The social movements that participated in the 4th Pan-Amazonian Social Forum (PASF), which took place in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, Brazil, between January 18 and 22, sent a letter, January 24, to the forum’s coordinating board.
In the document they acknowledge progress in the various debates in relation to both the issue of water and the rights of the population and express their inclination to continue fighting for the rights of the peoples of the region.
They also decided to propose that the city of Cayenne, capital of French Guiana, host the VI Pan-Amazonian Social Forum, in July, 2007.
For the coordinator of the forum, José Rosha, the social movements enjoyed the opportunity to fortify their alliances so as to become increasingly active.
According to Rosha, “no government will resolve problems on its own initiative, especially since there are conflicting forces, and each one works to make his own interest prevail.”
Here’s the complete text of the letter:
Letter to the participants of the IV PASF
We declare to the Pan-Amazonian peoples that another step was taken in the fight to transform the Amazon into the Land Without Evils of which our ancestors dreamed.
Between January 18 and 22, we held the IV Pan-Amazonian Social Forum, in Manaus, in the heart of the forest.
At the IV PASF we advanced in the construction of alliances, networks of solidarity, and the fortification of the social movements committed to the search for alternatives that will assure our countries’ future generations and communities a dignified existence with respect for sovereignty, autonomy, diversity in all its aspects (social, cultural, and in the resources of biodiversity, among others), and peace, with the predominance of democracy, respect for human rights, and the utilization of all necessary means to bring an end to the violence practiced against our peoples.
The IV PASF navigated along the river of solidarity, underscoring:
– the direct support given to the Indians who have been holding out for over twenty days in their takeover of the Funai (National Indian Foundation) in Manaus, as a form of pressure to ensure their rights.
This example of struggle adds to other efforts to induce National States to repay a 500-year old historical debt to peoples who traveled freely throughout the Amazon territory for over 40 thousand years without ever knowing borders;
-the IV PASF stirred up winds of equality, creating spaces for the interaction of feminist and women’s rights organizations, whose participation has played an increasingly important role in the formulation of proposals and policies to put an end to sexist violence, gender discrimination, and all types of differences, in the recognition that it is only by ensuring equality between men and women that another world and another possible Amazon can be erected;
-the IV PASF treaded the soil of freedom, supporting the workers and people of French Guiana in their struggle to break the bonds of colonization imposed by the French government.
As an expression of our desire to destroy the walls that seek to isolate the people of Guiana from the other Pan-Amazonian nationalities and peoples, we propose that the city of Cayenne, capital of French Guiana, host the VI Pan-Amazonian Social Forum, in July, 2007;
-for four days, seven thousand participants and two hundred organizations, entities, and social movements participated actively in debates and activities aimed at building a tomorrow with Diversity, Sovereignty, and Peace;
-the Pan-Amazonian Social Forum is the movement of the movements in a region of decisive importance to the planet’s fate. Our journey goes on. Next March 29-30, the International Council of the PASF will gather in Belém to announce the city that will host the V PASF, which will take place in July, 2006;
From Manaus, at the closing ceremony of the IV Pan-Amazonian Social Forum, we who are sons and daughters of the jungle, the fields, and the rivers, reaffirm our commitment to fight to make the Amazon a common home for all peoples to live in justice and freedom.
Translation: David Silberstein