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Last July 8, peasant, union, feminist and environmental organizations and movements of all Latin America gathered in Sao Paulo for the World Social Forum on Migration officially launched the Continental Day for Democracy and against Neoliberalism to take place on November 4, 2016. The idea came up as a proposal of joint struggle during the Hemispheric Meeting in Havana in November 2015, after 10 years of the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).
One of the spokespeople at the launch event was Tica Moreno of the World March of Women Brazil, who made reference to this day and the struggle against the FTAA, and the indigenous, peasant and popular resistance after 500 years of colonialist domination in the continent: “for us it is very important to remember this struggle, because this isn´t behind us. The violence of domination over our territories continues taking place, here in our country, here in our territories”.
These popular movements consider that neoliberalism is advancing with renewed strategies in Latin America. According to Rafael Freire of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA): “The current reality in Latin America is featured by the advance of a new phase of neoliberalism, whether through national blackmailing in presidential elections or directly through coups, such as in the case of Honduras, Paraguay and Brazil”.
Meanwhile, Francisca “Pancha” Rodríguez, leader of the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Vía Campesina), defined the current moment as extremely difficult “every time global economic blocs, fighting among themselves, competing for our wealth, our natural resources, our workforce, get together to continue plundering our countries”.
She also called to place the challenges we face in the framework of the economic political system as a whole: “Today we are facing this new challenge: it is not enough stating that we are against neoliberalism, which is nothing else than a step higher of capitalism. We are against capitalism, and against imperialism. This is what we´ve said at the CLOC and we express our deep solidarity with the struggle of the Cuban people and the struggle and resistance of the Venezuelan people”.
The struggle against appropriation (privatization, commodification and financialization) of common resources is a shared element in the peasant and territorial struggles, said Pancha Rodríguez. “The peasant organizations of the CLOC have an ongoing battle against the actions of agribusiness transnational corporations, the appropriation of not only our knowledge and seeds, but also our lands, water and even the air we breathe”.
About the place occupied by this day in the current Latin American political context, Tica Moreno said that this is “push in favor of the process we are building (…) a process of capacity-building, mobilization based on what we share and against the project of capitalist, imperialist, racist and patriarchal domination in our continent. It is a day that strengthens the struggles in the territories so that we can integrate all the struggles taking place in our continent”.
The organizations, movements and groups calling for the Continental Day are: the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Vía Campesina), the World March of Womens, Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC), [ALBA Movimientos>http://www.albamovimientos.org], the Martin Luther King Center, ALBA Movimientos Cuba, Jubilee South / Americas, Public Services International, PIT CNT, the Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power.
Imagen: Mayra Castro - CSA
El nuevo informe de Global Witness sobre personas asesinadas en 2016 por defender la tierra y el medio ambiente, la resistencia a las hidroeléctricas en Honduras y a la minería en Guatemala son otros puntos altos de esta entrega del Mil Voces.
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