With over 25 participants from 16 different countries, the 2009 IIRE Global Justice School, entitled Global Justice and the Capitalist Crisis took place from 28 November to 19 December.
Topics covered at this session included analyses of the current crisis from economic, gender, ethnic and ecological perspectives, in addition to regional experiences in Europe and Latin America.
The participants, with different experiences, from trade-unionists to activists for the cancellation of debt and the defence of human rights, came from Algeria, Colombia, Belgium, Benin, Euskadi, France, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Togo, and the United States.
This year the School was divided into modules, allowing for those only able to attend one or two weeks instead of the full three, while participating in a full coherent theme such as Economy, Climate Change and/or Political Strategies. This allowed European activists, to participate in one or two modules depending on available time.
The first module put in place the global framework of the general economic crisis and its consequences on women, workers, migrants and minorities (ethnic, national and gender minorities). This crisis expresses also itself through wars and a growing world disorder, dominated by US military power. The food crisis that irrupted in 2008 is far from over and is aggravated, especially in Africa, by global warming but also by financial speculations on food resources.
The second module looked at the ecological crisis and our proposals for a more just and "ecosocialist" society. Here, the participants discussed the importance of global justice movements, the women's movement and other grass root organisations.
In the third and final module, experiences in building the resistance at the level of two regions, Latin America and Europe, was discussed in detail and the concrete experiences of the participants gave an important input. Finally, what lessons can we learn from the former bureaucratic countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union? How can societies in the industrialised countries of the global North be changed into societies that answer to human needs and not pure individualistic consumerism?
The two final introductions about strengthening our organisations and our international networks brought this Global Justice School to its end. The good atmosphere and the final festive evening expressed our enthusiasm and good human relationship we experienced amongst all participants.