Final Declaration of the 2nd Encounter for
Humanity and against Neoliberalism, Spain, July 1997

Translated by Luis Pratt

A little over three years ago, in different parts of the world collectives in support of the zapatista revolution appeared. Later, the EZLN comrades convened the First Encounter for Humanity and against Neoliberalism, where it was decided to start the building of a network which would look into coordinating groups throughout the planet for the struggle against a system that has a planetary base and vocation: neoliberalism and the attendant economic globalization, with its brutal economic, social and ecological consequences for the different peoples and territories of the Earth.

We have arrived here from the five continents to help build a world of dignity and humanity.

The richness of our discussions, the color of our exchanges and the humanity of our experiences and struggles have shown that we have dignity. However, neoliberal capital tries more and more to rob us of our dignity.

We come from the five continents, but there are millions of brothers and sisters that remained behind.

Among us there's an unemployed worker forced to compete against all the others because a competitive labor market is good for the economy.

Among us is a woman who walks several kilometers every day to bring water home because there isn't any in her village, but there are golf courses in the desert. Among us there is a student reading a book at night in conditions of poverty who must memorize dogma to be prepared to better compete.

Among us there is a mother who goes to the market in any southern country and buys less every day because her money is being swallowed up by international banks.

Among us there are those who work too much because they might be unemployed tomorrow.

Among us there are those who believe that there's no tomorrow, that there's no today and no yesterday.

We are those ripped apart, those classified, those trapped in hierarchies and forced to fight among us so that the global factory may continue spinning without anybody stopping it in a senseless and endless motion.

We are the isolated, the atomized the divided by race, gender, occupation, status, nationality, color, sexual preference, those made to believe that by virtue of our differences we must not unite, that crime must continue, that hunger must continue, that the silence must continue, that censorship must continue.

Now we say enough! and begin to do things our way. It will take time, but we've started.

The First Declaration of La Realidad proposed that we build bridges among ourselves, many bridges that are also rainbows. The Second Declaration of La Realidad proposed a network of struggles and communication to begin to materialize these bridges among ourselves. We have taken a step forward.

Today faced with the fragmentation and the isolation that social and political struggles have historically shown and still continue to show, neoliberal capitalism offers a cohesive and global, though not centralized, model, whose versatility and ability to adapt and absorb everything that questions or opposes it, forces us to search for new ways to articulate that seek maximum efficiency in the struggles and resistances towards its definitive transformation and replacement.

The concept of a network, because of its flexibility, versatility, low maintenance cost and capacity for the continuous opening of multiple concrete fronts, is the paradigm of this new way of confronting the overwhelming reality of the system.

By network we understand a movement under permanent construction of people and organizations interconnected among themselves that will link, communicate and coordinate the different struggles of prevention, resistance and action for Humanity and against Neoliberalism.

Made up of organized entities, individual or collective, interrelated among themselves, without a specific center, with a horizontal structure, that send and receive information and are capable of orgainizing themselves for the undertaking of common acts, using all technological means available and all forms of social relations. As the Second Declaration of La Realidad says: łThe net is all of us who talk and listen ... all of us who resist. With local, supralocal, national and international levels until we build the Planetary Net for Humanity and against Neoliberalism.˛ One in which the objectives, the information, the groups and the actions enrich themselves as they travel through the net, proposing without imposing, one in which all the parts are the whole and the whole is in each of the parts.

We propose an open network knitted with information, connection, integration and mutual help in the knots of encounter, one that finds its strength in its plasticity. A network with the dynamic organism of a living being, which allows for the inmediate activation at the opportune moment, in response to concrete needs and conflicts, but at the same time in step with the emergent coordination of the plurality of our struggles, consciences and diverse but converging conceptions of reality.

The network must allow the incorporation of all the organizations, collectives and citizens, based on absolute equality, who answer the call to combat neoliberalism and the alienation and suffering of humanity without central power nuclei and empowering the autonomy of the experiences thus created and the organizational ways each especific reality demands. Empowering in turn the human contact, the affection among peoples which allows for the social growth of the fabric of struggles and resistances in a continuous and alive fashion.

The esential objective of the network is to fight all forms of oppression, degradation and destruction of persons, peoples and the Planet incarnated in the Hegemonic System, and to simultaneously build a new world in which all worlds have their place, those of today as well as future ones.

Functionally the network is:

- A net of information, which sets up in a space of communication a continual flow of data, facts and claims generated by the daily practice of each and every one of the collectives and individuals who make it up.

- A net of prevention and action, which permits us on the one hand to anticipate and resolve problems before they cause irreversible results, and on the other to achieve maximum efficiency in the actions to be undertaken towards the multiplication and combination of varied forces.

- A net of continuous intercation of experiences, conceptions, methods and capabilities and personal relations that allow for the coming together and enrichment of peoples, cultures, collectives and individuals, and the finding and promotion of social and economical alternatives that allow for vital options respectful of people and the planet we inhabit

Network of nets and contact with other networks.

On the one hand, there is the progressive consolidation of this network on an international scale, worldwide as well as regionally planetary, attempting to incorporate local networks. In this sense, the realization of this encounter means an advance, because although there are still important holes in the structure of the net, everything indicates that those holes are step by step being filled. The Network for Humanity and against Neoliberalism is taking concrete form primarily in the European space and in the Americas, but we have also seen how this encounter has brought together representatives from all parts of the globe: Asia, Africa, eastern countries and Oceania.

However, there remains much road to travel. Perhaps a way to consolidate this dynamic is to take advantage of and enlarge the regional coordination structures that have been set up for this Encounter. But besides this problem of network consolidation on a regional and planetary scale (Europe, America, Africa ...) it can be seen more clearly that there is a need to connect this proccess with the progressive crystallization of networks of a sectorial character, likewise on planetary, regional and local levels. In this way we will gain in efficiency and in capability for political influence. Some of these nets are being built starting from sector nets already in existance, and others are being pushed forward as a result of this Encounter. What networks are we talking about? Networks which, for example, will coalesce groups and collectives that work in the fields of health, antinuclear struggle, ecology (particularly oil), information and mass media, feminist and lesbian women, free circulation and global citizenship. At least these are the ideas and proposals that have surfaced at this time.

However, we must take into account that the practice of resistance and transformation, as well as that of elaboration and reflexion are not exhausted within the environment of the networks we have launched or connected with our dynamic. There are likewise many nets, groups and dynamics, worldwide, regional and local which oppose in one way or another, in greater or lesser degree, explicitly or implicitly, the neoliberal logic. And it should be an objective to keep in mind to establish relations with them and to promote a creative promiscuity for all, each one keeping their respective autonomy, which will contribute to the ends we pursue. This is a way to bring into practice the plurality and diversity which animates the zapatista comrades, with the goal of proving that in this world there's room for many worlds. We have to make these coordinations go further than the purely informational or virtual coordination which propiciates the transmission of information and theoretical elaborations. To incite them to become a true mechanism for unity in the struggles and for the enrichment and extension of their experiences. But it must go further still. It must become an instrument that allows for the transmission of humanity and facilitates personal and collective acquaintance. We should congratulate ourselves because in spite of the difficulties we face, this proccess, with all its imperfectioons and criticisms, is under way.

Out of this great reunion there should come a collective and individual committment in three spheres:

1. The committment to activate from the moment we end this II Encounter the exchange of information among individuals and collectives, taking advantage of the contacts made among comrades and organizations worldwide. This information must not consist solely in the circulation of data, but also in a permanent stimulus for all kinds of political, theoretical and cultural debates.

2. The committment of each comrade to propose and promote internal debate in their organizations, collectives and social environments, about the network of struggle and resistance and the conclusions of this Encounter.

3. The committment to foment and spread the concept of the network of struggles and resistance and the starting of local networks in the concrete space of the daily struggles of our comrades.


PROPOSALS FOR CAMPAIGNS AND CONCRETE ACTIONS:

Among the multiplicity of proposals and concrete actions generated by the tables and sub-tables, we have extracted the following, as the most general and important, even at the risk of not including some which are considered by their originating working groups as interesting from their view point.

In any case they are all amply considered in the conclusions by the different tables and sub-tables.

* Campaign against the World Trade Organization. Alternative Summit in March in Geneva and coordinated actions throughtout the world in parallel with the official summit in May 1988.

* Support of acts and mobilizations denouncing neoliberal policies, Maastritch and the unique currency, which will be promoted on a European scale the first week of December, in a decentralized fashion in the different countries, in accordance with the proposal by The Alternative Forum of Amsterdam.

* Mobilization campaigns October 8-12 denouncing Northern imperialism that oppresses and exploits different peoples worldwide. Coordinated with the human chain shoulder to shoulder with will culminated in New York on October 12.

* Boicott of especific transnational corporations against their labor practices and attacks on indigenous peoples. Campaign against Shell (because of the situation of the Ogoni people in Nigeria). Campaign against Nestle. Campaign against Siemens (nuclear).

* Support of the summit parallel to the Climate Summit in Tokio, on December this year.

* Acts to denounce the situation of political prisoners, on February 9,1988.

* Acts against patriarchy on November 25.

* Acts for the participation of women on January 1 1988, anniversary of the Chiapas uprising.

* A Day to demand healthy nourishment on December 14.

* The creation of a technical group on ecological information and education.

* Support of campaigns to denounce the Schengen Treaty promoted by inmigrant's associations, as well as denouncing internment centers and international segregation zones for inmigrants.

The building of this network on an intercontinental level is part of a process of struggle for a better future, of learning to organize political debate among ourselves. Thus it is very important that we analize and discuss among us the conclusions of this Encounter in our local, national and international nets. To guarantee continuity in this process, we propose the celebration of regional encounters for evaluation, in principle from now until December of this year. At the same time we recommend to enlarge the periodicity of the encounters (perhaps every two years). The greater coincidence generated thanks to the net and the communication achieved among ourselves must now feed the different local perspectives and from there to backfeed the Intercontinental Encounters.



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