International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements at the Vatican (@Via Campesina)
From 27 to 29 October, more than 150 leaders from different labor, migrant, campesino, and indigenous organizations and processes participated in the “International: Global Meeting of Popular Movements” that was held at the Vatican. Among the participants present were the Landless Workers’ Movement of Brazil, the Fray Bartolomé de las Casas de Chiapas Center for Human Rights, and the Mexican Electricians’ Union.
Pope Francis (an Argentinian) noted that “[t]his meeting responds to a very concrete desire […] that should be accessible to all, because today we see with sadness that land, shelter, and work is evermore out of grasp for the majority. It is strange, but if I speak of this, for some it means that the Pope is a communist.”
The Pope recognized the struggle of grassroots movements that “do not rest content with illusory promises, excuses, or alibies.” “The scandal of poverty cannot be addressed through the promotion of contention strategies that only tranquilize the poor, converting them into domesticated and neutral beings,” he warned.
He stressed that “the poor do not simply wait with their arms crossed for the solutions that never arrive; now, the poor seek to be protagonists to find their own solutions to their problems.” The poor, in this sense, “are not resigned, but rather they protest,” and this protest “bothers” those in power. He expressed in addition that he hopes that “the wind of protest becomes a gale of hope.”
For more information (in Spanish):
Impresiones de una jornada histórica (Ignacio Ramonet, Rebelión, 30 de octubre de 2014)
El papa Francisco rinde homenaje a los 43 estudiantes desaparecidos (La Jornada, 30 de octubre de 2014)
Papa pide “tierra, techo y trabajo ” para los pobres (Milenio, 28 de octubre de 2014)
Discuten en el Vaticano sobre marginación (El Universal, 28 de octubre de 2014)
Movimientos populares del mundo, con el Papa (La Jornada, 25 de octubre de 2014)