Declaration of the Maquila Social Forum (June 5-7, 2009)

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Today's crisis of capitalism, exacerbated by the neoliberal project, is not only an economic crisis but a crisis of the whole system, that is to say, a crisis of values, of the environment, food access, energy, and of the patriarchy; 
This crisis is negatively impacting the standard of living and expectations of the majority of people, affecting above all poor and dependent countries, and fundamentally affecting women, by generating unemployment, declining purchasing power, reduced access to education and health care, and undermining constitutional guarantees and human rights; 
In North America, the crisis has generated high rates of unemployment due in part to NAFTA, which subordinates the interests of the people to those of transnational corporations;
NAFTA and the North America Alliance for Security and Prosperity are part of the United States' strategy of regional integration and national security that seeks to control strategic resources and the region's labor force through social control legislation and militarization, under the pretext of fighting drugs trafficking and undocumented migration;
These and other aspects related to the struggle of women and men maquiladora workers, migrants, people from the countryside, the city and the mountains, were discussed at length in the panels, working groups and plenary sessions at the MAQUILADORA SOCIAL FORUM, an activity organized by the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras on the occasion of its 20th anniversary in the City of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, on June 5-7, 2009;

To generate and protect sources of employment:
1. PROMOTE CAMPAIGNS to consume national products, refrain from buying products stained with blood and injustice, establish productive uses for remittances as an alternative to channeling them into privatized institutions, conduct workshops promoting productive projects in communities and the exchange of experiences, trainings and transmission of knowledge from native peoples as well as new projects, provide access to microcredits (communal), and change the economic, political and social regime. 
To build new values, gender equity and alternative forms of organizing:
2. ADVANCE CAMPAIGNS to recover ancestral values and create new values that translate into relationships that are equitable, free and democratic, permitting more rational and humane forms of production consistent with respect for human rights, fair trade and caring for the environment.
  • Be mindful of the situation of women specifically, oppose all forms of discrimination against women, oppose patriarchal oppression and abuse of power, and include a gender perspective in all issues and actions.
  • Promote respect for and recognition of sexual diversity and gender alternatives, exercising respect for the human rights of everyone, including those who identify themselves as part of a community of choice about sexual alternatives, be they homosexual, queer, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transexual, "two spirits" or heterosexual. 
  • Promote the celebration of the March 8th International Women's Day in the maquiladoras, as well as the November 25th International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
  • Conduct workshops on migration and maquiladoras, and their impact on communities that migrants leave behind, pass through, and end their journeys.
  • Disseminate and systematize experiences of struggle among women and men workers in the countryside, the city, the mountains, in industry, agroindustry, the service and informal sectors, in the home, in piece work, and among sex workers. 
  • Establish permanent alliances with difference forms of struggle as part of building solidarity at the local, national and international levels.
  • Strengthen new forms of organizing the family, the community, unions, organizations, collectives and society in general, based on equality, freedom and democracy.
  • Build, connect and advance social forces to sustain the border democratic movement.
3.      To issue a Declaration against militarization and criminalization of social protest.
  • Form security and solidarity committees, denounce violations of the human rights of all women and men and all communities.
  • We declare our support for the release of all political prisoners in Mexico and around the world.
  • We declare our opposition to war against grassroots communities and the peoples of Mexico and the world. 
  • We declare our support for freedom around the world, for freedom of expression, freedom to organize and freedom of opinion. 
  • We declare our support for solidarity between the peoples of the world, for the freedom of opinion, organizing and mobilizing in Mexico and around the world. 
  • We declare our support for an independent and participative evaluation to establish labor and environmental norms with mechanism of compliance to replace side agreement that have failed to correct NAFTA's inadequacies. With an eye to renegotiating or revoking NAFTA, we support seeking a trade model that benefits the majority of people by improving income distribution, resulting in improved domestic markets and economic growth, alongside adequate environmental protections.
  • We call for eliminating the agricultural chapter of NAFTA, in particular the elements related to corn, beans and milk. We declare our support for Food Sovereignty and the revival of Mexican farming.
  • We declare our opposition to the privatization of indigenous and farming communal lands and of national territory.
  • We declare our support for participative democracy, for community-based approaches, for grassroots development, for an economy based on justice and free from abuses, and for ecological and environmental protections.
  • Disseminate the successful experiences of the peoples of Latin America, such as Bolivia, Venzuela, Brasil, Ecuador, etc,
  • We declare our support for including in the agendas of our movements caring for the planet and promoting new technologies to protect the environment.

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