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 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.
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.
Please read more about the meeting here.