RRECLAIMING PEOPLES POWER, OUR RIGHT TO SAY NO!
TSF Action Agenda
Background of the process
We have gathered at this Thematic Social Forum to celebrate life and victories, affirm resistance and solidarity and build knowledge. We recognize and acknowledge the ongoing initiatives of communities as they resist, fight and build alternatives to the impacts of extractivist economy as articulated in this forum. Today all across the world we see the resistance from the local to the global, including the resistance of nature, to the model of overconsumption and overproduction that respond to the false narrative of progress and efficiency. We acknowledge the right of nature to exist maintain and regenerate as a living form and therefore, we are inspired by the struggles to recognise the rights of nature. Our responsibility is to defend and live in harmony with nature, as we are part of it.
Given the political, ecological and spiritual conjuncture of the world, this Action Agenda builds upon the solidarity of the peoples in struggle and builds on hope. Diversity and capacity amongst us have been crucial to bring us here.
We must acknowledge that people are seeking answers and trying to define questions. As the Forum we join hands with movements in the search to provide platforms through building alliances and bringing new partners from indigenous communities, faith-based organizations, labour unions, students and academics, youth, peasants, fisher folk and women movements. The identification of our synergies and convergences gives us greater capacity to raise critical actions, search answers and build new solidarity. We learn in action.
Through the debates and discussions of the Forum we have arrived at the following proposals:
1. Building continuity and deepening the process
1.1. Identify and give visibility to defenders who are being targeted as criminals and build public awareness, pressure and solidarity.
1.2. Set-up a website or other system where information can be developed for use by communities and shared with others, putting special emphasis on showcasing existing alternatives and developing new ones.
1.3. Create spaces to deepen our analysis and debate areas of new knowledge and those where there are still points of disagreements. Here we identify the following as key areas around which to find common perspective:
· Just Transitions
· Rights of Nature
· No to Mining vs Artisanal Mining (and what “Artisanal” means)
1.4. To map struggles, resistance and information that allows movements and organizations to connect with and learn from each other, which would lead to the building of a shared perspective based on people’s knowledge, shared experiences and solidarity.
Bringing together new and ongoing local, regional and international struggles to work in complementarity towards developing an inclusive and equitable just transition.
Facilitate processes where we join hands and create common campaigns that demands climate, environmental and social justice and the reparation of the Ecological Debt.
This should take into account the logic of sufficiency, which recognizes the protection of the source, capping and progressive reduction of the use of resources and materials, also fighting-off planned obsolescence. We call on society to resist processes towards overproduction and overconsumption, as well as the construction of a dialogue between communities, labour and indigenous communities to assist us in this difficult task.
2. The Right to say NO
This Thematic Social Forum has recognized the “Right to Say NO” as an important vehicle and strategy to connect and intensify existing campaigns where communities are already resisting.
A global campaign around the “Right to say NO” will be built in alliance with mining affected communities, organized labour, forest and fishing -dependent communities, peasant and indigenous communities as well as women’s movements and other like-minded organizations to determine their own development path and reject the violent imposition of extractive projects.
An important part of the “Right to say NO” campaign would be the demand we make to governments to integrate communities’ and people’s right to say No in their domestic and international legislation as a substantive right. The right to say No must be raised as the basic right of recognition to claim and enforce peoples’ rights. It goes hand in hand with reparation and compensation for the harms and damages suffered by our peoples and nature in our shameful past of neo colonial, apartheid and corporate impunity.
The call for a moratorium on new extractive projects and other harmful extractives should become an integral part of the “Right to say No”. We will join with the movements fighting to stop the destruction of the ecosystems under threat.
3. Targeting Corporate Power
Within the space of the Forum, we will facilitate and connect existing campaigns against state owned, national and transnational corporations (TNCs) and their shareholders. In challenging corporate power and demanding governments accountability, we will also join and support the campaign on the UN Binding Treaty on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to human rights and continue pushing for domestic laws and other instruments to be developed and enforced.
3.1. As part of targeting corporate power, we propose the establishment of a convergence group of organizations already working on campaigns to combat the illicit and unethical financial flows fueling the extractive industries. We propose to illustrate illicit and unethical financial flows can be the source of funding for the just transition. In addition, we and to support the divestment campaigns with respect to destructive industries. These should be organised in conjunction with the workers and trade unions operating in these industries.
3.2 To make a call to public institutions such as churches, universities and the United Nations bodies not accept extractives financial resources as sources of donations.
3.3 Developing stronger alliances and partnerships with workers, unions and organized labour, recognizing their own struggles and the precariousness of their working conditions.
4. Holding our governments accountable
We call on movements to hold our governments and multilateral institutions accountable to listen to the communities and protect their lives and livelihoods against extractivism. We will work for better laws and domestic policies and demand genuine and meaningful enforcement of these laws.
5. Global month of action
The month of October is already the month of mobilization of the international Rural Women’s Day, World Food Day, International Indigenous Rights and so on, therefore we propose to integrate the right to say NO to extractivism as the theme of the month of action in October. Using October as the month of actions presents us with an opportunity for greater convergence and mobilization. The month of action should also target specific corporations for common global action and attention. It is also a moment to celebrate victories and be inspired by those who have lost their lives in pursuing social justice.
We propose to reinforce the celebration of a Day of Remembrance every 10th of November for environmental heroes and martyrs.
The International Coordination Committee has to take forward the outcomes of the process.
The group who organised this meeting must be reinforced in the process. We need to consolidate through the integration of other actors proposed by movements and organizations.
We propose a second Thematic Social Forum in 2020 in a different region, including and building-up activities at the regional level in its run-up.
One of the tasks of the International Coordination Committee is to put in place a strategic communications plan to communicate, integrate and publicize the process and its outcomes including a feedback report.
Johannesburg, 15 November 2018.