Alter Summit: A People’s Manifesto

June 10th, 2013

Our urgent common priorities for a democratic, social, ecological and feminist Europe – Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 835, June 9, 2013.

Roll Back Austerity and Claim Real Democracy!

  • Europe stands on the edge of a precipice, looking into the abyss. Austerity policies drive the people of Europe into poverty, undercut democracy and dismantle social policies. Rising inequalities endanger social cohesion. Ecological destruction is worsening while acute humanitarian crises devastate the most affected countries. Women and young people are hardest hit.   
  • The European oligarchy employs ever more authoritarian methods to prop up a failed neoliberal system – all this despite widespread protest and resistance. Democracy and peace are under threat. Discrimination, based on religion, racism, homophobia or sexism and nationalism are on the rise and the crisis is deepening daily. The very existence of the European Union is now at risk while current policies weaken solidarity among European people.
  • Our most urgent priority is to build Europe on the basis of equality, solidarity, and authentic democracy. EU institutions and European governments now serve the interests of financial markets, with no respect for popular sovereignty. They must be brought under democratic control, just as the public interest must prevail and ecological and social needs be met. We base our demands for a democratic, social, ecological and feminist Europe on these principles, in solidarity with the people of the world.

I) End Debt Slavery: … //

II) Toward an Ecological and Social Europe, Roll Back Austerity:

  • Throughout Europe, particularly on its southern and eastern rims, harsh austerity policies are imposed, supposedly for the sake of debt repayment and reduction. Entire populations are overburdened, public spending is cut dramatically in essential areas, valuable investments in research or industrial activities are downgraded although they could contribute to a social and ecological transition.
  • These austerity policies enforced by EU institutions and European governments create a downward spiral, destroy economies, add to deficits, debt, unemployment and poverty and intensify the ecological crisis and the looting of the environment. Meanwhile, a small minority continues to enrich itself unduly.
  • Today, more than half of European wealth is captured by 10 per cent of the population. Present policies are intentionally designed to maintain these inequalities as well as the neoliberal model which is devastating the planet and undermining democratic and social rights.
  • We demand a complete reversal of these policies and a different model of society that ensures social justice, equality, a fair distribution of wealth, ecological sustainability and protection of the commons.

Our common and urgent demands:

  • Roll back austerity now: it is driving Europe deeper into recession. Cancel or veto the treaties and regulations that underpin it, such as the Fiscal Pact, the Six-Pack, the Two-Pack or the Pact for Competitiveness currently negotiated. Trade imbalances within the Monetary Union must be reduced by adjusting surplus country policies, not by imposing austerity on the deficit countries. Fiscal policy should remain a democratic choice.
  • Ensure tax justice with a just, progressive and permanent taxation system on revenues, wealth and corporate profits, with effective minimum rates applied in all European countries. Revoke increases of consumption taxes such as VAT and drastically reduce those on basic goods. Outlaw tax havens and strengthen measures against fraud and tax avoidance and evasion.
  • Develop public, Europe-wide investment programs under social control for a social and ecological transition. This transition should be based on an industrial and agricultural policy that addresses the ecological crisis as well as the need to create millions of quality jobs and should rely on ecologically sustainable and socially useful activities in the public interest. Among these would figure increased investment in education, energy transition, public transportation, and food sovereignty. It would simultaneously require cutting military spending and socially and ecologically harmful expenditure. EU and national budgets should also be reoriented in this direction.
  • Strengthen and develop the social and ecological commons, redefine and expand public services, including health, scientific research, education, early childhood nurturing, transport and energy, water, information and culture, public housing, credit and so on. Stop all privatization of these services, establish their public or cooperative ownership and manage them democratically.

III) Rights for All: No to Poverty and Precariousness: … //

IV)   For a Democratic Economy, Make Banks Serve the Public Interest: … //

… STAND UP FOR DEMOCRACY:

Current developments in Europe represent an outright denial of democracy. Democratic debate is silenced, repression against social movements is increasing and divisions are encouraged between people and between countries. The predictable outcome is the rise of racist, right-wing or fascist movements as resentment is partly directed against migrants, poor people, minorities, foreigners, and/or other European people. The best way to defeat these movements is to get rid of austerity.

Alternatives exist: our responsibility is to change the balance of power in order to impose them and build genuine political, social and economic democracy in Europe:

  • Because we refuse to be governed by a self-appointed European oligarchy,
  • Because we refuse the exploitation of people and nature in Europe and in the rest of the world,
  • Because we reject the European Union’s contribution to conflict and militarization,
  • Because we call for an end to the exploitation and the oppression of women and for a break with the patriarchal system,
  • Because we want real democracy, real participation and popular sovereignty,
  • Because we want a society that gives priority to ecological and social needs,
  • We are building a united movement for a democratic, social, ecological and feminist Europe!
  • We are supporting and strengthening each other’s struggles;
  • We pledge to join forces and to fight together to make our demands a reality through national and European actions.

The Alter Summit in Athens on June 7 and 8, 2013 is an important step in this direction.
(full text).

Links:

Real Assets, Economic Collapse & More, 14.48 min, (with David Quintieri, Author of The Money GPS), uploaded by Greg Hunter, May 28, 2013: … Author David Quintieri says, When the collapse happens, those holding real assets are going to be the ones with all the wealth. Don’t expect cash in the bank to help you either, Quintieri predicts, They’re going to go money printing all the way. But it doesn’t go to the people, it goes to the banks. And whatever money’s left behind, they’re going to do a bail-in with it … (see US Watchdog);

Actions backing Walmart strikers spread coast to coast, on People’s EWorld, by John Wojcik, June 7, 2013;

Today in labor history: Paterson silk strikers take to stage, on People’s EWorld, by TERESA ALBANO, June 7, 2013;

Mass layoffs hit European auto parts suppliers, on World DSocialist Web Site WSWS, by Markus Salzmann, June 8, 2013.

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