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CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL MOBILIZATION FOR LULA’S FREEDOM

From April, 17th to 25th in front of all Brazilian Embassies!

lulate.jpgDays before the two-year anniversary of the coup d’état, Brazil and the world watched the arrest of Luís Inácio Lula da Silva in astonishment. He is the most important popular leader in the country during the last thirty years and one of the Presidents with the highest levels of international recognition for fighting poverty and reducing inequality.

The conviction and imprisonment of an innocent man, through a process with numerous errors and legal absurdities, without evidences and based only on statements from convicted informers in exchange for the benefit of their sentence reductions, represents the continuity of the 2016 coup.  It also reveals the abandonment and subversion of the Brazilian democratic institutions by the right wing powers.

Since April 17, 2016, the coup makers are following a clear roadmap. They started by impeaching President Dilma Rousseff and now they advance overwhelmingly into a neoliberal offensive with new privatizations, handing over natural resources to foreign capital, dismantling the national industry and massive withdrawal of investment and social rights, among other evils.

At the same time, institutions at the service of the ruling classes, like sectors of the judiciary and the media, together seek to control the political life of the country and to politically and materially erode the people’s movements and the leftist forces. They built a legal theater through an intense defamation campaign to arrest an innocent man accusing him of passive corruption and to convict him without evidence. That’s why Lula is a political prisoner.

As a follow up of their strategic project the coup makers seek to legitimize themselves by winning in the 2018 elections. However, they know that it will only be feasible if they impede the left wings’ victory. The unfair and hasty conviction of Lula has the clear intention of withdrawing him from the electoral dispute, given that numerous polls show him in first place. Therefore, the coup forces will use any possible means to prevent a people’s victory at the elections.

Finally, we invite all social and political organizations, grassroot movements and citizens who fight against all forms of injustice and arbitrariness to gather in a broad international campaign for Lula’s Freedom.

With the hashtags #FreeLula, #LulaInnocent or #LulaPoliticalPrisioner, we are encouraging the organization of Committees for Lula’s Freedom around the world and for rallies to be held between April 17 and 25 in front of the Brazilian Embassies and Consulates, to express our rejection of Lula in prison and to stand in solidarity with the former President and the Brazilian people.

In the face of the grave offensive of the Brazilian right wing all the mobilizations between April, 17 and 25 will be of extreme importance, also because we might get new juridical decisions during this period regarding Lula’s right to defend himself in liberty and our support will be important. We inform that the popular peasant movement represented by the Via Campesina International is already planning actions on April, 17th, the “International Day of Peasant Struggle” in memory of the “Eldorado do Carajás Massacre” and the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC) is calling its national affiliates for international demonstrations #FreeLula too on the 23th.

We ask you to join them and to inform us about the cities, places and times of the rallies through the email freelulabrasil@gmail.com and also send us pictures, videos and other records of these activities.

World March of women Brazil, 2018

 


 

CALL FOR ACTION: 24 Hours of feminist solidarity action!

RANA PLAZA IS EVERYWHERE!…

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Five years have now passed since more than 1,000 women died and many others were injured in the collapse of the Rana Plaza buildings in Bangladesh, where they worked in dehumanising conditions in exchange for a meagre salary. The news shocked people around the world. Numerous actions were organised to condemn the tragedy and demand reparation for the damage caused. We, the World March of Women, join the urgent call from social groups and movements all over the world to put an end to the impunity of transnational corporations, not only in Bangladesh, but also globally.

In 2015, in the context of our 4th International Action, we decreed 24th April as a Day of Global Solidarity and Action to remember these everyday martyrs and to reflect on the place of women’s work in international economic dynamics. Our reflections and political analysis in the various places in which we mobilise and construct our campaigns has led us to the conclusion that phenomena such as the Rana Plaza disaster are everywhere, and manifest themselves in very different ways.

Once again, the mobilisations for 8th March this year represent a call to action by women’s movements around the world with regard to the work of women and their contribution to the global economy. The call for a general strike to demonstrate the importance of women’s work and to denounce the various forms of exploitation and inequality they suffer received support from numerous women’s groups and movements, as well as trade union alliances.

As 24th April comes around again, we, the women of the World March of Women, reaffirm our struggle, condemning the patriarchal capitalist system which preserves and perpetuates inequality due to the sexual division of labour, subjecting women to reproductive work while simultaneously rendering this work invisible and discrediting it within a broad economic sphere. Reproductive and care work is what generates, reproduces and sustains the life which maintains all other social and human dynamics. And yet, the capitalist, patriarchal system appropriates the labour power of women, and, in many circumstances, manipulates and commodifies this work for its own financial benefit.

The capitalist system was responsible for causing the economic crisis and recession. In this context, we see a weakening of the State and the loss of its role as a guardian of public policy and guarantor of access to health, education, transport, sanitation and social security services for citizens, particularly women. Instead, we are witnessing an increase in the power of companies which take control of institutions and services by means of privatisation. These companies reduce services to a minimum and charge a fortune for providing them. The majority of the population, especially women, are deprived of the ability to exercise their basic rights.

We live in an era in which imperialist capitalism is making great strides, imposing modern forms of colonisation on peoples and their lands: free trade agreements and megaprojects for investment promote territorial invasion, and the exploitation and commodification of nature and land, water and forest systems. They destroy the way of life, culture and traditional wisdom of local people. For capitalism, everything has a price and everything can be replaced. But we know that is not the case!

These instruments create discord, whip up conflict and make local life impossible. The North has developed on the basis of imperialist colonialism, and continues to use the same strategies today to save itself from this crisis of its own making. People are forced to migrate from rural areas to cities, or from cities to other countries, in search of safety and better living conditions. Often, women fall victim to extortion and are trapped in criminal networks where they are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour or slave labour, with no apparent escape route. What appear to be low production costs in Asia, Africa and Latin America represent a high cost in terms of the destruction of women’s lives, the environment and humankind.

This patriarchal, capitalist and colonialist system is not only designed to weaken the State, but also to destroy all forms of democratic organisation which defend the common good.

For this reason, we, the World March of Women, will mobilise on 24th April 2018 to reaffirm our fight to defend the systems which sustain life and to call for our work to be valued as a central part of the economy and of all systems ensuring the sustainability of life. We champion the values of coexistence and solidarity among women, between men and women, and between human beings and nature.

We call on all militants belonging to the World March of Women, as well as on allied groups, organisations and movements, to organise a political action to defend decent work and a fair economy in which women’s rights are respected on 24th April, from 12:00 to 13:00. In this way, we will be united for 24 hours all around the world!

We will continue to march until we are all free!

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For our dead, not a minute of silence, but rather a whole life of struggle!

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The World March of Women expresses its sadness and deep indignation at the murder of Marielle Franco, a feminist militant and city councillor of PSOL – Partido Socialismo e Liberdade in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was shot dead inside her car on Wednesday, March 14. In this moment of pain, we demand that the crime be investigated to ensure that her murder does not go unpunished. We express our solidarity with our PSOL comrades and Marielle’s family and friends.

Marielle, a black woman from the “da Maré” favela, was a militant of extreme importance to the feminist movement in the state of Rio de Janeiro. She fought for the construction of public policies for women in the city with an emphasis on confronting violence and defending women’s sexual and reproductive rights. She was recently appointed rapporteur of the City Council committee responsible for monitoring the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.

There are strong indications that the Marielle’s murder was a political execution motivated by the serious denunciations that she had been making about the barbaric actions of the Military Police in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro and, more recently, in the Acari favela on Sunday, March 11.

We join our voice to those who denounce Marielle’s assassination as the first political execution carried out as part of the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro. It is a criminal act that seeks to silence us. We denounce that Brazil is under a state of exception in which fascist forces are acting without any limits and advancing in our society.

Marielle’s execution is an attempt to intimidate all those who struggle against state violence and inequality. This violence was also visible on the same day in the violent repression of public teachers in São Paulo who voiced their opposition to the bill aiming to reduce civil servants’ salaries to compensate for the supposed social security deficit in the city.

We will continue to strengthen the struggle expressed in the mass actions held on March 8th to demand democracy for the life of women. We raise our voice to say that they will not stop us! We will not stop building a fair and egalitarian society for women and for all Brazilian people.

The WMW around the world will continue supporting the demands for an investigation of the crime and pressuring the authorities responsible for this investigation.

 We will be on the march until all women are free!

 World March of Women Brazil (15/03/2018)

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International Women’s Day Declaration, 2018

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On the 8th of March2018, International Women’s Day, we from the World March of Women, diverse women from all peoples, races and ages, come together once again to reaffirm that we will keep marching until we are all free from all the oppression from the patriarchal, capitalist and colonial system; we will continue to use our feminism as a way of life, and the streets as the space to amplify our demands.

We denounce and resist the political worldwide context marked by the growing economic, social, political, climatic and ideological crises, in short, we denounce the total war environment where we, women, are the most affected!

We denounce economic and nationalist fables as a way of depriving women of their fundamental rights and freedoms and the consequent boycott of women’s and peoples’ autonomy. We reject all the policies from right wing governments that, increasingly radical, express hate, racism, misogyny, intolerance and other forms of discrimination. We will stand firm and fight against the growing criminalization of social movements. The struggle for our rights and freedoms is a fair demand so WE ARE NOT CRIMINALS! We will continue to take the streets and act in solidarity with our sisters that were murdered, persecuted and deprived of their freedom and political action.

We denounce and face the growing militarization worldwide as a strategy to control peoples’ life. Militarization ensures neocolonialism, the new looting and the appropriation from capital over natural resources and the maintenance of the arms industry’s enrichment in the face of the crisis, apart from the permanent state of war in the Middle East and Africa. We are concerned about the signs from militarized powers of the north that threaten the return to the cold war era and the permanent interference in the global south countries trying to impose the model of neoliberal nordic democracy as the goal to be achieved.

We denounce the free trade agreements, that increasingly impoverish the peoples from the global south. The appropriation, privatization and commodification of knowledge production, and other resources as the land, water, health, education and other common goods deepen the exploitation of impoverished people’s work, diminishes the opportunities of future generations, perpetuating the poverty cycle. The extractive industry and the agribusiness continue to degrade our health and our living conditions while political elites accumulate a wealth based on corruption and impunity, and build a state that serves the interests of transnational corporations. We reaffirm that we will continue to put our bodies on the streets to fight this situation as law institutions are increasingly weakened by the power of capital and do not function as they should. The market forces weakened the welfare state and the citizen’s rights.

We denounce the destruction of the planet by the institutionalization of a Western universalism and the unbridled pursuit of profit. The cartel formed by the unethical multinational corporations is destroying the mother earth that sustains human life. The climate agreements have created false solutions based on a market-led language that has proven to be empty and perpetuating violence against nature! We, from the World March of Women, women from the farms and the cities, defend the Earth were we came from, that we are part of, that sustain us and where we will return; the water, the land and forests in our territories as we believe in ways of living that interact in a sustainable way with the natural resources.

We denounce a market that exploits and precarizes the working conditions of women through long hours of work, low wages and the exposition to several risks. We denounce the precariousness of domestic and care work. The work that guarantees the maintenance of the human life, that nourishes, harmonize, teach, protects. The same work that is invisible and devalued! We question the sexual division of labour that overvalues the work socially designed for men based on the denial of the value of work attributed to women. How can the world devalue the work involved in the most elementary tasks for human existence as cooking that feed us, or cleaning the place we call home? The work carried out by women is the basis that maintains human life and therefore an important source of economic contribution. We demand the recognition of the value of domestic work as economic contributions go beyond what can be monetized.

We denounce the aid industry and developmental programs, particularly the ones that focus on gender issues, as promoting neoliberal and imperialist agendas, perpetuating the discrimination, racialisation and exploitation of women in the global south.

We denounce, and will continue to do so, all forms of violence, not forgetting the sexist violence that we face daily in public and private spaces. We say as loud as we can ENOUGH! Stop the rapes, forced marriages and femicides that not only happen in African and Asian countries, but are present in the lives of all women from all the classes across the world. Our bodies and our lives belong to us and we will not negotiate that right.

We emphasise, support and participate in all the initiatives to end the silence, as the recent movements of denounce and occupation of the public space: Women’s March, Time´s up, #metoo, Ni una menos!, Vivas nos queremos! and the international women’s strike, as initiatives that add up to the permanent and inevitable struggles we have been fighting against the oppression of the patriarchal, capitalist and colonialist system.

We emphasize the struggles and resistances of the women that use the local as a space to build new narratives and to rewrite the history of marginalized populations, emphasizing the diversity and multiculturality of peoples, solidarity as a strategy of subversion against the current system and as a strategy of humanization contributing towards the transformation of societies, making them more just and equal.

It is because of this and much more that we, women from the World March of Women, as a movement of permanent action, will march on the 8th of March.

We will be in action around the world during the 24 hours of the 24th of April 2018 to reaffirm that “Rana Plaza is everywhere”; we will denounce the textile industry, transnational corporations and all kinds of exploitation of women’s labour.

We will continue to march towards the XI International Meeting where from the 22ndto the 28th of October in Basque Country we will collectively build utopias and alternatives towards the world of justice, freedom and peace that we march for!

We will continue to transform our pain in strength!

We will continue to believe in solidarity and collective work!

We will keep marching, Women… always!

 

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INTERNATIONAL CALENDAR OF ACTIONS, 2018

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