Report on the International Situation and the activities of CADTM International since May 2020

1 December 2020 by Eric Toussaint , CADTM International , Jean Nanga , Christine Vanden Daelen , Sushovan Dhar , Maria Elena Saludas , Omar Aziki , Rémi Vilain


This report was presented by Éric Toussaint at the biannual meetings of CADTM Belgium on Tuesday 17 November 2020. The text was completed in the annexes by an addendum on the action of the coordination of feminist struggles written by Christine Vandendaelen and two more on the press releases and the number of visits to the CADTM website prepared by Rémi Vilain. The remarks made by Jean Nanga of CADTM Congo Brazzaville, Omar Aziki of ATTAC-CADTM Morocco, Maria Elena Saludas ATTAC-CADTM Argentina and Sushovan Dhar CADTM India were taken into account.

  • USA: defeat of Donald Trump on November 3, 2020.
  • Bolivia: defeat of the putschist right and victory of the left on 18 October 2020.
  • Chile: victory for the popular vote to end the Pinochet constitution on 25 October 2020.
  • Brazil: defeat of the Bolsonaro supporters in local elections on 15 November.
  • Poland: extraordinary movement, since October 2020, mainly of women, against stricter anti-abortion laws.
  • Puerto Rico: Electoral success of a new citizen’s political movement in which the main leader of the CADTM in Puerto Rico participates.

These varied and very recent movements are to be seen in a much larger context:

  • Lebanon: general mobilisation since 2019, even in the midst of the pandemic, against government policies.
  • Iraq: beginning of October 2019: the movement is non-denominational, but rather an inter-city youth movement outside of party and militia affiliations. Its main demands are political (denunciation of corruption in the ruling class) and social reforms (for social justice and against poverty) and against the presence of foreign forces (Iran and USA).

Africa

  • Angola: youth demonstrations against unemployment, corruption and social injustices.
  • Mali: popular mobilization that was ended by a military putsch that overthrew the incumbent president.
  • Maurice: popular mobilization against pollution and to protect biodiversity
  • Namibia: popular mobilization against sexual violence (#SHUTITALLDOWN).
  • Nigeria: popular mobilization in October against the murderous violence of army and the police.
  • Tanzania, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire: popular mobilization against election rigging.
  • Before these movements and before the pandemic Algeria was already in the throes of popular mobilizations.

In Europe:

  • Bulgaria: anti-government mobilisation against corruption.
  • Slovenia: demonstrations against the neoliberal, nationalist, racist government led by PM Jansa.
  • Hungary: student mobilisation against the privatisation of higher education.
  • Belarus: vast mobilisation against the re-election of authoritarian President Loukachenko.
  • Greece: anti-fascist demonstration on 7 October 2020 resulting in the condemning of neo-nazi party “Golden Dawn” as a criminal organisation.
  • France: strong demonstrations against reforms to the retirement pension system and much more recently, mobilization to refuse legislation to prevent the filming of police officers whilst committing abusive acts of repression.

Asia:

  • Thailand: vast student-led demonstrations against the monarchy.
  • India: mobilization against the neoliberal and racist policies of PM Modi, especially around the citizenship amendment act. There was a general strike on November 26 and currently a huge mobilization of farmers is rocking North India and Delhi, the national capital.

Latin America:

  • Peru: vast youth mobilizations against the current political system and demanding changes in the neoliberal based constitution.
  • Guatemala: vast mobilizations , primarily to reject the proposed 2021 budget and calling for the President’s resignation.

And of course, not forgetting the powerful “Black Lives Matter” movement in spring and early summer of 2020 that denounced racism, police repression and the colonial past; it gripped the USA and spread to several European and Latin American countries.

 2. In the working classes

The desire for change is greater, deeper, more profound, and more massive and promising than in the years from 1980 to 2000 (one could even say the period from 1990 to the great world crisis of 2008) but it is not embodied in organized forms allowing the accumulation of experience. It is for this reason that the very numerous popular mobilizations of the last twenty years, or more particularly the last ten years, have not led to successful political experiences.

Nor do these numerous experiences of struggle lead to processes of building organs of (counter) popular power. There are many massive initiatives of self-convened, self-organized mobilisations, but they do not evolve towards processes of construction of representative and sustainable organs of the sectors in struggle (no evolution towards ’soviets’, councils,... popular constituencies,...) even if there are signs of positive developments in this direction (in part of the yellow vests movement, in a phase of the movement in Chile in 2019,...), but also in several countries of the North African and Middle East/Arab region where, during the “Hiraks”, grassroots coordination was set up.

 3. <New debt crisis:

- Public debt crisis that touches primarily the weak links in the chain of debt.

See the series of articles by Milan Rivié and Eric Toussaint :

  1. Evolution of the external debt of Developing Countries between 2000 and 2018
  2. Menaces sur la dette extérieure des Pays en développement
  3. Developing Countries caught in the vice-like grip of indebtedness

The crisis has so far not taken on catastrophic proportions because the central banks of the major economies (the Fed FED
Federal Reserve
Officially, Federal Reserve System, is the United States’ central bank created in 1913 by the ’Federal Reserve Act’, also called the ’Owen-Glass Act’, after a series of banking crises, particularly the ’Bank Panic’ of 1907.

FED – decentralized central bank : http://www.federalreserve.gov/
in the United States, the ECB ECB
European Central Bank
The European Central Bank is a European institution based in Frankfurt, founded in 1998, to which the countries of the Eurozone have transferred their monetary powers. Its official role is to ensure price stability by combating inflation within that Zone. Its three decision-making organs (the Executive Board, the Governing Council and the General Council) are composed of governors of the central banks of the member states and/or recognized specialists. According to its statutes, it is politically ‘independent’ but it is directly influenced by the world of finance.

https://www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/html/index.en.html
in the Eurozone, the Bank of England in the UK, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of China, etc.) are injecting thousands of billions of dollars, euros, etc. into the financial system.

- Private debt crisis affecting hundreds of millions of people from the working classes (microcredits, consumer credits, student debts, mortgages...).

 4. CADTM activities

Appeals or Press Releases on responses to the coronavirus crisis between March and July 2020

 Coming soon

  • Annual meeting of CADTM AYNA in December 2020
  • Next meeting of the CADTM International Council (more details soon): two afternoon sessions (14h-17h) with FR – SP translation.

 Annexe 1

Progress report relating to the Coordination of feminist struggles - presented at the biannual meetings of the CADTM Belgium on 17 November 2020

By Christine Vandendaelen

The Coordination of Feminist Struggles of CADTM continues its activities through a mailing list and fairly regular online-meetings that connect between 5 and 10 women (mostly from CADTM Africa). Latest achievement: the pan-African campaign ’Debt, buzz off, Microcredit, get lost!’ for the October 2019 International Action Week against debt and the IFIs. It is in this context that CADTM Senegal organized a day of awareness raising on the harmful effects of microcredit among women from working class backgrounds with interventions by video-conference of members of the Coordination (Emilie from CADD Benin, Samira from ATTAC CADTM Morocco). In Mali, the women members of CAD Mali organized a press conference on the practices and excesses of microfinance institutions. An article and a video retracing the themes of this mobilization were published.

While the Coordination members were already involved in the organization of the Dakar Seminar (Bambi/CADTM Senegal had already set up a coordination committee of fifteen, which promised a strong dynamic and an interesting impact led by women involved in the struggle against microcredit), the health crisis led to the decision to postpone the seminar until 2021. Exact date as yet undecided.

Perspectives for the Coordination:

Prepare the participation in the Global Network Assembly (GNA) to be held in 2021.
If possible face-to-face, where the participants may:

  • describe their actions concerning the situation of women facing microcredit issues in their countries;
  • fix a programme of real and eventually united actions;
  • bring to fruition reflections on how to be feminist within our network. Possibility of adopting a ’protocol’ to be able to sanction the sexist and/or homophobic behaviour of any person who is a member of an association in the network. The current Charter foresees a sanction (exclusion) but only of member organizations not individuals.

If the GNA is held by teleconference, preparatory work will be achieved by online-meetings on the same themes, taking into consideration all the difficulties arising from the often limited availability and not always stable internet connections of the women members of the coordination.

Faced with the reiterated observation that there were not enough public interventions by the women of the network, whether staff members in Belgium or in the wider sense during international events that we were able to attend (summer schools, webinars, and outside the CADTM), that it is not always the first/most concerned who speak and write, we wanted these online-meetings to be the place for a collective reinforcement of the women of the CADTM. How? By making these meetings become a space and time to pool our knowledge, keep each other informed about what each of us is doing, organize moments / spaces for training and exchange of information (important bases on developments in our countries or themes with the possibility to create closer contacts for example)

Proposition: organization of a broad discussion which would bring together a maximum of feminists known to be linked to the CADTM in Belgium and Africa (or elsewhere but speaking French). In preparation: setting up a list with the names and themes that each of us works on and completing it following the meeting.

See how to participate in the progress of work in the different countries around the resistance against microcredit (sharing of information, initiatives, research...).

 Annexe 2 Press releases between 15/11/2019 and 15/11/2020

Recapitulation:

Twenty-three press releases compared to 10 over the same period of the previous year (15/11/18 to 14/11/19)

  • Attac/CADTM Morocco: 4 ;
  • CADTM: 3;
  • CADTM Africa: 3;
  • CADTM Belgium: 3;
  • CADTM Europe: 1;
  • CADTM France: 2;
  • CADTM International: 6;
  • CADTM Italy: 1;
  • CADTM Senegal: 1;
  • CADTM AYNA : 1;
  • PAPDA (Haiti): 1.

 Annexe 3: Website activity

Monthly visits:

Remarks:

  • except for the period between July 2017 and July 2018, the number of visits have constantly risen since 2015
  • in 2020: site transformed into https
  • two periods of sustained strong progress: 2015/2016 (site renewed) and from July 2018 (site transformed into responsive design)
  • the periods of high activity (February to June / September to November) and of low activity (July to August / December/January) are annually recurring
  • two historic peeks: summer 2015: intervention by CADTM in Greek debt audit project, 250.000 visits; and March to May 2020 (Covid-19)
  • historic peek in April 2020, 310.000 visits
  • average monthly visits in 2019 (full year), 210 329
  • average monthly visits in 2020 (over ten months), 222 667

Annual visits:

2008200920102011201220132014
201 435 513 074 613 538 683 077 777 508 749 757 734 827
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
(arrêt au 15/11)
1 457 879 1 778 433 1 679 132 1 972 704 2 523 958 2 401 552

Daily visits:

Remarks:

  • most active days: Tuesday to Thursday
  • least active days: Saturday to Monday
  • average daily visits: 7875

Number of visits by language since the beginning:

Since the biginning

Currently

Translation by Mike Krolikowski and Christine Pagnoulle




Eric Toussaint

is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the spokesperson of the CADTM International, and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France.
He is the author of Debt System (Haymarket books, Chicago, 2019), Bankocracy (2015); The Life and Crimes of an Exemplary Man (2014); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago, 2012 (see here), etc.
See his bibliography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89ric_Toussaint
He co-authored World debt figures 2015 with Pierre Gottiniaux, Daniel Munevar and Antonio Sanabria (2015); and with Damien Millet Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers, Monthly Review Books, New York, 2010. He was the scientific coordinator of the Greek Truth Commission on Public Debt from April 2015 to November 2015.

Other articles in English by Eric Toussaint (569)

0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | ... | 560

Other articles in English by CADTM International (38)

0 | 10 | 20 | 30

Jean Nanga

est militant du CADTM en Afrique, il collabore régulièrement à la revue Inprecor.

Other articles in English by Sushovan Dhar (41)

0 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40

Maria Elena Saludas

ATTAC/CADTM Argentina

Other articles in English by Maria Elena Saludas (3)

Omar Aziki

is a member of the national secretariat of ATTAC CADTM Morocco and of the shared international secretariat of CADTM.

Other articles in English by Omar Aziki (4)

Rémi Vilain

Permanent au CADTM Belgique

Other articles in English by Rémi Vilain (3)

CADTM

COMMITTEE FOR THE ABOLITION OF ILLEGITIMATE DEBT

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