Statement from European/Prague Spring December 5 – 6 mobilizing meeting for World Social Forum 2021.

Never again

Never again will we allow billionaires to have their bank accounts enlarged with the amount of the wealth of whole nations due to a pandemia crisis while the poor suffer. We will not allow the club at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to continue the corporate capture of nature and societies. We refuse to blame China, Russia or muslims for the problems those in power have created themselves.

Instead we will build a peace movement for ecosocial transition. In this way we address the concerns of people in common in our daily life and prevent humankind from extinction. This is the conclusion of the European/Prague Spring 2020 meetings in April and December.
We oppose the neoliberal agenda of WEF. We resist their strategy to turn every social and environmental issue into products and services to be sold on a global market. The militarized neoliberal model has no future. It has only created endless wars and a cleavage between the West and the rest of the world. It has also produced a twin social conservative component following the same militarized and austerity path. These right wing populist tendencies emerged early in Central and Eastern Europe and is now common all over the world also in big countries. Instead of addressing the causes of the present social and ecological crisis these political forces work in tandem with the neoliberal forces dominating the Davos meetings and EU. Together they now turn more and more authoritarian.

We have met during several European/Prague Spring 2020 meetings in April and December addressing repression, internationalistic answers to the corona crisis and how to combine peace, justice and environmental concerns. We have listened to people from a wide range of national or European movements and organizations. Movements in Central and Eastern European countries from Armenia to Lithuania, Russia to Hungary have been especially well represented when issues of repression, conflicts and peace have been discussed and peaceful solutions promoted. But also from Catalonia and Austria. No to Nato, Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth, trade unions and transform! Europe has addressed the concern for peace, social justice and the environment. Social Forums in Russia and Finland as well as members of Prague Spring 2 European network and the International Council of World Social Forum have shown a strong connection to the social forum process.

In several ways important for the future has been that a half of the speakers in common sessions have been coming from youth movements as UNITED against racism, No Hate Speech Network, Extinction Rebellion, International Young Naturefriends, Youth and Environment Europe, and young members of other organizations.

In our daily lives, at the local, national and international level there is a need for the struggle against privatization, militarization and for constructive solutions enabling economic, social and political democracy. Both environmental, anti-violence, anti-militaristic and social justice issues have to be seen as equally important over a period of time and when needed all at once. The time has come for all movements to act together.

We propose a coming together on all continents towards a decentralized global Assembly of Social and Ecological Movements at the end of January 2021 as a part of the World Social Forum. An assembly opposing the World Economic Forum and promoting actions everywhere against corporate capture of our societies and international institutions.

We propose the following demands as important for the world wide peace movement for ecosocial transition we want to be part of:

Universal disarmament – invest in peace, climate and environmental justice, and welfare for all!

Put an end to austerity and the present unjust and racist world order, Tax the rich! Cancel debts!

Stop commodification of working conditions and social rights, culture, nature and the public sector!

Build trust and friendship across borders, no to scapegoating, enemy images and a New Cold war!

Build solidarity against repression everywhere, in the West and the East, the North and the South!

Fair trade and mutually beneficial international agreements – end unjust free trade, debt and EU liberal regime in the hands of rich countries to impose a global division of labor that destroys the environment and makes dignified life for all impossible!

Ecosocial transition making the life of small farmers and workers in industry and services dignified built on mutually beneficial relationship between rural and urban economies

We as participants at this meeting in our personal capacity endorse an international action agenda by informing and if possible participate in the following action days for freedom of expression to support Julian Assange 10 December and when the verdict will be made in January, the celebration of that UN nuclear ban treaty 22 January becomes a law and solidarity with Venezuela 6 December and Yemen 25 January.

Inspired by Nina Sankari’s report from the struggle against misogyni and patriarchy in Poland we also support participation from many movement on 8 March international Women’s Day and inspired by the growth of protests against state racism we also support broad participation in the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March.

We especially want to suggest to all movements participating in the World Social Forum 2021 to come together in common action weeks in the end of April and beginning of May for unilateral disarmament for building a peace movement for ecosocial transition and equality. Such actions weeks can build on the initiative by the International Peace Bureau and other peace movements to find common ground with all other movements. We suggest the possibility to use international action days already used by many movements and bring them together in a common effort for combining justice, peace and environment. We would like to support activities on:

17 April – International peasant struggle day,

22 April – International Mother Earth Day,

26 April – International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day,

Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) including International Anti- Military Base Protest Day,

1 May – Worker’s Day,

2 May – Odessa solidarity 7th anniversary of the attack on the trade union house in Odessa that killed 42 people and

8 – 9 May – Victory day against fascism in Europe.

Combined we want this to become 17 April – 9 May – International Action weeks 2021: Disarm! for justice and ecosocial transformation

We suggest also to continue to combine our efforts further on using such occassion as 5 June – World Environment Day, 6 August – Hiroshima Day, 28 September – International Safe Abortion Day, 2 October – International Day of Non-Violence, Gandhi’s birth Day, 7 October – world Day of decent work, 16 October – UN food day and 29 November – International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

We also support regional and continental mobilization and follow up of the decentralised and global World Social Forum 25 – 30 January. We see especially such mobilizations towards a common assembly of social, peace and environmental movements at the end of WSF as important with half of the speakers being young and a balanced regional representation as proposed by the organizers of the European/Prague Spring initiative which has mobilized all of Europe towards WSF.

We welcome a continuation of such assemblies in ongoing cooperation and suggest that a well planned global organizing on all continents takes place if possible before mid 2021 as a stepping stone towards WSF 2022.

We also suggest that a dialogue between movements and political parties as well as liberation movements as the Zapatistas and the social ecological transformations in Rojava can take place between them and such assemblies of movements. As this is not possible formally within the WSF process we suggest that such dialogues are carried out in a self-organized manner outside the open space. We welcome the call from the European Forum for Green, Progressive and Left Forces that from now on we need to see mobilization in non EU countries as important for the international European struggle as pressuring EU. This is an important step to have movements from all European countries to cooperate as equals.

We have been especially inspired by our young speakers who stressed the need to both do action while also strongly addressing the necessity for a system change, as Sina Franz, Secretary General of International Young Naturefriends stated: We don’t need a restart, we need a new start. We don’t want climate change, we need a system change. We have to act now, otherwise it is too late!

Undersigned in personal capacity:

Marko Ulvila, Tampere, Finland

Mátyás Benyik, Budapest, Hungary

Amos Wallgren, Helsinki, Finland

Leo Gabriel, Prague Spring 2, SÜDWIND-Austria and member of the IC of the WSF

Péter Farkas, Budapest, Hungary

Mirek Prokeš, Prague Spring 2 and the Alliance of Labour and Solidarity (CZ), member of IC WSF

Tord Björk, Friends of the Earth Sweden and Prague Spring 2 network, member of IC WSF

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