Opinion Paper About How to Develop the Campaign


Dear friends, comrades,

I want to update you on current developments of plans for this years’ housing and land rights campaign, which will start in October. This is my personal provisional summary. Collective calls and agreed plans must follow. I just want to stimulate your reaction.

1. At the WSF, January in Nairobi, the organisations building the “urban spot” agreed to launch a common campaign at the beginning of October, which coincides with UN habitat day.

2. Meanwhile community organizations in Asia have agreed to organize street action in several cities (for instance in India) at October 1st.

3. End of may, at the occasion of the International Council of WSF, organisations agreed to call for a campaign which should start at the beginning of October and last until January 26th, which traditionally is the date of the World Social Forum. In 2008 there will be no central WSF and therefore all movements are called to organize decentralized action at these days in January.

See the message below.

4. At the occasion of the G8 protests and alternative events in Rostock last week, some No Vox, HIC and activists from affiliated organizations and movements from Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Catalonia, France, Germany, India, Japan, Portugal and Switzerland met to discuss the campaign. In a participatory process participants proposed action for the concrete realization of the right to housing and cities for all,

– against forced evictions of peoples’ settlements, squats and social centres,

– against real estate speculation and real estate violence;

– against commodification and privatisation of housing land and services,,

– for the collective recuperation of vacant housing settlements including land and social centres,

– for the promotion of alternative self controlled solutions for housing the homeless.

Action should have good media impact.

The meeting agreed that we should have a WEEK of action, first week of

October, Oct 1st ff

The meeting confirmed that the local groups must define their type of action according to their priorities and possibilities. However, a couple of people were enthusiastic with the idea to combine squats (real or symbolical) with action against international speculators. Of course a series of parallel squats in a couple of countries which relate to each other and identify common “enemies” would have much media impact. In Europe this would require participation not only of housing movements but even from social centres.

The meeting decided that a call for action should be circulated and signed by supporting groups. No Vox wants to send a draft to the participants.

5. Later, Kath from France and I reviewed the last call for housing rights action days in Europe, which was launched at the ESF May 2006 in Athens and supported by HIC, DAL, IAI and the Greek initiative for the right to the city. We replaced the word “city” by “land” and think it is a good starting point to draft a new call.

See at the bottom.

I personally think that we should add a little more about vacant building and spaces and even should give examples for action with good impact.

6. Besides drafting the call it is very important to set up a committee for the preparation and especially the worldwide communication of the parallel events. Makes not much sense to organize an international campaigns if now body gets to know the international action. Last year this worked very badly.

All the best


From the IC WSF communication