geert lovink on 8 Feb 2001 12:41:41 -0000

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<nettime> Porto Alegre Manifest

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Porto Alegre Call for Mobilisation

Social forces from around the world have gathered here at the World
Social Forum in Porto Alegre. Unions and NGOs, movements and
organizations, intellectuals and artists, together we are building a
great alliance to create a new society, different from the dominant
logic wherein the free-market and money are considered the only
measure of worth. Davos represents the concentration of wealth, the
globalization of poverty and the destruction of our earth. Porto
Alegre represents the hope that a new world is possible, where human
beings and nature are the center of our concern.

We are part of a movement  which has grown since Seattle. We challenge
the elite and their undemocratic processes, symbolised by the World
Economic Forum in Davos. We came to share our experiences, build our
solidarity, and demonstrate our total rejection of the neoliberal
policies of globalisation.

We are women and men, farmers, workers, unemployed, professionals,
students, blacks and indigenous peoples, coming from the South and
from the North, committed to struggle for peoples' rights, freedom,
security, employment and education. We are fighting against the
hegemony of finance, the destruction of our cultures, the
monopolization of knowledge, mass media, and communication, the
degradation of nature, and the destruction of the quality of life by
multinational corporations and anti-democratic policies. Participative
democratic experiences -- like that of Porto Alegre -- show us that a
concrete alternative is possible. We reaffirm the supremacy of human,
ecological and social rights over the demands of finance and

 At the same time that we strengthen our movements, we resist the
global elite and work for equity, social justice, democracy and
security for everyone, without distinction. Our methodology and
alternatives stand in stark contrast to the destructive policies of

Globalisation reinforces a sexist and patriarchal system. It increases
the feminisation of poverty and exacerbates all forms of violence
against women. Equality between women and men is central to our
struggle. Without this, another world will never be possible.

Neoliberal globalization increases racism, continuing the veritable
genocide of centuries of slavery and colonialism which destroyed the
bases of black African civilizations. We call on all movements to be
in solidarity with African peoples in the continent and outside, in
defense of their rights to land, citizenship, freedom, peace, and
equality, through the reparation of historical and social debts. Slave
trade and slavery are crimes against humanity.

We express our special recognition and solidarity with indigenous
peoples in their historic struggle against genocide and ethnocide and
in defense of their rights, natural resources, culture, autonomy,
land, and territory.

Neoliberal globalisation destroys the environment, health and people's
living environment. Air, water, land and peoples have become
commodities. Life and health must be recognized as fundamental rights
which must not be subordinated to economic policies.

The external debt of the countries of the South has been repaid
several times over. Illegitimate, unjust and fraudulent, it functions
as an instrument of domination, depriving people of their fundamental
human rights with the sole aim of increasing international usury. We
demand its unconditional cancellation and the reparation of
historical, social, and ecological debts, as immediate steps toward a
definitive resolution of the crisis this Debt provokes.

Financial markets extract resources and wealth from communities and
nations, and subject national economies to the whims of speculators.
We call for the closure of tax havens and the introduction of taxes on
financial transactions.

Privatisation is a mechanism for transferring public wealth and
natural resources to the private sector. We oppose all forms of
privatisation of natural resources and public services. We call for
the protection of access to resources and public goods necessary for a
decent life.

Multinational corporations organise global production with massive
unemployment, low wages and unqualified labour and by refusing to
recognise the fundamental worker's rights as defined by the ILO. We
demand the genuine recognition of the right to organise and negotiate
for unions, and new rights for workers to face the globalisation
strategy. While goods and money are free to cross borders, the
restrictions on the movement of people exacerbate exploitation and
repression. We demand an end to such restrictions.

We call for a trading system which guarantees full employment, food
security, fair terms of trade and local prosperity. Free trade is
anything but free. Global trade rules ensure the accelerated
accummulation of wealth and power by multinational corporations and
the further marginalisation and impoverishment of small farmers,
workers and local enterprises. We demand that governments respect
their obligations to the international human rights instruments and
multilateral environmental agreements. We call on people everywhere to
support the mobilizations against the creation of the Free Trade Area
in the Americas, an initiative which means the recolonization of Latin
America and the destruction of fundamental social, economic, cultural
and environmental human rights.

The IMF, the World Bank and regional banks, the WTO, NATO and other
military alliances are some of the multilateral agents of neoliberal
globalisation. We call for an end to their interference in national
policy. These institutions have no legitimacy in the eyes of the
people and we will continue to protest against their measures.

Neoliberal globalization has led to the concentration of land
ownership and favored corporate agricultural systems which are
environmentally and socially destructive. It is based on export
oriented growth backed by large scale infrastructure development, such
as dams, which displces people from their land and destroys their
livelihoods. Their loss must be restored. We call for a democratic
agrarian reform. Land, water and seeds must be in the hands of the
peasants. We promote sustainable agricultural processes. Seeds and
genetic stocks are the heritage of humanity. We demand that the use of
transgenics and the patenting of life be abolished.

Militarism and corporate globalisation reinforce each other to
undermine democracy and peace. We totally refuse war as a way to solve
coflicts and we oppose the arms race and the arms trade. We call for
an end to the repression and criminalisation of social protest. We
condemn foreign military intervention in the internal affairs of our
countries. We demand the lifting of embargoes and sanctions used as
instruments of aggression, and express our solidarity with those who
suffer their consequences. We reject US military intervention in Latin
America through the Plan Colombia.

We call for a strenghtening of alliances, and the implementation of
common actions, on these principal concerns. We will continue to
mobilize on them until the next Forum. We recognize that we are now in
a better position to undertake the struggle for a different world, a
world without misery, hunger, discrimination and violence, with
quality of life, equity, respect and peace.

We commit ourselves to  support all the struggles of our common agenda
to mobilise opposition to neoliberalism. Among our priorities for the
coming months, we will mobilize globally against the:
· World Economic Forum, Cancun, Mexico, 26 and 27 February
· Free Trade Area of the Americas, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 6-7 April
and Quebec City, Canada, 17-22 April
·Asian Development Bank, Honolulu, May
·G8 Summit, Genova, Italy, 15-22 July
· IMF and World Bank Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA, 28
September - 4 October
· World Trade Organisation, 5-9 November (Quatar?)

On April 17, we will support the international day of struggle against
the importation of cheap agricultural products which create economic
and social dumping, and the feminist mobilization against
globalization in Genova. We support the call for a world day of action
against debt, to take place this year on July 20.

The proposals formulated are part of the alternatives being elaborated
by social movements around the world.  They are based on the principle
that human beings and life are not commodities, and in the commitment
to the welfare and human rights of all.

Our involvement in the World Social Forum has enriched  understanding
of each of our struggles and we have been strengthened.  We call on
all peoples around the world to join in this struggle to build a
better  future. The World Social Forum of Porto Alegre is a way to
achieve peoples' sovereignty and a just world.

Hundreds of organizations have signed this call. If you want to see
the endorsements, please check

If your organization wants to sign it, please send a email to mentioning your endorsement and giving all useful

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