By: Héctor Castañón, Strategic Development Lead, Fight Inequality Alliance

Why are we so unequal?

The current economic and social systems are the result of the interaction and negotiation of those of us who live in the world. In one way or another we are all part of that global system. And it is not only a system of production, exchange and nature but also a cultural and thought system. It influences what we define as normal, acceptable, and desirable.

In this world-system, it is true that we are all responsible for what happens to it, but some are more responsible (or irresponsible) than others. The political power, social position or economic capacity of some, influences and determines the behavior of the system more than others who do not have the same privileges. In addition to the problem of access, the social system is perverted when those who accumulate more capabilities take advantage of them to benefit from it. Normally it is a minority that is effectively organized seeking to control the system through political and economic means in its own interest.

That group of fortunate people is the minority that meets every year in Davos, Switzerland during the World Economic Forum. There, they evaluate year after year the risks of the planet and the way in which they can overcome them to continue taking advantage of it. They do not meet to solve problems but to agree on what they should do so that the system continues to work for them, despite the problems and threats.

Why do we target Davos to help change the system?

But as I said at the beginning, they are only part of the system that each of us makes work. Once we are aware of the collective power that we have as the majority of the world's population, we can do what is necessary to transform it. This is how every year the Fight Inequality Alliance breaks into the narrative of the powerful who gather in at ski resorts in the mountains, to exercise the power we have as bearers of rights, as consumers, as workers who are beneficiaries of the value and wealth that is generated, and as inhabitants of the planet we share.

What can we do to change the system?

There are many and very broad possibilities to act to regain control over the decisions and resources that we need to generate collective and planetary well-being. Here we want to share ways of acting to break the hegemony of the economic and political elites, and open possibilities for collective construction of a system that takes care of nature, and respects the rights of all for a dignified life. These actions are happening in different countries on all continents that face the same dynamics and structures that seek to control those who have taken over public institutions for private benefit.

For example, as part of the global #BetterThanDavos protest, Zambian organizations and activists will hold a walk with the theme “Tax the rich, not the poor.” In the city of Guadalajara, Mexico as well as in Lagos, Nigeria, Popular Assemblies will be held around fiscal justice, budget justice and debt cancellation. Street protests focusing on displaced people are organized in Sri Lanka. In Chile, a new edition of the A Romper el Chancho festival will be held, which through different cultural and artistic expressions, promotes the strengthening of public health, education and pension systems in the face of austerity measures and threats of privatization.

Actions like these can be undertaken from anywhere in the world with the same intention and the same recipients, and you have the power to carry them out and be part of this collective effort that we need to change the logic of power and the system in which we live. Here we present three alternatives to be part of the global protest:

3 ways you can join the Global Protest to Fight Inequality:

  1. Join an action near you on the 18th January

    Contact the networks of groups and organizations that fight against inequality in your country, such as the national alliances that are part of the Fight Inequality Alliance, and join the actions they are taking to give more strength to their claims.

  2. Speak out on social media

    If you believe that you are a victim of some injustice, it is very likely that your neighbour, your colleague or your schoolmate is suffering the same way as you, so you can send a message that is heard not only in the Davos conference room but that others like you listen to it so that they are aware that if we raise our voices, changes can happen. Use the #BetterThanDavos hashtag to convey your messages.

  3. Join Black Band Thursday on 18th January

    Even if you are alone, you can take advantage of the power of social networks to share a message  during #BlackBandThursday, and through that connect with a global movement that shares a vision of an alternative world with greater justice, greater respect and greater care for nature.

    Contact a national alliance against Inequality and we will help you make your voice heard throughout the world. If we imagine it, it is possible. If we do it, it's real.