PARTICIPA EN NUESTRA PRÓXIMA PRESENTACIÓN DE LIBRO & DIÁLOGO

Ciudades Dignas— transformación urbana alrededor del mundo

Registro: https://bit.ly/38S1lnJ

La urbanización global mantiene relaciones constituyentes mutuas con los principales patrones de dominación en nuestras sociedades, dando forma a su desarrollo. Sin embargo, las ciudades son lugares de intensas disputas políticas a medida que las poblaciones urbanas se han organizado para hacer frente a los desafíos de la vida cotidiana, resistir el despojo y defender sus derechos. ¿Qué condiciones y estrategias permiten una transformación radical en contextos urbanos? ¿Qué tipo de procesos económicos y políticos pueden sustentar transformaciones urbanas radicales? 

En esta presentación de libro y sesión de diálogo, abordaremos estas y más preguntas, además de explorar el gran potencial transformador de las ciudades a través de casos concretos de diversas partes del mundo.

Moderación: Mabrouka M’barek (co-editora), Túnez / Estados Unidos Miriam Lang, Ecuador

Idiomas: inglés, traducción simultánea al español

Intervienen:

Mary Ann Manahan y Maria Khristine Alvarez, Filipinas: Transformaciones urbanas alrededor del mundo

Asume Osuoka, Nigeria / Canadá: solidaridad, luchas y visiones de cambio social en los barrios marginales de Lagos

Aseem Mishra y Sandeep Virmani, India: Construyendo la democracia desde abajo en la ciudad de Bhuj

Bryce Detroit, Estados Unidos: El papel del arte en la lucha de las comunidades negras contra la gentrificación 

Comentario: Juliana Goes Morais, Brasil 

Fecha y Hora

Jueves, Diciembre 3, 2020

8h30 AM Quito, 13h30 UTC, 14h30 Bruselas, 19h00 Delhi, 21h30 Manila

Convocan:

Global Working
Group Beyond Development
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
oficina Bruselas
Tejido Global
de Alternativas 




JOIN OUR UPCOMING BOOK PRESENTATION DIALOGUE

Cities of Dignity— Urban Transformations Around the World 

To join Please register here: https://bit.ly/38S1lnJ

Global urbanization maintains mutual constituent relationships with the main patterns of domination in our societies, shaping their development. However, cities are sites of intense political disputes as urban populations have organized to meet the challenges of everyday life, resist dispossession, and defend their rights. What conditions and strategies enable radical transformation in urban contexts? What kind of economic and political processes can sustain radical urban transformations? In this book presentation and dialogue session, we will deal with these questions and more, as well as explore the tremendous transformative potential of cities through concrete cases from around the world.

Moderators:  Mabrouka M’barek (co-editor), Tunisia/USA and Miriam Lang, Ecuador

Languages: English and simultaneous translation to Spanish in zoom

Interventions:

Mary Ann Manahan and Maria Khristine Alvarez, Philippines: Urban transformations around the world

Asume Osuoka, Nigeria/Canada: Solidarity, struggles and visions of social change in the slums of Lagos 

Aseem Mishra and Sandeep Virmani, India: Building democracy from the bottom up in the City of Bhuj 

Bryce Detroit, USA: The role of art in the struggle of black communities against gentrification 

Commentator: Juliana Goes Morais, Brazil

Date & Time: Thursday, December 3, 2020 

8h30 AM Quito | 13h30 UTC | 14h30 Brussels | 19h00 New Delhi | 21h30 Manila

Organizers: 

Global Working
Group Beyond Development
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Brussels Office
Global
Tapestry of Alternatives 




Remembering Elandria C. Williams

by Beyond Development collective

With deep sadness, grief, and heavy hearts, we learn of the passing of our friend, sister, and colleague, Elandria Williams. 

Their untimely departure created an immediate feeling of sorrow, emptiness, and profound loss. Those who knew Elandria as we knew them would remember how they carried with them the urgency of the moment. Elandria kept us real and grounded, infused with the ideals of justice. And if we happened to disagree, Elandria would gently hold our hands and ground us even more. Memories of them, of their wisdom, their fierceness and tireless organizing, their impact in so many communities across the globe, take away some of that feeling of emptiness.

During a week-long seminar, Elandria would interrupt and take us all outside to soak up some sun, to breathe, to follow them for an impromptu yoga session. Elandria would sing, vibrating power, truth, and grace. Elandria would constantly decolonize language.

 “What do you mean by ‘nature’?” 

Elandria would remind us that race plays out in every aspect of our life. 

I want us to have some other conversations that actually put ‘real’ at the center! and if that’s not what you know, fine sit back and let other people who have this reality bring it, because the people I am trying to build an alternative solidarity economy for, are people who don’t have an economy now! 

They’re swept away, locked up, and murdered every day.” 

Elandria reminded us about the necessity to understand people’s material conditions before getting too caught up in imagining alternatives. Elandria never talked about themselves but always about their community.  

Elandria constantly fought and acted to create spaces and processes of learning and solidarity. Their sincerity in asking questions that matter move us to appreciate that rootedness, reexistence, restoration, and reimagination are not empty words or frameworks but values to live by every day. Their many expressions of love and empathy would shake your world’s perspective to reflect more strategically on how our movements and communities could change the world with “beautiful” solutions. Their words still resonate today even as Elandria have transitioned to join the ancestors. Their work and their impact despite the many health challenges are uplifting. 

Elandria were bigger than life, a constant reminder of what is possible and more despite dealing with health challenges all their life. In the recent piece, Elandria asked,

  “Amid our twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, we’re building virtual gathering, grief, conference and educational spaces. Can we learn from this to create hybrid spaces that allow access for all?” 

Elandria appealed to shift our perspectives, our minds and hearts into a different consciousness and a place of care, compassion, and genuine inclusion.

Elandria would want us to remember them not in sadness but in love, grounded power, and uplifting energy. 

Dear beloved Elandria, we will remain inspired by your long-life career work as an educator, activist, and organizer from the South. We salute and admire your courage in the face of the many health challenges. We will miss you, Elandria. May you rest in power and eternal love.

A COVID time doodle dedicated to Elandria by Ashish Kothari


David Fig, South Africa

Mary Ann Manahan, Philippines

Mabrouka M’Barek, Tunisia/US

Karin Gabbert, Germany

Ferdinand Muggenthaler, Ecuador

Ashish Kothari, India

Vinod Koshti, India

Raphael Hoetmer, Perú

Giorgos Velegrakis, Greece

Miriam Lang, Ecuador

Beatriz Rodriguez-Labajos, Barcelona/USA

Ansar Jasim, Iraq/Germany

Madhuresh Kumar, India

Ibrahima Thiam, Senegal

Mauro Castro, Barcelona

Ariel Salleh, Australia

Claus-Dieter König, Germany/Senegal

Isaac “Asume” Osuoka, Nigeria/Canada

Ivonne Yanez, Ecuador

Larry Lohmann, UK




New book! CITIES OF DIGNITY: Urban transformations around the world (July 2020)

Participants of the Global Working Group Beyond Development are pleased to announce the launch of their third publication: Cities of Dignity: Urban Transformations Around the World. The book, written by movement-based authors, was presented at the Vienna 2020 Degrowth Conference on June 1st.

Download the book [PDF version HERE] [EPUB-ebook format available soon]

One of the main challenges that strategies for social-ecological transformation are facing today is the fact that a majority of the world population lives in cities, which can be considered structurally unsustainable spaces. The capitalist growth imperative has forced increasing numbers of former peasants from rural areas to move to big cities to sell their labor force or get into informal markets. Cities are the result of a variety of historical processes, shaped by capitalism and imperialism. The process of monopolistic accumulation has led to the centralization of political and financial power in administrative centers in the Global North focused on ruling and controlling populations. This has led to catastrophic results of inequality worldwide, uneven material conditions for existence, increasing militarization, police violence, racism, accelerated dispossession, gentrifications, and an almost irreversible ecological crisis.

Lately, the crisis of civilization, exacerbated by COVID-19, has shown how cities, usually understood as the sites where people move to in order to live ‘successful’ lives, where they can realize consumption and have easier access to many public services than in the countryside, have become deadly traps of contagion. Throughout the world, people who had the opportunity to do so even moved back to their places of origin in the countryside.

It is thus crucial to discuss how cities can be transformed from being sites of extraction and dispossession of rural areas to become sites where, for example, food and energy sovereignty are put forward. How they can be transformed, from being sites for the realization of added value in real estate for transnational capitals through violent land speculation, to being habitats where the dwellers practice self-determination and decide themselves democratically over the territories they inhabit.
Cities of Dignity begins with an analysis of the political economy of urban commons (Chapter 1) and a survey of existing transnational initiatives and trans-solidarity platforms in support of radical urban transformations (Chapter 2). The book presents seven cases of such urban transformation toward more democratic, sustainable, socially equitable and antipatriarchal relations from below in a series of case studies: the San Roque popular market in Quito, Ecuador (Chapter 3); the resistance of Izidora community in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. (Chapter 4); Black-led urban commons in Birmingham, Jackson, and Detroit in the U.S. (Chapter 5); the resistance of slum dwellers of Maroko and Mokoko in Lagos, Nigeria (Chapter 6); the communitarian currency experimentation in Kenya (Chapter 7);  the 15th Garden food sovereignty network in Syria (Chapter 8); and the self-determination and organization of slum dwellers in Bhuj in India (Chapter 9). Many important lessons for social-ecological transformation toward societies that leave the growth imperative behind can be drawn from these seven urban experiences (Chapter: Collective Reflections).




Alternatives in a World of Crisis – 2nd edition

This book is the result of a collective effort. In fact, it has been written by many contributors from all over the world – women, men, activists, and scholars from very different socio-cultural contexts and political horizons, who give testimony to an even greater scope of social change. Their common concern is to show not only that alternatives do exist, despite the neoliberal mantra of the “end of history”, but that many of these alternatives are currently unfolding – even if in many cases they remain invisible to us.

This book brings together a selection of texts portraying transformative processes around the world that are emblematic as they were able to change their situated social realities in multiple ways, addressing different axes of domination simultaneously, and anticipating forms of social organization that configure alternatives to the commodifying, patriarchal, colonial, and destructive logics of modern capitalism.

These processes, of course, have faced a series of challenges and contradictions, both internally and from the outside, which has resulted in a diversity of landscapes of transformative achievements in practice. Nevertheless, and maybe precisely because of their partial failures, they have all produced a range of insights. In this sense, this book does not intend to romanticize the social struggles it presents. It seeks instead to portray their contexts, conditions, and complex evolution through honest analysis and in solidarity with those affected in order to contribute to the knowledges of social movements, peoples, and collectives that promote emancipatory, multidimensional change.







Stopping the Machines of socio-ecological destruction and building alternative worlds

The present text is the result of a collective process of analysis, dialogue, and editing based on the second meeting of the Global Working Group Beyond Development in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, and in Nabón County, in Azuay province, in May 2017. It represents an effort to understand the historical moment our world is living through, its patterns of domination and the tendencies, prospects, and challenges of a multidimensional transformation.

Our discussions have been deeply rooted in our localized experiences of struggle and alternatives, with their particular histories, strategies, advances, and challenges, and in the search for global connections, translations, and lessons between our experiences. The perspective of the Global Working Group Beyond Development is the idea of multidimensional social transformation. Its point of departure is that a multidimensional crisis calls for multidimensional responses. Social transformation today should address simultaneously the complex relations between class, race, coloniality, gender, and Nature, as it is precisely their historical entanglements and interdependencies that configure the civilizational bases of the system we face. Although the debates presented here have much in common with a socio-ecological perspective, we believe that it is necessary to highlight gender, race, and coloniality as necessary dimensions of social transformation that are no less significant than relations between classes or society and Nature. Although the term “socio-ecological” does not necessarily exclude these dimensions, it does not explicitly include them either.





2018-19 Cities of Dignity

URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS AROUND THE WORLD

The book Cities of Dignity: Urban Transformations Around the World (July 2020) is the third publication of the Global Working Group Beyond Development. Cities of Dignity, which will be available for free download, explores seven urban experiences: the self-determination and organization of slum dwellers in Buhj in India, Black-led urban commons in Birmingham, Jackson, and Detroit in the U.S., the San Roque popular market in Quito, Ecuador, the 15th Garden food sovereignty network in Syria, the resistance of slum dwellers of Maroko and Mokoko in Lagos Nigeria, the communitarian currency experimentation in Kenya, and the resistance of Izidora community in Belo Horizonte, Brasil.

Earlier work of the Working Group documents how radical multidimensional transformation is vital to ensuring the dignity and well-being of all living beings. We identified the following five key processes of social change are required to deepening justice, dignity, democracy and the sustainability of life: (i) decolonization; (ii) anti-capitalism; (iii) anti-racism; (iv) the dismantling of patriarchy; and (v) the transformation of predatory relations with nature. The Working Group shares the belief that radical change – understood as the transformation of our society, economy, and politics from the bottom up – is vital if we want to call a halt to the current social-ecological destruction being wrought by our crisis-hit civilization. 

At the same time, there are very tough preconditions for such change. Power and resources are more concentrated than ever before in the hands of global elites and corporate groups, and collective views of development, consumerism, and individualism are deeply rooted in the constructed subjectivities of the majority of the world’s population. Militarism, the spread of corporate technology, mass surveillance, and the mass media are enabling factors for these negative conditions, while a concerted global counter-offensive of reactionary and conservative forces is pushing back or battling emancipatory change in many parts of the world.

Urban Garden in Birmingham @Mabrouka M’Barek

The case studies that make up this book show various strategies involving different temporalities of transformation which are best tackled by distinct, potentially complementary political strategies. In the short term, there is a need to stop the accelerated ecological, political and social processes of destruction and dispossession by means of defensive struggles which also protect the achievements of social movements in previous cycles of struggle. There needs to be an active defense of spaces of autonomy (Chapter 3,5,6), self-organization (Chapter 3,4,5,7,8,9), and extension of the commons (Chapter 1,3,4,5), as these form the building blocks for deeper and sustainable change. 

Global Working Group Participants meeting with the Top Manta Refugee Collective in Barcelona in 2018 @Ashish Kothari

Any long-term multidimensional transformation will require other offensive political struggles, capable of creating new forms of existence and consciousness, new institutions, new modes of production, and new distribution and consumption practices. The required political framework needs to go far beyond the realities of the nation-state, the notion of human rights and current production, consumption, and distribution processes and practices, thereby responding fully to the civilizational and ecological crisis we are facing. Such a radically different society is already taking root and has even been adopted previously in many local processes of prefigurative politics. Political perspectives of plurinational, polycentricity, Buen Vivir, or bio-democracy and their specific expression on the ground allow for the possibility of overcoming the limitations of both modern liberal and Marxist Eurocentric political thoughts. During the Global Working Group’s meetings, we have seen that this requires deep and significant dialogues between cultures, political traditions, and social movements.

The appropriate strategies will differ depending on the individual local and historical context, but the challenge of nurturing relationships between them and of building ecosystems of change made up of various actors, strategies, and scales is a crucial one. The kinds of alliances we need are those that connect resistance and the establishment of emancipatory transformations, being based on shared principles that inspire localized practices. Existing struggles are not limited to the local or national level but are also fought on a global scale  (Chapter 2). 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION: BUILDING RADICAL URBAN TERRITORIES  Giorgos Velegrakis, Mabrouka M’Barek and Raphael Hoetmer

I URBAN COMMONS: FROM COLLECTIVE GOVERNANCE TO THE RIGHT TO THE CITY  Mauro Castro-Coma and Marc Martí-Costa

II AN ATLAS OF PRAXES AND POLITICAL POSSIBILITIES: RADICAL COLLECTIVE ACTION AND URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS Mary Ann Manahan and Maria Khristine Alvarez

III BRASIL

THE URBAN RESISTANCE FRONT: EXPERIENCES OF RADICAL URBAN TRANSFORMATION WITH A VIEW TO ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE AND DEPATRIARCHALISED CITIES Isabella Gonçalves Miranda

IV ECUADOR

SEARCHING FOR ALTERNATIVES TO OLIGOPOLISTIC MODERNISATION: FOOD PROVISIONING, SOCIAL ORGANISATION AND INTERCULTURALITY IN QUITO’S URBAN MARKETS Ana Rodríguez and Patric Hollenstein

V UNITED STATES

FROM SELF-DETERMINATION TO COMMUNITY-DETERMINATION: BLACK-LED COMMONS IN THE UNITED STATES Mabrouka M’Barek and Elandria Williams

VI NIGERIA

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH MAKOKO? SOLIDARITY, STRUGGLES, AND VISIONS OF SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE SLUMS OF LAGOS Isaac ‘Asume’ Osuoka and Abiodun Aremu

VII KENYA

COMMUNITY CURRENCIES FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY: A CASE STUDY ON KENYA’S SARAFU-CREDIT VOUCHER SYSTEMS Marion Cauvet and Ruth Mwangi

VIII SYRIA

SELF ORGANISATION AND FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN WAR-TORN SYRIA: THE 15TH GARDEN NETWORK Ansar Jasim

IX INDIA

AN EMERGING DEMOCRACY FROM THE BOTTOM UP: THE CASE OF BHUJ, INDIA  Aseem Mishra and Sandeep Virmani

COLLECTIVE REFLECTIONS:  TOWARDS COMMUNITY-DRIVEN RADICAL URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS Global Working Group Beyond Development

Ashish Kothari interviews Ruth Mwangi about the path-breaking idea of “Community Currencies” and how it is being implemented in Kenya. Read the story on our partner’s website Radical Ecological Democracy.

Watch the interview

Ashish Kothari interviews Elandria Williams and Mabrouka M’Barek about their learning journey in Birmingham (Alabama), Jackson (Mississippi) and Detroit (Michigan) exploring Black-owned and Black-led commons striving for dignity and self-determination. Read the story on our partner’s website Radical Ecological Democracy.

Watch the interview

Ashish Kothari interviews Bella Miranda Goncalves about survival and dignity strategies by urban poor in Brazil, including occupations of land to create viable settlements with the integration of agroecology and conservation principles, and larger civil society networks to enable resistance against an oppressive state.

Watch the interview

Ashish Kothari interviews Ansar Jasim , a German-Iraqi activist-researcher, about the brave and remarkable initiatives at food sovereignty in Syrian towns, in the midst of one of the modern world’s bloodiest war zones.

Watch the interview




2017-18 Alternatives in a World of Crisis

FROM STOPPING THE MACHINES OF SOCIO-ECOLOGICAL DESTRUCTION, TO THE BUILDING OF ALTERNATIVE WORLDS: RETHINKING OUR STRATEGIES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE

Jun 15th, 2017 by Raphael Hoetmer

From 12th until 19th of May the Global Working Group Beyond Development, hosted by the Brussels office of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, held its second meeting in Ecuador, Latin America, in order to collectively analyze the opportunities and challenges, as well as the practical strategies, for the construction of multidimensional alternatives which would respond to the current civilizational crisis to which capitalism and its economic, social and cultural dynamics have led.

The second meeting of this group of thirty engaged researchers, activists and popular educators included a public conference at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, a three day workshop and a field visit to the municipality of Nabón in the southern Azuay province of Ecuador, aimed at learning from the experience of building Buen Vivir or living well from the bottom up, as it has been practiced by the communities and associations of Nabón with the support of the alternative local government led by two female mayors of the indigenous Pachakutik political movement, during four successive periods of government.

The discussions of the group were also inspired by five case studies on the construction of multidimensional alternatives in different regions of the world: the self determination of the local people of the village Mendha Lekha in India; the community resistance against oil extractivism and the closely associated colonial state in the Niger Delta in Nigeria; the current building of an alternative municipalism in Barcelona, Spain; the creation of social urban alternatives in the midst of economic crisis in Greece; and the process of the Bolivarian revolution, later labeled as Socialism of the 21st century, in Venezuela.

Historical moment of civilizational crisis

The meeting was marked by a particularly critical historical context that underlines the urgency of the debate on multidimensional alternatives which are able to address issues of class, gender, race, coloniality, state power and sustainability. Climate change and ecological destruction put the future of humankind at risk, whilst extractivism is expanding its grip on livelihoods around the world, and an “imperial mode of living” based on consumerism and individualism without limits has been installed in elites and spreads in middle classes around the world. The global (counter-) offensive of a confluence of right wing populism, religious conservatisms of different kinds and aggressive capitalism have put the global left on the defense, whilst social movements are threatened by different forms of state repression, criminalization, and private violence in new corporate-state formations.

The group agreed that these tendencies are the effects of a civilizational crisis, rooted in patriarchal, colonial and imperial capitalism and its predatory relations with nature, which are being further promoted by the development paradigm. Radical transformation is imperative and urgent, but at the same time, it is precisely social movements proposing alternatives as much as different modes of living which persist or are constructed in different local contexts as alternatives that are under attack.

Learning from our experiences

It is necessary to learn from the last decades of social mobilization, in which popular insurgency and the building of constituent power several times destabilized the status quo, particularly in Latin America, Southern Europe, West Africa and the Arab World. However, as many of these efforts prioritized taking control over the State at the national level as their main strategy, the posterior moment of their institutionalization and government ended in the best case in a more limited change then was hoped for, and in other cases in clear disappointment and setbacks.

In Latin America, the results of these processes have been particularly contradictory in what regards the transformation of economic structures and modes of production, the relationship with indigenous autonomies and the postulates to build plurinationality as an alternative to the monocultural nation state and to implement gender justice. Also, the predatory relations with nature deepened under the influence of progressive governments. One of the lessons of this cycle might be that politics as we know it is not enough for the kind of transformation the world needs. At the same time, the political legacies, instruments and analytical horizons of the global left seem to be insufficient to meet the contemporary challenges, as they were developed to overcome a very different capitalism in the XIXth and XXth centuries.

New strategies and challenges for the Left

The current context presents particular challenges for the legacy of the Left, as its role in emancipatory politics has grown increasingly ambivalent due to its difficulties to overcome state- and class-centered, productivist and economicist politics which often still conceive themselves as vanguardist. At the same time, the global left remains the principal reference of organization and action against capitalism in the World, so that its refoundation seems necessary for multidimensional transformation.

This refoundation not only requires the recuperation of the own plural history of the lefts and its legacies beyond the currents that historically became hegemonic. It also needs to engage in a critical dialogue, a learning process and constructive alliances with indigenous, feminist, Gandhian and other emancipatory movements beyond the Left. This implies the necessity of intercultural dialogue regarding grammars of social transformation.

The current historical moment implies different temporalities of transformation which are best met by different, eventually complementary political strategies. In the short term there is a need to stop the accelerated ecological, political and social processes of destruction and dispossession. Thus strong social movements of resistance all levels, local, regional, national, continental and global are necessary and this struggle will require a multitude of strategies including different approaches toward the state. These include the politics of left political movements or parties which dispute the legal and institutional conditions for transformation within the framework of the State.

Strategies of prefigurative politics have so far been most successful when bound to specific territories with significant ranges of autonomy from national state institutions – with local governments, accountable through mechanisms of direct democracy, sometimes serving as allies as in the cases of Nabón in Ecuador and the municipalism in Spain. Making use of the own instituent power in order to preserve existing commons or create new ones and thus de-link from the logics of the globalized capitalist world market emerged as a path forward for the deepening of democracy and self-determination, as well as the transformation of relations with nature, depatriarchalization and decolonization.

It is a matter of further debate and practice, how these and other strategies combine for a radical and multidimensional transformation that achieves profound cultural and political change and can put an end to exploitative economic and social relations.

New perspectives on global relations

Finally, responding to the purpose of a global working group, the debates addressed the need of rethinking the concepts and traditions of solidarity and internationalist relations. Here, emphasis was made on the need of overcoming money-centered and paternalistic logics of aid or the tradition of supporting specific struggles abroad, which are abandoned when another new struggle comes up. The alternative would be engaging actively in the transformation of the own sociopolitical context, while taking into account the effects that this context necessarily generates elsewhere on the globe, and engaging in reciprocal and horizontal interpeoples relations which allow intercultural dialogue and experience-based learning processes.




International conference “World in crisis. Alternatives from the five continents “

The graduate program of Latin American Cultural Studies from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito Ecuador, in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation organized the international conference “World in crisis. Alternatives from the five continents ” with participants of the Global Working Group Beyond Development on May 18th 2017.

Program

10h30-10h50 Opening

Jaime Breilh, Rector of the UASB
Claus-Dieter König, Deputy Director Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Brussels
 
10h50-11h10
Miriam Lang, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar
Civilizational crisis and alternatives – reflections on the challenges of the present. This paper will address some assumptions, hypotheses, and theoretical and political challenges surrounding the civilizational crisis and the construction of alternatives.
 
Table 1: Europe 11h10-12h20
Maxime Combes, Attac France
Post-election and resistance scenarios in France.

While in France the extreme right is encouraged by the implosion of political and institutional frames of reference, the winners of globalization try to save ‘the system’ and a new left finally incorporates ecological aspects, following socio-ecological struggles that have influenced its visions.
 
Mauro Castro, Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Collective the Cooperative Hydra, Catalonia
Seizing Institutions: The Barcelona Communist Municipal Movement
The victory of “citizen platforms” in the 2015 municipal elections in Spain has been a milestone of electoral democracy in the recent political history of Europe. In this presentation some analysis keys about Barcelona en Comú, a movement-party that has governed the city of Barcelona for 21 months, will be exposed.

Moderator: Beatriz Rodríguez-Labajos, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona
 
Table 2: Asia 12h20-13h30
Mary Ann Manahan, Focus on the Global South, Philippines
In Defense of the Commons: Resistances and Alternatives in Southeast Asia Land and resource appropriation, commodification, and privatization are major challenges for popular and social movements in Southeast Asia that practice shared access, collective use and governance of natural resources as a common form of tenure. The defense of these commons, however, opens spaces for social mobilization, resistance and the construction of alternatives.
 
Maduresh Khumar, National Alliance of People’s Movement, India
Social movements and resistance to capitalist expansion in India. With the current market-based neoliberal growth strategy, India’s 1.2 billion people will soon be faced with a massive ecological and social crisis. The talk will focus on the resistance of various social and environmental movements, the State’s response and the challenges of articulating an alternative discourse to the dominant forms of development.
 
Moderated by: Ivonne Yánez, Acción Ecológica, Ecuador

13:30 – 15:00 Break
 
Table 3: Americas 15:00 – 16:30

Edgardo Lander, Central University of Venezuela
Learning from the progressive cycle in Latin America. This paper will present a reflection on what the experience of the so-called progressive governments has been based on a key question: To what extent have these experiences brought us closer to overcoming capitalism and have opened gaps in the direction of exit to the deep civilizing crisis that humanity faces today?
 
Irma Velásquez, Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and Duke University, Guatemala
Latin America today from the perspective of indigenous women In Guatemala, after a 36-year-old armed conflict, women survivors of the genocide, who also faced sexual violations and servitude, seek justice using national courts. The case of Ixil and Sepur Zarco Guatemala women will be briefly addressed.
 
Elandria Williams, Highlander Research and Education Center, USA
Building transformative solutions in the belly of the beast: socio-economic and organizational dynamics in the southern United States. The United States faces a frontal right-wing attack that is not limited to Donald Trump, but is part of a cycle related to the 400-year heritage of colonialism, imperialism and capitalism rooted in genocide and slavery. In this moment of setback, the left in the United States is fighting and laying the foundations for a reconstruction based on the principles of community self-government, the solidarity economy, reparations, and sustainable and healthy communities.

Moderator: Karin Gabbert, director of the Rosa Luxemburg Andean Region Foundation
 
16:30 – 17:00 Coffee
 
Table 4: Africa 17h00-18h15
Mabrouka M’Barek, Middle East Institute Washington D.C./ Tunisia
Perspectives to six years of the Arab spring. Mabrouka will give an overview of the current situation in the Arab region, focusing on the Maghreb and Yemen. Several cases of civil resistance will be discussed in the areas of climate justice, economic justice and transitional justice.