Porto Declaration for eco-social justice

We, the Porto Transnational assembly – are people coming together following 20 local assemblies in all corners of Europe. We acknowledge the urgency of acting for Democratising, Decolonizing and Decarbonizing our societies to achieve ecological, economic and social justice. There can be no eco-social justice without climate justice and a transformation of our economic model. Everyone, wherever they come from, must be provided the means and agency to have rights, to exercise their rights and to extend their rights.

For this profound social change to take place we need to act both on ourselves and on the society we live in, starting from education to practical actions in our everyday lives for our society’s evolution. This implies that everybody needs access to radical empowerment which will support the decolonization of our mindsets, social and political structures, for the renewal of our relations at all levels, from the local to the global. Privileged groups are above all responsible for decolonising themselves.

The following principles must guide the transformation of our world:

Decolonise!

1. Justice must be the founding principle. Marginalised, oppressed and exploited groups, including youth must be at the centre of our collective action. Conditions must be created that enable everybody to make use of universal human rights.

2. Liberty is not only an individual right, it creates a collective obligation to act together.

3. We emphasise interconnectedness and intersectionality of rights, that of humans and of the planet.

4. We have the right to our own agency and autonomy of action, and therefore we claim our time: we have a right to time to think, to act, to organise, to recover, to decide, to enjoy ourselves, and time to be together and socialise.

 5. We have a right to physical and mental health: we have a right to decent food, to water and clean air, a right to free, universal and adequate healthcare.

6. Housing is a human right and primordial need, it should be produced as a social good and not as a financial asset. We have the right to our own secure and adequate space to live and access to green space. The privatisation of land and ongoing colonisation of territories must be halted and reversed.

7. All workers, including migrants and seasonal workers, have the right to a living wage, good working conditions and dignity at work and to organise.

8. We each have the right to peaceful existence, free from all kinds of violence and aggression. Free of war, militarisation, exploitation, patriarchy, racism, islamophobia, xenophobia, queerphobia and ableism and ageism.

9. We affirm the duty of opposition against the neo colonial international structures and institutions

10. Pluralism and intersectionality are fundamental to our approach: bringing people together in solidarity by respecting differences and fighting against inequalities

Decarbonise!

11. Climate refugees should be recognized legally and given support and welcome, as should all people fleeing disaster, war or persecution. The Convention of Kampala of the African Union from 2009 recognizing climate change as a legitimate reason for displacement must be taken as an inspiration for all countries and for the European Union.

12. We have the right to move freely and safely, with ecological means.

13. Quality education, including on political, social, economic, historical and environmental issues, is a fundamental right for people throughout their lives, as is free access to knowledge resources and to culture.

14. The action of political, scientific, cultural and economic institutions should be centred on people and respect the diversity of species on the planet, not driven by private interests, or the accumulation of economic wealth for individuals. Systemic corruption shall be exposed and eradicated, through transparency and real justice.

Democratise!

15. A diverse, vibrant and free civil society and media are essential counterweights to political power. Our political institutions need to be power-balanced with each other and ensure accountability.

16. Innovative forms of political participation, from participative budgeting to citizens assemblies, should not be coopted by political institutions, but maintain the agency and autonomy of bottom-up initiatives. Political action and participation has a diversity of forms which should all be recognized, valued and meaningfully shape politics and policies.

17. The redistribution of wealth across social classes, ensuring a decent standard of life for all, are realistic aims and essential to democratic societies in which each can participate fully.

18. Workers have the right to have a say on the decisions which affect them in the workplace. The foundation, independence, democratic and inclusive functioning of trade unions, associations and other forms of worker organisation is a crucial part of democracy.

19. Our digital lives are intertwined with our physical lives: everyone must be empowered and equipped to participate and co-create digital life, protected against exploitation online.

This Declaration aims at empowering individuals, movements and collectives.

Power must be distributed away from the self-interested, privileged economic and social groups that currently dominate, and must be spread horizontally throughout the diversity and richness of our societies.

We must decolonize the global order, our social structures, our behaviours, our gender relations and our minds: this will mean some people leaving space to others to speak, act and be visible, and being in solidarity with those most vulnerable when they do this. It will mean accepting uncomfortable conversations and situations in the name of hearing and empowering those who have been suppressed for centuries and up to this day.

Responsibility, accountability, transparency and inclusiveness must come with all exercise of power and authority. Relying on our collective agency based on human rights is now the only way to address the ecological, economic, energy, sanitary, military and social crises which threaten the interdependence of countries and most of all the future existence of humanity. We can and must come together across borders to create a future of solidarity and justice.

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