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“We are subjects of another relationship between human beings and between humanity and nature, assuming the urgent challenge of putting a brake on the new phase of capitalism’s re-composition and of building new paradigms for society through our struggles.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

Social and popular movements, unions, peoples and organizations of civil society from all over the world who were present at the Peoples Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice experienced in the encampments, in the mass mobilizations and discussions, the construction of convergences and alternatives, conscious that we are subjects of another relationship between human beings and between humanity and nature, assuming the urgent challenge of putting a brake on the new phase of capitalism’s re-composition and of building new paradigms for society  through our struggles.

The Peoples’ Summit is the symbolic moment of a new cycle in the trajectory of global struggles that produce new convergences between movements of women, indigenous people, Blacks, youth, family and peasant farmers, workers, traditional people and communities, Afro-descendant communities, people fighting for the right to the city, and religions from the whole world. The assemblies, mobilizations, and the huge March of the Peoples were the moments of maximum expression of these convergences.

The multilateral financial institutions, the coalitions at the service of the financial system such as the G8/G20, the corporate takeover of the UN and of the majority of governments, demonstrate a lack of responsibility for the future of humanity and of the planet, and promote the interests of corporations in the official conference. In contrast to this, the vitality and strength of the mobilizations and discussions in the Peoples’ Summit strengthen our conviction that only the people, organized and mobilized, can free the world from the control of the corporations and of financal capital.

Twenty years ago the Global Forum, also held in the Aterro do Flamengo, denounced the risks that humanity and nature were running as a result of privatization and neo-liberalism. Today we declare that besides confirming our analysis, significant setbacks have occurred in relation to already recognized human rights. Rio+20 has repeated the failed script of false solutions defended by the same actors that caused the global crisis. The more this crisis deepens, the more the corporations advance against the rights of the people, democracy and nature, kidnapping the common wealth of humanity to save the economic financial system.

The many voices and forces that converged around the Peoples’ Summit denounced the true structural cause of the global crisis: the capitalist system associated with patriarchy, racism, and homophobia.

With total impunity, the multinational corporations continue committing their crimes with the systematic violation of the rights of peoples and of nature. In the same way, they pursue their interests through militarization, the criminalization of the livelihoods of the peoples and of the social movements, promoting the loss of territory in the countryside and in the city.

They advance over the territories and the shoulders of the workers of the north and the south. There exists an environmental debt that mainly affects the peoples of the south that should be assumed by the highly industrialized countries that caused the current crisis of the planet.

Capitalism also leads to the loss of social, democratic and community control over the natural resources and strategic services that continue to be privatized, converting rights into products and limiting the access of the people to goods and services necessary for survival.

The current financial phase of capitalism is expressed through the so-called green economy and in the old and new mechanisms such as the deepening of the public-private debt, the super-stimulus of consumption, the appropriation and concentration of new technologies, the carbon markets and biodiversity, land-grabbing and take over by foreign companies of the lands and public-private partnerships, among other things.

The alternatives are in our peoples, our history, our customs, knowledge, practices and systems of production that we have to maintain, increase in value and promote as a counter-hegemonic and transformative project.

The defense of public spaces in the cities with democratic governance and popular participation, cooperative and solidarity-based economy, food sovereignty, a new paradigm of production, distribution and consumption, the change of the energy matrix, are examples of real alternatives to the current agro-industrial-urban system.

The defense of the common is guaranteed by a series of human rights and the rights of nature, solidarity and respect for different world views and beliefs of peoples, for example, the defense of "Living Well" as a way to exist in harmony with nature, which presupposes a just transition to be built with workers and the people. The construction of just transition implies the freedom to organize and the right to collective bargaining and public policy in ways that ensure decent jobs.

We reaffirm the urgency of the distribution of wealth and income, combating racism and ethnocide, the guaranteeing of the right to land and territory, the right to the city, to the environment and water, education, culture, freedom of expression and democratization of the media, and sexual and reproductive health of women.

The strengthening of diverse local economies and territorial rights ensures the communitarian construction of the most vibrant economies. These local economies provide sustainable local livelihoods, community solidarity, and vital components of ecosystem resilience. The greatest wealth is the diversity of nature and its associated cultural diversity, and those that are closely related.

The people want to determine for what and for whom the common goods and energy are destined, in addition to assuming popular and democratic control over their production. A new energy model is based on renewable decentralized energies that ensure energy for the people and not for corporations.

Social transformation demands convergences of actions, coalitions and common agendas starting with resistance and the necessary propositions that we are engaged in at every corner of the planet. The Peoples’ Summit in Rio +20 encourages us to move forward in our struggles.

Rio de Janeiro, June 15 to 22, 2012.
Civil Society Facilitating Committee at Rio+20 – Peoples’ Summit 

Source: Movimento Sem Terra Brasil, MST Brasil:

Photo: Peoples’ Summit, June 15-23, 2012, Rio de Janeiro (Cúpula dos Povos)


Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC)
Information and analysis about the social-ecclesial reality, development and human rights in Latin America and other regions of the world
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