Rome: World Meeting of Popular Movements

Press Statement from the Popular Movements

October 27th, 28th, and 29th

In conjunction with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and with the express support of Pope Francis, a variety of  movements representing those who are most disadvantaged and most excluded from society are taking the lead in organising the World Meeting of Popular Movements, which will be held in Rome from October 27th to 29th.

We are very glad of this unique occasion to give visibility to the excluded and to let their voices be heard within the Vatican itself. We are deeply grateful to Pope Francis for this opportunity, which is  one more demonstration of his constant accompaniment and closeness – not only to those of us who suffer injustice but also to those among us who are uniting to struggle against it.

The Meeting is primarily directed towards the organisations and movements of the excluded. It is expected that 100 delegates from different backgrounds and walks of life will take part.  Delegates will represent: a) those who suffer from employment insecurity, temporary workers, migrants, and those involved in the popular sector, informal and/or self-employed workers, workers who lack legal protection, union recognition or labour rights; b) landless peasants and indigenous peoples or those who are at risk of being driven off the land because of agricultural speculation and violence; c) people living in slums and informal settlements, the marginalised, those who have been evicted from their homes, the forgotten, those who are without adequate urban infrastructure. Representatives of the trade unions and the social and human rights organisations that have accompanied the processes of organisation and struggle of the above-mentioned sectors will also be taking part in the meeting.

Bishops and other church workers from a number of countries have also been invited, in order to stimulate dialogue and collaboration with the Church. The meeting will be conducted in Spanish, French, English, Italian, and Portuguese. It will conclude with the promotion of an international body for coordination between popular movements, which will have the support and collaboration of the Church.

The Meeting’s work is divided into three days:

a)     The objective of the first day is to become fully acquainted with today´s reality, the struggles and the thinking of the popular movements. Day 1 will be held at the Salesianum.

b)    The objective of the second day is to understand Pope Francis´ teaching on how to move forward  together towards authentic, comprehensive human development. Day 2 will take place at the Old Synod Hall.

c)     The third and final day will be devoted to making concrete commitments to coordinate the work of the organisations of the excluded, in collaboration with the Church. Day 3 will be hosted at the Salesianum.

The main objectives are:

·      To share Pope Francis’ social thinking, especially the items that he includes in his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel”, and to discuss it from the perspective of popular movements.

·      To develop a synthesis of the vision of popular movements with regard to the causes of the world-wide growth in social inequality and increase in social exclusion, particularly with respect to land, labour and housing.

·      To reflect collectively on the organisational experiences of popular movements as ways of solving the injustices described above – and to include in our reflective process a discussion of our practices, our forms of interaction with institutions, and our propects for the future.

·      To propose grassroots popular alternatives to address the problems – war, displacement, hunger, poverty, unemployment, insecurity, exclusion – brought about by finance capitalism, military arrogance, and the immense power of transnational companies. Discussion will be based on the point of view of persons and peoples who are poor, and it will be imbued with the vision of  building a peaceful, free, and fair society.

·      To discuss the relationship of the Popular Movements with the Church, and how to move forward in creating a permanent body to coordinate our collaborative work.

Among the organisations participating in the Meeting are:

Articulação Dos Povos Indígenas Do Brasil (APIB) – Brasil

Asian Social Institute (ASI) and CBSCom Cooperative – Philippines

Asociación De Trabajadores Del Campo (ATC) – Nicaragua

Asociación Democracia Real Ya (Indignados) – Spain

Asociación Democracia Real YA (Indignados) – Spain

Asociación Nacional De Recicladores De Colombia (ARB) – Colombia

Asociación Nacional de Trabajadores Agropecuarios (ANTA) – El Salvador

Associacao Dos Peradores E Trabalhadores Do Sector Informal (ASSOTSI) – Mozambique

Associação Juízes para a Democracia – Brasil

Association des Marchés Economiques Locaux du Recyclage (AMELIOR) – France

Associazione Trentini Nel Mondo Onlus – Italy

Banca Etica – Italia

Biffins – Francia

Bigkis Lakas Pilipinas (Fishermen) – Philipines

Border Agricultural Workers  – US/Mexico Border

Central de Movimentos Populares (CMP) – Brasil

Central Única dos Trabalhadores Minas Gerais – Movimiento Sindical de Maestros (CUT)

Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Frayba) – México

Centro Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (CMMLK) – Cuba

Centro Sociale Leoncavallo – Italy

Children and Youth in Action for Sustainable Future (CYASF) – Philippines

Comité De Unidad Campesina (CUC) – Guatemala

Condederacion De Trabajadores Por Cuenta Propia CNTCP – Nicaragua

Conf. Nacional De Mujeres Campesinas Indigenas Originarias Bartolinas Sissa – Bolivia

Confederación de Trabajadores de la Economía Popular (CTEP) – Argentina

Confederation Paysanne (CIFTCI-SEN) – Turquia

Conseil National De Concertation Et De Coopération Des Ruraux (CNCR) – Senegal

Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas (COPINH) – Honduras

Consejo Coordinador Obrero Popular (COCOPO – MLN)  Mexico

Coord. Nac. de Org. de Mujeres Trabajadoras Rurales e Indígenas (CONAMURI) – Paraguay

Coordenação Nacional De Entidades Negras (CONEN) – Brasil

Corriente Villera Independiente (CVI) – Argentina

Enhe Bizkaia (Euskal Herria)– Spain and France

ETC Group

European Coordination Via Campesina

Faith In Community Scotland – Scotland

Farm Workers Association Of Florida – USA

Federacion  Nacional De Recicladores Del Ecuador – Ecuador

Federación Argentina de Cartoneros y Recicladores (FACyR)  – Argentina

Federación Uruguaya de Cooperativas de Viviendas por Ayuda Mutua (FUCVAM) – Uruguay

Forum Des Alternatives – Morocco

Frente Nacional Comunal Simón Bolívar (FNCSM) – Venezuela

Genuino Clandestino – Italy

Hermandad Obrera De Acción Católica (HOAC)

Homeless Peoples Fedreation – Philippines

Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Associations- Camboya

Industrial Workers Of The World (IWW) –

International Coordination Of Young Christian Workers (ICYCW-CIJOC) – France

Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne Internationale (IYCW) Aisbl

Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat – India

Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat – Waste Pickers Collective (KKPKP) – India

Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) – India

Karnataka State Farmers Union (KRRS) – India

Kenya National Alliance Of Street Venders And Informal Traders (Kenasvit) – Kenya

Korean Women Peasants Association – Korea

Korean Women Peasants Association – Korea

La Junta – Perú

Levante Popular Da Juventude – Brasil

Liga Operária Católica –

Malawi Union for Informal Sector – Malawi

Minga Informativa de los Movimientos Sociales (ALAI) – Latinoamérica

Mouviman Peyzan Papay (MPP) – Haiti

Movimento De Mulheres Camponesas  (MMC) – Brasil

Movimiento de los Trabajadores Rurales Sin Tierra (MST) – Brasil

Movimiento De Trabajadores Excluidos (MTE) – Argentina

Movimiento Indígena-Campesino De Chiapas – Mexico

Movimiento Nacional Campesino Indígena (MNCI) – Argentina

Movimiento Nacional De Trabajadores Cristianos (MMTC) – Rwanda

Movimiento Nacional Empresas Recuperadas (MNER) – Cooperativa Subpga – Argentina

National Coordination of Peasants’ Organizations (CNOP) – Mali

National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) – USA

National Slum Dwellers Federation – India

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) – South Africa

Network for Political and Social Rights – Grece

New Zealand Council of Trade Union – New Zealand

Parlamento Xinca – Guatemala

Plataforma Afectados Por La Hipoteca (PAH * co-fundador a título personal) – Spain

Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN) – Brasil

Re-Food 4 Good – International

RIMAFLOW, Fabbrica Recuperata – Communia Network – Italy

Shack Dwellers International (SDI)

Shack Dwellers International (SDI)

Shack Dwellers International/Zimbabwe Affiliate – Zimbabwe

Shehab Institution – Egypt

Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME) – Mexio

Slum Dwellers International

South African Federation of the Urban Poor – South Africa

South African Waste Pickers Association – South Africa

South African Waste Pickers Association – South Africa

Spirit Of Youth Association For Environmental Services (Zabaleens) – Egypt

Syndicate Of Informal Workers (Homenet Eastern Europe) – Bulgaria

The French Organizations Droit Au Logement/No-Vox – France

Truth Foundation – South Korea

Tunisian Forum For Economic And Social Rights – Tunisia

Turkish Peasant Confederation (CIFTCI-SEN)- Turquía

União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC) – Moçambique

Union Of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)  – Palestina

United Steelworkers – USA

Youth Organization of The Kurds – Siria

Zambia Homeless And Poor People’s Federation – Zambia

Zimbabwe Smallholder Farmer Forum (ZIMSOFF)  Zimbabwe


We hope this Meeting will mark a milestone in the articulation process of popular movements strengthening a transformative perspective, empowering the poorest sectors and making visible the popular view about the serious problems humanity is facing.

Joao Pedro Stédile

Movement of the Landless (Brazil)

Via Campesina International

Xaro Castelló

Workers Christian Action (Spain)

World Movement of Christian Workers (Spain)

Jockin Arputham

National Slum Dwellers Federation (India)

Slum Dwellers International

Juan Grabois

Excluded Workers Movement (Argentina)

Confederation of Popular Economy


Media Contacts:

Gabriela Bonus   + 54 911 3269917 –  Argentina – in Spanish

Carolina Palacio  +39 3357192098  –  Italia – in English

Elvira Corona +39 3471895632 –  Italia – in Italian

Rita Zanotto +556199700420 – Brazil – in Portuguese

Isabelle Delforge +39 3511556740 – Italia – in English, French, Spanish