Madrid, 21st February 2016
Since the start of the global economic crisis, a new movement has arisen across the world.
It is a movement for true democracy and participation, for the right of the people to decide for themselves and have their mandate respected and reflected in policy making, for the duty to confront a system which favors a privileged minority on the backs of the majority. A movement to place human rights, civil, political, social, economic, cultural and democratic rights, at the heart of the european project, as an intrinsic part of democracy.
Since 2011, the streets, squares and workplaces of Europe have become the cradles of democratic struggles for rights; struggles that have shaken and shaped the social and political scene.
Europe’s movements have been clashing with the ensemble of institutions and policies which today constitute the European Union. The deeply anti-democratic nature of these institutions reflects their original and current purpose: to serve the interests of the corporate and financial sector and the various elites, constituting today’s oligarchies.
They operate in darkness and opacity, out of view of Europe citizens.
They are subservient to the corporations and financial firms that deploy armies of lobbyists. They are negotiating new treaties in the name but against the interests of Europe’s peoples.
We demand transparency to shed light on how they reach decisions affecting our lives.
We challenge the most unrealistic and irrational claim of all: that Europe can repay its public and private debts.
We affirm the sovereign right of the people to audit the debt and to refuse to repay illegitimate and illegal debts.
Europe’s establishment, the Brussels and Frankfurt institutions preach austerity for the many while spending trillions on the few. There is not just “austerity” in Europe: there is a class war, with the looting of our citizens’ rights and of the commons by ruling elites determined to redistribute income and wealth from the rest of society and the states to themselves. Their model is one of huge unemployment and precariousness, which generates poverty and increases inequalities, pushing workers against each other, perpetuating violence against women, ruining the environment and destroying the social tissue. A model against the social welfare state and social justice.
We do not accept any more sacrifices for a currency which is outside any democratic control. It is our duty and commitment to forge a plan which will empower us, when in government, to defend our people from the use of the euro and/or liquidity as weapons against them. We will not allow a repetition of last summer’s coup against a sovereign people and a clear democratic mandate.
We demand democratic control over the banking system and transparency in its operations.
We shall resist the illegal and undemocratic practices of the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund. The so called Eurogroup is not the place to decide our fate and rule the lives of future generations.
A so-called borderless Europe has been erecting walls and electrifying fences everywhere. From Evros and Lesvos to Lampedusa, from Presevo to Calais. We demand: Let the refugees in! When people run for their lives, Europe must simply open its arms, firmly rejecting xenophobia and racism. The issue of refugees is a humanitarian issue and we refute the militarization thereof: we say NO to the involvement of NATO.
Europe must drastically cut armaments and defense expenses, which have proven to be linked with corruption and illegal indebtedness and must increase public spending on health, education, social security, justice and culture.
The degradation of the living conditions of the people is also linked to the destruction of nature and the war for resources all over the world. We cannot fail to address the ecological and energetic crisis if we want social justice for all.
In view of Europe’s current state, we call for civil disobedience to the European institutions’ toxic rules, policies, treaties or any undemocratic dictates and to their arbitrary reinterpretation by the ruling elites. We need new constituent processes and self-determination through binding referenda. We equally affirm the duty to disobey undemocratic dictates when in government, as a minimal democratic obligation to the people.
The Conference in Madrid has been a step forward in the coming together of different movements and proposals to fight for democracy in Europe. We invite for the conclusions of the different topics to be widely read, diffused, discussed and elaborated upon, and for further conferences to be organised around Europe.
The European peoples know how to rebel against tyranny. Throughout history we have done it on multiple times to conquer democracy, establish equality, defend our lives, rights and dignity.
The Madrid Conference proposes to organise a European Day of Action on the 28th of May.