Statement read at the Human Rights award ceremony of the  Films and Human Rights Festival in Barcelona

Enric from the Screen of Texas Cinema of Barcelona.

Enric from the Screen of Texas Cinema of Barcelona.

Dear Fina thanks for all the support you have given me and for collecting the award on my behalf. I wished that I could have been there in person, but with the pending arrest warrant in Spain, it made it quite difficult. However in the coming days we will reactivate  the #Returnwithfreedom campaign with the goal of turning that slogan into a reality in 2017.

Thanks to the festival for the courage and determination to award the prize to a cause despite not having the blessings of state authorities, corporate and media.

Looking beyond my personal situation, I think it is a great success to link human rights while denouncing the current banking system, as the banks have the privilege to create money out of thin air which is an absolute penalty for social, economic and ecological rights.

This is not a new problem, because for generations the financial system has created money out of nothing and made profits from interest, which has contributed to the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. Which was already fully realized with all that came after the banking crisis and the economic crisis that has affected most of the population.

A lot has happened in the last eight years, related to the so-called crisis, but very few attempts made toward actually solving the problem from the root. The reform of the system of money creation has become a topic for public debate only in a handful of countries. Specifically, Britain, Switzerland and Iceland.

This was discussed in 2014 at the London parliament, but it didn’t go beyond the debate. At least there was a discussion, which hadn’t happened for 170 years.

Iceland last year created a working committee of Parliament to asses the reform of the creation of money.

In Switzerland there is a pending referendum on whether private banks should continue to create money or not.

But unfortunately neither of these countries are in the Eurozone. Several European states (especially in southern Europe) are paying interest on a seizeable debt in comparison with their budget, which reduces their ability to dedicate themselves to the welfare of the people. Although on paper the states have defined the powers of the European Central Bank, it puts a great strain on them to continue paying money that’s created out of nothing. While many of the existing banks have excess liquidity in speculative markets, they’re lacking in supporting the real economy since there is not enough profit. Even the ECB’s expansionary policies with 0% interest rates haven’t worked to boost the economy.

With all of this going on, there aren’t any significant questions being posed by political institutions as to the role of the banking system. The main reason being that they’re the ones responsible for making this whole system so complex that it goes over the heads of the politicians as well as the general public.

In summary, although it has been shown that the current financial system harms the development of the real economy and hinders the improvement of social and economic rights, we can not expect the current financial system that put us in this mess, to get us out of it. We are faced with the challenge and responsibility to build a new financial system that places humans and the planet at its core.

Rather than continue to wait for the system to reform itself, several groups have spent years working toward building a new banking system which focuses on supporting activities that help create a productive economy that meets the people’s needs.

A banking system where cooperativism remain a center of the financial activity and the environmental practices are a basic condition.

A new banking system where money creation serves the common good and cannot be abused for profit or political interests. But rather, gives the economy activity with social and ecological values  access to much needed funds to perform their mision.

A new way of banking, which demonstrates to the European Central Bank and all who support them that there are better ways, and still they avoid doing, we’ll do it.

A new banking system that is not just a dream, but through the help of Faircoop and several networks and collectives, will become a reality in 2017.

So I ask you to keep pending:

We want to achieve two goals by 2017. #Returnwithfreedom and build a new banking system for the people.

People, that are rebellious, self-organized and free. is all what we count with.

We need all of your support, your trust and your participation in order to achieve it.

Thank you all today for being here!

This post is also available in: Catalan, Spanish

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