CRISIS OR HOPE
Ten years ago hundreds of thousands people of all ages and genders, from all over the world, gathered in Genova to denounce the risks of globalization within neoliberalism. They joined together in protest against G8 leaders’ seeking to convince the world that commoditising everything would bring about welfare for all.
People who took centre stage and demonstrated during the Genova counter-summit were part of a worldwide movement “for a possible different world”. This had its roots both in Seattle in 1999, with the strong alliance between trade unions and grassroots organizations, and before that in Mexico’s Chiapas forest. In January 2001 the movement met in the great World Social Forum of Porto Alegre, Brazil, which gathered citizens, social movements and democratic organizations from all over the world.
This movement argued that the dogma of market deregulation was bound to increase inequalities, exploitation, wars and violence. It would destroy the environment, endanger social relations and even life on earth. Not wealth for all but more physical and cultural walls between the north and south. Not appeasement following the “end of history” but rather a “clash of civilizations”.
The facts show that we were right. Now everybody knows but, ten years ago, we were brutally and ruthlessly repressed just for telling the truth.
The city of Genova was physically and morally raped. The rules of democracy, which always uphold the right to dissent and protest, were suspended and overridden. A young man was shot to death and thousands of individuals were beaten, wounded, arrested, tortured. We were the victims, yet for many years they tried to make out we were the perpetrators. .
Now, yesterday’s reasons are even clearer.
A group of greedy privileged people is waging a total war on humanity and mother Earth. After having caused an exceptional world crisis they are trying to make the most of it by plundering the remaining natural resources and destroying social rights and guarantees acquired through two centuries of struggle.
This destructive project is producing permanent global war, total attack on rights – to work, to legislation on work, health, education, freedom of movement, cultural and gender differences as well as sexual choices. Looting of public assets, environmental destruction, climate change, territorial plundering.
By now, many more people than those present in Genova ten years ago are aware that only a radical change of direction can give humanity a chance and avert the major catastrophe that the ruling powers are working at despite their crisis.
We propose to all people that since then have been standing up for rights and the principles of the Genova 2001 protest to set up the conditions to meet in Genova in July 2011. The aim is to weave stronger networks of resistance, solidarity, hope and alternatives to prevent the reversion to barbarism.
We do not like the world we are living in because it is tailored on features that we strongly denounced 10 years ago. These characteristics are even more evident today due to a serious ethical, moral and democratic deadlock making the economic and financial crisis worse and more dangerous. At the same time, a strong feeling towards change characterizes our world and the new leading role of South American people with respect to their destiny is a clear sign of this tendency.
Thinking back, recovering, extending and upgrading the “Spirit of Genova” that has affected a generation might help: not to look back to the past but to imagine the future that we are bound to build.
THEY ARE THE CRISIS, WE ARE THE HOPE
All people interested in sharing this path are invited to endorse the appeal at firstname.lastname@example.org