Debt Week

debt week logo

In case you hadn’t heard (and I just found out), it’s Debt Week from October 14-21. The call to action, posted below, is available in altogether more pleasing PDF format here.

One of the most interesting events falls on October 17 – International Day of Workers’ Action vs Debt and IFIs. On the 17, a gamut of labor movements, trade unions, and migrant workers groups, centred in the Asia/Pacific Region will hold simultaneous actions: In Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) together with local civil societies, people’s organizations and trade unions will have a rally in front of the IMF Sub-office in Hong Kong demanding for total and unconditional cancellation of debt claimed from the South and to stop privatization of public services and use of public resources to support profits. In Seoul, South Korea, the Joint Action against Water Privatization will hold a press conference in front of the City Hall of Seoul to condemn the city government’s recent declaration to corporatize its water and lay off 230 workers. In Manila, Philippines, a workers-led rally dubbed as “Workers March against IFIs’ Privatization Program and Violations on Workers Rights” in front of the Asian Development Bank main office and raise issues like Cancel the Debt, No to Privatization of Services, No to Unfair Trade, and No to Labor Flexibilization and Contractualization.

All in all, quite splendid. The call to action has some useful suggestions for local action too…

JOIN the WEEK of GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST DEBT and IFIs October 14 to 21, 2007

The debt problem is not over, despite all the promises and schemes offered by lending governments and international financial institutions.

The debt continues to exacerbate poverty and rob the peoples of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific of their human rights

  • to health, education, housing, water and all the other essential goods and basic services which should be available to all
  • to livelihoods, living wages and job security
  • to healthy environment and sustainable use of ecological resources
  • to independence and political autonomy
  • to self-determination in economic development and all other aspects of national life

It is a scandal that the rich world continues to demand hundreds of millions of dollars every day from the South, in payment of ‘debts’ that have emerged from unjust economic relations that impoverish the South and enrich the North. These debts include those

  • contracted without democratic processes,
  • accompanied by unjust terms and obligations
  • perpetuated through fraud and deception
  • lost to corruption and failed projects that supported repressive governments
  • that financed policies harmful to people and the environment

Debt continues to be used as an instrument of control by lending governments and international institutions. Conditionalities attached to loans and debt relief enforces neoliberal policies and projects,

  • facilitating the entry and unaccountable operations of transnational corporations
  • securing trade deals favorable to transnational corporations and rich countries at the expense of the economies, livelihoods and resources of the peoples of the South
  • promoting invasive foreign and military policy and strategies
  • allowing the plunder and resource extraction from recipient countries and hastening environmental destruction and climate change
  • undermining democratic decision-making

We urge you all to join the GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION VS DEBT and IFIs – a week of various forms of citizen’s actions and mobilizations worldwide from October 14 to 21, 2007.
Several important events will mark that week:

  • October 15 – the 20th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso, who called for repudiation of debt
  • October 16 – World Food Day
  • October 17 – International Day to Eradicate Poverty; Stand Up and Speak Out Mobilizations
  • October 20 – World Youth Day
  • October 19-21 – IMF-WB Annual meetings

Together let us challenge and confront northern governments, international banks, transnational companies, and multilateral institutions such as the IMF, World Bank, and WTO to take responsibility for debt domination and illegitimate debt

Let us also demand past and present governments and government officials in the South to be accountable for their role in the debt problem. Let us declare our readiness to stand in solidarity with those who choose to repudiate illegitimate debt.

Let us pursue alternative and responsible financial relations, principles and standards to stop the re-accumulation of illegitimate debt. These will involve major changes in international and national structures, processes and policies towards the establishment of equitable and just economic, financial and political relations.

Platform of the Global Week of Action

We demand from North and South governments and international financial institutions the following:

1. Open, transparent and participatory Parliamentary and/or Governmental Debt Audits in both South and North countries; Full cooperation with citizens groups for independent Citizens Debt Audits, including the Global Citizens Audit of the lending operations and related policies of the World Bank and IMF, Regional Development Banks and Export Credit Agencies

2. Immediate and 100% cancellation of multilateral debts and all illegitimate debts as part of the total cancellation of debt claimed from the South, without externally imposed conditionalities; Repudiation of unsustainable, unjust and illegitimate debt;

3. Full transparency and accountability to citizens in the implementation of debt cancellation and debt repudiation; Democratic decision-making and implementation to ensure that funds freed from debt cancellation and debt repudiation are used for genuine, equitable and sustainable development.

4. Immediate end to the financing and enforcement of neoliberal policies and projects through debt related conditionalities:

  • Stop the privatization of public services and the use of public resources to support private profits
  • Stop using debt and aid as leverage for unfair trade agreements
  • Stop the promotion of environmentally destructive projects such as big dams and harmful mining of oil, gas coal and other dirty energy
  • Stop the escalation of climate change

What you can do:

1. Start planning with your local and/or national organizations and networks what forms of actions you will do in your own communities, cities, countries during the week of Action. Example of actions:

  • Fasting – join others in a worldwide Rolling Fast
  • Protest Marches, Rallies; Human Chain
  • Candlelight / Torch Parade
  • Indoor forums / Teach Ins
  • Speaking tours at universities, factories, community halls, churches
  • Publish posters and statements
  • Distribute statements /manifestos etc on debt in your communities and at public places like markets, bus stations, schools, churches etc
  • Wear pins during the week

2. Link your actions to local and national important dates, symbols and claims.

3. Use the Global Week of Action versus Debt Logo (aside from your own) in your posters, stickers, pins and other materials to signify this week is being observed globally

4. Sign up your organization to the Call for Global Week Action against Debt and the Campaign Platform. Help circulate the Call and Platform to other groups and network for more signatories

5. Fax, email or hand deliver the international statement and your local/national statements to offices of the following:

  • Local, National and International Press
  • Country/area offices of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Africa Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Export Credit Agencies
  • Embassies of lender governments, especially G8
  • International Banks – Citibank, Barclays etc

6. Call on elected representatives, faith leaders and other prominent individuals – both South and North – to associate themselves with these actions and demands

For more information – check out the website: www.debtweek.org.

Participating Organizations as of October 5, 2007
Please sign up!!!

INTERNATIONAL and REGIONAL Movements and Networks Jubilee South, Oil Change International, European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt ( CADTM), Latin American Network on Debt and Development (LATINDADD), African Network on Debt and Development ( AFRODAD), LDC WATCH, Jubileo Sur Americas, Africa Jubilee South, Asia/Pacific Movement for Debt and Development (APMDD), South Asia Alliance on Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) Southern Africa Peoples Solidarity Network (SAPSN), Friends of the Earth International, Asian Regional Exchange for New Alternatives (ARENA),Focus on the Global South, Programa de Incidencia sobre Deuda Externa Ilegítima- Federación Luterana Mundial, Migrant Forum in Asia,ATALC (Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean), ActionAid International-Africa, GCAP-International, Organización Caribeña y Latinoamericana de Estudiante(OCLAE), Alianza Social Continental, TV- Radio Sociedad Mundo, Area Géneros Jubileo Sur/Américas, Equipo de Servicio a Comunidades de Base, OILWATCH, Circulo internacionalista José C Mariátegui, Servicio de Paz y Justicia América Latina(Peace and Justice Service in Latin America), Justicia, Paz e Integridad de la Creación (JUPIC-Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), MCCPJD-Movimiento de Continental de Cristianos/as por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (Continental Movement of Christians for Peace with Justice and Dignity), COMPA-Convergencia de Movimientos Populares de América, Mesa energia de la Cumbre de los Pueblos Construyendo Soberania, Plataforma Interamerica de Derechos Humanos Democracia y Desarrollo (PIDHDD)

National and Local Networks

AFRICA,BENIN Groupe de Recherle et dÁction pour la Promotion de Agriculture et du Developpement (GRAPAD) BURUNDI ActionAid International CAMEROUN Carded/Dynamique Citoyenne, Centre pour la Promotion des Alternatives Economique et Sociales, ActionAid International CONGO RDC Centre National d’Appui au Développement Conseil National des Organisation Non Gouvernementales et à la Participation Populaire, Forum Sur La Dette Extérieure Et Le Développement Du Congo, Nouvelle Alternatives pour le Developpement (NAD) ETHIOPIA Oromiya Lawyers Association, Jimma University Student Union GHANA Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU)GUINEE CERIDA (Centre d’ étude et de recherche pour l’intégration régionale et le développement de l’Afrique), Centre du Commerce International pour le Developpement (CECIDE) IVORY COAST Forum Nationale sur la Dette et la Pauvreté (FNDP), Marche Mondiale des Femme Section Cote DÍvoire KENYA Daughters of Mumbi Global Resource Center, Solidarity Africa Network, GENESIS CDA, Catholic Economic Justice Network, Chemchemi Ya Ukweli, Jesuit Hakimani Centre Kenya Debt Relief Network LIBERIA ActionAid Liberia, Foundation for Human Rights & Democracy MALI Comite Annulation Dette et Developpement (CAD)-Mali, Ligue Justice Develop et Droits Humains (LJDH), Forum pour l’autre Mali Possible (FORAM) MAURITANIA Alternative Mauritanie, Cyberforum dela Societe Civile, Assistanceaux femmes et enfants en Difficulte, Association pour le level-social et la lutte contre la tuberculose MOROCCO AMSEL Morocco, ATTAC Morocco NIGER Reseau National Dette et Developpement (Le RNDD-Niger), Democratic Confederation of Workers of Niger (CDTN), Syndicat National des Enseignant du Niger, Alternative Espaces Citoyens NIGERIA ANEEJ, ActionAid Nigeria, SIERRA LEONE ActionAid International-Sierra Leone,, Network Movement for Justice & Development, Action for Community Task (ACT-SL), Youth Partnership for Peace and Development SENEGAL Forum for Africa Alternatives, Association pour la Promotion de la Femme Senegalaise (APROFES), Union Nationale des Syndicats Autonomes du Senegal (UNSAS), Confederation Nationale des Travailleurs du Senegal (CNTS), ederation des organisations paysannes du Senegal (FONGSl, Forum Social Senegal, AYCAH (Coalition Afrique des jeuns contre la faim , Organisation Des Jeunesses Panafricannistes(OJPOrganisation Des Jeunesses Panafricannistes(OJP), Je signe avec force la petition sur la dette et les institutions financiees internationales en mon nom personnel et au nom de notre OP le CCPA ( cadre de concertation des producteurs d’arachides) South Africa – Jubilee South Africa, UCAF, SACEJUSTICE, TANZANIA ActionAid International-Tanzania, Activist Without Border ZAMBIA Jubilee Zambia ZIMBABWE Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD)

ASIA and the PACIFIC BANGLADESH Community Development Library, Unnayan Onneshan, Jatiyo Sramik Jote, Coastal Development Partnership PHILIPPINES Freedom From Debt Coalition, SANLAKAS, Solidarity of Filipino Workers, Kalayaan, Lean Alejandro Foundation, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PS LINK), Manila Water Employees Union, BISIG, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector, Institute of Strategic Research and Development Studies, CENECO Union of Rational Employees, National Power Corporation Employees Consolidated Union (NECU) HONGKONG HongKong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), Union of HK Post Office Employees, Asian Migrant Center INDIA Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF),Intercultural Resources India, World Bank Tribunal, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, ANFTU, Theeradesa Mahilavedi, MANTHAN, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Campaign Against Water Privatization-Karnataka, World Bank Tribunal , Shivnath River Privatization, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India Federation Of Electricity Employees, Maharashtra State Electricity Workers Federation, National Fishworkers Union, PRAYAS , Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) INDONESIA INFID Indonesia, MIGRANT CARE, Institute for Essential Services Reform, SP PLN Trade Union, SP Pembangketan Jawa Bali Trade Union KRUHA, NADI, SPP Dam Jakarat, PTPLN Trade Union, Serikat Pekerja PJB (SP PJB), PAMJAYA Water Union, WALHI (Friends of the Earth-Indonesia), Koalisi Anti Utang (KAU) KOREA Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Korea Federation of Public Services & Transportation Workers’ Unions (KPTU) Seoul Migrant Workers Center – MFA, KGEU, Joint Action Against Water Privatization, Energy Labor Social Network MALAYSIA Monitoring Sustainability of Globalization, National Union of Bank Employees, National Union of Hotel, Bar & Restaurant Workers NEPAL Rural Reconstruction Nepal, Collective Initiative for Research and Action (CIRA), CWISH, GEFONT, ANWA, Independent Food & Beverage Workers Union of Nepal PAKISTAN Anti Privatisation Alliance, Progressive Youth Front, Pakistan Kissan Rabit Committee, National Trade Union Federation, Women Workers Help Line, Labor Education Foundation, Labor Party Pakistan, Creed Alliance, PILER, Umeedenao Citizen Community Board SRI LANKA United Federation of Labor, Green Movement of Sri Lanka THAILAND Labour Union of National Housing Authority (LUNHA), Labour Union of Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (LUGPO), Labour Union Of Provincial Waterworks Authority LUPWA, Public Services International PSI-Thai, Siam Health Foundation, Labour Union Of Electricity Generating Authority Of Thailand (LUEGAT), Thailand Labour Union Of Metropolitan Electricity Authority (LUMEA), Labour Union Of Provincial Electricity Authority (LUPEA) AUSTRALIA Jubilee Australia, JAPAN Jubilee Kyushu on World Debt and Poverty Japan, Attac Japan

EUROPE BELGIUM CNCD-11.11.11, 11.11.11, Action Mondiale pour le Sourire,l ‘ Espoir et la Lumiere (AMSEL) IRELAND Debt and Development Coalition-Ireland GERMANY Blue 21 ITALY CRBM-Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale NORWAY SLUG Norway, SWITZERLAND Aktion Finanzpltatz Schweiz, CADTM-Switzerland, SPAIN Quien debe a Quien?Campaign , IDEAS (Iniciativas de Economía Alternativa y Solidaria) Consejo Municipal de Solidaridad de Manresa, AMYCOS ONG para la Cooperación Solidaria,ATTAC-Cataluña UNITED KINGDOM Jubilee Debt Campaign UK

LATIN AMERICA and CARIBBEAN ARGENTINA Dialogo 2000, Periódico El Espejo, MoSIP, Movimiento por la Soberanía y la Integración de los Pueblos, Acción Política LGTB, Asociación Guadalupe, Espacio Ecuménico,ECOPORTAL, MOPASSOL Movimiento por la Paz, la Soberanía y laSolidaridad entre los Pueblos, Acción por la Biodiversidad, Analista de sistemas, Periodista, DDHH – Federación Judicial, CEASOL, Cámara Argentina de Emprendedores – CADE, FOCO-Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los DDHH, Re-vista, PRONAPO-Proyecto Nacional y Popular, Futuro Trans, Foro Nacional de la Deuda Externa, Foro Argentino de la Deuda Externa MPD, Fraternidad Laica Carlos de Foucauld, Revista “La Resistencia”, Comisión de DD HH de Uruguayos en Argentina, Taller de Creaciones Populares (TCP), FISyP, FSM Córdoba, Comisión de DD HH de Paraguayos Residentes en BsAs, Ateneo Lisandro Viale, Periódico El Mate, FSM Entre Ríos, Centro de Estudios Históricos “Arturo Jauretche”, Colectivo de exiliados de la “Operación Cóndor”, Museo Che Guevara, ATTAC-Argentina, Partido Humanista, Cátedra de Sociología de la Salud-UBA IDEAS BRASIL PACS-Institute of Alternative Policies for the Southern Cone – Brazil Jubileu Sul Brasil, Brazil Network on Multilateral Financial Institutions, Auditoria Ciudadana de la Deuda de Brasil BOLIVIA Fundacion Jubileo CHILE Comité Oscar Romero COLOMBIA Kihili Kunturpillku, CENSAT Agua Viva Amigos de la Tierra – Colombia, Campaña Nacional en Deuda con los Derechos, Taller Abierto, CIASE COSTA RICA OILWATCH Mesoamerica CUBA CMMLK Centro Memorial Martín Luther King, Jr. ECUADOR Foro Ciudadano de Vigiliancia de la Gestión Pública, Instituto Fronesis, SIPROBIDA, Sociedad de impulso a la producción de bienes interculturales, Acción Ecológica, Jubileo 2000 Guayaquil EL SALVADOR Asociación de Estudiantes- Universidad de El Salvador, Asociación Promotores de Salud Comunitaria de Chalatenango, Asociación Campesinos para el Desarrollo Humano CESTA- Amigos de la Tierra- El Salvador, Asociación para el Desarrollo Cultural Indígena, ASIC, Asociación Amigos de San Isidro Cabañas GUATEMALA CEIBA-AT HAITI PAPDA-Haiti (Plataforma De Politicas De Desarrollo Alternativas), Battay Ouvriye, Haiti Reborn HONDURAS Movimiento Ambientalista de Olancho, Alianza Verde OFRANEH Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña, COPINH- Honduras, Foro Social de Deuda Externa y Desarrollo (FOSDEH) MEXICO Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario, MAPDER, Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac- Tehuantepec- Oaxaca, Tianguis- MéxicoNICARAGUA Centro de Estudios Internacionales, Asociación Casa de la Mujer, Consejo Indígena de Pueblos Nahuatl y Chorotegas, FUTATSCON, Association of Professional Women for the Integral Development AMPDI PARAGUAY Red de Organziaciones Sociales de Paraguay, Sobrevivencia Paraguay, Finanzas y Desarrollo – Cumbre de los Pueblos del Sur PERU Grupo de Economía Solidaria del Perú- GRESP, GCAP-Peru, Jubileo Peru, Llamado Mundial a la Acción contra la Pobreza de Perú, Asociacón de Servicios Educativos Rurales, Juventud Agraria y Rural, Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos Democracia y Desarrollo – Capitulo PERU, Confederacion General de Trabajadores del Peru (CGTP) URUGUAY Comisión Ciudadana por una Auditoría de la Deuda REDH, Red Solidaria por los DD HH, Plataforma DESCAm, Universidad Popular Joaquín Lencina, IFI Watchnet Team VENEZUELA Coalición de Tendencia Clasista- CTC, RSCJS,Hermanas del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, ECUVIVES, Associación Civil Encuentro Ecuménico

NORTH AMERICA USA Jubilee USA Network, 50 Years is Enough Network, Gender Action, ActionAid International USA, Maryknoll Office for Global Finance Coalition, Jubilee Justice Task Force of the United Church of Christ, Columban Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, IRTF-Cleveland, Sisters of the Holy Cross – Congregation Justice Committee, Mobilization for Global Justice, Nicaragua Network, Medical Mission Sisters’ Alliance for Justice CANADA Halifax Initiative, KAIROS:Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives Economy of Life