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Newsletter Alter Summit - November 2014

Editorial: an encouraging european mobilization
By Julien Rivoire, FSU (France)

Last October 11th was a great day for those of us who want to create other routes in Europe than simply those of merchandising and of the loss of democratic rights. Tens of thousands of citizens organized more than 1000 initiatives and major demonstrations in 22 European capitals to denounce the multinationals and chant “Stop TAFTA, CETA, and TiSA.” The number and the dynamism of these demonstrations illustrate our capacity in Europe, in alliance with movements that fight against these agreements in Canada and in the United States, to make our voices heard denouncing the takeover by the multinationals of negotiations that go on behind closed doors, and to affirm our refusal of politics in the service of multinationals and finance.

That this mobilization took place in effect as a result of coordination between movements, on the scale of Europe, gives great satisfaction in these troubled times of nationalist reactions and extreme right wing politics: we have demonstrated that there is a powerful movement in Europe to refust the capitalist agenda at an international level. The impressive success of the initiative “Down with ICE”, which gathered more than 700,000 signatures in a few days,

is confirmation that awareness of the manipulations relative to TTIP/TAFTA has created a dynamic reaction of opinion in Europe. Our capacity to convince the commission and the European governments to refuse to impose further capitalist control of governments depends on the size and the persistence of public response.

The confusion apparent in the recent declarations of members of the European commission relative to the mechanism of the ISDS in and encouraging sign of the destabilizing of the most ardent supporters of free exchange. That members of the European commissions of commerce and the new president of the European Commission contradict each other at intervals of a few days shows the stress resulting from the increasing opposition. We can only rejoice at this.

The success of the day of October 11th all across Europe is an encouragement to follow up and to increase our mobilization. In the coming months, we will multiply our actions and our initiatives of warning concerning these treaties until TAFTA and TiSA are blocked and CETA refused. The next stop is Brussells regarding the D19/20 on Friday December 19th , the day of the European summit. Alter Summit will be there !

CALL
THE TRANSATLANTIC TREATY: more austerity, less democracy - Stop TTIP, CETA, TISA…
FOR A SOCIAL, ECOLOGICAL AND DEMOCRATIC EUROPE - Against austerity at every level

Everyone to the streets of Brussels during the European Council Summit, Friday 19 December 2014!

Our national and European leaders continue to subject the people to the will of shareholders and multinationals while austerity becomes increasingly brutal. Most national austerity programmes are implementing EU recommendations according to the Stability and Growth Pact that our states have already signed-off. The measures are sending us into a recessionary spiral, imposing social regression at magnitude. The secret free trade negotiations also reflect their desire to uphold the interests of multinationals and their profit logic at the expense of a social, ecological and democratic Europe.

We call on all organisations and individuals to make December 19, 2014 a day of action and convergence of struggles. Take to the streets to remind our leaders that the public interest is not that of multinationals and lobbyists, and that democracy does not work without us. Only a truly social and democratic Europe will meet the basic social needs of the population and ensure a prosperous future for everyone within the limits of nature. It is high time to stop these butchers’ summits!

Occupy the streets of Brussels on Friday, December 19. The D19-20 Alliance will be there. We call on all movements, organisations, platforms and groups to do the same, in order to build as large an action as possible!

- Their profits are the appropriation of our labour! We are the real Europe;

- For an education, a job, food, public services, a decent environment; stop the TTIP!

- Against the budget cuts; we refuse to pay for their banking crisis!

Call launched by Alliance D19-20 (BE) and Trade Union Solidaires (FR).

If you want to sign the Call, please contact info@d19-20.be

More information on the website of the D19-20 Alliance

Reflecting on freedom of movement
By Mikaël Fransens from Ciré asbl

The principle goal of the Alter Summit is to contribute towards building an open Europe, a Europe that is democratic, social, environmentally friendly and feminist, that truly respects human rights for everyone, to include economic, social and cultural rights.

The seminar on 11 and 12 December will shed some light on how the European Union’s present migration policy is moving away from these values, in particular addressing the serious and repeated violations of migrants’ most fundamental rights and how these violations are the result of policy decisions adopted in the highest echelons.

Read the full article

The Economic Partnership Agreements
By Matthieu Moriamez, CGT (France)

Since 2002, the European Union and the countries of African, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) negotiate "Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)". The Economic Partnership Agreements are agreements between the EU and ACP regionally integrated areas, that is to say, common markets, characterized by a common external tariff (CET) and the free movement of goods within the zone.

Read the full article

Alter Summit at Blockupy Festival

From the 20th to the 23rd of November will take place in Frankfurt the Blockupy Festival. During 4 days, meetings, workshops and demonstrations will allow participants to exchange around the challenges for the social movement in the forthcomming months. More informal moments will contribute to build and strengthen actives networks.

In the last assembly, Alter Summit decided an active participation to this festival. It seems to us important to continue the debate on convergences with other actors of the social movement.

We will focus our participation on the specificities of Alter Summit organizing a workshop dedicated to trade unions issues, "Obstacles to an effective participation of trade union organizations to processes as Alter Summit, Blockupy or other « alliances »".

We would be happy if member organizations of Alter Summit get involved in the elaboration and the presentation of this workshop. If you are interested, please contact sebastian@altersummit.eu.

The program of the Festival

Is there a political path towards Paris (COP 21 – December 2015)?
By Felipe Van Keirsbilck, CNE (Belgium)

The essential issue of transitioning to an ecological economic system that does not destroy the planet and climate has been deferred by the 2008 “crisis” (undoubtedly one of the numerous benefits the crisis gave banks and multinationals…) Not just deferred in terms of passions and agendas, but also, very concretely, in terms of efforts deployed. More than €1000 billion have been spent by European states to save the banks – money which could have been spent to transform our economy ….

Read the full article
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Roundup of useful informations

Trade unions action plan

Italy : after an huge demonstration with more than one million people in Rome the 25th of October, different sectors take the street for the workers rights.
http://www.cgil.it/News/PrimoPiano.aspx?ID=22602 (in Italian)

Belgium : responding to the new governement proposals, the common front of trade unions has proposed an action plan to culminate with the general strike of the 15th of December. First step, the national demonstration on 6th of November with around 120.000 people in the streets of Brussels.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/brussels-protests-antiausterity-demonstrations-end-in-violent-clashes-with-police-9845008.html
The action plan :
https://www.csc-en-ligne.be/csc-en-ligne/Actualite/nouvelles/actions-en-front-commun-syndical.html
http://www.fgtb.be/web/guest/news-fr/-/article/2731311/;jsessionid=qhBeufDx4lqcNxEQ-IY26vx&p_l_id=10624

Greece : 100'000 people went to the streets of Athens this 1st of November to denounce the antisocial policies put in place with the benediction of the European Union. Next step, the general strike planned on 27th of November.
http://www.pamehellas.gr/index.php/en/homepage/91-announcements/4094-national-rally-of-pame,-november-1st

Climate

21th of September demonstrations
in New York: http://www.democracynow.org/live/peoples_climate_march
Pictures: http://peoplesclimate.org/de/

More than 50 unions representing millions of workers joined the Unions4Climate action at the ITUC World Congress in Berlin. The sign-up for climate justice signals the start of a global mobilisation for a climate deal in Paris in 2015.
http://www.ituc-csi.org/union-leaders-announce-their?lang=en

A Call signed by different organizations
http://climatespace2013.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/mobilize-and-organize-to-stop-and-prevent-planet-fever/

The mobilization towards Paris 2015 and the COP21 begins now
http://www.campaigncc.org/COP21Paris

EU announced its new climate targets for 2030. A 40% emissions reduction target to be broken down into 28 nationally binding targets will work alongside targets of 27% for renewables and energy efficiency. Not enough for the NGOs.
http://www.foeeurope.org/climate-scientists-energy-system-urgent-reform-031114

Free-trade agreements, TTIP, TISA

The ETUC statement on free-trade agreements
http://www.transform-network.net/blog/blog-2014/news/detail/Blog/-12ea45a695.html

Declaration of IG Metall against TTIP and CETA, 22th of September
http://www.rosalux.de/fileadmin/rls_uploads/pdfs/Veranstaltungen/2014/IG_Metall_zu_TTIP.pdf
Main elements of the text :
Fundamental demands of IG Metall :

  • free-trade agreements can not put in danger workers protection and consumers, social and environmental protections standards ;
  • rejection of all agreements on investments ;

  • endorsement of all ILO legislation by USA.

If one of these citeria is not respected, IG Metall rejects TTIP.
IG Metall also ask to the German governement to reject CETA and to the European Commission to suspend the TTIP negociations until these demands are not take in account.

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