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Charter for a Human France and a Human World |
Published 22 October 2020
This Charter has a history, that of four intense days followed by nearly a decade.
The EGMV brought together more than 150 registered participants and speakers, and altogether attracted over 300. There were workshops with reports and debates in plenary sessions, and these enabled the participaants to elaborate and eventually adopt unanimously the "Charter for a Livable World."
It was truly what would later be called a "Citizens’ Convention".
The Charter resulting from this work was picked up again in 2019 by a group of "Yellow Jackets" (Gilets Jaunes) in Saintes, called "l’Escarmouche saintaise". Completed, reworked and updated with the title "Charter for a Human France and a Human World", it was presented at the 2nd and 3rd Assemblies of Gilets Jaunes, in Saint Nazaire and in Montceau-les-Mines.
So here is this "Charter for a Human France and a Human World". It is available to all those who wish to live in a better world - and to contribute to making it emerge.
Published in French on 22 October 2020
CHARTER FOR A HUMAN FRANCE AND A HUMAN WORLD
- 1. Institutional justice, fiscal justice, social justice
- 2. The commons, food, health
- 3. Democracy, security, freedoms, human rights
- 4. Information, communication, education, culture
- 5. Environment, energy, climate, alternatives to nuclear technology
- 6. Europe and international relations
- 7. Peace and disarmament
The Earth is our "common home". Every human being needs to care for it. However it is threatened by ruin and in danger of exploding. Stored in its basement are stocks of nuclear weapons inherited from the past Cold War and able to blow the earth up at any moment and annihilate its seven billion inhabitants. On its upper floors, at every moment, some tenants wage war, kill and massacre each other, while other tenants threaten to do the same. Some privileged people feast and flaunt luxury possessions under the eyes of their famished neighbours. Some waste water while others don’t even have enough to drink.
Crippling and lethal epidemics spread amid general indifference, and sometimes are provoked by the negligence or greed of those in charge of public health. Collective services are sold off cheaply to the private sector.
Speculation, a Nobel prizewinning economist says, ensures "the triumph of greed". The gap between rich and poor becomes an abyss. "Everything for us, nothing for others," - this motto of a handful of predators spells the end of some states.
The environment deteriorates too. Landscapes become ugly, become desert, become concrete, waste matter accumulates, chemical pollutions multiply. Invisible contamination - radioactive contamination from nuclear plants and weapons - makes whole regions uninhabitable and everywhere increases the risks of cancers, heart disease, and birth deformities. The genetic heritage - human, animal and vegetable - is attacked everywhere. Animals are treated as vile matter. Many humans meet the same fate. Species disappear, biodiversity regresses or falls into the hands of cynical multinationals. Natural resources, primary materials and fossil energies are on the way to being exhausted.
The climate is deteriorating. In a few decades, the rise in average temperature across the globe will provoke phenomena that are worrying, sometimes insidious, sometimes extreme - melting of ice, submersion of sea-coasts, floods, hurricanes, droughts and fires... the damage will be huge, the victims numerous, the climatic future frightening. The force of necessity will prompt migrations that will be erratic and tragic.
Yet the result is not predetermined.
There are more than few reasons for hope. The world still holds astonishing beauty, and so does the human heart. When catastrophes arrive, so does solidarity between countries far apart as it does between neighbours. In the most unexpected forms and places, indignation and revolt can rouse peoples and push them towards democracy, freedom and justice. Modern media can help to promote these liberations just as they can help subjugate public opinion. In numerous countries a sizable proportion of young people is mobilising and seeking to take command of their destinies. And discreetly in daily life we are seeing alternative modes of production, consumption, exchanges and life.
Politics and technology can offer solutions, provided they are subject to a humanist ethic concerned with freedoms, equity and solidarity. It is still possible to re-found and renovate our common home, to make it convivial for present generations and welcoming to future generations.
Our nation can contribute. Each of us, citizens female and male, can have a say in elections by confronting the candidates’ programmes with this Charter. But our democratic horizon is not limited to any electoral event. Each of us can adopt the present Charter and act on its basis. Before, during, and after every election. The world, as will and representation, is us - we the people.
- 1. Institutional justice, fiscal justice, social justice
There is no peace without equity between people, and no equity without justice. When justice is broken between individuals, groups, social categories, people or states, it can be re-established through judicial institutions, but firstly it rests on social justice, which is linked to the economy. To place "the human" at the heart of the economic system, we need to change our forms of production, consumption and trade, and redefine our essential needs.
1.1. Institutional Justice
A. The same justice for all.
B. Independent justice. Investigators attached to the judicial authority.
C. Diligent justice, excluding anything overhasty.
D. Justice one doesn’t have to pay for.
E. The exclusion of practices and dispositions aimed at deterring the defendants from exercising their right to recourse or appeal.
F. A penal system founded on proportionality of penalties, with preference given to alternatives to prison, to reparation of damages to victims or their families, and preparation for exiting prison and reintegrating into society.
G. Legislative and budgetary measures making it possible to satisfy the above requirements.
1.2. Fiscal Justice
A. Fiscal justice and transparency in the use of taxes.
B. A fiscal reform debated and decided by all citizens and taxpayers, in particular responding to the following requirements.
C. Taxes to be equitably shared according to each person’s income and fortune. The Tax on Fortunes to be re-established.
D. Tax evasion to be actively combated.
E. The so-called "ecological" taxation to be socially just. For example maritime and air transport companies to pay taxes on fuel or kerosene.
F. The GAFA’s (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) to pay consequential taxes to the countries where they draw their profits.
G. Generally, taxes falling on private citizens to be limited, justified, and used for their declared purposes.
H. Taxes and fees to be used to finance the meeting of needs of general interest or compensating for social inequalities and handicaps of all kinds.
I. VAT (value-added tax) on essential products to be abolished.
J. Taxpayers not to pay taxes on any taxes and fees already paid. The "non-deductible generalised social contribution" to be abolished.
K. Taxpayers who so wish to have the option of paying a part of their taxes by an equivalent in work time for general-interest jobs responding to social needs not met in other ways.
L. Speculators to be neutralised through severe control mechanisms and the regulation of finance markets, and markets in energy and prime materials; a definitive halt to be made to "speculative bubbles" through appropriate taxation.
M. "Public Debt" to be discharged by loans of the "Giscard Loan" type.
N. "Notation agencies" to be dissolved or prevented from doing harm.
1.3. Social Justice, the economy, employment, solidarity
A. Public services to be defended, restored, strengthened.
B. Public-utility properties belonging to the nation not to be sold to private buyers or foreigners. Those already sold to be re-nationalised.
C. "Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection." (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 23)
D. Wealth produced to be shared equitably, notably by restoring to employees a larger share of the added value and gains of productivity, and by setting a minimum income and maximum income for every year.
E. Jobs that are socially useful and economically viable not to be abolished to provide a few with indecent profits, but maintained or restored by labour laws that are adequate, really applied, and by combat measures, in France and Europe, against the outsourcing of jobs and against social and fiscal dumping. Any firms that have benefited by public subsidies will have to repay them in part or in full if they outsource the work.
F. New jobs to be created, to satisfy emerging needs - economic, ecological, social, intergenerational - needs that the collectivity recognises as legitimate. These new jobs to be created through initiatives (local, NGO, citizens’ initiatives) through public assistance by the State and regional authorities, through banks with social awareness and through the cooperative movement. These institutions may have recourse to a local currency favouring local exchanges and investments.
G. The time of work available to be shared around everyone so as to provide work and social dignity to job-seekers, to offer workers more free time, and to allow all to retire at age 60 if they so wish.
H. All persons, if they cannot find a job, to have access at any time throughout their lives and without humiliation, to means of self-development and means of living decently, including if necessary a universal "existence income". The principle and details of this certainly merit discussion.
I. Military budgets to be drastically reduced and the savings thus made to be used to rid the planet of hunger, malnutrition and poverty; no child, no adult in any place must in future be famished, die of hunger, die in war, or die fleeing war. Armaments are a financial abyss and a source of misery.
2. The commons, food, health
Homo sapiens, a particular animal, needs (like other species) air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, shelter - and also self-care, self-protection and protection for offspring. For all individual humans, the satisfying of basic needs depends both on their own activity, human activities socially organised, and the natural and artificial environment in which these activities occur. Their continuing good health depends on these also.
2.1. The Commons
A. Air, water, soil and subsoil to be recognised as the common property of humankind, protected against pollution and pillage, and to be subject to collective management governed by reason.
B. Access to drinking water, already recognised as a fundamental right of all humans, to become effective.
C. Water resources to be subject to equitable sharing among communities
D. The management and distribution of water to be placed under citizens’ control, recognised as public services, and separated from the appetites of multinational corporations..
E. Wetlands and the natural water cycle to be restored wherever possible.
F. Measures to be put in place to avoid wastage of water.
2.2. Food, agriculture
Agricultural policies to be decided democratically and controlled at all levels (national, European, global) and aimed at :
A. Preventing food from being used, in whatever way by whoever, as a weapon against countries or populations.
B. Banning the seizure by multinationals of wild and domestic biodiversity by the "patenting" of living things.
C. Protecting natural biodiversity, animal and vegetable: respecting animals whether wild, domestic or farmed.
D. Applying the precautionary principle in agriculture and pastoral farming, notably by excluding field cultivation of organisms that are genetically modified (GMOs) or mutated.
E. Supporting the transition of farming practices towards respect for the planet (soil, subsoil, air, water, biodiversity, farm animals, human health...) and quality food through agriculture that is non-chemical, natural and biological, with the abandonment of industrial animal-farming and with lower consumption of animal proteins.
F. Promoting local production for local comsumption and developing shorter circles of production and distribution.
G. Replacing the current financial assistance in Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy with assistance to farming practices that promote employment, environmental protection and food quality.
H. Giving top priority, at the national, European and global levels, to food crops and food sovereignty.
I. Making agriculture - in view of climate change - economical in water, in inputs, and in fossil fuels.
J. Establishing citizens’ control of the institutions that decide about agriculture, and of the research bodies.
A. Social Security to be preserved and its accounts balanced by the payment of sums due by the State, the suppression for certain fee exemptions, and the opening of financing of Security Social to sources other than salaries and wages.
B. All infrastructures needed for public health to be created, maintained or re-established - with regard to proximity - hospitals, maternity clinics, birthing wards, health homes, retirement homes, walking services, psychiatric monitoring services...
C. A totally independent system of expertise to be put in place for medicines, care systems and all medical practices.
D. Each person’s free choice of therapy to be respected, with the right to contraception and the right to die in dignity.
E. All forms of prevention and health education to be developed.
F. Medical research to stop depending on media broadcasts or private foundations; but to be supported by public financing, citizens’ and institutional control (Official Auditors) and transparent communication.
G. The World Health Organisation (WHO) to be democratically controlled and to obtain the necessary budgets for eradicating endemic diseases, with free distribution of anti-retroviral medicines against AIDS, with disease prevention, contraception and family planning.
H. The WHO to be freed from all pressure contrary to its prime mission of transparent information and protection of public health. In particular, resolution WHA 12-40 of 28 May 1959 must be abrogated, because it subordinates to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) all research and publications concerning radioactivity or deemed to be in the domain of the IAEA.
3. Democracy, security, freedoms, human rights
Democracy, or government of the people by the people and for the people, is simultaneously an ideal and a way of reconciling contradictory aspirations. After a long process of wars and provisional peace which formed the Europe of today, European citizens including French citizens consider that respect for people and the deepening of democracy in every country are the best guarantees of a just and lasting peace, at the level of the European continent as also at the global level.
A. Processes that enable all persons affected by a decision to be associated at every level of the decision, directly if possible or indirectly through representatives.
B. The establishment of a Citizens-Initiated Referendum (CIR) distinct and independent from the shared-initiative referendum available since 2008 through article 11. 3 of France’s Constitution. The CIR can be legislative, abrogatory, revocatory and constitutional. It can be located at different levels of social organisation, from the smallest unit (la commune) to the whole nation. Its purpose can have no other limits than those imposed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
C. In representative cases where direct democracy is not possible by reason of size, the designation of representatives by the people concerned following a rule of proportionality guaranteeing the representation of minorities, and the possible addition of a certain number of volunteers selected by ballot and responsible a posteriori for their actions in the same way of elected members.
D. A strict separation of the powers: legislative, executive and judicial.
E. The reaffirmation of the secular principle as a principal of toleration and conviviality in the context of a Republic that is at once one and many.
F. The independence and neutrality of the State with regard to all religious and philosophical beliefs, provided they respect public freedoms and the autonomy of persons.
G. The application and transmission in schools of the republican values of liberty, equality and fraternity, and the association of families with this civic and citizens’ education.
H. The recording, in any vote, of all blank votes among those cast.
I. The establishment of principles of responsibility and revocability for all representatives.
J. The non-plurality of mandates and their limitation in time.
3.2. Security and freedoms
A. The security of citizens to be ensured by respect for rights and freedoms, including the right to protest. Mutilating weapons, grenades and LBDs (defense bullet launchers), must be banned.
B. An end to unjustified identity checks "by face" or "by clothing".
C. Penal policy to be controlled by Parliament and police measures to be subordinated to judicial control.
D. A relaunch of a policy to prevent delinquency.
E. Penal sentences to be individualised, with a revision and a new scale of penalties offering alternatives to prison for minor delinquency. Prisons need to be totally rethought and rehabilitated.
F. The principles of justice for minors as decreed in 1945 to be respected, with priority given to the educative principle.
G. The right to housing, essential for human security, to be recognised, guaranteed and really implemented by concrete measures.
3.3. Human Rights
A. France to conform to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular its first article: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
B. France to maintain her tradition of welcoming foreigners and to offer good good conditions for the integration of refugees (French classes, housing, work, papers).
C. Immigration policies in France and Europe to be largely coordinated in order to make them at once human, balanced and reasonable, in ways that respect human rights without endangering the economy, culture and traditions of the receiving country.
D. The countries from which economic migrants come to be developed towards self-sufficiency - this development to be encouraged and supported, and all efforts made to restore peace in warring countries.
4. Information, communication, education, culture
The sharing of knowledge and of information is important for the democratic functioning of modern societies. It is not possible to leave the control of it to wealthy corporations or authoritarian governments. The training of young people is essential in this, as is the raising of cultural levels and ability to judge in general - matters to which the sciences and the arts contribute.
4.1. Information and communication
A. The freedom of the press and of journalists to be guaranteed on all occasions.
B. The press and media to escape from seizure by wealthy corporations.
C. All information relating to our health or survival to be communicated to us in a precise, rapid and intelligible way.
D. The use of information technology to be put within reach of everyone without ever becoming complusory, notably in relationship with the administration - and training in IT to be accompanied with warnings against the dangers inherent in these media.
E. Modern means of information not to be used to misinform the public; schools and community groups to initiate young people in cooperative information technology (free software) and in critiquing the press, the media and the history textbooks. The struggle against the manipulation of people’s consciousness needs to be continued.
F. The tools of IT - hardware and software - not to be made obsolete without necessity; their ecological footprint to be minimised and compensated for.
4.2. Education, culture
A. One priority of the State budget to be given to education, to initial and ongoing training, and to culture - to the art of living and thinking.
B. Children not to be labelled at school, from their early years, as "children at risk". On the contrary, all individuals should be encouraged throughout schooling to reach their best, according to their evolution, interests, and their own rhythm and talents.
C. Schools from kindergarten to high school to cooperate better with parents, to become open spaces for personal and collective culture, unexpected encounters, artistic experiences, intercultural and intergenerational exchanges, interaction between social strata - places for debates, for learning languages, for "educational travel", for discovering other societies in Europe and beyond...
D. Optimal benefit should be got from the culture and the language of children of foreign bakground.
E. Besides the basics, learning should be also devoted to concrete activities, fundamental knowhow: gardening, cooking, DIY, raising animals, handling machines, ecological installations... Schools should show confidence in the young and stimulate their creativity.
F. Schools to welcome with dignity the handicapped, the excluded, the pupils in difficulty, the foreigners. Networks to be re-established and supported of assistants specialised in helping pupils in difficulty (RASED in French) - also in adapted general and professional teaching (EGPA in French) and the necessary places made in medical-educative institutes (IME in French).
G. The efforts of teachers and the initiatives of pupils and students not to be hampered by ever-increasing administrative burdens and obstacles.
H. Art and culture no longer to be viewed as superfluous activities reserved to a few stars or as intermittent shows poorly subsidised. Links to be made between professionals and amateurs to generate a living and popular culture. Culture to become the business of the people, aesthetic feeling to be the salt of our social existence.
5. Environment, energy, climate, alternatives to nuclear technology
The model of productivist growth is leading humankind to disaster. The exhausting of resources and the massive visible and invisible pollution are forcing us to live with more sobriety and solidarity, to move to ways of life more respectful of life and of natural balances, more adapted to the finite character of the planet.
5.1. Protection of the environment
A. The risks of pollution, the accumulation of waste materials, and wastage to be considered and anticipated in all economic, political or administrative decisions, and all sorts of pollution to be combated everywhere, notably in regions whose resources (gold, uranium, schist gases... ) are exploited without consideration for the indigenous populations.
B. The precautionary principle and citizens’ control to be applied systematically in scientific research and new technologies, whether in genetics, therapeutic methods, nanotechnologies, forms of energy, actions affecting the climate, or modes of production, transport or communication.
C. The effects of electromagnetic pollution on public health to be recognized, studied, made public, and prevented or limited, in accordance with resolution 1815 of the Council of Europe dated 27 May 2011.
D. The Nagoya moratorium on geo-engineering dated 29 October 2010, adopted by France among others, to be effectively honoured. The aerial spreading of substances dangerous to public health must cease. Objective information must be given about elecromagnetic military programmes such as HAARP (USA), SURA (Russia) and others.
5.2. Energy efficiency and renewable energies
A. Moderation and efficiency in energy use.
B. A "right to energy " limited to the priority meeting of each person’s vital needs. Energy consumption "for comfort" is not a right; it is desirable, but in quantities and forms compatible with humankind’s general interests.
C. The financing and implementation of a vast programme of thermal insulation for homes and other existing buildings.
D. The development and diversification of renewable energies (solar, wind, hydraulic, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wave, biomass, etc.), not including agro-fuels that provoke speculation on farm properties and have a negative effect on energy, the environment and human beings.
E. The gradual and sustained substitution of renewable energies for fossil energy sources (coal, oil, gas, uranium), which run out and contribute to global warming by producing CO2, steam, loss of heat (which is 66% in the case of nuclear power-plants).
F. Electricity production to be decentralised and made less concentrated, since the places of production should, as far as possible, be near the places of consumption. Towns, enterprises, citizens’ cooperatives and private citizens should be encouraged to produce the electricity they need while staying connected to the national and international distribution network.
G. The granting of building permits to businesses or malls to be conditional on their producing themselves all or part of their energy needs.
5.3. Combating global warming and phasing out nuclear technology
A. The adoption on the national and international levels of measures that can limit the production of greenhouse gases and fight effectively against global warming.
B. An end to the propaganda, paid for by taxpaers and consumers, coming from the French government and the sector enterprises (EDF, AREVA-ORANO, CEA, sub-contractors), in favour of nuclear energy, which is in no way a solution to the climate problem and which subjects that planet to irremediable radioactive pollution.
C. Information that is reliable, exhaustive and accurate about the various energy vectors and their real costs, in monetary terms that include all the hidden expenses, but also in social and environmental terms. All the parameters needs to be factored in.
D. An immediate and firm decision to phase out nuclear power, as fast as possible, based on sobriety, energy efficiency and renewable energies. The people need to be closely associated in this decision and its implementation.
6. Europe and international relations
Europe is made up of people living on one continent, formed into States and nations with varying languages and cultures, who have sometimes come together and sometimes fought, and who draw from this long common history the desire to become a single cultural and political entity founded on values and aspirations capable of harmonising their differences and preserving peace.
6.1. Building a democratic Europe
A. The effective application in Europe of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
B. A refounding of the European Union on democratic bases : the drawing up of social pact resulting from vast citizens’ debates in all member states and at all levels; the democratic designation of a convention tasked with writing a draft European constitution; a project to be voted on in a referendum on the same day by peoples of all the E.U. member states.
C. A constitution which replaces the principle of competition with those of cooperation, equity, solidarity, and harmonisation without uniformisation, in the political, economic, environmental, social and cultural spheres.
D. A petition to launch this constitutional process, drawn up and translated into all the E.U. languages plus esperanto.
6.2. France and Europe democratic, nuclear-free and peaceful
A. The abrogation of the Euratom Treaty and the transformation of Europe into a zone without nuclear weapons or power-plants.
B. The dissolution of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) as a military alliance.
C. The resolution of disagreements between people and States by diplomatic means.
D. A French and European policy of international cooperation aimed at creating everywhere conditions favourable to peace, and to sustainable development or the decrease and voluntary maintenance of populations in their own countries.
E. In any circumstance, all migrants, with or without papers, to be treated with all respect due to the human person.
7. Peace and disarmament
Understanding between peoples is indispensible for making the world livable. A world at war cannot solve any of its problems. The resolution of conflicts must be done peaceably.
7.1. Halting the trade in war
A. The banning of trade in armaments, the reconversion of the industries that produce them and a stop to arms exports.
B. The closing of all arms fairs and expos.
C. The banning of mercenary armed groups.
D. The promotion of the nonviolent methods for resolving conflicts, of education for nonviolence, of diffusion of nonviolent educational methods.
7.2. France participating in international disarmament
A. France to withdraw from the military structure of NATO and to revise all her military cooperation agreements with a view to dissolving the military alliances in the world.
B. The abolition of the collective death penalty: banning and eliminating all massacre weapons of massacres and crimes against Humanity, the so-called "weapons of mass destruction" - nuclear, biological, chemical or new-technology.
C. The effective and complete application of the Geneva Convention on Biological Weapons (1972) and the Paris Convention on Chemical Weapons (1993).
D. All nuclear weapons to be taken down from the "high alert" ou "hair-trigger alert" status that makes it possible to launch them instantly.
E. The opening of a national debate with the French populations being consulted by referendum on the question : "Are you in favour of France participating in the abolition of nuclear and radioactive weapons and engaging with all the other states concerned in negotiations aimed at drawing up, ratifying and implementing a treaty to ban and completely eliminate nuclear and radioactive weapons, under mutual and international control that is strict and effective?"
F. The transformation of the Ministry of Defence into a Ministry of external security, disarmament and international cooperation.
We want a France that is free, just and fraternal in a more human world.
To give your opinion on this Charter and offer it your support, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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