50,000 people on the march for concrete actions in Rio+20

Yesterday 50,000 people marched through the streets of Rio de Janeiro demanding that the Heads of Government listen to civil society. The Rio+20 is going nowhere. The Heads of Government were confronted with a closed text.

“I think it’s a scandal!” said ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow. “114 Heads of State – and they have nothing to say and take no democratic responsibility?”

“Mobilisation can’t be a one-off event,” continues Sharan Burrow. “We need to mobilise, of course, but we have to also do the hard work to build around these issues on all levels, both national and international. And grow our movement to become stronger.”

The inactivity that the governments are showing is far from the activity and the energy that civil society proved present yesterday. Trade Unions from all across the globe led by the ITUC, and thousands and thousands of Brazilian trade unionists, led by the three big Brazilian confederations CUT, UGT and Força Sindical, were present. But there were not only trade unionists: all of the NGOs and social movements from the People’s Summit participated too.

“The rally was great!,” said Mi-Jeoug Kim from KCTU confederation in South Korea. “It is not like in South Korea where we continue to shout our messages across the rally. It was an inspiration to see all the colours and the different clothing and costumes. In South Korea we all wear the same blue thing! The atmosphere was also great, there were such energy! However, I was disappointed there was no samba!”

Eugenio del Valle from CROC Mexico added, “Yesterday’s rally was an important political statement! We need to use this mobilisation as a pressure point and as an important tool to coordinate and liaise with other organisations. The rally yesterday was the biggest rally the city of Rio has seen for the past few years.”