Call for the democratization of the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI) and Proposal to collectively formulate a political and operational Charter of the WAI


August 2013

On May 3, 2013, the undersigned networks
and activists sent an open letter
to call for the democratization of the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI). We
reiterate our determination to democratize, open and strengthen WAI by
constructing a collective space that supports the struggles and alternatives
for the rights to housing, land, and the city.

To accomplish this task, we wish to share
the following information and proposals:

1. WAI website

A dedicated
space for the WAI
has been hosted on the OpenFSM website since 2008 .
For the moment, it is being managed by 4 people (from IAI, HIC, and the FSM
webmaster). We propose that the other major networks (namely No-Vox and the Via
Campesina) identify one person to manage that space. Then, we propose to create
a real website for the WAI which would be transparently managed by technicians
from each network.

2. WAI mailing list

There is
currently a mailing list linked to the OpenFSM site.
It is necessary for each network to add their affiliated activists to this
mailing list on
(click on “subscribe address”).

On the same
OpenFSM site, there is another mailing list managed only by IAI ( For the
democratization of the WAI, this list must be made public and must be added to
the common mailing list.

3. Charter of Principles and
Operations of the WAI

We have worked on a preliminary proposal for a Charter of Principles and
Operations of the WAI (see hereunder). It is indispensable to form a
working group with participation from all the different networks to work on an
initial collective proposal to be collectively discussed and approved by all of
the WAI members.

4. Plan of Action, 2013-2014
We must promote the convergence of our common initiatives and publish them on
the site to reinforce our solidarity.
The following are the dates of upcoming international mobilizations of common
interest: October Actions/World Habitat Days and World Food Sovereignty Day,
October 2013 – Anti-MIPIM (international property event) in Cannes, March 2014,
III Urban Social Forum in Medellín, April 2014.

We await your prompt reply and commitment to
continue building these proposals together. By doing so, we will strengthen the
WAI to be able to support the struggles and alternatives for the rights to
housing, land, and the city. Send your comments clicking here or sending an email to



La Via

World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI)

Proposal to collectively formulate a political and
operational Charter of the WAI

During the last ten years, an articulation
and convergence has been consolidated between activists, social movements,
inhabitants’ organizations, solidarity associations and international networks
that defend the rights to housing, land and the city.

Today, the challenge is to define the
principles, objectives and ways to coordinate that allow us to develop and
support inhabitants’ struggles, as well as to build alternatives for the right
to habitat and land.

The undersigned networks invite you to
participate in the democratization of the WAI.

A. WAI Principles (elements for the Charter of

Common values

  • Social justice, equality, solidarity, collective and convergent
    struggles, and participatory and horizontal democracy.

  • The rights to organize, protest, and expression and to fight against
    repression and the criminalization of activists.

Claimed rights

  • Fundamental rights: recognition, protection, and enforcement of the
    rights to land and natural resources, food and food sovereignty (including the
    maintenance and development of family farms), water, housing, the city, and the
    right to participation.

  • Land rights: recognition of the rights to individual and collective
    use of all inhabitants to land and natural resources (especially for vulnerable

  • Habitat rights: respect and implementation of the right to housing,
    the right to claim the city, and social production of habitat.

A.3. WAI objectives

The following objectives are proposed for
the upcoming meetings:

  • Share experiences,
    disseminate information, establish solidarity ties, and organize joint
  • Increases the
    visibility of inhabitants’ actions to demand and realize their rights.
  • Develop a calendar
    of common, simple, concrete and achievable actions.
  • Constantly improve
    the collective and democratic operations of the WAI.
  • Strengthen
    alliances with other social movements.

B. Organization of the WAI (Charter of Operations)

B.1. How should the WAI be organized?

  • Create a Steering Committee, a
    sort of Executive Board, which could be composed of members who are
    elected every two years in the plenary meetings of the WAI. This would
    ensure that a permanent presence is maintained of representatives from the
    founding international networks and of regional representatives.
  • Ensure a gender and regional
  • Ensure the Steering Committee
    maintains a transparent use of financial resources through quarterly reports.
  • Validate WAI members at each plenary meeting.

B.2. How can people join the WAI?

  • Sign and comply with the Charter
    of Principles and Operations
  • Invite all organizations and
    groups who struggle for inhabitants’ rights to be part of the WAI.
  • Accept the status of “observer” pending validation of members
    in the plenary assembly.

B.3. What are the activities of the WAI?

  • Propose, prepare and coordinate
    common actions and debates in international meetings.
  • Organize and conduct the WAI
    plenary meetings.
  • Organize and strengthen
    international solidarity.
  • Create common actions.
  • Continually build and maintain an independent website with
    simple and clear messages.



La V
ía Campesina