More than 20 social movements members of the coalition meet in Buenos Aires to draw the roadmap for this first confluence of regions and struggles
Between March 19th to 24th, 2023, Habitat International Coalition (HIC) convened a meeting in Argentina with representatives from social and feminist movements, and support organizations from Argentina, Brazil, India, Mali, South Africa, Uruguay and Zimbabwe to explore and strengthen their convergence across different struggles, regions and generations. The meeting preceded HIC’s participation in the 3rd World Human Rights Forum, where a series of activities were developed by HIC members and allies.
A common action plan to strengthen linkages, dialogue and advocacy among common struggles.
The objective of the meeting was to initiate the collective construction of a common agenda for action, learning and advocacy from the movements (social, feminist and workers) that operate within HIC. The meeting also aimed to discuss the principles, processes, practices and trajectories that are enabling social movements to incorporate a feminist perspective and political leadership within them. This meeting arose from the recognition and agreement promoted by the HIC Presidency and Board on the will and need to strengthen the linkage and dialogue with social movements working within and in alliance with our Coalition. The experience marks a milestone in the history of HIC and opens a route of collective work to consolidate and expand from the active participation of more movements from different regions.
Visit of local experiences of self-managed and popular processes
In addition to the convergence meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the Movement of Squatters and Tenants (MOI), a HIC member in Buenos Aires, the program of activities included visits to different experiences in the Argentine capital and the metropolitan area by member organizations.
These included visits to neighborhoods in the “Los Hornos” area of Moreno (see video), in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, co-organized by Madre Tierra, Habitar Argentina and Federación Tierra y Vivienda, allowing participants to learn more about experiences of land takeovers in the conurbation of Buenos Aires and the role of the Fair Access to Habitat Law of the Province of Buenos Aires. In addition, three visits were made to housing cooperatives in the city of Buenos Aires, whose work was able to advance thanks to Law 341 promoted by social movements and their allies. The visits were organized with the support of the Federation of Housing Cooperatives TODOS JUNTOS and the Movement of Occupants and Tenants (MOI) and it allowed to participant to visit the cooperatives “La Fábrica”, “Nueva Imágen” and “Manos Solidarias“. To learn more about the laws that support self-management and social production of habitat in Argentina, click here.
The participants also had the opportunity to get to know other community projects in Buenos Aires. This is the case of Proyecto 7, an organization created and coordinated by homeless people, and the popular communication project Urbana TV in the Padre Mujica neighborhood, both visits organized by the Centro de Estudios y Acción por la Igualdad (CEAPI). Finally, it was also possible to visit the daycare center self-managed by members of MOI, initially linked to the self-construction process of one of the housing cooperatives and now in permanent operation.
The week culminated with a massive march in the city of Buenos Aires to celebrate the Day of Memory for Truth and Justice in Argentina, a sobering reminder that democracy and rights are defended and advanced in the streets and on the basis of collective mobilization, resisting silence, apathy and oblivion.
Identifying, building and sharing alliances: conclusions and next steps
After the discussions and field visits, the convergence meeting ended with several conclusions and agreements. Among the former, the need to maintain a space for collective reflection on the economic and political context in different regions, pointing out common trends and challenges arising from the capitalist, patriarchal and racist models in place and to promote exchanges on transformative practices, strategies and alliances. Participants also agreed to advance in order to build collectively a common militant vocabulary that allows us to identify and reinforce shared attitudes and/or principles, such as the certainty that we have the power to change things and that self-management processes allow the construction of popular power.
As a proposal, the first steps agreed to be promoted as a Coalition are:
- Encourage international solidarity, particularly towards movements that are working in contexts of repression and political persecution;
- Activate a collective interregional space for political reflection based on counter-hegemonic, anti-patriarchal and anti-racist principles to support and consolidate processes of mobilization, action and advocacy at the inter-regional and international level;
- To build a common vocabulary of transformative political action from the movements, a militant, collective and multilingual glossary of key concepts that synthesize their struggle in defense of human rights linked to habitat, overcoming the colonialism of language, including for example terms such as ‘social production of habitat’, ‘self-management’ and ‘cooperativism’, among many others.
This meeting has been the first step to build a space of international solidarity for reflection, action and political advocacy, to connect grassroots organizations and movements inter-regionally to collectively build counter-hegemonic alternatives, mobilizing common imaginaries and strategies for social transformation.
Join the project of convergence of social and feminist movements
If you are interested in joining this political convergence effort, get in touch with the HIC General Secretariat through the email email@example.com!
We’ll be back soon with more details about future meetings and updates on how we move forward!