The Assembly of Social Movements is committed to the integration of all peoples
The third Social Forum of the Americas, taking place in Guatemala City, concluded with the Assembly of Social Movements, which was launched under the slogans “Mother Earth isn’t too be bought or sold; she is to be defended”; “No to forced migration; no to all walls”; and “for the integration of all peoples—universal citizenship.”
Pedro Franco and Luis Bassegio
Minga Informativa/ Grito de los Excluidos
October 12th 2008
At the beginning of the assembly, the participating movements pointed out that we are experiencing a great crisis within the system, which manifests itself through the deterioration of the environment, the rise in food costs and the recent financial crisis. They also brought up the fact that this crisis is not only indicating the collapse of neoliberal policies, but it also creates new possibilities for developing alternatives.
In recent years, movements have gone from an attitude of resistance to the elaboration of alternative proposals. These proposals, more specifically, are the creation of networks, forums, social movements, struggles for environmental preservation, battles against predatory multinationals, new movements such as those involving migrants or inhabitants, the proposal of the Bolivian Alternative to the Americas and the uprising of the continent’s various peoples who will create conditions that will foster the emergence of sensitive governments displaying structural changes.
These conditions drive the creation of a broad continental unity in order to advance structural changes, according to the criteria of the assembly’s various participating movements.
During the assembly, numerous proposals, such as the following, were presented and then incorporated into the final declaration:
The integration of peoples through the unrestricted movement of people, access to rights, political participation, including the right to vote, regardless of the legal situation of migrants, the creation of universal citizenship that expresses the motto “No to walls. Migration is not a crime; crime is the reason for migration.”
The movements demand the elimination of the shameful “return” directive, and they condemn the model that criminalizes immigrants not possessing official documents. Both proposals have been adopted by the European Union (“No one is illegal. Let them live where they want to.”)
The withdrawal of foreign armies from Haiti, the dismantling of military bases and the demilitarization of the continent and of the world.
An end to all walls, especially the one constructed by the United States along its border with Mexico.
Respect for indigenous people, sovereignty over food and the defence of native seeds.
“We’re all Bolivian,” cried the participants.
The right to dignified housing, the earth, the city and zero evictions and displacements; support for the World Assembly of Inhabitants initiative for 2011 to construct an URBAN INTERNATIONAL WAY.
To demand the right to communication in such a way that social movements can tell stories from the point of view of the people themselves, where freedom of expression is not contained within the narrow framework of freedom of enterprise.
The end of discriminatory chauvinist and sexist practices, and the end of raids and mass deportations of migrants.
To support the Day of Global Action Against Debt and the immediate cancellation of debt owed by Latin American and Caribbean countries to the European Union and the United States.
Freedom for the 5 Cuban patriots being held in North American prisons and for political prisoners from Puerto Rico, Guatemala and other countries on the continent.
At the end of the assembly, participants ratified their participation in the continental march happening on October 12, the Day of Resistance by the People and Indigenous Nationalities, leaving from the obelisk and finishing in the Central Plaza of Guatemala City.