URBAN MOVEMENTS FORUM MANIFESTO 26-27 JUNE 2010

1. We stand against the marketing of our cities to capital via urban transformation/renewal projects based on change value and profit; we are against the appropriation of our cities which are our living spaces complete with their neighborhoods, public spaces, schools, hospitals, parks, shores, natural, historical and cultural heritage.
2. We demand foremost our right to shelter, in other words our right to adequate housing as stipulated in international law and independent of property. We believe that right to housing should be under legal guarantee regardless of income level or access to economic resources.
3. We demand from the government not only housing, infrastructure, access to work, transportation, education and other such social and economic rights, but also the right to modify/shape our living spaces and the city. Against all the urban transformation/renewal projects that are forced upon us and shaped by the interests of transnational capital, we are determined to continue our struggle for the right to shape our city according to our way of life and our desires. As such, our goal is to spread our right to the city beyond shelter and access to urban facilities, to the whole of the city. Defending the right of the residents of Tarlabaşı to stay put in their neighborhood, defending Hasankeyf, and
Emek theatre, while at the same time opposing the 3. bridge and hydroelectric power stations, struggling against the marketing of our schools and hospital to capital are all parts of this whole.
4. With the passage of consecutive laws on urban transformation/renewal, the government uses the law as a tool to further its interests. Thus the need to take the struggle to the streets along side the legal struggle is apparent. In its demand for social and economic rights from the government, this movement may utilize mass demonstrations as
well as creative public actions. It does not regard legal recourse as and limited to a defense of personal rights. It makes a new legal ethic and practice in life part of the struggle.
5. Theory and practice, ideal and reality may differ. It may be unfair to expect a holistic perspective from local struggles. However if we give up on our ideals, we may never get another chance to realize them. Local struggles have their own reality, nevertheless it is important to seek ways for a united struggle and to try to sustain them both. In this regard, local initiatives and neighborhood associations have important responsibilities.
6. We have to project local issues to the entire city making sure that Başıbüyük residents come to protest the 3. bridge, those struggling for the Ataköy shore-line come to the defense of Tozkoparan.
7. Our struggle has to be united. In order to act together, we have to meet at the widest common ground and only in doing so can we carry the struggle into the future. We have to be flexible with one another. We also need to be inclusive in our communication with other movements, trade associations and unions. As the participants of the Urban Movements Forum, we regard this manifesto as a work in progress, as a first step in
this process. The incomplete discussions on procedural suggestions, principles and other issues are topics to be covered in the future. Nevertheless we can also say that the most basic topic the forum agreed on was acting together on urgent agendas and generating common actions and practices.

The concrete suggestions that were discussed in the forum can be summarized as follows:
– A periodical to create and enhance interaction between neighborhoods.
– A legal commission for urgent intervention and consultation.
– An urban resource and consultation center for defending our neighborhoods and our city.

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