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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le Forum mondial social condamne l’austérité

by S.G.

The World Social Forum condemns austerity

Translated Wednesday 3 April 2013, by Kristina Wischenkamper

The World Social Forum (WSF) held in Tunis came to an end on Saturday. In its concluding statement, the Assembly of Social Movements denounced austerity and neo-liberal treaties as "not only exacerbating the problem, but leading to the commodification, privatization and financialization of life and nature".

We publish here the full World Social Forum (WSF) statement.

"Those of us gathered at the Assembly of the Social Movements of the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis affirm the vital contribution of the peoples of the Maghreb-Mashreq (from North Africa to the Middle East) in the building of human civilization. We affirm that the decolonization of oppressed peoples remains for us — social movements around the world — one of the greatest challenges. Within the WSF, the Social Movements Assembly is where we meet, bringing with us our diversities, in order to build upon our common struggle against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and all forms of discrimination and oppression. We are writing our history and our joint programme and we have won ground, notably in Latin America, where we succeeded in curbing neoliberal alliances and implementing alternatives for a socially just agenda and one that is respectful of nature.

Together, on every continent, it is the People who are leading with the utmost determination the battle against the domination of Capital, which hides behind promises of economic progress and illusory political stability.

Right now we are at a crossroads where retrograde and conservative forces are trying to stop the advance begun two years ago in a popular uprising from the Maghreb to the Mashreq which felled dictatorships and challenged the neoliberal system imposed on the people. These uprisings have spread to all the continents of the world generating indignation and the occupation of public spaces.

All the People of the world are suffering under a worsening and profound crisis of capitalism in which its agents (banks, transnational media conglomerates, international institutions and all governments complicit with neoliberalism) seek to increase their profits by making use of interventionist and neo-colonialist policies. Wars, military occupations, neo-liberal free trade treaties and "austerity measures" become economic packages to privatize common property and public services, to reduce wages, steal rights, increase unemployment, increase the overload already shouldered by women in care work, and to destroy Nature.

These policies are having a heavy effect on the rich countries of the North, increased migration and forced displacement, expulsions, debt and social inequalities, as can be seen in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and the Spanish State. They reinforce conservatism and the control over the body and life of women. In addition, they try to impose the "green economy" as a solution to the environmental and food crises, which not only exacerbates the problem, but leads to the commodification, privatization and financialization of Life and Nature.

We condemn the increasing repressions of rebellious nations, the assassination of the leaders of social movements, the criminalization of our struggles and our proposals.

We affirm that the People should not pay for this crisis and that there is no possible solution within the capitalist system. Here in Tunis, we reaffirm our commitment to building a common cause to fight against capitalism. It is why we, the social movements, are fighting:

Against multinational corporations and the financial system (IMF, World Bank and WTO), the main agents of the capitalist system, which privatize life, public services and common goods such as water, air, land, seeds, mineral resources, and promote wars and violations of human rights. The multinationals continue with their extractive processes that are harmful to life, they steal our land and develop seeds and GM foods that deprive the People of their right to food and destroy biodiversity.

[We are fighting] For the cancellation of an odious and illegitimate debt that is today a global instrument of domination, repression and economic and financial strangulation of the People. We reject the free trade agreements imposed by our States and multinationals and maintain that it is possible to build another type of globalization, by the People and for the People, based on solidarity and freedom of movement for all human beings.

[We are fighting] For climate justice and food sovereignty because we know that global warming is a result of the capitalist system of production, distribution and consumption. The multinational corporations, international financial institutions and the governments that serve them do not want to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. We denounce the "green economy" and reject false solutions to the climate crisis, those such as biofuels, genetically modified organisms, geoengineering and carbon market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), which are presented to impoverished populations as “progress” whilst privatizing and turning into commodities the land and forests where these people have lived for millennia. We defend food sovereignty and peasant agriculture that is a real solution to the food and climate crises and also means access to land for those who work it. To this end, we call for a mass mobilization to stop land grabbing and to support local peasant struggles.

[We are fighting] Against the violence against women that is committed regularly in militarily occupied territories, and also against the violence that women suffer when they are criminalized because they are actively involved in social struggles. We fight against domestic and sexual violence that is exerted on them when they are considered objects or goods, when their sovereignty over their body and spirituality are not recognized. We fight against the trafficking of women, girls and boys. We defend sexual diversity, the right to self-determination of gender, and we condemn homophobia and sexist violence.

[We are fighting] For peace and against war, colonialism, occupation and militarization of our lands. We denounce the false discourses of human rights and the fight against fundamentalism, which are often used to justify military intervention in Haiti, Libya, Mali and Syria. We defend the right to sovereignty and self-determination of peoples in Palestine, Western Sahara and Kurdistan. We denounce the installation of foreign military bases to foment conflicts, control and plunder natural resources and promote dictatorships in different parts of the world. We fight for the freedom to organize in trade unions, social movements, associations and other forms of peaceful resistance. Let us strengthen our instruments of solidarity amongst people, such as the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions against Israel, and the fight against NATO and for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.

[We are fighting] For the democratization of the mass media and the construction of alternative media, which are fundamental tools in the overthrow of capitalist logic.

Inspired by the history of our struggles and the regenerating power of the People in the streets, the Assembly of Social Movements calls all and everyone everywhere to develop actions in order to mobilize globally in a coordinated and global day of action on XXXXX (date to be defined).
Social movements around the world, let us keep moving towards a global unity in our defeat of the capitalist system!
There has been enough exploitation, enough patriarchy, enough racism and enough colonialism!
Long live the revolution!
Long live the struggle of all Peoples!"

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