RIO+20 PEOPLES’ SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE -
IN DEFENSE OF THE COMMONS AND AGAINST THE COMMODIFICATION OF LIFE
Social and grassroots’ movements, trade unions, peoples, civil society organizations and environmentalists from all around the world present at the Rio+20 Peoples’ Summit for Social and Environmental Justice have experienced in camps, massive mobilizations, and debates the building of convergences and alternatives while, conscious that we are subjects of another relation between men and women and between humanity and nature, taking the urgent challenge of halting this new phase of recomposition of capitalism and building, through our struggles, new paradigms of society.
The Peoples’ Summit is the symbolic moment of a new cycle in the history of the global struggles, one engendering new worldwide convergences between women’s movements, indigenous movements, blacks, youths, family farmers and peasants, working men and women, traditional peoples and communities, Afro-Brazilian quilombola, fighters for the right to the city, and religions. The assemblies, mobilizations, and the huge March of the Peoples were the culmination of these convergences.
The multilateral financial institutions, the coalitions at the service of the financial system, such as the G8/G20, the corporate capture of the United Nations, and most governments have shown to be irresponsible with the future of humanity and the planet, and have promoted the interests of corporations at the official conference. In contrast, the vitality and strength of the mobilizations and debates at the Peoples’ Summit have strengthened our conviction that only the people organized and mobilized can free the world from the grip of corporations and financial capital.
Twenty years ago the Global Forum, also held on the Flamengo Landfill, denounced the risks that humanity and nature were running with privatization and neoliberalism. Today we affirm that, in addition to confirming our analysis, there have been significant setbacks in relation to already recognized human rights. Rio+20 repeats the failed script of false solutions advocated by the same actors that brought about the global crisis. The more the crisis deepens, the more the corporations move against the peoples’ rights, democracy, and nature by snatching humanity’s common goods in order to save the economic-financial system.
The multiple voices and forces that converge around the Peoples’ Summit denounce the true structural cause of the global crisis: the patriarchal, racist, and homophobic capitalist system.
The transnational corporations continue to commit their crimes by systematically violating the rights of the peoples and nature with total impunity. What’s more, they keep on advancing their interests through militarization, the criminalization of the peoples’ ways of life and social movements, and by promoting deterritorialization in the countryside and in the city.
We also denounce the historical environmental debt that overwhelmingly affects the oppressed peoples of the world, which must be met by the highly industrialized countries, since they themselves ultimately caused the multiple crises we are undergoing today.
Capitalism also leads to the loss of social, democratic and community control over strategic natural resources and services, which are still being privatized, thus converting rights into commodities and curtailing access by the peoples to goods and services that are essential to their survival.
The so-called “green economy” is but one of the expressions of the current financial stage of capitalism, which uses old and new mechanisms designed to, among other issues, deepen public-private indebtedness, stimulate over-consumption, appropriate and concentrate new technologies and the carbon and biodiversity markets, favor land grabbing and foreignization, and foster public-private partnerships.
The alternatives lie with our peoples, our history, our customs, knowledge, practices and productive systems, which we must uphold, revalue, and scale up as a counterhegemonic and transformative project.
The defense of public spaces in the cities, with democratic governance and people’s participation, a cooperative and solidarity economy, food sovereignty, a new production, distribution and consumption paradigm, and a change in the energy matrix are examples of real alternatives to face the present agro-urban-industrial system.
The defense of the commons is premised on guaranteeing a range of human and nature’s rights, on solidarity with and respect for the worldviews and beliefs of the peoples, as, for instance, the defense of “Living Well” as a way of existing in harmony with nature, thus presupposing that a just transition be designed with the workers and the people.
We demand a just transition premised on the broadening of the concept of work, recognition of women’s work, and a balance between production and reproduction so that this is no longer a female-only duty. Just transition also entails the right to organize and collective bargaining, as well as the establishment of a wide social protection/safety net, understood as a human right, in addition to public policies that ensure decent forms of work.
We affirm feminism as the instrument for the construction of equality, women’s autonomy over their bodies and sexuality, and the right to a life free from violence. Accordingly, we reaffirm the urgency of wealth and income distribution, of fighting against racism and ethnocide, of securing the right to the land and the territory, the right to the city, and to the environment, water, education, and culture, of freedom of expression, and democratization of the media.
The strengthening of the diverse local economies and of territorial rights ensures the building of more thriving community-based economies. These local economies enable local sustainable livelihoods and community solidarity, vital components of the ecosystems’ resilience. Nature’s diversity and its associated cultural diversity is the cornerstone of a new paradigm of society.
The peoples want to define for what and whom common and energy goods are intended, besides taking over people’s and democratic control of their production. A new energy model is based on decentralized forms of renewable energy that ensure energy for the population rather than the corporations.
Social transformation calls for coordinated and converging actions and agendas underpinned on the counterhegemonic resistance and alternatives to the capitalist system under way in every corner of the planet. The social processes accumulated by the organizations and social movements that converged at the Peoples’ Summit pointed to the following axes of struggle:
Against the militarization of States and territories;
Against the criminalization of social movements and organizations;
Against violence against women;
Against violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgenders;
Against the big corporations;
Against the imposed payment of unfair economic debts and for their auditing by the people;
For the guaranteed right of the peoples to the land and to the urban and rural territory;
For consultation and free, prior and informed consent, in good faith and pursuant with legally-binding ILO Convention 169;
For food sovereignty and healthy foods, against agrochemicals and transgenic food;
For assurance and conquest of rights;
For solidarity with the peoples and countries, especially those threatened by military or institutional coups, like what is happening now in Paraguay;
For the peoples’ sovereignty in controlling the common goods and against attempts at commodification;
For changing the energy matrix and model in place;
For the democratization of the media;
For the recognition of the historical social and ecological debt;
- For the construction of the WORLD DAY OF GENERAL STRIKE!
Let us go back to our territories, regions and countries in high spirits in order to build the convergences necessary to carry on the struggle, to resist and move forward against the capitalist system and its old and renewed forms of reproduction.
Standing and fighting on!
Rio de Janeiro, 15 – 22 June 2012
Peoples’ Summit for Social and Environmental Justice - In defense of the commons and against the commodification of life