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Assembly of Social Movements , Σάββατο, 25 Φεβρουάριος 2006

Call to the Social Movements Assembly

Over the last few years the populist fight against neo-liberalism and imperialism in the Americas and other parts of the world has caused a crisis of legitimacy of the neo-liberal system and its institutions. Its most recent examples are the breakdown/collapse of NAFTA in Mar del Plata and the failure of referendum on the European Constitution in Holland and France. We live in an era in which it is commonplace for the governments of the USA, Europe and their allies to use military intervention as a tool which they use to control and exploit the earth’s riches, to hinder or stop the processes of liberation and to deny the people the right to decide their own destiny.

During this time we in Latin America have experienced a dramatic increase in calls to action against free trade, militarization, the processes of privatization and to defend our natural resources and control over agriculture and food production. In some countries such movements have resulted in the election to government of alternative policies, forged in the heat of popular movements.

The most recent example of this is the victory of Evo Morales in Bolivia. The origin of which lies in the struggle against the privatization of the water supply and the farmers’, the struggles of the indigenous community, the workers and populist struggles that have been developing in this country since 2000.

This is why, when confronted with the announcement by multinational companies such as Repsol (and others) that they will withdraw planned investment in order to influence the policies of the new governments, in particular regarding the recuperation of natural resources, this Assembly calls on the workers’ unions of these companies and the social movements in the countries where they are present to stop them from continuing this blackmail and to continue their permanent vigilance of these companies to guarantee the sovereignty of the people and the government of Bolivia to decide their political destiny in liberty.

In spite of the election of alternative policies linked to the processes of populist struggles, as social movements we must maintain our political and programmatical autonomy, urging the social movements to advance the attainment of our objectives and to keep up the pressure against any movement these governments make towards the neo-liberal model.

Finally, the social movements reunited during the social forum in Caracas, in areas of confrontation of the neo-liberal model, imperialism and the war, we will instigate four central campaigns during 2006:

Day of international action against the occupation of Iraq, 18th March

Against the war and occupation: No more war, peace is the only solution!

We demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of foreign troops in Iraq and an end to the privatization of its energy resources.

We refuse to accept the occupation of territories by foreign troops and, as a consequence, we demand an end to the Israeli occupation in Palestine and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

We oppose the threats of occupation of Syria, Iran and countries in Latin America through Plan Colombia, military bases and other means and the use of economic blockade as a weapon of war, such as that which the USA uses against Cuba.

We insist on the disarmament and elimination of all nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

We demand respect of human rights, civil liberties and an end to torture, kidnappings and illegal detention by means such as secret prisons.

We call everybody to join together on the 18th march 2006 in a day of global protest against the occupation of Iraq as part of a global campaign that will be maintained until foreign troops are withdrawn from Iraq.

We also call people to the conference that will take place in Cairo, Egypt, against American hegemony and the occupation in Iraq from the 24th to the 27th March 2006.

Against the conclusion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) conference in Doha

Following the ministerial meeting of the WTO in Hong Kong, where in spite of great efforts of populist movements to prevent the outcome, the ministerial declaration of the WTO was to open the path to concluding negotiations on the liberalization of trade in the conference of Doha.

The agreement for the declaration was as much by the intimidation tactics of the European Union and the USA as the decisive roles played by the Brazilian and Indian governments exercising their option through gaining a place in the power structure of the WTO.

In spite of this, all is not lost. In the next three months the WTO must hold complex negotiations and we, the social movements, should build campaigns and carry out common actions that will pressure the governments to reverse the outcome of Hong Kong, to derail the WTO in the next meeting of its General Congress in May 2006.

Against the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 2006

Following the summons of social movements and organizations in Russia, we call upon the people of this country and all social movements and organizations that share the principles of peace, democracy and social justice to resist and support our initiatives participating in the Counter-Summit in opposition to the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg in July. Contact alternativy@tochka.ru

Against the SUMMIT of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), September 2006

The Assembly of Social Movements makes its call to the Assembly of Southern People, to an international day of direct action against the seats of the IMF and the World Bank in different countries, coinciding with the annual reunion of these institutions in September 2006. It will be a day of mobilization to denounce the illegitimacy of the financial debt that is held against the Southern Hemisphere Countries and defend its repudiation and non-payment joined with the recognition of the countries of the South as creditors of a massive historical debt, both social and ecological, whose reparation and restitution we demand.

In addition to these four central campaigns, the 6th World Social Forum in Caracas has been a meeting point for movements that drive different networks and campaigns whose resolutions are detailed below:

Against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

The Continental Social Alliance calls for a continental state of alert against any possible attempt to revive the negotiations of NAFTA in any form. It also calls for the continued fight against bilateral or regional free trade agreements in Central America, the Andean region and the Caribbean. This includes new generations of agreements imposed by the United States, expressed in the Agreement for the Security and Prosperity of North America, that advance integration under the United States including the ‘security zone’.

We also call for the Latin America-European Union summit that will take place in Vienna in May 2006 to create a bi-continental network. Especially for Latin Americans, we call for the development and application of the alternatives to development and integration that arise from these social movements to be made priorities in the policies for this period.

And finally, confronted with the necessity of applying all new strategy, a plan of action and new ways of convergence and organization, The Continental Social Alliance calls a great Hemispheric Meeting of social movements of the continent that will be celebrated at the end of April in Havana, Cuba.

For the rights of indigenous peoples

We the indigenous peoples and their movements seek to further our inclusion in the framework of the World Social Forum whilst maintaining our identity and our own realms of action. We also ratify our rejection of Free Trade Agreements in defense of our territories and water, calling for joint action to build another world.

We declare our solidarity with all countries and peoples that fight for their sovereignty, such as Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia and we call to participate in the 3rd continental summit of Indigenous Peoples that will take place in Guatemala city in October 2006. This summit was called during the 2nd Continental summit of Quito.

For the sovereignty of food production and complete agrarian reform

The land, water, genetic resources and bio-diversity are the inheritance of the people and we will not permit their privatization or their commercialization: we defend and support rural agriculture.

We assert our claim our right for the recuperation and defense of native seeds (seedstock?). At the same time we categorically reject the sale and use of seeds produced with Terminator technology because it is immoral and an outrage against humanity’s food as much as denying seeds to 1.4m farmers in the world.

We invite the rural population, organized and non-organized, to a world uprising against these policies on the 17th April – the International Day of Farmers’ struggle – and the 16th October – World Day of Sovereignty of Food Production. We extend this invitation to all networks and social sectors because this is a threat to humanity and the planet. The push for complete agrarian reform and the defense of territory will be the basis of our daily fight.

For the rights of the people of Palestine

We support the people of Palestine in favour of justice, self-determination, the return of refugees and the creation of an independent sovereign state with its capital in Jerusalem.

Inspired by the fight against apartheid in South Africa, we support the Palestinian civil society’s campaign of boycott, disinvestment and sanction to the Zionist colonial project that the state of Israel promotes.

We demand:

- The end of the occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and the destruction of the wall

- The complete enjoyment of social rights, policies and economics for the Palestinian people

- That the law relating to the return of Palestinian refugees to their houses and properties (UN Resolution 194).

We support:

- The call of the representatives of the Palestinian civil society to a day of global fight on the 15th May (the 59th anniversary of the Nakba catastrophe), inviting all social movements to send civil missions to Palestine for this day.

- The 4th Week of National and International Action against the wall of apartheid that will take place from the 9th to the 16th of November.

Against the commercialization, violence and exploitation of women (World Women’s March)

We make a call to fight against the permanent male chauvinist violence, racism and homophobia in all their manifestations, taking the feminist fight for equality as a common struggle in the construction of our resistance and alternative politics to the commercialization and war.

The World Women’s March and the campaign Women Say No to War have organized days of feminist action against the tyranny of the free market and war on the 8th March 2006.

For the right to sexual diversity (Southern Dialogue/ South LGBT)

We confirm our respect for sexual diversity and the autonomy of individuals. We respect the right to make free decisions about their bodies and sexuality. We reject all forms of discrimination relating to personal choices and we call for mobilization on the 28th June for full acceptance of sexual diversity.

Health is not for sale (World Health Forum)

We emphasize the right to health as a central tenet of the World Social Forum in Africa in January 2007, taking into account the dramatic state of health in sub-Saharan Africa.

We call to mobilize and participate in the preparatory national and regional events at the World Social Forum in Africa on the theme of Health to realise in the framework of the WSF in Nairobi.

We support the international mobilization the 3rd to the 7th April 2006 ASI COMO the Humanitarian Camp which will take place in Bogota, Colombia the 4th to the 7th April. On the 7th a Continental/World Day for the right of health will take place.

We will organize an International Tribunal of peoples for the Right to Health, declaring the concept of genocide through the inequalities generated by neo-liberal politics.

In this year of 2006, we join the World Campaign for the Right to Health and the attention of the health driven by a coalition led by the People’s Health Movement in association with the World Social Forum for Health.

Week in defense of public teaching for everyone, November 2006

Education is a non- transferable and public right, which must be guaranteed and financed by the state. Education is not a commodity and cannot be included in any free trade agreement. We continue to fight so that education is a right of the people. We ratify that the next World Educational Forum will take place in the framework of the next World Social Forum and we call together a week of mobilization in defense of public schooling for all in the third week of November 2006.

Youth and Student Campaign against the privatization of teaching.

The 4th International Student Reunion calls for action against the inclusion of education in free trade agreements, the processes of privatization and in defense of free and public education. We will mobilize on 17th November, International Day of Students, against the commercialization of education and war.

Right to housing (Continental Front of CommunityOrganizations, CFCO)

Organizations that fight for the right to urban reform understand that to combat the homelessness of millions of men, women and children guarantees a social function of private and public property, fighting for the universalization of the right to water and to sanitation, just like other social rights.

We call everyone to join the “No homeless” Campaign and to participate in the 10th Meeting of the CFCO and the march that will take place at the same time between the 4th and the 6th May in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and other countries.

For the Right of Communication

Understanding communication as a right and not a commodity, we take up the fight for democratization of communication as a key component of the struggle against neo-liberalism and imperialism and for the construction of a new society. This implies articulating and developing our own common media that builds citizenship. This also implies promoting policies that guarantee the diversity and pluralism of communication media and preserving information and knowledge as public property. We must also claim access to it and resist its privatization.

Campaign against the privatization of water

We declare water public property and access to it a fundamental and non-transferable Human Right. Water is not a commodity. This is why we reject all forms of privatization, including that which takes place through Public-private associations. We demand the exclusion of water from the market laws imposed by the WTO, the TLC and other agreements of free trade and investment. We hereby promise to form committees through which education, organization and mobilization of people (on a global, regional, national and local level) will specify these objectives. We also agree to the “Citizens Days” in March in Mexico City.

Triple Frontier: Meeting between the People in defense of Life and Natural Resources

We make a call to the Meeting between the People in Defense of life and natural goods; especially underground reservoirs. We demand the withdrawal of American troops from Paraguay and an end to the intervention of the World Bank and the World Development Bank? BID in this country.

We call the 2nd Social Forum of the Triple Frontier, the 21st to the 23rd June 2006 in the Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

Campaign against climate change, 11th November 2006

We recognize “Global Warming”, climate change as a threat to all humanity. We must put pressure on companies and governments to reduce CO2 emissions.

We call for action on a global level on the 11th November 2006, the date on which the UN will hold discussions about the climate.

Energy is not a commodity

Energy resources cannot be treated as commodities but rather as strategic goods that belong to the people and not to multinationals. We will fight so that our countries may regulate frameworks that guarantee access to energy for future generations.

We reiterate the deliberations of the 1st Forum of Energy Workers of Latin America and the Caribbean (in Caracas in March 2005) and we support the calling of its 2nd meeting in Mexico City. These propositions must direct the actions of the social movement in energy issues over the next period.

Energy and The South American Regional Integration Initiative (SARII)

In the case of integration of infrastructure and energy, the model used cannot be based on purely economic logic, whose sole focus is profit and which negates the indigenous communities, the rural farming families and tenant farmers among others. For us, the model must be based on a socially inclusive logic, respecting diversity, the environment and workers rights.

The SARII – The South American Regional Integration Initiative – must attend to the interests of the people and not create inequality. We denounce that this initiative is being run without transparency and insufficient dialogue with parliamentary representatives and the civil society of the countries involved. The actual proposition of SARII creates an integration of infrastructure that perpetuates the role of our countries as exporters of natural resources and primary products without tax, which aggravates the situation regarding natural resources every year.

With respect to alternative energy, the processes must be renewable and sustainable and must not reinforce the logic of agribusiness, monopoly and big estate mentality.
Campaign for the Demilitarization of the Americas (CDA)

The Campaign for the Demilitarization of the Americas insists on the withdrawal of North American troops from Paraguay. And also demands the withdrawal of foreign troops form Haiti.

Campaign against North American Military Bases

We condemn the actions of the CIA, MI6 and the European Secret Police who illegally detain people, kidnap civilians and carry them on unregistered flights to military bases from the United States to Europe, to what are now known as “European Guant?namos”.

We express our solidarity with the 28 Pakistanis who were illegally detained and kidnapped in Greece. We will not sacrifice our liberties in the name of the “war on terror” of Bush, Blair and their allies.

For the liberty of the 5 Cuban prisoners in the United States

The government of the United States, with its dual morality I the fight against terrorism, to date still refuse to extradite or try Luis Pozada Carriles in his own country. (He is responsible for the explosion of a Cuban civilian plane which cost the lives of 73 passengers) yet they have still kidnapped five true Cuban fighters against terrorism, whose immediate release we demand as we also demand the immediate trial of Pozada Carriles.

Days of solidarity with Haiti, 15th February and 29th March

We demand the withdrawal of foreign troops from Haiti and the cancellation and reparation of the financial debt that the International Financial Institutions and other supposed creditors hold against this people. We make a call for action for the withdrawal of troops and the cancellation of Haiti’s debt on the 15th February. We make the same call for action on the 29th March (day of the constitution in Haiti) when there will be a World day of solidarity with Haiti.

Campaign for the self-determination of the last colonies of on the American continent.

We strongly condemn the continued existence on this continent of French, American, Dutch, English colonies and we denounce the pretence of the French colonial power that presents colonialism in a positive light.

We declare our solidarity with the fight for self-determination of the people of Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadalupe, French Guayana, Surinam and San Mart?n.

We ask that these countries be added to the list of countries waiting for decolonialization from the UN.

Campaign “Stop Killer Coca-Cola”

The Assembly of Social Movements takes the campaign “Stop Killer Coca-Cola” started by the students against the Exploitation of the workforce in the USA in defense of the rights of the workers and victims of violence brought about by this multinational.

Counter-summit of the European Union/Latin America/Caribbean, in Vienna, May 2006

To mark the fourth presidential summit between the European Union and Latin America/the Caribbean, networks of social movements and NGO’s on both continents will organize a great parallel event. This event will include a Tribunal of people against European Multinationals, bi-regional forums on the alternatives to neo-liberalism and militarization, public meetings, demonstrations etc. in Vienna (Austria), from the 10th to the 13th May, under the name of Connected Alternatives 2. (This summit will organize action from the European Social Forum that will be celebrated a few days before in Athens, Greece, on the 7th May 2006).

Declaration of the World Social Forum on Childhood (WSFC) celebrated in Caracas from the 24th to the 29th January 2006

Within the framework of the WSFC celebrated in Caracas between the 24th and the 29th January 2006 in the Andr?s Bellos lyceum, participating children, youths and adults, we declare:

That a better world is only possible with the protagonist participation and the exercise plain and direct of all the rights by children and adolescents.

We suggest that the organizer of the forum consider the proposal that childhood should be a central theme for the next Forum and that they guarantee spaces for the direct participation of the children and adolescents in this Forum

We ask that children’s organizations consisting of children and adolescents are present in the Hemispheric Council of the WSF

That the agreements, proposals and conclusions that come from the various meetings of the WSFC are promoted and shared through the many means available to the WSF so that, as well as inviting the organizations, children, adolescents and adult participants in this forum to disseminate and debate these suggestions and proposals from the Forum

That we undertake to build a network that promotes the application and following of the agreements, conclusions and recommendations of the meetings of the WSFC, and fundamentally supports the direct participation of the children, adolescents in future World Social Forums.

Assembly of Social Movements
At the Teresa Carrenno Theatre during the World Social Forum, in Caracas, the morning of 29th January 2006

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