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Davos conference centre displays activist’s call to ‘Abolish billionaires’

Abolish Billionaires sign displayed on Davos conference center
Activists displayed 'Abolish Billionaires' sign on the empty Davos conference centre, where the World Economic Forum used to be held. This year due to the pandemic, the WEF was postponed to May 2021 and will be held instead in Singapore. Photo: Nadine Bremer/Fight Inequality Alliance/Campax 

 

23 January 2021, Davos, Switzerland - The global Fight Inequality Alliance together with Swiss group Campax staged a video projection onto the empty conference centre in Davos where the World Economic Forum (WEF) usually meets this week to call for billionaires to be abolished. As the WEF moves online this week for its ‘Davos Agenda’ meetings, activists say that real solutions to inequality cannot come from the Davos elite, but are coming from frontline activists and protesters around the world. 

The projection rejected WEF’s ‘Great Reset of Capitalism’ and instead brandished the call to Abolish Billionaires on the conference centre.

The activity is part of the Global Protest to #FightInequality, January 23-30, 2021 with protests happening this week in around 30 countries globally. The projection featured young activists from Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico and the United Kingdom, who want a People’s Recovery Plan - a set of demands to combat the spiralling inequality experienced during the pandemic and achieve the systemic change that people on the frontlines of inequality are demanding.

The annual face to face meeting of the 1% on the Swiss mountain resort in Davos is postponed to May and will be held instead in Singapore. The WEF online meetings are happening with the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic laying bare the rigged system that delivers massive profits for the wealthiest at the expense of the poorest. While US billionaire wealth has grown by over $1 trillion since the pandemic started, millions of people experience crisis levels of hunger[1] and unemployment.

“Davos is a symbol of a failed era. Today’s projection shows us where real change will come from - people on the frontlines of inequality, not the 1% who benefit from the current system. It is time to abolish billionaires. The pandemic has laid bare and supercharged the systemic inequalities we are fighting more blatantly than ever. We are facing the biggest single rise in inequality since the Great Depression while the 1% make massive profits and increase their wealth. We want a People’s Recovery Plan - a set of radically different responses from governments that work for people and the planet,” said Jenny Ricks, global convenor for the Fight Inequality Alliance.

“The pandemic has shown us that we do indeed need a new start. If it was not clear before, it is now. But it is important that the new start does not follow old patterns. Environmental and social justice must be a foundation for our society. We need to get this message across clearly,” said Armelle Ako, campaigner at Campax.

The annual Global Protest to #FightInequality will see protests in over 30 countries from Mexico to India to the UK to South Africa. It will put forward people’s demands and vision for a post-Covid future, led by the people at the frontlines of inequality. Members of the Alliance are mobilising collectively to make the voices of people on the frontlines of inequality heard and demand structural changes to fight inequality.

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Images and full footage of the projection are available to download here.

Picture credit: Nadine Bremer/Fight Inequality Alliance/Campax

Film credit: Jens Woernle/Fight Inequality Alliance/Campax

Notes to the editors:

The Fight Inequality Alliance is a group of leading international and national non-profit organisations, human rights campaigners, women’s rights groups, environmental groups, faith-based organisations, trade unions, social movements and other civil society organisations that have come together to fight the growing crisis of inequality.

Campax is a Swiss campaigning and mobilisation organisation. Since 2017, we have been running our own campaigns on self-selected topics and supporting individuals and other organisations in pushing through their causes. More than 300,000 supporters are now behind Campax, making it possible to mobilise people for change with unprecedented speed and breadth. Campax is financed by donations and foundations.

The People’s Recovery Plan is a set of demands that members of the Fight Inequality Alliance are championing to be implemented for an equal and just recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The demands are: 

-     A People’s Vaccine that is available to all and not determined by what passport someone holds, and does not make huge profits for pharmaceutical companies.

-     An end to austerity measures governments and international institutions force on economies

-     Universal public services, including health, water and education

-     Universal basic income and global social protection systems

-     Cancellation of all unpayable external debt for countries in need

-     Wealth taxes so the richest pay their fair share for the costs of the crisis, and an end to industrial levels of tax dodging

-     Recognition, redistribution and reward of the billions of hours of care work, unpaid and paid done by women, that keeps economies going.

-     Climate justice and a just transition. The richest 10% cause more than 50% of consumption pollution. Governments need to make them pay for a just green new deal.

-     Jobs plans from our governments to ensure decent and dignified work for all.

[1] COVID-19 will double the number of people facing food crises unless swift action is taken. World Food Programme.

https://www.wfp.org/news/covid-19-will-double-number-people-facing-food-crises-unless-swift-action-taken

 

For Swiss media enquiries, contact:

Armelle Ako, Campaigner, Campax

armelle@campax.org | +41 44 500 31 01

 

For international media enquiries, contact:

media@fightinequality.org | +63 949 889 1332 (Manila GMT +8) | +27 (73) 077 1088 (Johannesburg GMT+2)