June 19, 2012 – La Paz, Mexico – http://www.coaliciong20.org/
Social organizations, networks, and delegations from 25 countries were represented at the Peoples Summit: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore Spain, United Kingdom, United States
STATEMENT OF THE PEOPLES SUMMIT AGAINST G20
We, women and men from Mexican social movements and organizations and from delegations from more than 30 countries in all continents, express our resistance to the neoliberal model. Gathered at the Peoples Summit, we denounce:
The G20 Summit as an illegitimate body:
Because it is contrary to the principle of multilateralism. We are opposed to the fact that a small group of governments assume the mandate to decide how the rest of humanity shall conduct their lives.
Because it is but an expansion of the G7 with the addition of more countries. This is the very same G7 whose members are directly responsible for the deep economic, financial, social and environmental crises the humanity faces. They can’t be judge and party at the same time.
Because none of their proposals will work toward the benefit of the poorest. Their answers to the crisis are directed at maintaining the current system, without any fundamental change.
Because they represent an alliance between the global technocratic and political elites and transnational corporate power.
Because the kind of dialogues that the G20 pretends to be promoting with society is exclusively for the chosen ones. It is for this reason that the Peoples Summit has always been reluctant to participate. We’ve been requesting real debates that would allow discussion on fundamental differences, asking also that these not be held behind closed doors but instead be open to the public. We denounce the Mexican government for falsely presenting a democratic face and feigning processes of dialogue when only a segment of existing positions from civil society is being surfaced, excluding a whole set of other coalitions, both at the national and international levels. Finally, the G20 is illegitimate because it is composed of only 20 governments, while we the people are the 7 billion people. They create exclusion; we build inclusion.
The crisis has a profound effect on all aspects of our lives, causing suffering to each person. Scarce, expensive and unhealthy foods, job losses, climate change, and threat to the very survival of the planet. There is but one cause: excessive and irrepressible greed, which is the essence of capitalism, which in last few decades has become speculative, brutal, rapacious, and anti-democratic.
Speculative Capitalism: What we have now is commerce that is more speculative than productive. Available for sale at exorbitant prices are nothing more than expectations of future gains, even as everything is converted into “financial assets.”
As if they were in casinos, corporations and individuals speculate or bet on bonds, futures on food commodities, prime materials, natural resources in our forests, biodiversity, and other common goods essential to the health of Mother Earth.
Everything has been converted into bonds and financial instruments, made available for gambling in the securities market by countless corrupt persons – all with the complicity of the different nation-states. When the bubble on these speculative financial instruments bursts, and the real values are exposed, the banking system enters into a deep crisis. Incredibly, banks somehow succeed to socialize their enormous losses, convincing the different nation-states to save them, though with our own money and at the cost of job creation – especially for the unemployed – in turn causing further deterioration in social services such as health and education.
Uncontrolled, Brutal Capitalism: Everything is sacrificed on the altar of competition, subjecting everything to free trade, to the law of the jungle where only the strongest survive. The nation-states have transformed into guardians of competition, completely forgetting their obligation to safeguard the rights of the people and their communities. With the advent of the economic crisis, they instead have passionately guaranteed the “rights” of investors, thus institutionalizing the violation of the rights of the people.
Predatory Capitalism: The other group of business interests enjoying absolutely undeserved benefit from nation-states are those engaged in the over-exploitation of natural resources: toxic mining, extraction of petroleum, etc. These commercial interests plunder huge territories, contaminate the water and the atmosphere, accelerating global warming. If global warning is not stopped, the North Pole and the South Pole will melt precipitously, causing sea levels to rise dramatically. Huge swaths of coasts, including entire island-states, will be submerged under water. Cyclones will become more frequent. Farming in previously fertile agricultural land will cease to be viable.
This is the model of neoliberal and patriarchal capitalism that has caused the current crisis, a crisis that is unprecedented and unparalleled. We reject the set of economic and social prescriptions that the G20 wants to impose on all countries in the entire planet, one which is based on a free market that simply does not work. The complex and multi-dimensional crisis we face together calls for a change in the system. It is absolutely necessary that the different peoples to acquire ownership of and participate in the realization of this paradigm shift. The leaders of the G20 countries repeat their call against protectionism. We, the different peoples of the world, maintain that protectionism is a response rooted in sovereignty; it is time to protect the planet; it is time to protect our territories and our social protection systems.
The G20 has claimed the role of a world government, but at the same time has welcomed to its fold the rich and powerful speculators, and has even adopted their proposals. The crisis is not only economic, social, and environmental; it is likewise a crisis of democracy. The convergence of the G20 and its nucleus of power in the “Business 20” is concrete evidence of a form of privatization of the state. It is a power grab in which the multinational companies make decisions that affect all of us, without anyone realizing that they were not elected and are not accountable to anyone of us.
It is undemocratic that the G20 is more than willing to prop up this kind of capitalism with the use of military force, as shown by the current re-construction and enlargement of military bases, and the invasion of countries in the Middle East.
It is anti-democratic: amidst the struggle of the people for their rights, its response is the criminalization of social protest.
Faced with all of these issues, the Peoples Summit shall continue its struggle for change, not only economic change, but change in deep-seated values, ways of thinking, of living, change in the way women and men relate to nature and to each other – in summary change toward a new kind of civilization that is not based on profit and consumption, but in the “good and meaningful life.” The Peoples Summit, which shall continue in Río de Janeiro, is taking steps along the long journey to globalizing the struggles, and we shall proceed as a grand multi-sectoral and global group that will advocate for real, honest solutions for the planet and for 99 percent of humanity.
We call for the strengthening of our unity, of our resistance, the articulation of the specific, individual and collective actions of the global social movements, using the following as the bases for our struggle:
The creation of a new financial and monetary system that guarantees:
o Control and regulation of banking and financial entities, eliminating speculation in food prices and prices of prime commodities and the financialization of nature;
o Regional monetary sovereignty;
o Tax on International Financial Services;
o Elimination of privileges granted to foreign investors by way of Bilateral Investment Treaties and FTA’s and the unjust mechanisms for the resolution of commercial differences like the International Centre for the Settlement of Investments Disputes (ICSID);
o Elimination of Tax Havens;
o The strict and comprehensive audit of foreign debts so that those obtained through illegitimate and corrupt means will neither be recognized nor paid.
The defense and protection of our territories and resources:
o The right of communities to decide on the construction of mega-projects in their territories;
o The right to healthy foods for all, free from GMOs and produced agro-ecologically by farmers, which in turn guarantees food sovereignty;
o No to toxic mining and mountaintop removal or open-pit mining.
Right to information, democratization of the different forms of media and universal access to the Internet.
For each and every woman and man:
o Work with sufficient benefits and decent salaries, collective rights that include just conditions of labor and equality for woman workers;
o Universal right to health care, education, water, decent housing, and a healthy environment. In summary, life with dignity.
We invite every woman and every man to continue the permanent mobilization against multinational corporate power and their governments, powers that will convene for another summit in Russia in 2013.
We shall strengthen popular power and the power of the citizenry. We shall globalize the struggle, the resistance, and the solidarity of our peoples.
No to the G20 because it does not represent us, because it is the voice of the thieves and looters, and it puts above our own interests the interests of big business and big capital, the most nefarious and perverse form of which are speculators.
More information: http://www.coaliciong20.org/
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