Between the Acts
To the President of the European Parliament
KAIROS - DECLARATION - JUNE 1992We are living a Kairos moment, and have affismed through dance, song, discussion, statement and action:
We do not accept this Europe,
It is our Kairos to make you see and hear how many people are shouting out: We want justice, we want work, we want an income, we want participation in decision-making and control over our lifes, we want fulfilment and pleasure in life! After five days in Strasbourg we ask those in power: Are you blind, are you deaf, ar‚ you so cynical as to believe that the poor will remain silent? 800 people - cildren - women - men from all continents, from many peoples, cultures, languages have agreed at "Kairos Europa": We wi 1 continue to struggle and resist. We will create a new culture of solidarity and understanding. We will work for the renewal of democracy from the gassroots. We have begun to practice this in our "Peoples' Parliament", in our "Parliament from below". And we admit this is not easy. We still have to learn to listen to each other and see our own problems as others see them.
Today we can only cite a few key issues to exemplify our analysis and our goals. But over the next months we shall document in detail our stories, experiences, our demands and dreams, as we continue the process. We must begin with the most vulnerable amongst us: Children, sick people, those with disabilities, the homeless, asylum seekers and members of minorities, we all should have the same rights as everyone else; and where necessary receive additional protection and assistance. We women must be protected from the expl¢itation of our bodies and from exploitation at work. We have the same legally enforcable rights as men to equal pay and social i.nsurance. We unemployed have the right to jobs and social integration. We young people have the right to education, haining and jobs. We need opportunities to develop. Dur choices in determining our own lives are extremely limited and we are excluded hom public life. Therefore we demand for us all: The voices hom below must determine politics at every level!
We oppose the expulsion of people fr“m their uwn land.We oppose the misure of nature and food production which creates both surpluses and hunger. We have a vision of ecologically sustainable agriculture, and we oppose the waste of energy and resources and the poisoning of the environ.ment. We say: the poor do not owe the rich anything. The rich however should admit their debt tp the poor for having acquired their goods illegally. They must at last begin to make reparation. We demand a total change in the economic system and checks on multinational companies. We support all who resist having a market economy imposed upon them. Human dignity requires adequate housing. We affirm the right to a secure accomoda£on which is safeguard against speculation. Whole new forms of slavery and exploitation are developing in the sphere of work. So we say: stop dismantling laws on health and safety at work and introduce such legislation in counhies where it does not exist. We want to level up not to level down. The EC Social Charter must be extended and made legally binding. It should guarantee the protection of all who live in Europe, even if they come from non-EC countries.
Here in Strasbourg, our assembly contained a mixture of religions, world views and cultures. We found this extremely enriching. We Europeans must give up our tradition of rnnquering others, dictating to them and trying to convert them. Alongside those of you from Latin America, Africa and Asia, therefore, we say:
No to a Fortress Europe