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World Zero Eviction Days: from October 3rd 2005

Fifteen percent of the world population is under threat of eviction for a series of reasons: foreign investment in countries with heavy debts, privatizations of the housing sector, deregulation of rented accommodation, ethnic cleansing, wars and occupation, as well as commercial speculation of natural disasters.

Although Target 11 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal 7 aims at improving the living conditions of at least 100 million people by the year 2020, it is a realistic estimate that there will in fact be 700 million more slum dwellers by that date.
Due to the effects of neoliberal globalization on the cities and the weakness of the United Nations, even this minimal target may be fatuous.
This is why hundreds of urban social organizations and movements all over the world are acting together in solidarity: in Kenya, France, Zimbabwe, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Peru, Brazil, India, Argentina, the USA, Egypt, Bangladesh, Palestine, Columbia, Mali, Mexico, Uruguay, the Russian Federation, Hungary, China, Spain, Senegal, Belgium and many other countries. These movements support the rights of inhabitants – the true builders of cities and villages of the present and the future – to live in peace, security and dignity at an affordable cost in the places they have chosen.
This is why the International Alliance of Inhabitants took up demands and proposals for coordination and solidarity and launched the Zero Evictions Campaign at the World Social Forum 2004 in Mumbai. This campaign has now become a reference point for urban social movements worldwide. Since then, the IAI has organized seminars, meetings and campaigns, starting from the grassroots level but also involving local institutions and the UN. Significant results have been achieved, including: the blocking of 300,000 evictions in Nairobi , the passing of local acts prohibiting evictions in many municipalities in Italy and France, Rome has officially been declared an “eviction-free” city with an “action plan for zero evictions”, as well as the setting up of UN-AGFE fact-finding missions in Italy, Santo Domingo and Curitiba .

This is a solid basis, but it’s not enough!

It has to grow exponentially into a global solidarity movement which effectively deals with the structural causes of forced evictions and violations of housing rights in the city, at a local, national, regional and global level.
This is the reason why we propose to all associations of inhabitants, tenants and the homeless, co-operatives, committees, social centres, and urban social movements all over the world, the organization of World “Zero Eviction” Days and to support the right to decent housing, throughout the month of October.
We propose Monday October 3rd 2005 – UN World Habitat Day – as the start of the World “Zero Eviction” Days, with an increasing number of well coordinated, non-violent initiatives at all levels throughout the month of October.

We propose that associations and urban social movements should:

  • Denounce the threat of forced evictions and demolition
  • Block evictions
  • “Requisition” empty accommodation
  • Fight privatization and the deregulation of the housing sector.

We propose that local authorities and supporting governments should coordinate action with the movements in order to:

  • Declare their territory “eviction-free zones”
  • Declare their territory free of commercial deregulation pacts
  • Approve coordinated action plans for “zero evictions and housing rights”
  • Set up Popular Funds for Land and Housing .

These proposals should form part of local, national and regional manifestoes and be launched through marches, sit-ins, press conferences, delegations, forums, broadcasts and whatever other means may serve to give voice to those whose housing rights have been violated.
At a later stage, together with participating organizations we will set up a System of Alert in Solidarity against the violation of housing rights at a regional and global level.

Tell other organizations, movements and networks about it!
Get sympathetic local authorities and governments to lend their support!
Click here and use the form to tell us as soon as possible about any initiatives you are planning!