International Festival for Peoples Rights and Struggles set on 17 November in Manila
A day ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial meetings in Manila, rights groups and NGOs will hold a peoples rights festival as a counterpoint event to the trade talks.
The International Festival for Peoples Rights and Struggles (IFPRS 2015) will take place in Manila on 17 November 2015, bringing together 500 activists, rights defenders, women and indigenous peoples from different sectors and regions around the world. Co-organized by IBON International and the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN), the festival aims to strengthen international solidarity and peoples resistance against new forms of neoliberal policies that impede peoples rights across the globe.
This year’s focus – Amidst the new world disorder and renewed imperialist offensive: Strengthening people’s solidarity for genuine system change – is reflected in the main themes of the Manila forum.
IFPRS 2015 comes at a critical juncture for the future of the people and planet as the 12- member party of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) recently signed a trade deal feared to bring devastating consequences to developing economies. With the combined strength of member countries, the TPP covers more than 40 percent of the global economy.
"With the recent signing of a TPP deal last October 5, the APEC Ministerial in Manila becomes an opportune moment for the US and its cohorts to cement a regional trade pact that serves the interest of US and its corporations at the expense of peoples rights and welfare," said Marjorie Pamintuan, Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Research Network, a regional formation of research NGOs in Asia Pacific.
The TPP talks have provoked strong opposition from countries involved in the negotiations as well as from peoples organisations around the world. Much criticism derives from the TPP being negotiated behind closed doors – only corporate advisors and lobbyists are given exclusive access to the text.
“The only way they could have completed the deal was to keep it hidden from the people who would have to live with its consequences,” said Antonio Tujan, Jr., Executive Director of IBON International, a southern-based NGO working on democracy and peoples rights. “The TPP is a US-conceived treaty that is part of the US’ rebalance in Asia strategy to regain economic influence in the region and counter the rise of China,” Tujan added.
The International Festival on Peoples Rights and Struggles (IFPRS 2015) is part of a series of events and protest actions parallel to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) happening in Manila from 17-20 November. Following IFPRS 2015 is the Peoples Campaign Against Imperialist Globalisation (PCAIG) that is set to kick off from 18- 19 November.
Congratulations to the International Festival for Peoples Rights and Struggles 2015 and some proposals to create mobilization together towards Quito in 2016
Dear friends and comrades of Urban Poor Resource Centre of the Philippines and of the IFPRS 2015,
The International Alliance of Inhabitants, a global network of urban social organizations and movements fighting for the right to housing and the city without borders, thank you for the invitation, greets you and wishes you every success at the International Festival for Peoples Rights and Struggles (IFPRS) that take place in Manila on 17 November 2015.
Unfortunately we cannot participate in this Festival, but we would like to share with you a commitment to sharing experiences and strategies as a basis for creating global solidarity with local struggles, an essential component in the struggle against the global and housing crisis caused by neoliberal policies, and in building a systematic alternative based on human rights and the environment and the redistribution of wealth.
All of this requires the inhabitant organizations, the true builders of cities, to take centre stage. Their responsibility to govern must also be recognized, rather than reducing them to simple users customers of territories.
Indeed, sharing the importance of the convergence of struggles is essential for winning battles and helping to build another, better world.
Therefore, you are invited to participate, and to disseminate the invitation to participate within your network and the IFPRS 2015, in the current mobilization towards Quito, 2016, launched by the IAI at the World Assembly of Inhabitants in Tunis as part of the WSF 2015 with the participation of grassroots organizations and networks from across the world.
The World Assembly of Inhabitants has confirmed the decision to build a World Urban Social Forum, as an alternative to the Habitat III Conference of the United Nations, organised in the capital of Ecuador in October 2016, as the proposed new Urban Agenda is based on neoliberal paradigms. In fact it declares that the future of humanity can only be urban, and this is why development policies, to be implemented by public-private partnership, need to exploit the commons, particularly the territories, as goods. The text uses a lot of neoliberal terminology, and does not include the notion of the right to housing in its vocabulary.
All this confirms that this is a clear regression in relation to the Habitat Agenda approved by Habitat II in 1996, accompanied by a total cessation of a true dialogue with civil society by the United Nations, and in particular with independent inhabitant organizations and networks.
Therefore, the alternative World Urban Social Forum should not only be a place of exchange and debate, but also a place to define a common strategy and make operational decisions on how to implement alternative policies, to accompany the process that constitutes the Urban and Community Way, i.e. the convergence of peoples’ organizations working in the domain.
In other words, the World Urban Social Forum should be able to create tools and alliances that can provide operational responses to problems arising from struggles.
It would appear that the main need is to establish Peoples’ Committees towards Quito at the territorial level, with the goal of informing on the relevant issues and mobilizing to rise to the current set of challenges, including participation in the Forum.
This is an invitation to all world organizations, in the Philippines and in the various other countries of Asia and other continents.
Meanwhile, among other things, we launched the Call for cases for submission to the International Tribunal of Evictions, of which the fifth session is scheduled in Quito. The ITE, launched by the IAI during the World Zero Evictions Days in October 2011, is a tribunal of opinion, whose strength lies in the quality of the Jury, experts in human rights emanating from different types of organizations and institutions, and in the mobilization of social organisations on the ground who defend the cases presented.
The first sessions were conducted in Geneva, and the March of Inhabitants to the Palais des Nations submitted the Recommendations of the ITE. The last session, which focused on the drama of evictions caused by austerity policies of the European Union, hosted in Milan in a squat in the old Alitalia offices, produced Recommendations that were presented to the Ministers of the European Union.
You are also invited to submit your cases of evictions with a view to sharing these violations with the world. You can do this very easily online, then the Jury will select the most representative cases and invite them to the session of Quito, with a commitment to disseminate information on all selected cases at international level, including to the Special Rapporteur for Housing Rights of the United Nations.
Mobilization continues at many levels. A delegation is currently meeting peoples’ organizations in Quito to work out how to coordinate local and international mobilization. We also have a strategy seminar on the same subject planned in Paris for January 2016.
Your contribution, as well as that of all the social organizations participating in the International Festival for Peoples Rights and Struggles 2015, is welcome and considered very important to win the battle of Quito and beyond.
With our best wishes, we are look forward to receiving the results and proposals that come out of the IFPRS 2015 , with a view in particular to jointly build international solidarity with local struggles, whose mobilization towards Quito is an essential step.
Looking forward to your feedback, ciao in solidarity.
IAI Global Coordinator
Please have a look a share:
To submit a case of evictions, go to the International Tribunal on Evictions website before July 31 2016
Do not keep silent: Communicate your case of eviction!
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org