Jai Jagat Europe: Spanish Presentation

Jai Jagat Europe: Spanish Presentation

Queremos compartir con todos vosotros la presentación que hicimos desde España en la última asamblea europea.

Dear members and friends of Jai Jagat,

We belong to Jai Jagat Spain Network. This network, which was created one year ago, is currently formed by a dozen of associations and many people at individual level; now it is present in 12 cities of Spain. However, some of us have been involved in Jai Jagat campaign and project since some years before the formation of the network.

We want to march in Jai Jagat 2020

  1. because it is imperative to put a stop to a political and economic system, which causes forced migrations, displacements, increasing poverty, marginalization and environmental destruction and unsustainability.
  2. because it is necessary to build an economy and a society based on ethics, justice and nonviolence, by creating a counterproposal that proves, through action, that a different world is possible, a world where all life is respected and protected.
  3. because we need to work together towards self-governance and a genuine democracy, where decision-making process can start at the smallest unit, so everyone has the right, capacity and responsibility to act.
  4. because we need to join at grassroot level worldwide to demand from the international institutions that are to ensure and watch over human rights, such as the UN and their agencies, the eradication of political and economic measures that cause destruction of local and national political, economic, and social structures leading to poverty and dependence on international institutions, and their replacement by new ones that give space for a social movement to be able to grow from the bottom and create new nonviolent structures.
  5. because we believe Jai Jagat can be a learning space for nonviolence, from which to disseminate a nonviolent culture, using dialogue and nonviolence tools as the way to solve conflicts and problems.

Some of the reasons to hold this Forum next year are related to our main concerns: building together a bottom-up movement and walking towards self-governance, which are essential characteristics of nonviolence. Both things are hand in hand and very difficult to achieve and sustain, because all of us, without exception, may be tempted to adopt utilitarian ethics to shorten distances, to compensate for the lack of foundations laid by activism or to reach goals we have set.

Gandhi rejects the dichotomy between means and ends and goes to even the other extreme by stating that it is means, rather than ends, that provide the standard of morality. Although we can choose our ends, we do not have much control over it –we cannot know in advance whether these ends will be achieved. The only thing that is completely within our control is therefore the means, with which we approach our various ends. Different means will lead to different ends, and this applies to every aspect the ends can have. The progress towards the goal will be in exact proportion to the purity of the means. 

While walking this path, we are likely to make mistakes, which can help us to learn and grow, but having in mind that Jai Jagat is a historic and unique opportunity we cannot miss or lose. My words can sound radical but we need to remember that radical means coming from the roots and if we want to build a world where there can be peace and justice, we need to focus on the underlying root causes of problems. We have no doubt that nonviolent tools such as dialogue, negotiation and nonviolent activism are the only possible path but we cannot ignore that if the solution does not question the economic growth for development in rich countries, based on greed and destruction, we will be walking in a different direction and diverting from the ends.

In the foundation of Gandhi’s moral and political thought, Means and Truth have the highest importance. Truth is reality and cannot be hidden or sweetened. He said: Truth and Nonviolence are two sides of the same coin. For this reason, it is necessary to announce hope and the good practices but also denounce the truth, because it is an inherent part of our nonviolence message to do so.

We need to talk about our demands. The truth has to be connected to them and it is that European States and our companies exploit resources in other countries but have fortified Europe and militarised its borders, excluding the ones affected by this plundering and forcing them to take more dangerous routes and rely on smugglers and traffickers. The truth is that European immigration policies cause human suffering and create conditions that favour the violation of human rights and the proliferation of mafias. The truth is that there are migrants in detention centres, whose only crime is not having a residence permit. The truth is that Europe is deporting adults and children to highly dangerous countries, where they are at great risk of being tortured and killed. The truth is that the latest European policy of «development aid» relies on giving funds to third countries in exchange for their acceptance of illegal returns and building of refugee camps and detention centres, horror storehouses where mafias can find their victims. The truth is that countries, such as Spain, benefit from migrants’ slave work because they harvest the vegetables and fruit that supply not only the domestic market but all Europe, which means all the continent profits from this exploitation. The truth is that money laundering coming from crime and informal economy, which harms the whole society, exists because there is complicity of banks and financial institutions. The truth is that the current economic production and consumption model, dominated by corporations and financial powers, brings destruction to our environment, poverty and inequality for millions of people, especially in poor countries, but also makes us slaves of consumption.

However, it is also true that we have hope to announce, there are millions of people forming a heterogeneous current of solidarity that moves just in the opposite direction. All of us gathered here want to be part of this other current; we are willing to take our share of responsibility. None of us have opted for indifference. We have said “yes” to Jai Jagat. Jai Jagat is the space where we have decided to meet to build peace, justice and ethics and where undoubtedly many more will continue joining. In Burgos, JJ Spain Network has participated in a campaign whose motto was: “Wars start here, let’s stop them here”. It was at the factory where bombs that are sold to Saudi Arabia are manufactured, for them to drop them on Yemen. This is an example that there is a lot to do in Europe. Our actions here can have twofold consequences, because they can get well-being for all the people living in our countries but also because our states, institutions and multinational companies have responsibility for contributing to the well-being of the whole world.

We have always been aware of the dimension of the challenge, but are not alone, we have embarked with all of you on this adventure, willing and happy to undertake our share of responsibility. The path will not be smooth because we are not yet used to concepts like bottom-up and self-governance, not in theory, and still less in practise. We live in states that have been given the responsibility to solve our problems for us and we give money to organizations that also promise to do so. We are led to believe that the same organizations that are causing poverty, exploitation and destruction of nature will simultaneously work on the solution to these problems. We are educated to and used to giving away our responsibility to others, or, when we are “these others”, taking on responsibilities that are not ours. The truth is, that if our organizations have not broken the cycles of violence yet, it is because we are still reproducing our violent socialization. We are aware that our understanding and practising of nonviolence, self-governance and bottom-up work are still at their onset, and that we need love, selflessness and humility to work with others. Changing the violent structures that rule our world means initiating personal and community processes that have a priority over time, by questioning first ourselves and all the agents in society that directly or indirectly contribute to injustice, inequality and lack of solidarity. Dear friends, let’s be the change and let’s make this change happen. If we deeply believe it is possible, we will make it real.


Jai Jagat!



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