National Sections of the L5I:

Call of the Assembly of Social Movements in Caracas

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The Assembly of Social Movements at the WSF met on the final day – with a message from Chavez, urging it to take measures to advance the movement.

It adopted a declaration, which stated that Latin America is “witnessing an explosion of movements against free trade, militarisation and privatisation, and in defence of natural resources and food sovereignty."

These movements “have permitted political alternatives, born in the heat of popular struggles, to reach government,” as in the case of Bolivia, where Evo Morales of the MAS (Movement Towards Socialism) took office this month as the country's first indigenous president.

Nevertheless the declaration warned that, “given the access to government, that is being gained by political alternatives, linked to popular struggles, social movements should maintain political and programmatic autonomy".

The Assembly declared that, “all the resources essential to life like water, land and energy sources, as well as biodiversity, belong to the people, and are public goods.” It totally condemned the privatisation of communications, healthcare and education.

The Assembly called for protests to be held against the summit of the Group of Eight (G8) most powerful countries in St. Petersburg, Russia on 15–17th July, and against International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank policies, during their annual assembly in September.

The Assembly endorsed a day of international protests against the occupation of Iraq on 18th March. It supported the conference against the US occupation of Iraq to be held in Cairo 24-27th March.

A number of specific campaigns were proposed, including one, suggested by US activist Ariana Flores, in opposition to “Killer Coke", exposing the complicity of the Coca-Cola corporation in the murders of eight trade unionists in Colombia.

Another was to call for a week of mobilisation in defence of free, public and secular education, to be organised around a day of action, including school and university strikes and demonstrations on 17th November.