Call to the Urban Social Forum

The Right to the City for the Defense of Common Goods
(Naples, September 3-7, 2012)

We invite local, national, and international inhabitants’ organisations, networks, and citizens, who are involved in the livability of the city and are struggling for rights related to habitat, to participate in the second Urban Social Forum (USF) in Naples, Italy, September 3-7, 2012, which will be held as an alternative to UN-Habitat’s World Urban Forum (WUF) 6.

We launch this call, based on the shared principles of the World Social Forum (WSF), convinced on the necessity to continue to develop successful convergences at local, national and international levels, such as: the World Assembly of Inhabitants (Mexico City, 2000), World Social Forum 1 (Porto Alegre, 2001), Urban Social Forum 1 (Rio de Janeiro, 2010), World Assembly of Inhabitants and the Popular Neighbourhood Forum (Dakar, 2011), World Days for the Right to Habitat (October 2011), the People’s Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 2012), and the upcoming World Assembly of Inhabitants during the World Social Forum in 2013.

The second Urban Social Forum in Naples will be held in a beautiful territory rich with resources, however severly damaged, which is an additional reason to build this inclusive space together. Naples will represent another milestone in the consolidation of dialogue and alliances to reach a consensus on a platform and program for common action between urban and rural inhabitant movements and all those organizations, networks and institutions that fight for the rights to housing, land, common goods, and to the city. These rights can only be protected by building more just, democratic and sustainable territories and by defending inhabitants against attacks steming from the crisis caused by neoliberal globalization.

In solidarity, we want to contribute to the rebuilding of beautiful and livable cities for all inhabitants, as based on the World Charter for the Right to the City and collective human and environmental rights, with inhabitants assuming protagonistic roles in the construction of incluvise communities. These are the essential conditions to a sustainable future.

We want to live well in rebellious cities that have  the right to oppose the model which is at the root of the current crisis founded on supremacy of neoliberal paradigms that try to impose recipes that produce infinite social, economic, and environmental debts: the privatization of common goods, the commodification of territories, and the state’s abandonment of public urban policies and social housing programs.

We all together want to fight against policies that attack inhabitants’ dignity, democratic sovereignty in the territories moved by policies of citizenship’s rights depreciation, deprivation of  popular participation, criminalization of social struggle movements, proxy to the mafia’s criminality to run local territories in crisis favoured moreover by global and systemic speculation and corruption.

We therefore want to enhance the experiences of struggles and alternative as protagonized by local movements and international networks throughout the world that fight against and denounce evictions, land grabbing and real estate speculation, as well as those that propose alternatives for the occupation of abandoned buildings and the self-management of housing cooperatives. These denunciations and proposals correspond to the urgency and maturity of claiming the rights to housing, land, the city and common goods, foundations on which the future cities are to be constructed, now.

All together, we move forward towards the USF in Naples and beyond to reinforce the global and local inhabitants’ struggles and proposals!

Sign this call and participate! The commitment of each of us is essential to face the challenges and succeed in our objects!

— USF 2012 Organizing Committee —

Visit the USF website here!