People’s Assemblies to Fight Inequality: A call to action for October 2020

What: A series of People’s Assemblies organised by national alliances across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and a Global Assembly 

When: People’s Assemblies in approximately 10 countries from 23 September- 7 October. Global People’s Assembly on 10 October. 

Where: National assemblies to be held nationally - a combination of face to face or virtually, depending on situation with lockdowns and Covid-19 risk levels. Global Assembly to be held virtually.

Governments across the world have declared a public health emergency in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, enforcing restrictions on freedom of movement, quarantines and lockdowns, and stopping ‘non-essential’ businesses altogether. An increasing number of people globally are exposed to health risks and the effects of the economic crisis now in lockdown. Covid-19 has laid bare and intensified the stark and systemic inequalities in our societies. There are huge and unequal impacts on people’s lives of official measures responding to pandemics. Lockdown is not a reality and possibility for most people. The problem is, these measures negatively affect the poor more than the rich. Casual and informal workers more than formal workers. Women more than men. Small-scale farmers more than the people who control our food system. This is especially true for the working class and most vulnerable who are at the forefront of Fight Inequality Alliance’s movement building - the unemployed, informal and precarious workers, women, young people, persons living with disabilities, people with compromised immunity and those living in informal settlements, remote, and vulnerable areas.

During this crisis, Fight Inequality Alliance globally is standing in solidarity with everyone whose lives are affected by the pandemic and organising for structural change from the grassroots. People are organising in the face of a once in a generation pandemic in inspiring ways, knowing that people powered movements and solutions are the hope that we have.

We have to scale up our collective voice and power in the period ahead in our countries, regions and globally. The pandemic has meant that ‘normal’ life has been halted. This gives us the potential for a future beyond Covid-19 that is radically different - equal, just, sustainable. There can be no ‘going back to normal’. It is up to us to fight for it together.

How will we mobilise?

Our governments and the global institutions whose decisions and norms shape the policies that impact our societies and lives are already taking big decisions about the Covid-19 response  (through the public health measures, states of disaster/emergency and stimulus packages/emergencies budgets being enacted), and will take further huge decisions in the coming months. They are deciding both what measures can be taken to deal with the global recession that will hit all countries, as well as what shape a ‘recovery’ might take. This will be both a battle of specific policy choices that can be taken by governments, but also of ideas and narratives about the kind of societies and economies that we want to live in.

In response, we will mobilise and connect large-scale, people-led action, led by people on the frontlines of inequality that FIA’s membership is predominantly composed of, to shift both norms and consequent government and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) action at global level. We will project our alternative vision of how the recovery and global economy must be re-shaped through a series of People’s Assemblies/People’s Annual Meetings held in October, which we estimate will happen in around 10 key countries. Depending on the situation with lockdowns by then, these will be held combining face-to-face and virtual meetings.

The conclusions of these meetings will be brought together in a Global People’s Assembly to surface global demands. Additionally, we will challenge the IFIs to listen to our grassroots demands by targeting the World Bank and IMF annual meetings in October. We need to push for major changes to build the just, equal and sustainable societies we envision.


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