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Inhabitants from Bangalore to Dakar through Asia!

Building the WAI Steering Committee for Asia (Bangalore, 18-22 August 2010)

Building the WAI Steering Committee for Asia (Bangalore, 18-22 August 2010)

Statement - WAI Preparatory Meeting -August 18-22, 2010 Bangalore, India

On the occasion of the Asian Citizens Assembly (ACA), held in Bangalore, India, 18-22 August 2010, we, participants representing different inhabitants’ organisations and networks in the region, have met to share our respective member communities’ responses to evictions and the strategies and alternatives we present to governments with a view to securing land and housing for the families affected.

Community leaders from Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi and Chennai shared success stories and talked about their ongoing struggles and approaches to dealing with the continuing challenge of government policies of removing evicted inhabitants to distant locations. Developments on inhabitants struggles in Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Philippines and Bangladesh were likewise shared by LOCOA and IAI.The need to update our analysis of these situations and to hone the weapons we use to to fight evictions was underlined.

In all of these experiences, we affirm the primary role of inhabitants and their right to organise themselves and to take part in decisions made about where and when they will move, working towards their empowerment as the builders of their communities with the right to exercise their right to the city.

We also learned about the Zero Evictions Campaign and agreed to consult our constituencies about adding value to our efforts by linking the actions we are already taking and will take in coming months, at both local and regional levels, to and through the Zero Evictions Campaign.

We were introduced to the ideas behind the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI) to be be held in February 2011 (WSF Dakar): how it is to serve as a space for inhabitants from different parts of the world who are struggling for secure tenure of land and housing to work towards the realization of the right to the city, under the banner of the World Social Forum. We believe that holding the WAI in 2011 is a major milestone in the development of a broad social movement of inhabitants to develop a platform that is based on a bottom-up rather than a top-down approach. Such a platform, we likewise affirm, is one that can provide an alternative to urban policies shaped by the interests promoting and sustaining the neoliberal economic framework of global capitalism that marginalizes and exclude the poor sectors of society.

As our contribution to the preparatory process for WAI, we agreed to undertake the following:

  • disseminate the above information to our members and invite other inhabitants’ organizations and networks from all over the region to join the WAI process
  • set up a WAI Steering Committee for Asia to plan and promote maximum participation in the WAI in February 2011 as well as to formulate a two-to-three year action plan to follow the WAI
  • identify local universities who can participate in the Urban Popular University of IAI as a tool for empowering inhabitants through the methodology applied in the UPU approach
  • designate our representative to the Global Steering Committee meeting of the WAI to be held in Bobigny, France, 11-16 October 2010
  • identify local government officials who are sympathetic to the concerns of inhabitants’ organizations to establish partnerships and gain the support of the Forum of Local Authorities, as well as foundations or other stakeholders, to implement the WAI process, the contents, and the dialogue, and to enable inhabitants to participate in the Dakar event
  • establish links with the organizing groups of South Asia Social Forum to be held in 2011
  • carry out mass actions at local and regional levels on the occasion of World Habitat Day, on the first Monday of October 2010 and during the following month, marking World Zero Evictions Days, to establish the place of inhabitants as a basic social sector with a right to the city and to build the foundations for sustainable community development
  • designate Fides Bagasao as interim convenor of WAI Asia Steering Committee
  • meet at LOCOA event (October 2010) to consolidate the proposals and agenda for the WAI process in the region.
Nom des participants Organisation Pays
Cesare Ottolini IAI Italie
Maria Fides Bagasao LOCOA Philippines
Flora Asidao Santos Charter for Human Responsibility Philippines
Lalitha. S. A. Nayak SES/IDEA Delhi, Inde

C. Rajan

Gopa Raman



Bangalore, Inde
Bhullan Ram Howrah Dalit Forum Kolkata, Inde
Sougata Sarkar IDEA Kolkata, Inde
Arvind Kumar Urban Poor Forum Delhi, Inde
Angelis Pasumai Thaayagar Chennai, Inde
Hyowoo NA Asian Bridge Corée
Abu Rayhan Al-Beeroonee Shelter for the Poor Bangladesh
Muhammad Hilaluddin Angikar Bangladesh Foundation Facilitator South Asia Social Forum Bangladesh
Presentation of the WAI Steering Committee for Asia at ACA (Bangalore, 18-22 August 2010)

Presentation of the WAI Steering Committee for Asia at ACA (Bangalore, 18-22 August 2010)

Info and signatures:

International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), www.habitants.org , info@habitants.org

Leaders and Organizers of Community Organizations in Asia (LOCOA) www.locoa.net , fides_bagasao@yahoo.com


The Volunteer translator for housing rights without frontiers of IAI who has collaborated on the translation of this text was:

Ann Varley


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