******************** POSTING RULES & NOTES ********************
#1 YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
#2 This mail-list, like most, is publicly & permanently archived.
#3 Subscribe and post under an alias if #2 is a concern.
BRICS MUST TAKE LEGITIMATE AND CONVINCING STEPS TO DEFEND PEACE, PLANET
AND PEOPLE'S INTERESTS: URGES PEOPLE'S FORUM
People's Forum on BRICS held in Goa develops a declaration for heads of
state attending the 8th BRICS Summit
GOA, 14 October 2016: The People's Forum on BRICS that took place in Goa
on the 13th and 14th of Goa witnessed several social movements and civil
society formations, representing the people of at least 10 countries,
make a declaration towards the official 8th BRICS summit in Goa.
The declaration has urged upon the BRICS nations to look at issues of
Social, Economic and Environmental justice and has reminded the BRICS
leadership of a time of an unprecedented crisis facing humanity and nature.
The forum has emphasised the threat that several democracies across the
world are facing from reactionary and imperialist forces and has in
particular drawn attention to the coup in Brazil that has overthrown a
people's government. The representatives also noticed with great
concern the state repression of people's movements and student’s
protests in countries including India and South Africa.
The declaration also points out the massive levels of ecological
destruction that is taking place around the world, led by corporations
and in collusion with the state. Goa, the site of the summit is
ironically at the receiving end of this destruction.
The Forum also pointed out the teetering world economy that is on the
verge of another financial meltdown resulting in stocks and currency
market crisis in many of the BRICS countries. The longer-term crisis of
capitalism is evident in the marked slowdown in international trade, in
declining global profit rates, and in business disinvestment, especially
evident in the three BRICS which have negative or negligible GDP growth.
The world’s workers are losing rights, farmers are suffering to the
point of suicide, and labour casualisation is rampant in all our
countries, with the result that BRICS workers are engaged in regular
protest and wildcat strikes, of which the strike by 180 million Indian
workers inspired the world on 2 September;
On the social front, the threat to our already-inadequate welfare
policies is serious, especially in Brazil’s coup regime but more
generally across the BRICS where inadequate social policies are not
providing adequate safety nets;
The commodification of public services is causing misery, such as in
South Africa where university students are fighting hard for a fee-free,
decolonised tertiary education;
Everywhere that people’s movements have made countervailing demands –
such as democracy, peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development,
equality, fair trade – the elites have co-opted our language and
distorted our visions beyond recognition. Many of our leaders are
hopelessly corrupt, and so when BRICS spin-doctors claim that their work
in Goa will “build responsive, inclusive and collective solutions,” we
have spent two days looking beyond the pleasing rhetoric and have found
a very different, harsh reality.
In short, whereas we criticise the way world power is created and
exercised, the BRICS leaders appear to simply want power sharing. To
illustrate, the BRICS New Development Bank is working hand-in-glove with
the World Bank; the Contingent Reserve Arrangement empowers the
International Monetary Fund; and the Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank serves mainly corporate interests – and all these financial
institutions lack opportunities for adequate civil society monitoring
As a result, the Forum has raised constructive critiques of BRICS in our
plenaries and workshops. But beyond the analysis, we understand that
only people’s power, across borders, can make change. Some of our most
successful struggles – such as access to life-savings medicines or
ending apartheid – required international solidarity. This Forum found
many routes forward for cross-cutting BRICS internationalism in various
For example, the Forum recognises the need for a just solution to the
Syrian crisis in accordance with the principles of international law,
and condemns the US-backed aggression and the Pentagon/NATO doctrine of
regime change. The Forum reaffirmed its solidarity with the Palestinian
struggle against colonialism and occupation, and we endorse Boycotts,
Divestment and Sanctions against apartheid Israel, including opposition
to Israel’s attempted export of its unsustainable water and agricultural
technologies to BRICS countries.
The social movements and progressive unions and formations who gathered
at the Xavier’s Centre for Historical Research, Goa declared their
intention to win their demands for social, economic and environmental
justice. The victories that many of the movements have won already on
multiple fronts – such as halting numerous multinational corporations’
exploitation, gaining access to essential state services, occupying land
and creating agricultural cooperatives, and generating more humane
values in our societies – give the Forum the momentum and optimism. In
2017 and beyond, the BRICS People’s Forum will reconvene, and redouble
our efforts with new-found allies from Brazil, Russia, India, China and
BRICS is fast turning into a free market ploy to loot natural resources:
Abhilash / 19 hours ago
img_9827-001A two-day long People’s Forum on BRICS kick started today at
the Xavier’s Centre for Historical Research, Alto Porvorim Goa.
The opening plenary, chaired by renowned women’s rights and
environmentalist activist Norma Alvares, saw eminent social movement
leaders from the BRICS region addressing a gathering of over five
hundred people from at least 10 countries around the world.
Several speakers recounted and emphasised on the fact that BRICS was
formed to challenge the imperialistic and hegemonic nature of
institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. When the five countries of
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa came together to form
BRICS, it was done with an intent to bring about social justice and
equity in these countries that was home to over 50% of the world’s
Yet, even as the governments of these nations come together for their
8th Summit in Goa, it is a matter of serious concern that BRICS is
following a path that is opposed to its foundational principles by
increasingly aligning with capitalist and imperialists forces of the world.
Speaking in the opening plenary that deliberated on the CRISES THAT
PEOPLE FACE – WHAT IS BRICS’ RESPONSE? – noted Indian activist Medha
Patkar commented that BRICS has failed to challenge the hegemony of
imperialist states. She accused that in all these countries, private
corporations are increasingly taking control of democratic institutions
and overriding people’s participation in crucial decision-making
processes. BRICS has done little to advance social justice and equity in
these countries. She reminded the audience that India, despite being the
largest democracy in the world, is also a sight where the poorest and
the most marginalized people are continuing their struggle for social
justice, dignity and identity. People have been kept outside of the
decisions that are taken on their behalf for their development she accused.
Mincing no words, she accused BRICS of turning into a Free Market Ploy,
that serves the interest of big capital. BRICS is no more interested in
the annihilation of caste or in the welfare of its people, she said. The
question of gender equality and justice is not a priority for BRICS
anymore. Even if the governments of BRICS nations have started co-opting
the language of the civil society and social movements during Summits
like these, they end up as just words and are never implemented once the
summit is over. It is fast turning into an institution that serves the
interests of the elites in developing countries.
Most of the speakers, who spoke at the event emphasised on the need to
build solidarities of communities in the BRICS countries and the need
for the civil society in these countries to set a people’s agenda that
can overcome the consumerist and destructive agendas of capital.
Maria Luisa Belo, representing the feminist movement in Brazil, spoke
about the threat that democracies across the world are facing today. She
also commented on the overturn of democracy and the coup orchestrated by
the country’s elites and imperialists countries. The new government that
came through the coup has already taken anti-people measures, she said.
Maria, in her speech, read out the demand of the feminist movements in
Brazil that is calling upon the world’s institutions, including BRICS,
to come up with a people’s agenda to defeat patriarchy and poverty. She
emphasised on the need to build an alliance of social movements in all
these countries to make this a possibility.
Trevor Ngwane, who led several workers’ struggles in South Africa and
also an academic, recounted the extreme levels of inequality that exists
in the South African Society. He called for a pan -African unity and
expressed his doubts over South Africa representing the voice of Africa
all by itself.
Dorothy Guerrero, while commenting on China spoke about the urban-rural
divide that exists in the country. She rued the steps taken by the
Chinese authorities in curtailing migration from the rural to urban,
while doing little to improve the country side. She spoke about the
increasing corporate control over people’s resources – leading to
massive protests by people in the countryside, led mostly by the
peasants. Yet, the news of such resistances rarely make it to the global
Several people’s representatives from Goa also made presentations at the
end of the plenary, which included, Sabina Martis, Caroline Collaso, Fr.
Maverick, Favita Dias and Thalmann Pereira. Most of them spoke about the
massive loot of natural resources that is taking place in Goa. They also
spoke about the negative impact of corporate led tourism on small
businesses in Goa and the ecological damages being inflicted. The
speakers also pointed out at the atrocities being committed on women,
Dalits and Adivasis in the state, while attempting to appropriate resources.
Soon after the opening plenary, the assembly held several simultaneous
workshops that addressed issues of Food Sovereignty Nutritional and
Agrarian Crisis, The Nuclear Power Push in BRICS countries,
Parliamentary Oversight on New Development Bank and IFIs, Palestine:
Building solidarities in BRICS, BRICS banks – and what does it mean to
people, Energy Democracy and Labour Perspectives, Corporate Loot of
Natural Resources and Alternatives from BRICS countries.
Full posting guidelines at: http://www.marxmail.org/sub.htm
Set your options at: