The International Citizen Debt Audit Network – ICAN, has been born under the slogan “We don’t owe! We won’t pay!”, bringing together movements and networks in different European and North African countries, fighting austerity measures through the implementation of Citizen Debt Audits.
Barcelona, April 13th – The First Euro-Mediterranean Meeting of the newly formed International Network for Citizen Debt Audits, has been held this weekend in Brussels. Activists from twelve countries participated: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Poland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Egypt and Tunisia. The different regions are developing or initiating Citizen Debt Audits or campaigns against austerity and debt.
During the meeting different organizations, networks and social movements shared experiences, talking about the type of audits being conducted or promoted in each country, as well as what type of actions and social mobilizations strategies are developing in each territory (see appendix for a list of the different campaigns). Among them, the Spanish Citizen Debt Audit Platform, “We don’t owe, we won’t pay!”, was presented, which brings together organizations and social movements in the Spanish State and will conduct a citizen debt audit in the country.
Beyond the exchange of information on how each country is tackling the debt situation, the meeting set the foundations for a better communication and coordination of the international network. It also outlined a common calendar, which identifies important action dates against debt and austerity: May 1st Labor Day, Global May protests from May 12th to 15th (coinciding with the first anniversary of “15M/Indignados” movement in Spain) and May 16th to 19th protests, actions, rallies and blockades against the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.
The proposal made by Greece of holding a Global Day of Action against Debt, Austerity and in solidarity with the Greek people, was warmly welcomed, probably during the Global Week of Action against Debt and IFIs, held annually between October 8th and 15th. This year coincides with the 25th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso, killed (among other issues) for opposing to payment of debt. It has been also agreed to study the possibility of a second international meeting, with greater participation of grassroots activists, and growing presence of organisations and more countries, probably in Barcelona early autumn 2012.
Greek activists, authors of Debtocracy, put and end to the meeting with the presentation of Catastroika trailer: www.catastroika.com
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