Tuesday, September 18, 2012


We need action on poverty and environment now

The Red And Green Alternative (RAGA) congress in Istanbul, Turkey from 5 to 8 July 2012 involved socialist and ecological organizations including Yesil ve Sol (Turkey), Les Alternatifs (France), the Alliance for Green Socialism (Britain), Los Alternativos (Spain), Os Alternativos Autogestionarios / RAGA (Brasil) and others. This meeting explored red and green issues in the world today and sought to build a red/green project of emancipation, through our anti-capitalist and ecologist network.

The UN conference called “Rio + 20” met in Rio last month, supposedly reviewing progress on the original UN conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 at which governments promised a wide range of action to eradicate poverty and preserve our environment.

Of course, governments have done nothing. Since the first Rio conference, poverty and inequality have hugely increased and damage to the environment has got worse. Famine affects one billion people. Wars and conflicts continue. Racism and prejudice remain. Bio-diversity decreases. More people have poor access to water. Increasing areas of land become desert. The seas become more acid. Global warming is unchecked, with our economies still dependent on fossil fuels. The so-called “final declaration” of the Rio+20 conference says nothing. It was drafted in advance and not even discussed by the conference.

Instead of action on their promises, governments have used the financial crisis as an excuse to do nothing about any of these issues. In particular, they have chosen to ignore global warming and the other serious environmental problems. They “cannot afford” to preserve the environment which keeps us alive.

It is in the name of the unsolved economic crisis that in a few years, from continent to continent, in Asia, Latin America, and today in Europe, governments are destroying what our social movements have won in many decades of struggle. Across the world, we support those who say they will not pay for the capitalist debts.

Everywhere, the nationalist tendency shows its ugly face: putting stronger borders against poor migrants, against immigrants, against neighbouring countries. The wars for profit, for oil, and against other religions are growing. We oppose these as contrary to our belief in the international nature of humanity.

Across Latin America, North America, Africa, Europe & Asia, workers are fighting against the unfair social and economic system in huge and enthusiastic social movements, radical trade union action, and occupying or taking over their own factories. We support these actions. Everywhere, there is a new kind of fight-back or experimental practice (occupations, indignados, local money, etc) that opens spaces of resistance and perspectives for the future society for which we are struggling.

Discussion at the RAGA conference ranged from Europe to Chile, from the fight to preserve the environment in Turkey to peasant struggles in Brazil.

Attached to this document are two statements on immediate problems.

RAGA intends to campaign, across international borders, on a range of ecological and socialist issues. We will build an international network linking countries and struggles.

We intend also to discuss and explore the concepts of “autogestion” or cooperative self management and other contributions coming from the global south and struggles like “buen vivir” and “amandla”, as tools in transformation and models for the future. It is a question of constructing alternatives, in particular concerning energy and the means of exchange.

The current globalised capitalist economic system is driven only by the desire to make bigger profits more quickly: ever bigger production and ever bigger returns. This cancer is destroying our common body, our planet. The rich steal from the poor. The ecosystem within which we live is being destroyed.

Let us build an ecological and socialist society, not based on consumerism, profit and growth but on solidarity and respect for life.

We must put an end to this capitalist system.

 8 July 2012
Red And Green Alternative (RAGA)

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