Friday, 16 January 2009

The Paris Declaration: Confronting the crisis from below

More than 150 representatives of trade unions, farmers’ movements, global justice groups, environmental groups, development groups, migrants’ groups, faith-based groups, women’s groups, the have-not movements, student and youth groups, and anti-poverty groups from all over Europe gathered on 10 and 11 January 2009 in Paris to analyse collectively the current crises, to develop joint strategies and to discuss joint demands and alternatives in response to these crises. Participating organizations have also been Attac, Friends of the Earth Europe, Oxfam, and the German and Italian trade unions Verdi and CGIL. Together, they endorsed a ‘Paris Declaration’ which says:

“As the financial and the economic crises intensify, millions of women and men are losing their jobs, houses and livelihoods. Tens of millions more are forecast to join the 1.4 billion people already living in extreme poverty. The crises worsen the social, ecological, cultural and political situation of the majority of people on our planet.
Despite the evident and foreseeable failure of the current economic model, world leaders are responding by trying to preserve the system that is responsible for the crises. Governments have been quick to bail out bankers, corporate share holders and their financial backers with hundreds of billions in public money. To solve the problem, they put into place bankers and heads of corporations: the same actors that created the crises. The workers, the jobless, the poor – all those affected have received no help in their daily struggle to make ends meet, and to cap it all, they are now supposed to pay the bill.
Governments´ proposals to deal with the unfolding economic crisis do not address the other dimensions of the crisis we face today – global justice, food, climate and energy – and with it the need to transform the economic system towards one that allows us to satisfy the basic needs of all people, to implement all human rights and to restore and preserve the ecological basis of life on our planet.

It is time for change!
We can build a system that works for people and the environment, a system to serve the needs of the many, a system based on the principles of public benefit, global equity, justice, environmental sustainability and democratic control.
As a first step, immediate measures must be implemented to address the social impacts on people, whilst supporting the ecological conversion of the economy.
We call upon all social movements in Europe to engage in a process of change.”

The meeting supported mass mobilisation for a central demonstration in London on 28 March 2009 ahead of the G20 meeting: ”20 governments cannot decide on the future of the global financial system and economy.” It called to undertake a day of action in the week of the G20 meeting, preferably on the 1 April (Financial Fools' Day) all across the world, exposing unaccountable financial power and promoting democratic control of finance. Participants said the meeting was a further step in a long-term process of building spaces for European networks to meet. A follow-up event is planned for 18-19 April 2009 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

1 comment:

Sabine K McNeill said...

As a former system analyst from CERN, I've been following our financial system ever since 1989 and have been organising the Forum for Stable Currencies at the House of Lords since 1998.

Since I live in London, I follow the advice of a lawyer who said 'go for Parliamentary scrutiny via the Treasury Select Committee'.

More on the online petition "Stop the Cash Crumble to Equalize the Credit Crunch" which is on

With best wishes for more and more power to your elbows,