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Brussels demonstration March 19

For a social, egalitarian and democratic Europe

Wednesday 9 February 2005

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In 1997, workers from Renault organised the first European demonstration for employment.

In December 2001, we demonstrated for another Europe in another world.

On 15th February 2003, the European Social Forum called for a mobilisation against the war in Iraq: there was a mass demonstration in Brussels.

We call today for a demonstration in Brussels on Saturday 19th March.

Throughout Europe social rights are under attack. Public services are being privatised and deregulated. European citizens deserve far better.

We have to act in Europe to refuse a selfish European Union. The EU goes hand in hand with neo-liberal globalisation. This neo-liberal globalisation creates wars, ecological disasters, social regression at a global level. Inequalities, exclusions and racism are thus developing.

 The youth will march for employment, equality and free education, demanding long term quality jobs, free education in better conditions. Racism and fascist ideologies will be denounced.

 After the European Social Forum in London social movements have called for a central demonstration in Brussels on the 19th of March against war, racism, and against a neo-liberal Europe, against privatisation, against the Bolkestein directive and against the attacks on working time; for a Europe of rights and solidarity between the peoples.

 European trade-unions will pursue their fight for a social Europe. They will demonstrate for more and better jobs. They say yes to quality jobs and services, and no to the Bolkestein directive. They say yes to fundamental social rights to strengthen a social Europe.

 They reject the proposal, made by the EU commission, to change the directive on working hours: this proposal proves that Europe does not today guarantee decent jobs for all.

 For all trade-unions, social movements, civil society and NGOs, the priority is to fight the Bolkestein directive, which symbolises the commodification of the whole society.

 After two years of illegal occupation in Iraq since its invasion, as well as the oppression of the Palestinian people, the fight against war is still on the agenda And the struggle for peace is intimately linked to the struggle for another Europe.

 We refuse that Europe becomes a strong military power. Multilateral negotiations must be launched for a global treaty on nuclear arms: the fight against arms of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, has to develop.

During the Brussels summit in March, the Heads of states and governments will evaluate the Lisbon process.
They aim at making the EU economy the most competitive in the world, whilst a social Europe is absent.

We refuse this never-ending logic of competition, continent against continent, country against country, individual against individual.

We want a world where solidarity and co-operation makes sustainable development possible.

Europe cannot be unified against its inhabitants. Europe will be social, co-operative and democratic or it will not be.

That is why we keep on building the social movement Europe needs.
We so contribute to a world based on peace and justice. We fight with people from the south. Together, we lead campaigns such as the one for the unconditional cancellation of the third world debt, the one for the Tobin tax.... Together we oppose a world lead by the free market (GATS) and the global tide of privatisations (such as water privatisation.)

That is why, having cooperated since 2002 within the Belgian Social Forum, we, the social movements, trade unions, and NGOs, call upon the European social movements and trade-unions to mass demonstrate with us on the 19th of March in Brussels, for our rights and for another Europe in another world.