not to have been tampered with is found to contain GMOs. Thus, genetically modified rape seed was destroyed in the north of France in May 2000 (Advanta Seeds). Genetically modified maize on 2600 ha in the southern French department of Lot et Garonne was not destroyed in June 2000 (Golden Harvest). Taco Bell corn biscuits were withdrawn from distribution in the USA in October 2000 (Aventis). Furthermore, when the European Parliament voted on the recommendation of 12/4/2000, an amendment outlining the producers’ responsibilities was rejected.

- The food problem. GMOs are not needed in the North where there is already a problem of over-production and where a more wholesome, environmentally friendly agriculture needs to be promoted. They are also useless to the South, which cannot afford such expensive seed and the pesticides that go with it, and where it could completely disrupt traditional production. It is clear, as is borne out by the FAO, that hunger in the world is not due to insufficient production.

For more information see Grain’s website :
foods because besides threatening our health and the environment, they are an instrument for five transnationals to have control of all markets. We reject patents on any form of life and in special on seeds, since the intention is the appropriation of our resources and the
knowledge associated to them. We demand the Agrarian Reform as a strategy to allow the access of peasants to land, and healthy and sufficient food, and not to be concentrated in the hands of transnationals and latifundiários.

We demand for actions against peasants around the world to be called off, for the immediate liberation of peasants and political prisoners in the world, and the end of militarization of rural areas.

We support sustainable production based in the preservation of natural resources: soil, water, forest, air, biodiversity, water resources etc. We support the development of organic and agro-ecological production.

We call for mobilizations during the national peasant day on April 17th; and on the anniversary of the death of Mr. Lee on September 10th against the WTO.

- We support campaigns and struggles in defence of water as a common good, against its privatization and for the recognition of the right to access to water as a human right, such as the campaign ”No to Suez in Latin America”. We invite all to participate in International Forum from March 18th to 20th in Geneva.

- We share the demands to build an alliance between social movements and networks for a “World contract on climate: a solar world is possible”.

Energy is the right to life and it is a common good. The struggle against poverty and climate change demands sustainable energy to be among the priorities of initiatives and campaigns from social movements. We support
the international march on climate in November.

- The “Social Responsibility of Transnationals” did not manage to eliminate abuses and crimes committed by transnationals. It must be seriously challenged. Movements will work together to take power away from transnationals and stop their abuses and crimes. Communities must have the
freedom to protect themselves, their environment and society against the power of transnationals.

- We support campaigns against transnationals that violate human, social and trade union’s rights, such as those against Nestlé and Coca-Cola in Colombia; and Pepsi and Coca-Cola in India.

- We support the struggle of the Palestinian people for their fundamental and national rights, including the right to return, based on the international law and in the UN resolutions.

- We ask the international community and governments to impose political and economic sanctions to Israel, including an embargo on Arms. We call social movements to also mobilize for de-investments and boycotts.
These efforts aim at pressuring Israel to implement international resolutions and to respect the decision of the International Court of Justice for the immediate stop and destruction of the illegal apartheid wall
and the end of occupation.

- We support Israeli activists for peace and the refusnik for their struggle against the occupation.

- We condemn the unfair embargo of Cuba and demand a fair trial to the five Cubans who have been arrested in the US. We also demand the withdrawal of military foreign troops in Haiti.

- We recognize diversity in sexual orientation as an expression of an alternative world and we condemn mercantilization. Movements commit to participate in the struggle against exclusion based on identity, gender and
homophobia. We will unite our voices against all forms of mercantilization of the body of women and GLBT.

- We support the process of building a global network of social movements committed to defend migrants, refugees and displaced peoples.

Neoliberalism and the policies of “the war against terror” have increased the criminalization of migrants, the militarization of borders, clandestine
operations and the access to cheap labour. We support the campaign to ratify the United Nations Convention for the rights of migrants, which no government from the North wants to accept. We support the campaign to establish an independent organism to sanction governments that do not
respect the Geneva Convention for refugees and the rights of migrants.

- We support campaigns and struggles for children’s rights, against labour and sexual exploitation, against the trade of children and sexual tourism.

- We support the call of the excluded, of those with no voice, to develop an active solidarity campaign to propel a world march in which the oppressed and excluded of the planet will raise their voice to conquer the right to a dignified life.

- From September 14th to 16th, in the general Assembly of the UN, government heads of the whole world will make decisions about the agrarian reform in the United Nations and will revise their commitments to eradicate
poverty. They are mainly responsible for the critical situation of humanity now. We support the call for international networks which invite to mobilize
globally on September 10th for a new world democratic order and against poverty and the war.

- We support the call for a mobilization on November 17th,
international student day, in defence of public education, against privatization and the trans-nationalization of education.

- In solidarity with Venezuela, the youth of the world is calling to participate in the 16th World Youth Festival and of the Students from Venezuela between August 7th and 15th.

- Communication is a fundamental human right. We support the call for mobilizations during the World Conference of the Communication Society, in Tunis from November 16th to 18th. We support the call for a strong international convention about Cultural Diversity and we oppose the
mercantilization of information and communication from the WTO.

- We support social economy as a concrete expression of an alternative for a fair, mutual, democratic and equitable development.

- In defence of public health and against its privatization, we call all peoples of the world for a permanent struggle. We call for mobilizations during the General Assembly in Defence of the Health of the People, in
Cuenca, Peru, in 2005 and in the World Health Forum during the World Social Forum in Africa in 2007.

This is a small demonstration of the struggle of social movements


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