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Assembly of Inhabitants II


Rural and urban inhabitants take responsibility for demanding a new paradigm
by Cristina Reynals

The 2013 WAI Declaration summarizes the necessary steps towards an open and democratic process, and involved organizations and networks from across the world throughout 2012, particularly during the People’s Summit in Rio, the Urban Social Forum in Naples, and Africities in Dakar, culminating in the thematic workshops and the General assembly in Tunis.

Two years after the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI) in Dakar, the Inhabitants Networks is redoubling its efforts to support the empowerment of these actors based on a g-local vision, this time through the Declaration of the WAI II, as part of the World Social Forum, which took place in Tunis in March 2013.

The 2013 WAI Declaration summarizes the necessary steps towards an open and democratic process, and involved organizations and networks from across the world throughout 2012, particularly during the People’s Summit in Rio, the Urban Social Forum in Naples, and Africities in Dakar, culminating in the thematic workshops and the General assembly in Tunis.

This Declaration, supported by more than 200 rural and urban organizations, from 40 different countries and every continent, first and foremost highlights the fact that the logic of capitalism drives cities to grow in a predatory way which is damaging to rural areas, and conceals the fact that cities are built by their inhabitants, while rural men and women are the ones who feed our planet. Therefore, these inhabitants make a responsible commitment to demanding a new model and paradigm for the neoliberal capitalist system which supports the planet and human beings, in other words, common ownership and other forms of traditional and communal types of use and management, as well as recognizing the importance of society for a more just, human and sustainable habitat. Furthermore, they demand security of tenure and food sovereignty, as well as the values and proposals of the right to the city, setting out forms of shared, direct, participative democracy, in order to live well.

All of this aims to strengthen the links and solidarity between rural and urban movements, to build national and international resistance alliances, and call for a halt to the criminalization of social movements and activists who support the struggle for the respect and application of human rights: the right to land, water, food, housing, and the city, among others.

It also supports laws that make explicit reference to international human rights agreements such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to food, convention no. 169 of the ILO, and all those that help to avoid any kind of eviction.

For many organizations and networks, IAI in particular, this process of convergence of the different struggles is still part of a shared journey towards the Urban and Community Way. It is a process made up of discussion of experiences and strategies, as well as shared tools, and the development of an agenda for responsible action. In particular: before the International Evictions Court in Geneva (October 2013); in the World Zero Evictions days - for the Right to Housing (October 2013); pressuring governments to take responsibility regarding the management of public goods, through the Campaign on the social role of land, the city and housing; and support for the efforts of the Arab peoples to bring new perspectives to the question of land management and natural resources based on human rights, protecting the environment and the empowerment of inhabitants.

Text & Declaration:

PDF - 313.7 kb
Text and Declaration WAI 2013
Published on: 10 July 2013
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