Vatican: World Meeting of Peoples’ Movements

October 27, 28 and 29th

Various movements representatives of the most excluded, along with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, with the explicit support of Pope Francis, impulse the World Meeting of Popular Movements to be held from October 27 to 29th, 2014 in Rome.

100 delegates from different backgrounds came together for this meeting: a) the precarious workers, temporary workers, migrants, and those involved in the popular sector, informal and/ or self-employed, without any legal protection, workers rights or recognized union; b) landless peasants and indigenous people or those at risk of being expelled from the countryside because of agricultural speculation and violence; c) people living in slums and informal settlements, the marginalized, the homeless, the forgotten without adequate urban infrastructure.

The meeting concluded with an international body promoting coordination between popular movements with the support and collaboration of the Church.

The work was divided in three days:

a)     The objective of the first day was to know today´s reality, struggles and thoughts of popular movements.

b)    The objective of the second day was to appreciate Pope Francis´ teaching on how to move forward and together towards an authentic human development.

c)     The third and final day was devoted to taking concrete commitments to coordinate the excluded organizations and their collaboration with the Church.

The main objectives were:

·      To share Pope Francis social thought, especially items that he bring in his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” and discuss it from the perspective of popular movements.

·      To develop a synthesis of the vision of popular movements around the causes of the growing social inequality and exclusion, increasing deeply worldwide, mainly the exclusion of land, labor and housing.

·      To reflect collectively on the organizational experiences of popular movements as forms of solution for the above injustices dialoguing through our practices, forms of interaction with institutions and future prospects.

·      To propose popular alternatives to address problems -war, displacement, hunger, poverty, unemployment, insecurity, exclusion- generated by the financial capitalism, military arrogance and the immense power of transnational companies from the point of view of the poor, with the prospect of building a peaceful society, free and fair.

·      To discuss the relationship of Popular Movements with the Church, and how to move forward in creating an instance of articulation and ongoing collaboration.

Local Solidarity building

Organized by the Autonomous Movement of Rome, LVC delegates visit a self-directed market (photos below), met with producers, visited an urban self-managed occupied Social Center and squatted apartment building (houses about 100 people). Each was a good example of the spread of social struggles in European cities.

Together with KT Gangadhar, other delegates from Bolivia, Egipt, Kenya and other country were present.