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Together, stronger to cope with the global, housing and territorial crisis

"The people united will never be defeated!” was heard in several languages as the approval of the Declaration of the World Assembly of Inhabitants was welcomed, cementing the convergence of struggles of the inhabitants of towns and rural areas for systemic changes, which are essential to overcome the global crisis. This is a call to sign!

More than 600 participants across 35 countries from all continents, with their languages, histories and cultures, facilitated in Tunis three exciting days of discussions, debates, knowledge sharing and tools, reinforcing the pillars of global solidarity with local struggles.

Finally, on March 29, a roundup of interventions displayed the results and recommendations of the activities organized in the framework of the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI) and also by other associates, thus highlighting the success of this convergence assembly at the WSF 2013 in Tunis.

In the final plenary, everyone was able to share information about various issues, such as the worsening housing conditions in post-revolutionary Arab countries, highlighted by the appearance of homeless in Tunisia, the evictions in Algeria and the slums in Morocco; the unrestrained attacks of real estate markets with their predatory financial regulations on people, on land and on common goods– all victims of grabbing; struggles and alternative proposals to the neoliberal policies, for example, the Popular Fund for land and housing to be financed by resources made available by the debt cancellation of countries impoverished by the crisis.

Meanwhile, a representative group consisting of organisations such as the IAI, HIC, La Via Campesina and No-Vox, wrote the WAI Declaration, taking into consideration both criticisms and suggestions.

On this basis, the debate allowed an improved definition of the Declaration text approved in plenary, providing adequate time for any clarifications and additions, including the mobilization agenda.

Thus, WAI Tunis has consolidated the process of the convergence of struggles of inhabitants' organisations, restarted by the WAI in Dakar in 2011 and nurtured throughout 2012 at events such as the People's Summit in Rio, the Urban Social Forum of Naples and at Africities in Dakar.

This open process, while still improving, has brought together the struggles of the inhabitants of towns and rural areas for a harmonious place to live where diversity and different cultures are respected. 

The next step will be World Zero Eviction Days - for the Right to Habitat throughout the month of October, beginning in Geneva during the third session of the International Tribunal on Evictions for which everyone is invited to send complaints of violations of right to housing.

All inhabitants’ organisations and movements, support organisations, international networks and individuals are invited to sign the WAI Tunis Declaration and to implement the commitments made at all levels.

Together, we are all stronger to cope with the global, housing and territorial crisis that is severely affecting the population and destroying the legacy of common goods and nature.

Sign the WAI Declaration, here and now, in solidarity!

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Emma Dix


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