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Social Movements

October 12 - 18, 2009: Week of Global Action against Debt and the IFI’s

by Social Movements

16 September 2009

No More False Solutions:

People and the Planet need Debt Cancellation and Reparations, NOW!

The global financial and economic crisis has devastating consequences on the lives of millions of people the world over, both South and North, and on our common home, the planet Earth. Together with the food, climate, and fuel crises, it has led to massive job and wage losses, cut-backs in the provision of basic human rights to healthcare, education, housing, water, electricity, and social security, violent evictions from land and territories, increased concentration of corporate control and exploitation of natural resources, and a rise in racist, gender, religious, and sexual discrimination, among other impacts. The costs of this truly systemic crisis continue to rise, including also skyrocketing social crisis and heightened militarization, war, and criminalization of protest, even while the profits of speculators and other vultures begin to rebound.

Debt levels throughout the global South are suffering as well from the impact of these crises unleashed in the heart of the global economy, as a result of policies designed to favor the free flow of capital in a market that was declared to be self-correcting. As a result, a new debt bomb is set to explode: reduced earnings and taxes, falling remittances from migrant workers, and heightened social, economic, and environmental demands is pushing many South governments into a desperate search for the nearest money-lender, wiping out any recent gains and again falling prey to those who offer little if anything besides more illegitimate debt.

The debt that is accumulating is not just financial however. The false solutions being promoted to the finance, climate, food, and fuel crises are provoking a potentially irreversible increase in the ecological, climate, social, and economic debts owed to the peoples and the planet, especially of the South. Among those false solutions we could cite new lending for crisis needs or for agrofuels, megaenergy projects or so-called clean development mechanisms; the carbon market; giving a central role to highly questioned institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Financial Stability Forum, or the World Trade Organization; and also limited, lender-driven and conditioned debt relief, ignoring the pledges for the recognition of debt illegitimacy and cancellation of all illegitimate financial debts without conditionalities. Instead of recognizing the need for fundamental transformation of a system whose failure has become increasingly evident, the responses of Northern governments - in particular the G7-, corporations and some governments in the South have aimed at saving the system. Rather than profiting from the crises on the backs of the same peoples, countries, and planet that for a long time now have been paying the costs of their enrichment, they must provide compensation and reparations for their responsibility in provoking a criminal crisis and the disproportionate use of the world’s wealth and of nature.

Enough is enough! We, the peoples, must unite locally and globally to build alternatives of equity and equilibrium for all without debts or domination. We thus call on movements and organizations all over the world to join forces in the WEEK OF GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST DEBT AND IFIs, October 12-18, 2009. Together with Indigenous Peoples who are calling us to a GLOBAL MOBILIZATION IN DEFENSE OF MOTHER EARTH, October 12-16, and uniting the struggle for freedom from debt domination and market fundamentalism with the struggles for climate justice (October 13), rural women and debt repudiation (October 15), food sovereignty (October 16) and poverty eradication (October 17), let us mobilize for lasting solutions that will make another world, a just world, possible. TAKE ACTION AND DEMAND:

* Cancellation of all illegitimate financial debts without conditionalities

* Restitution and reparations for ecological, climate, economic, social and historical debts, on the basis of comprehensive and participatory audits

* Respect for the sovereign right of countries to stop servicing debt claims in order to meet their human and environmental rights obligations

* Solutions to the economic, climate, energy and food crises that neither increase the debt burden on South peoples and the environment nor the militarization and criminalization of social protest

* Creation of new financial institutions and global and regional financial architecture that put people and the planet before profits and corporate power.

The peoples of the South do not owe and should not pay! Debt Cancellation and Reparations Now!


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