The social and popular movements, trade unions, people, civil society organizations and environmental organizations from around the world present at the People’s Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice experienced in the camps, mass mobilizations and debates the building of convergences and alternatives, conscious of the fact that we are the subjects of another type of relationship among human beings and between humankind and nature, tackling the urgent challenge of curbing the new phase of capitalist recomposition and building, through our struggles, new paradigms for society.
The People’s Summit is a symbolic moment in a new cycle of the trajectories of global struggles, giving rise to a new convergence among movements of women, indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, youth, family and peasant farmers, workers, traditional peoples and communities, defenders of the right to cities and religions from around the world. The assemblies, mobilizations and the massive People’s March were the most powerful expressions of this convergence.
The multilateral financial institutions, coalitions at the service of the financial system such as the G8 and G20, the corporate capture of the UN and the majority of governments demonstrated irresponsibility toward the future of humanity and the planet by promoting the interests of corporations at the official conference. By contrast, the vitality and power of the mobilizations and debates at the People’s Summit strengthened our conviction that only the people, organized and mobilized, can free the world from the control of corporations and financial capital.
Twenty years ago, the Global Forum, also held in Aterro do Flamengo, denounced the threats facing humanity and nature as a result of privatization and neoliberalism. Today we can state that, in addition to confirming our analysis, there has been significant regression in the realization of human rights that had already been recognized. At Rio+20 we have seen the repetition of the failed script of false solutions proposed by the very same actors who have caused the global crisis. As this crisis deepens, corporations continue to advance in a growing attack on the rights of the peoples, democracy and nature, seizing control over the commons of humanity to save the economic-financial system.
The multiplicity of voices and forces who have converged around the People’s Summit denounce the true structural cause of the global crisis: the patriarchal, racist and homophobic capitalist system.
The transnational corporations continue committing their crimes through the systematic violation of the rights of the people and nature with total impunity. At the same time, their interests are advanced through militarization and the criminalization of the ways of life of the peoples and of social movements, promoting deterritorialization in the countryside and the cities.
We likewise denounce the historical environmental debt that primarily affects the oppressed peoples of the world, and for which responsibility must be assumed by the highly industrialized countries, since they are ultimately to blame for the various crises we are facing today.
Capitalism further leads to the loss of social, democratic and community control over natural resources and strategic services, which continue being privatized, turning rights into merchandise and limiting people’s access to the goods and services needed for survival.
The so-called “green economy” is just another facet of the current financial phase of capitalism, which also makes use of old and new mechanisms, such as the deepening of the public-private debt, the hyper-stimulation of consumption, the concentration of ownership of new technologies, carbon and biodiversity markets, land grabbing, increased foreign ownership of land, and public-private partnerships, among others.
The real alternatives are to be found in our people, our history, our customs, knowledge, practices and systems of production, which we must maintain, improve and scale up as a counter-hegemonic and transformative project.
The defence of public spaces in cities, with democratic governance and popular participation, cooperatives and the solidarity economy, food sovereignty, a new paradigm of production, distribution and consumption, and a change in the energy mix are examples of genuine alternatives to the current urban-agro-industrial system.
The defence of the commons involves the guarantee of a series of human rights and the rights of nature, solidarity and respect for the world views and beliefs of different peoples, such as, for example, the defence of “buen vivir” or “living well” as a way of existing in harmony with nature, which implies a just transition to be built with workers and the people.
We demand a just transition that includes the expansion of the concept of work, the recognition of women’s work, and a balance between production and reproduction so that the latter is not considered as the exclusive domain of women. This transition must must also include the right to organize and to collective bargaining, as well as the establishment of a broad safety net of social security and protection, understood as a human right, in addition to public policies that guarantee access to decent work.
We claim feminism as a means to achieve equality, women’s autonomy over their own bodies and sexuality, and the right to a life free from violence. We likewise reaffirm the urgency of a fairer distribution of wealth and income, the fight against racism and ethnocide, the guarantee of the right to land and territory, the right to cities, and the rights to the environment, water, education and culture, along with the freedom of expression and the democratization of the media.
The strengthening of local economies and the territorial rights of communities contributes to the development of more vibrant economies. These local economies provide sustainable local livelihoods, community solidarity, vital components for the resilience of ecosystems. The diversity of nature and the cultural diversity associated with it are the basis for a new paradigm of society.
The peoples want to determine for what and for whom energy resources are allocated, as well as assuming popular and democratic control of their production. A new energy model is needed, one that is based on decentralized renewable energy sources and that guarantees energy for the population, not for the corporations.
Social transformation demands the convergence of resistance actions, coalitions and agendas and of the counter-hegemonic alternatives to the capitalist system emerging in every corner of the planet. The social processes accumulated by the organizations and social movements that came together at the People’s Summit pointed towards the following key areas of struggle:
Against the militarization of states and territories
Against the criminalization of social movements and organizations
Against violence against women
Against violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgender (LGBT) people
Against big corporations
Against the imposition of the payment of unjust economic debts and in support of popular audits of these debts
For the guarantee of the peoples’ right to urban and rural land and territory
For the right to consultation and to free, prior and informed consent, based on the principles of good faith and binding power, in accordance with ILO Convention 169
For food sovereignty and healthy food, and against agrotoxics and transgenics
For the guarantee and conquest of rights
For solidarity with peoples and countries, especially those threatened by military or institutional coups, as is happening today in Paraguay
For the peoples’ sovereign control of the commons, and against the attempts at commodification
For a change in the current energy mix and model
For the democratization of the media
For the recognition of the historical social and ecological debts
For the promotion of a WORLD DAY OF GENERAL STRIKE and of the struggle of the peoples
We will return to our countries with renewed energy for the construction of the necessary convergence of struggles, resisting and advancing against the capitalist system in its old and new forms of reproduction.
The struggle continues!
Rio de Janeiro, 15-22 June 2012.
People’s Summit for Social and Environmental Justice in defence of the commons, against the commodification of life