We share the Political Declaration of the International Meeting of Youth in Struggle – Women of Kobane, held between June 21 and 25, 2016, in the city of Maricá-RJ, Brazil, in the context of the 1st International Utopia Festival.
We come from 43 nations, 4 continents. We have different cultures and backgrounds, we speak different languages. Despite diversity, there’s something that brings us together, apart from belonging to the same generation: the systematic violence to which we are subjected. This condition shapes our identity and expresses internationally in the struggle, as the way in which the youth resists imperialism.
We gathered in the City of Marica, Rio de Janeiro-Brazil, from June 21 to 25, 2016. We, the youth of more than 115 organizations, held the International Summit of Youth in Struggle and Women of Kobane. We are reaffirming our commitment to the creation of an international coordination of the youth that is involved in anti-imperialist, anti-neoliberal and anti-patriarchal struggle.
We are watching several crises unfold, that can potentially put the capitalist system as we know it at risk. We are witnessing the worldwide economic crisis that started in 2008 deepen. It began at the center of the system and is now spreading globally, causing a brutal increase in unemployment, misery, and a massive flow of immigration. Despite wars, promoted by imperialism as a way of speeding up the economic activity and amplify its domain and the exploitation of territories and resources, there is no indication of a short-term end to this crisis. Along with this, the violence of capital deepens the social crisis, intensifying police repression and the genocide of the poorest, especially the youth.
This economic crisis hits harder on our ecosystem, and it may jeopardize people’s survival in the planet. Unrestrained exploitation carried out by transnational companies is seeking to reconstitute its interest rates. This only deepens the environmental crisis.
We are also going through a crisis of a political nature, since the State institutions are losing legitimacy in the eyes the society because they can’t provide answers to the people’s claims. This crisis is also evident in the incapacity of the states to regulate the economy. Therefore, we see that people are not involved in the decision-making processes regarding the direction of society and, at the same time, there is a dominant presence of capital in spheres of power. The convergence of those variables impacts on human values, therefore, anti-social values such as profit, individualism, consumerism and selfishness are prefered over humane values.
While the bourgeoisie is having a hard time solving this critical situation, popular forces are also failing to propose an alternative model of society. However, the current challenges also entail the possibility of change, given the increasing instability of the system. It is our duty, as Youth in Struggle, to build a project that can fight against imperialism and overcome the violence of capital. In times of change, our ability to carry out massive struggles and develop organizational projects for the people is what decides the orientation of society.
As imperialism goes on with its offensive, today more than ever the construction of solidarity between the peoples is essential. In the same sense, the consolidation of an international articulation of the Struggling Youth is mandatory. If our enemy acts globally, we can’t resist locally, it’s necessary to unite struggles to fight against the system in a global scale.
Now that we have shared our analysis on the world’s reality, struggle and resistance, we’d like to point out our main points of agreement:
Main themes of the struggle:
- Against environmental degradation and the private appropriation of nature, in defense of territories and common goods.
- Against imperialist wars and exploitation of transnational companies, in defense of the people’s sovereignty.
- Against the extermination of the youth and the militarization of our territories, in defense of life.
- Against the oppression of black men and women, women, the LGBT movement, indigenous, in defense of equality.
- Against the neoliberal policies, in defense of the social rights (education, culture, health, public transport, housing, etc) and in defense of a new project for the peoples.
- Against instability of employment, super-exploitation of the work force and the youth, in defense of dignified work and construction of economic alternatives.
- Against the monopoly in communication media and cultural industry, in defense of democratization of communication and the valorization of local cultures.
- We should take up again the method of grassroots work to politicize, mobilize and organize the people and the youth. We should organize the working class youth, which is the most affected sector by the imperialist offensive and at the same time the most dynamic sector of the class struggle.
- In times of crisis, it’s urgent to build the tools to denounce the enemy’s project, and at the same time, announce our propositions via propaganda. We should be building new, alternative means of communication with the people, that emerge from our own creative strength. Denying the enemy’s project is not enough: we must announce a new project of society.
- Moving forwards in terms of the political and ideological training of the youth, this is the only way in which we can assure a greater strength to build our strategic horizon.
- It’s necessary to promote massive struggles. Only mobilizations can change the correlation of forces. If the enemy is strengthened by the concentration of capital, in the media oligopoly and the military forces, we are strengthened by the number of people on the streets.
- Building unity between the popular forces, both in our country and on the international level. We need to challenge the notion of isolated organizations. We shouldn’t encourage minor differences between us that go in detriment of unity. We must reorganize the spaces of unity so that the struggle against the common enemy can be strengthened.
- We must benefit from the creative force of the youth, to build new forms of organization, through popular media, through new ways of organizing and through the struggle of the youth.
We have created a Provisional Coordination Collective for this process of articulation which can include the diversity of our organizations, with regional and continental representatives.
To build a dynamic organization that can encompass three main tasks:
- Building National Meetings until the end of year 2016, seeking to expand the political participation of organizations that feel identified by this political statement.
- Building regional meetings until the end of year 2017 to organize a new Regional Meeting.
- Identify a country where organizations are willing to host the next International Meeting of the Struggling Youth, with proper availability to carry it out.
Next October 8, on anniversary of the death of Che Guevara – internationalist fighter that inspires our generation– we will convene an “International Day of Struggle, against the violence of capital”
Long live the Struggling Youth!
Maricá-RJ-Brazil, June 24, 2016.