People's Assemblies Network

GlobalMay Statement

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Multiple translations included at:  http://www.peoplesassemblies.org/2012/05/globalmay-statement/

Please comment in English below, and share with your local assemblies / other groups for endorsement…

GlobalMay Manifesto

We are living in a world controlled by forces incapable of giving freedom and dignity to the world´s population (if, indeed, they ever were). A world where we are told ‘there is no alternative’ to the loss of rights achieved through the long, hard struggles of our ancestors.

We find ourselves in a world where success is defined in seeming opposition to the most fundamental values of humanity, such as solidarity and mutual support. Moreover, anything that does not promote competitiveness, selfishness and greed is seen as dysfunctional. This immoral ideology is reinforced by the monopoly of the mainstream media, the instrument that manufactures false consensus around this unfair and unsustainable system.

But we have not remained silent! Our consciousness has awakened, and we have joined the wave of collective consciousness now spreading light and hope to every corner of the world. From Tunisia to Tahrir Square, Madrid to Rejkavik, New York to Brussels, people are rising up. In the Arab Spring, in the dignity of Iceland, in the dignified rage of 15M and Occupy Wall Street. Together we have denounced the status quo. Our effort states clearly ‘enough!’, and has even begun to push changes forward, worldwide.

This is why we, women and men, inhabitants of this planet, are uniting once again to make our voices heard this May 12th. All over the world. We denounce the current condition of our planet, and urge the application of different policies, designed to encourage and promote the common good.

We condemn the current distribution of economic resources whereby only a tiny minority escape poverty and insecurity. Whereby future generations are condemned to a poisoned legacy thanks to the environmental crimes of the rich and powerful. ‘Democratic’ political systems, where they exist, have been emptied of meaning, put to the service of those few interested in increasing the power of corporations and financial institutions, regardless of the fate of the planet and its inhabitants.

We declare the current crisis is not a natural accident. It was caused by the greed of those who would bring the world down, with the help of an economics that has lost its true sense. No longer about management of the common good, but simply an ideology at the service of financial power, seeking to impose measures that stifle billions of people, without asking their opinion. They say there is no alternative. They say we must leave our future in the hands of the same experts who destroy it.

Here and now, we’re back. We have awakened, and not just to complain! Here and now, we aim at the true causes of the crisis: their policies and lies hidden in empty rhetoric. Here and now we propose alternatives, because we want to fix the problem while also moving towards a more democratic world. Simply put, we want a world ruled by the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity – the old dream of our ancestors when they rose against oppression in previous generations, throughout the planet! Simply put we want a world where every woman, man and child is guaranteed the right to the free pursuit of personal and collective happiness.

The statement below does not speak, or claim to speak, on behalf of everyone in the global spring/Occupy/Take the Square movements. This is an attempt by some inside the movements to reconcile statements written and endorsed in the different assemblies around the world. The process of writing the statement was consensus based, open to all, and regularly announced on our international communications platforms, that are also open to all (like the ‘squares’ mailing list, the weekly global roundtables and the ‘international’ facebook group). It was a hard and long process, full of compromises. This statement is offered to people’s assemblies around the world for discussions, revisions and endorsements.

There will be a process of a global dialogue, and this statement is part of it, a work-in-progress. We do not make demands from governments, corporations or parliament members, which some of us see as illegitimate, unaccountable or corrupt. We speak to the people of the world, both inside and outside our movements. We want another world, and such a world is possible:

1. The economy must be put to the service of people’s welfare, and to support and serve the environment, not private profit. We want a system where labour is appreciated by its social utility, not its financial or commercial profit. Therefore, we demand:

  • Free and universal access to health, education from primary school through higher education and housing for all human beings, through appropriate policies to get this. We reject outright the privatization of public services management, and the use of these essential services for private profit.

  • Full respect for children’s rights, including free child care for everyone.

  • Retirement/pension so we may have dignity at all ages. Mandatory universal sick leave and holiday pay.

  • Every human being should have access to an adequate income for their livelihood, so we ask for work or, alternatively, universal basic income guarantee.

  • Corporations should be held accountable to their actions. For example, corporate subsidies and tax cuts should be done away with if said company outsources jobs to decrease salaries, violates the environment or the rights of workers.

  • Apart from bread, we want roses. Everyone has the right to enjoy culture, participate in a creative and enriching leisure at the service of the progress of humankind . Therefore, we demand the progressive reduction of working hours, without reducing income.

  • Food sovereignty through sustainable farming should be promoted as an instrument of food security for the benefit of all. This should include an indefinite moratorium on the production and marketing of GMOs and immediate reduction of agrochemicals use.

  • We demand policies that function under the understanding that our changing patterns of life should be organic/ecologic or should never be. These policies should be based on a simple rule: one should not spoil the balance of ecosystems for simple profit. Violations of this policy should be prosecuted around the world as an environmental crime, with severe sanctions for convicted.

  • Policies to promote the change from fossil fuels to renewable energy, through massive investment which should help to change the production model.

  • We demand the creation of international environmental standards, mandatory for countries, companies, corporations, and individuals. Ecocide (wilful damage to the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity) should be internationally recognised as a crime of the greatest magnitude.

2. To achieve these objectives, we believe that the economy should be run democratically at all levels, from local to global. People must get democratic control over financial institutions, transnational corporations and their lobbies. To this end, we demand:

  • Control and regulation of financial speculation by abolishing tax havens, and establishing a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). As long as they exist, the IMF, World Bank and the Basel Committee on Banking Regulation must be radically democratised. Their duty from now on should be fostering economic development based on democratic decision making. Rich governments cannot have more votes because they are rich. International Institutions must be controlled by the principle that each human is equal to all other humans – African, Argentinian or American; Greek or German.

  • As long as they exist, radical reform and democratisation of the global trading system and the World Trade Organization must take place. Commercialization of life and resources, as well as wage and trade dumping between countries must stop.

  • We want democratic control of the global commons, defined as the natural resources and economic institutions essential for a proper economic management. These commons are: water, energy, air, telecommunications and a fair and stable economic system. In all these cases, decisions must be accountable to citizens and ensure their interests, not the interests of a small minority of financial elite.

  • As long as social inequalities exist, taxation at all levels should maintain the principle of solidarity. Those who have more should contribute to maintain services for the collective welfare. Maximum income should be limited, and minimum income set to reduce the outrageous social divisions in our societies and its social political and economic effects.

  • No more money to rescue banks. As long as debt exists, following the examples of Ecuador and Iceland, we demand a social audit of the debts owed by countries. Illegitimate debt owed to financial institutions should not be paid.

  • Absolute end of fiscal austerity policies that only benefit a minority, and cause great suffering to the majority.

  • As long as banks exist, separation of commercial and financial banks, avoiding banks “too big to fail”.

  • End of the legal personhood of corporations. Companies cannot be elevated to the same level of rights as people. The public’s right to protect workers, citizens and the environment should prevail over the protections of private property or investment.

3. We believe that political systems must be fully democratic. We therefore demand full democratization of international institutions, and the elimination of the veto power of a few governments. We want a political system which really represent the variety and diversity of our societies:

  • All decisions affecting all mankind should be taken in democratic forums like a participatory and direct UN Parliamentary Assembly or a UN people’s assembly, not rich clubs such as G20 or G8.

  • At all levels we ask for the development of a democracy that is as participatory as possible, including non representative direct democracy .

  • As long as they are practiced, electoral systems should be as fair and representative as possible, avoiding biases that distort the principle of proportionality.

  • We call for the democratization of access and management of media (MSM). These should serve to educate the public, as opposed to the creation of an artificial consensus about unjust policies.

  • We ask for democracy in companies and corporations. Workers, despite wage level or gender, should have real decision power in the companies and corporations they work in. We want to promote cooperative companies and corporations, as real democratic economic institutions.

  • Zero tolerance to corruption in economic policy. We must stop the excessive influence of big business in politics, which is today a major threat to true democracy.

  • We demand complete freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration, as well as the cessation of attempts to censor the Internet.

  • We demand respecting privacy rights on and off the internet. Companies and the government should not engaged in data mining.

  • We believe that military spending is politically counterproductive to a society’s advance, so we demand its reduction to a minimum.

  • Ethnic, cultural and sexual minorities should have their civil, cultural, political and economic rights fully recognized.

  • Some of us believe a new Universal Declaration of Human Rights, fit for the 21st century, written in a participatory, direct and democratic way, needs to be written. As long as the current Declaration of Human Rights defines our rights, it must be enforced in relation to all – in both rich and poor countries. Implementing institutions that force compliance and penalize violators need to be established, such as a Global Court to prosecute social, economic and environmental crimes perpetrated by governments, corporations and individuals. At all levels, local, national, regional and global, new constitutions for political institutions need to be considered, like in Iceland or in some Latin American countries. Justice and law must work for all, otherwise justice is not justice, and law is not law.

This is a worldwide Global Spring, We will be there on May 2012, we will fight until we win. We will not stop being people. We are not numbers. We are free women and men.

For a Global Spring!

For global democracy and social justice!

Take to the streets on May 2012!

Also in Spanish at : http://acampadabcninternacional.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/en-es-may-12th-globalmay-statement/

 

54 Comments

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  4. There are so many things wrong with this statement it would be a neverending chore to knock you down peg by peg. The only diff between gov. and your movement,is they are in power and you lack power. Everyone thrives to be at the top,but not all make it. Just vote for who you want and let whoever gets in do what they have to do. Whether polotics or your local factory,to many chiefs and not enough Indians can only spell disaster and things will falter.

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  13. I fully endorse the manifesto for global democracy and social justice!

    Nicola Vallinoto, World Federalist Movement

  14. Pingback: International Assembly: Global May Manifesto « NonviolentConflict

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  17. Hilarious: “free medical care, education, and housing for all”.

    Perhaps society should throw in free ice cream sundaes and ipads as well…someday, these idiots might grow up, someday…

    • If you don’t fight for something you get nothing, which appears to be exactly what an ever increasing number of people have today.

    • If banksters can get trillions for free from the taxpayer, why can’t we have iPads and ice cream sundaes? By the time you’ll grow up, you won’t have a pension left to live off of thanks to them.

    • What’s wrong about free ice cream anyway? If a democratic majority votes for it, it’s gotta be done like all other democratic decisions have to be done. By the way: It would be less expansive than bailing out banks and give the ice cream industtry certainly a boost.

  18. Pingback: The Occupy Movement’s Global May Manifesto: Actions Worldwide on May 12 and 15 | Andy Worthington

  19. Great ideals, wise words, now let´s see how it works.

  20. I support this statement! Very well written, and this will be an excellent base for discussions on our local Occupy assembly open and in public space tomorrow on May 12.

    Thank you also for quoting liberty, equality, and fraternity and the pursuit of happiness from these important documents. We now have a good chance of bringing these good ideas, human rights, democracy, and fairness much more to life than ever before! See you in the global dialogue! :-)

  21. Pingback: International Assembly: Global May Manifesto | iNewp.com

  22. I support this document in its entirety. It is a beautiful and clear set of goals for humankind.

    This statement is going to be beyond the imagination of many who cannot conceive of such a society because we have been purposely subjected to a narrow interpretation of human and societal potential.

    The demand for meeting basic human needs is not a request for a “free lunch.” It is a demand for the commitment of our global society to provide these minimum needs for all humans and also an acceptance of our collective responsibility to make that happen.

    The demand for ecological responsibility by others is also an acceptance of our responsibility to do the same.

    The demand for democratic decision-making is also the acceptance that it is our responsibility to become educated on the issues and to participate where we can add value. It is also an acceptance of the compromises that will be required when all interested humans have an equal opportunity to participate.

    The possibility of approaching and achieving these goals is possible if we can imagine an economy founded on human and ecological values rather than financial values.

    The economic resources needed are available if we discontinue expending labor and materials in the vast majority of military expenditures and in products and “services” that do not improve the welfare of humans or the planet.

    The educational information and the means for democratic participation are now a possibility through the technology of a global telecommunications systems and the internet.

    The principles on which this document stands are those that have been the basis of humanity’s attempts to improve the condition of groups, societies, and nations throughout history. They include love and respect for humanity, all forms of life, and for the planet we share.

    I feel fortunate to see such a global movement beginning during my lifetime. We must strive together and we must succeed.

  23. Pingback: International Assembly: Global May Manifesto | My Blog

  24. This is a good general start.

  25. Just a small suggestion: Change mankind to people (really irks me when the universal masculine is used).

  26. End the pollution of our oceans. We act like little children; if we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.
    There are huge, and growing “Dead Zones” already. Yet we do not act, do not educate, do not even make plans of action. We cannot exist on this planet with a dead ocean.
    Initiate a global agreement stating the behaviors that may/may not be practiced to maintain a healthy underwater eco-system for our oceans. The underwater eco-system is one.

  27. Pingback: The May Manifesto of the Global Occupy Movement » A Wiser World

  28. I fully adhere to this manifesto although with somewhat of a concern for the transformation and implementation of values. It is true that our banking, political and economic systems are corrupt and we must bring an end to them. Certain aspects are salvageable, others need to be replaced all together. I percieve that the revolutionary spirit is one of peace and visionary pragmatism and i know this is the beginning of a tidal wave of social responsivity. Having said this I do not know if everyone is aware of the immense dangers that acompany change on this scale. Consider the dangers at both extremes before acting.

    1 Firstly, what are the actual measures in place for replacing the global economic system. Resource economics is only now becoming more fully explored and already their are complications in measuring human needs. Air, water food and shelter can not be made available through centralised democratic technology. We need sound social frameworks that expand organicly as media communications are just as open to technological prejudice as that of political self agrandisment.

    2 Secondly, the notion that corporate westerners and poverty ridden agriculturalists will somehow stumble onto common ground, is a pipe dream. The reality is that in order for things to change we need a completely different understanding of human work criteria. Their should be no farmer who does not bennefit from scientific expertise and no scientist without reverence for bio-dynamic equilibrium. We need to focus on relative and inter-relatable job titles that are flexible enough to represent human needs both locally and abroad.

    3. The clumsy disregard for military finances is quiet possibly the most obvious mistake. Yes war is counter-productive, Yes it is motivated by selfish national rhetoric and Yes it corrodes any and all universal human rights. But as with governmnet and economics, what are the practical steps necessary if we are to nourish social security without violence.

    I believe their are alternative economic systems to cater for the global economy. I believe their is a better way to govern ourselves than the petty national accountancy currently posing as politics and I firmly believe in disarming the industrial military complex, police and other forces of violence. If prisons were run like schools and stocked with directly violent thugs and indirectly violent cappitalists, then we might learn to behave together!

  29. What a terrific undertaking. I’m all for this. Brilliant.

  30. So to be clear: you want to raise taxes on the rich, or on everyone?

    Taken from the OWS forums,

    In polls by the New York Times and CBS, 67% of the population think the government should do more to help the middle class but only 2% think they pay less than their fair share of federal income taxes. A majority of the population is opposed to government spending to create jobs, and 64% would choose cutting government spending over raising taxes on corporations despite that only 4% think that corporations use savings from tax cuts to hire more workers. . . . Socialism is viewed positively by 49% of the 18-29 age group but only 13% of the 65+ age group in the US.

    • Well, then have a look abroad, where parties that speak out for tax cuts lose elections, because the people regard it as necessary to raise taxes in order to getting things done. Happening in Germany in recent years. I guess within the next few years there will hardly be any party which promotes lower taxes, rather rising tax rates are popular.

  31. Pingback: GlobalMay Statement – Translations | People's Assemblies Network

  32. Where can I find more information about the origins of this document?

    • Hi Devin Thanks for the interest, please visit globalmay.org or email dinamization12M15M@gmail.com so we can pass you links to local assemblies statements (like Bracelona’s one) and minutes of WGs meetings and mailing lists where the statement was borne, discussed and taken forward. Thanks!

  33. Please accept my BRAVO! as an endorsement. be seeing you in the commons!

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  37. Ilike the manifesto, though it might be a bit longy and too detailed in some parts.

    I especially like the part where max income is demanded, because I am convinced, this is a major problem: If there is a max income and a max everyone can own, no one (and no bank) would be too big to fail in the last place. This would enable a system where even neoliberal rules would not do too much harm. Example: The market regulates itself. Banks aren’t too big to fail. So, let them fail, let them get bankrupt. Decent banking will pay off in the long run.
    So people would also stop chasing after the big money, greed could be fought, as there was a maximum of what you could gain. One would (if the max is well set up) just be not powerful enough in means of property to influence too much, and one would not be able to gain more.
    On the other hand one would not have a communist system where all get the same no matter what. People want to achieve things, so let them within certain boundaries. After all you can tax them, so their success is for the benefit of all.

    This max income could easily be set forth in means of income and property taxes. Instead of having one tax rate for everyone or even have a fix number of steps (what we call nowadays progressive tax), one could have a real progression in tax rates, more for the richer, less for the poorer: One could have a steadyly rising tax rate, accorign to the mass of income or property, where from a certain point (which could be well above a couple of millions, but not too much) every further Cent of property and income would go to the (democratically controlled) state. Then the state should have enough money to pay for good schooling, good housing, good health system etc etc etc

    I feel, this would be something like one of the first steps to take, in order to empower the democratic forces within our nations to take all the other steps to a welfare system that deserves the name etc etc etc

    There is poorness because there is richness, so if we cut down richness, we’ll cut down poorness at the same time. But if we cut down richness to radically, we demotivate to many people to actually do something, because too many people are at least a bit egoistic. You cannot run the world with Idealists, there are too few of them, so let’s give the egoists some controlled room and make use of their work to benefit the common good. There will still be differences, but they’ll be much more bearable than what we have, and it will be working better than communism, because it does not only rely on idealism.

  38. Pingback: The GlobalMay Statement | Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

  39. This is exactly the right sort of thing to be doing.

    A couple of years ago I wrote the People’s Constitution, a link to which is shown below. It may be freely used by anyone.

    It could be remarkably easy to change the world for the better. This doesn’t need a human leader, it needs a humane idea. The core of that idea must be about justice, real justice, initially for every human being anywhere on the planet, but also heading towards justice for every living creature too.

    http://www.freedemocrats.co.uk/pages/whatwestandfor.asp

  40. Pingback: International ‘Global Spring’ Assembly releases manifesto in preparation for mass world-wide protests « International Law Observer

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    -Your friend in peace

  42. I love it. To me the revolution needs to be green first and foremost, and social justice will follow from that. (See what Naomi Klein has written about this.) So I’m glad that environmental concerns are also covered in the manifesto. It seems everything important is covered.

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