Porto Alegre II

Resistance to neoliberalism, war and militarism: for peace and social
justice

1) In the face of continuing deterioration in the living conditions
of people, we, social movements from all around the world, have come
together in the tens of thousands at the second World Social Forum in
Porto Alegre. We are here in spite of the attempts to break our
solidarity. We come together again to continue our struggles against
neoliberalism and war, to confirm the agreements of the last Forum
and to reaffirm that another world is possible.

2) We are diverse – women and men, adults and youth, indigenous
peoples, rural and urban, workers and unemployed, homeless, the
elderly, students, migrants, professionals, peoples of every creed,
colour and sexual orientation. The expression of this diversity is
our strength and the basis of our unity. We are a global solidarity
movement, united in our determination to fight against the
concentration of wealth, the proliferation of poverty and
inequalities, and the destruction of our earth. We are living and
constructing alternative systems, and using creative ways to promote
them. We are building a large alliance from our struggles and
resistance against a system based on sexism, racism and violence,
which privileges the interests of capital and patriarchy over the
needs and aspirations of people.

3) This system produces a daily drama of women, children, and the
elderly dying because of hunger, lack of health care and preventable
diseases. Families are forced to leave their homes because of wars,
the impact of “big development,” landlessness and environmental
disasters, unemployment, attacks on public services and the
destruction of social solidarity. Both in the South and in the North,
vibrant struggles and resistance to uphold the dignity of life are
flourishing.

4) September 11 marked a dramatic change. After the terrorist
attacks, which we absolutely condemn, as we condemn all other attacks
on civilians in other parts of the world, the government of the
United States and its allies have launched a massive military
operation. In the name of the “war against terrorism,” civil and
political rights are being attacked all over the world. The war
against Afghanistan, in which terrorists methods are being used, is
now being extended to other fronts. Thus there is the beginning of a
permanent global war to cement the domination of the US government
and its allies. This war reveals another face of neoliberalism, a
face which is brutal and unacceptable. Islam is being demonized,
while racism and xenophobia are deliberately propagated. The mass
media is actively taking part in this belligerent campaign which
divides the world into “good” and “evil”. The opposition to the war
is at the heart of our movement.

5) The situation of war has further destabilised the Middle East,
providing a pretext for further repression of the Palestinian people.
An urgent task of our movement is to mobilise solidarity for the
Palestinian people and their struggle for self-determination as they
face brutal occupation by the Israeli state. This is vital to
collective security of all peoples in the region.

6) Further events also confirm the urgency of our struggles. In
Argentina the financial and economic crisis caused by IMF structural
adjustment and mounting debt precipitated a social and political
crisis. This crisis generated spontaneous protests of the middle and
working classes (repression which caused numerous deaths), failure of
governments, and new alliances between different social groups. With
the force of “cacerolazos” and “piquetes,” popular mobilisations have
demanded their basic rights of food, jobs and housing. We reject the
criminalisation of social movements in Argentina and the attacks
against democratic rights and freedom. We also condemn the greed and
and the blackmail of the multinational corporation supported by the
governments of the rich countries.

7) The collapse of the multinational Enron exemplifies the bankruptcy
of the casino economy and the corruption of businessmen and
politicians, leaving workers without jobs and pensions. In developing
countries this multinational engaged in fraudulent activities and its
projects pushed people off their land and led to sharp increases in
the price of water and electricity.

8) The United States government, in its efforts to protect the
interests of big corporations, arrogantly walked away from
negotiations on global warming, the antiballistic missile treaty, the
Convention on Biodiversity, the UN conference on racism and
intolerance, and the talks to reduce the supply of small arms,
proving once again that US unilateralism undermines attempts to find
multilateral solutions to global problems.

9) In Genoa the G8 failed completely in its self-assumed task of
global government. In the face of massive mobilisation and
resistance, they responded with violence and repression, denouncing
as criminals those who dared to protest. But they failed to
intimidate our movement.

10) All this is happening in the context of a global recession. The
neoliberal economic model is destroying the rights, living conditions
and livelihoods of people. Using every means to protect their “share
value,” multinational companies lay off workers, slash wages and
close factories, squeezing the last dollar from the workers.
Governments faced with this economic crisis respond by privatising,
cutting social sector expenditures and permanently reducing workers’
rights. This recession exposes the fact that the neoliberal promise
of growth and prosperity is a lie.

11) The global movement for social justice and solidarity faces
enormous challenges: its fight for peace and collective security
implies confronting poverty, discriminations, dominations and the
creation of an alternative sustainable society.

Social movements energetically condemn violence and militarism as a
means of conflict resolution; the promotion of low intensity
conflicts and military operations in the Colombia Plan as part of the
Andes regional initiative, the Puebla Panama plan, the arms trade and
higher military budgets, economic blockades against people and
nations especially against Cuba and Iraq, and the growing repression
against trade unions, social movements, and activists.

We support the trade unions and informal sector worker struggles as
essential to maintain working and living conditions, the genuine
right to organise, to go on strike, to negotiate collective
agreements, and to achieve equality in wages and working conditions
between women and men. We reject slavery and the exploitation of
children. We support workers struggles and the trade union fights
against casualisation, subcontracting of labour and lay offs, and
demand new international rights for the employees of the
multinational companies and their affiliates, in particular the right
to unionise and space for collective bargaining. Equally we support
the struggles of farmers and peoples organisations for their rights
to a livelihood, and to land, forests and water.

12) Neoliberal policies create tremendous misery and insecurity. They
have dramatically increased the trafficking and sexual exploitation
of women and children. Poverty and insecurity creates millions of
migrants who are denied their dignity, freedom, and rights. We
therefore demand the right of free movement; the right to physical
integrity and legal status of all migrants. We support the rights of
indigenous peoples and the fulfillment of ILO article 169 in national
legal frameworks.

13) The external debt of the countries of the South has been repaid
several times over. Illegitimate, unjust and fraudulent, debt
functions as an instrument of domination, depriving people of their
fundamental human rights with the sole aim of increasing
international usury. We demand unconditional cancellation of debt and
the reparation of historical, social, and ecological debts. The
countries demanding repayment of debt have engaged in exploitation of
the natural resources and the traditional knowledge of the South.

14) Water, land, food, forests, seeds, culture and people’s
identities are common assets of humanity for present and future
generations. It is essential to preserve biodiversity. People have
the right to safe and permanent food free from genetically modified
organisms. Food sovereignty at the local, national, regional level is
a basic human right; in this regard, democratic land reforms and
peasant’s access to land are fundamental requirements.

15) The meeting in Doha confirmed the illegitimacy of the WTO. The
adoption of the “development agenda” only defends corporate
interests. By launching a new round, the WTO is moving closer to its
goal of converting everything into a commodity. For us, food, public
services, agriculture, health and education are not for sale.
Patenting must not to be used a weapon against the poor countries and
peoples. We reject the patenting and trading of life forms. The WTO
agenda is perpetuated at the continental level by regional free trade
and investment agreements. By organizing protests such as the huge
demonstrations and plebiscites against FTAA, people have rejected
these agreements as representing a recolonisation and the destruction
of fundamental social, economical, cultural and environmental rights
and values.

16) We will strengthen our movement through common actions and
mobilizations for social justice, for the respect of rights and
liberties, for quality of life, equality, dignity and peace. We are
fighting for:

– democracy: people have the right to know about and criticize the
decisions of their own governments, especially with respect to
dealings with international institutions. Governments are ultimately
accountable to their people. While we support the establishment of
electoral and participative democracy across the world, we emphasise
the need for the democratisation of states and societies and the
struggles against dictatorship.

– the abolition of external debt and reparations.

– against speculative activities: we demand the creation of specific
taxes such as the Tobin Tax, and the abolition of tax havens.

– the right to information

– women’s rights, freedom from violence, poverty and exploitation.

– against war and militarism, against foreign military bases and
interventions, and the systematic escalation of violence. We choose
to privilige negotiation and non violent conflict resolution. We
affirm the right for all the people to ask international m‚diation,
with the participation independant actors from the civil society.

– the rights of youth, their access to free public education and
social autonomy, and the abolition of compulsory military service.

– the self determination of all peoples, especially the rights of
indigenous peoples.

In the years to come, we will organise collective mobilisations
including,
in 2002:

8 March: International women’s day

17 April: International day of peasant’s struggle.

1 May: labour day.

7 October: world day for the homeless.

12 October: cry of the excluded.

16 October: world food day.

Other global mobilisations will take place :

15 – 16 March: Barcelona (Spain), summit of the EU.

18 – 22 March: Monterrey (Mexico), United Nations Conference on
Financing for Developement.

17 – 18 May: Madrid (Spain), summit of Latin America, Caribbean and
Europe.

May, Asia Development Bank Annual Meting, Shanghai China

1 May: “International day of action against militarism and peace”

end of May, 4th preparatory meeting for the World Summit on
Sustainable Development, Indonesia

June: Roma (Italy), World Food Summit;

22 -23 June: Sevilla EU summit

July: Toronto and Calgary(Canada), G8 summit.

22 July: USA campaign against Coca Cola

September: Johannesburg (South Africa), Rio+10.

September, Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), Copenhagen

October: Quito (Ecuador), Social continental forum “A new integration
is possible”

November: Cuba, 2nd Hemispheric meeting against FTAA

December: Copenhagen (Denmark), summit of EU.

In 2003:

April: Buenos Aires (Argentina), summit of the FTAA.

June: Thessaloniki EU Summit

June, France, G8

WTO, IMF and World Bank will meet somewhere, sometime.

And we will be there