17 October 2020 - As the World Bank and International Monetary Fund hold their Annual Meetings and the G20 Finance Ministers meet this coming week, grassroots activists from across Asia, Africa and Latin Americas and the Caribbean are rallying online today to tell world leaders that radical action is needed to ‘supercharge’ the fight against inequality.
Activists are warning that Covid-19 has supercharged inequality, such that we are facing the biggest single rise in inequality since the Great Depression. It is likely that the gap between the rich and the poor will rise in every single country on earth at the same time. And that the “recovery” as currently envisaged by institutions and the actions of national governments will only entrench inequality further.
Thousands are expected to join in on social media in an hour-long online protest dubbed the Global Rally to #FightInequality on Saturday, October 17, 2020. The Rally will see grassroots activists, music, culture and action from across the world highlight how inequality can only be ended through radical changes to our economies that will serve people, not the billionaires and the powerful. The same, failed neoliberal solutions will not work.
The Global Rally will be a culmination of People’s Assemblies that took place in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal, South Asia, México, Chile, Panamá and India. People from communities most affected by inequality and the pandemic formulated their demands as governments and global institutions prepare for economic recovery after being ravaged by Covid-19, which has so far caused the death of more than one million people worldwide and had huge economic, social and political impacts on people’s lives.
But activists say that Covid-19 has also laid bare and supercharged the structural inequalities in our societies and in our neoliberal economy, which has made so many people’s lives marginalised, precarious and exploited.
“The Global Rally shows us what a real ‘recovery’ from Covid-19 can look like. Whilst political leaders and the international financial institutions are still pushing the same failed solutions, people on the frontlines of inequality are the real leaders in this crisis, showing us that a different reality and future is possible. One that will value our planet and ensure a life of dignity for all,” said Jenny Ricks, Global Convenor for the Fight Inequality Alliance.
The Global Rally to #FightInequality will include speakers from Kenya, who will share about the unequal access to healthcare in the time of a global pandemic; Mexico and the power of indigenous knowledge in fighting Covid-19; South Africa and the need for a universal basic income grant; and Nepal, who will talk about the struggle for social justice in Kathmandu, among others. Artists from Kenya, the Philippines, Chile and Zambia will also feature.
The activists also sent out an open letter to governments and international institutions where they demand that the Covid-19 ‘recovery’ must supercharge the fight against inequality. Activists are demanding:
- A People’s Vaccine, so a Covid-19 vaccine, when ready, is available to all and not determined by what passport someone holds, and does not make huge profits for pharmaceutical companies
- An end to austerity measures governments and international institutions force on economies
- Universal public services, including health, water and education
- Universal basic income and global social protection systems
- Cancellation of all unpayable external debt for countries in need
- Wealth taxes so the richest pay their fair share for the costs of the crisis and an end to industrial levels of tax dodging
- Recognition, redistribution and reward of the billions of hours of care work, unpaid and paid done by women, that keeps economies going.
The Global Rally to #FightInequality will be premiered live on the Fight Inequality Alliance Facebook page.
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