Wrap Up: Their Time to Pay | September 30th | Europe
Flooding, landslide, forest fires. It was a catastrophic summer.
We already face devastating consequences of global warming. While whole regions in the global South have to be evacuated, the global North continues to emit enormous amounts of CO2.
Fair enough, as long as Benko is comfortable in his private jet and the OMV notches up record profits? Not at all!
One billionaire emits as much CO2 as a million people.
We won’t lose our future for an economy that’s built around profits! We need a radical change in climate policy. Now!
- A good life for everyone but luxury for a few
- No profits out of fossil production
- Basic energy supply for everybody
- Renewable Energies untill 2025
- Reduction of working hours
- Free public transport
- Solidarity with Climate Activists
- We want a future! Not just for the rich!
Luxembourg (Luxembourg city)
On 30 September, starting at 10.00am, we invite you to gather at the Findel airport bus stops before marching to the entrance of the Golf Grand Ducal. Because this golf course is a perfect example of how the rich get fat off our backs.
This golf course wastes thousands of litres of drinking water and dozens of hectares of land for the benefit of a few rich people. This land could be a forest or an urban farm for the benefit of all.
This golf course has also refused for years to give up a few metres of its land for the construction of a cycle path.
Starting on 30 September in Lisbon, Vienna, Zurich and Luxembourg, we are calling on the people of Europe to rise up.
Because water, food, electricity, heating, rent and health care must be public goods and not sources of profit.
Because Luxembourg’s plundering of the tax resources of Europe and the global South must stop.
Because the fossil fuel industry must be dismantled and the damage it causes repaired.
Because democracy must be permanent for everyone, in every neighbourhood, in every workplace, right up to the House, in good times and bad.
Billionaire now it’s your time to pay !
We are taking the streets for the Right to Housing and Climate Justice
On 30 September, the Casa para Viver and Their Time to Pay platforms will converge in Lisbon in a demonstration for housing and climate justice, against job insecurity and the rising cost of living. This is the time to get out onto the streets and shout for OUR survival and the future of our LIVES and our cities.
The problem of access to housing is now recognised by everyone: it’s a national emergency that requires urgent solutions. However, over the years, the government has kept announcing sets of measures with no results. From promise to promise, it fails to solve the housing crisis, always remaining subservient to the interests of the financial, construction and real estate sectors, who have profited greatly from successive crises.
Alongside the housing crisis, we are forced to pay the generalised increase in the price of energy, food and essential products. We pay for the extraordinary profits of oil companies, big food companies, banks and other large private companies, without governments doing anything to stop this process – on the contrary, encouraging it. In this system, everything is a commodity, accessible only to those who can afford it.
On the other hand, we are living through the most acute crisis in human history, which is rooted in the same system that is causing the housing crisis. Without resolving the climate crisis, all the social crises, including the housing crisis, will only get worse – whether due to the increase in extreme weather events and temperatures, or the failure of the food systems, which have already resulted in deaths and worsening living conditions for those who are already the most vulnerable in this system and have contributed the least to these same crises. These are the phenomena that have also claimed homes all over the world, causing millions of climate refugees to migrate, forced to leave their lives behind in search of the right to live in other regions of the planet.
The link between the housing, climate and cost of living crises is unequivocal. In addition to the issue of energy poverty, which condemns thousands of people to extreme cold and heat inside their own homes due to poor living conditions and high energy prices, it is also clear that the construction of buildings is a major contributor to climate breakdown. Construction, presented by the real estate business and the government as a central solution to the housing problem, is increasingly liberalised, moving into areas that are rural, agricultural or classified as having high ecological value. If it is destined for speculation, it won’t improve access to housing: there are 730,000 empty homes – we don’t need more private construction; we need regulation and to put an end to speculation.
Social inequality in access to housing and the deterioration of living conditions are not determined by an inevitable law of nature: the law that governs them is profit maximisation and the system that perpetuates them is capitalism.
ALL THIS MUST CHANGE NOW.
The priority must be to ensure living conditions, now and in the future, and to guarantee the common good, where quality of life is not just about being able to access quality housing, but also good land-use planning, clean energy, energy efficiency, quality food and basic care.
Join the demonstration on 30 September in various parts of the country and take part in the actions we’ll be organising throughout the month. Everyone’s presence counts!
As central elements, we demand:
- An end to evictions and demolitions with no alternative decent housing that keeps the household in its area of residence;
- That rents are reduced and indexed to household incomes, never exceeding 20 per cent, the guarantee of the renewal of existing contracts and residential stability;
- Price control for essential sectors (food and water; electricity and heating; housing rents; healthcare);
- That mortgage payments are lowered to a level that is bearable for family budgets, in line with internationally established ratios, as is the case with UN indications, as well as setting a maximum spread of 0.25 per cent by the public bank, and resorting to emergency measures such as those taken during the pandemic in this area;
- The review of licences for tourist speculation: short-term accommodation, hotels and tourist flats, guaranteeing the inclusion of these properties in urban rentals;
- The promotion of swift and functional measures to integrate vacant properties owned by real estate companies, investment funds and large landlords in the country into the rental market, including state properties that fall into this situation;
- The rapid creation of more student accommodation and urgent measures to ensure that all those placed in university do not drop out due to a lack of access to housing;
- To increase quality public, social and co-operative housing;
- A de facto end to golden visas, the statute for non-habitual residents, the incentives for digital nomads and the tax exemptions for luxury property and for companies and investment funds;
- The end of tax havens;
- The adoption of decentralised, community-based and democratically-controlled renewable energy to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2025;
- – Making public transport free for everyone.
On the 30th of September we are shouting Their Time to Pay in the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece. Our city houses the most university students in the country, yet its public transport is horrible, the cost of living is unbearable and the rent prices have shot up beyond reach for most residents. Families struggle everyday in a city with very few green public places, inaccessible streets and so much concrete that it boils in the ever more often summer heatwaves. Adding to the pollution of the Thermaikos Gulf, the government has announced plans of building an LNG terminal about 3km away from the city, endangering the lives and health of its citizens in the likely case of an accident.
After understanding the power games and volatility of fossil gas prices as well as its climate impact, instead of phasing out gas, Greece has decided to invest in it like the rest of Europe. The result? The people who are most responsible for the variety of crises we find ourselves in today are the ones profiting most by them.
- Price controls of essential sectors (Food and water; Electricity and heating; House rents; Healthcare)
- Legislation for the end of tax havens / fiscal paradises
- Deployment of decentralised, community-based and democratically controlled renewable energy to achieve 100% of renewable electricity by 2025
- Free and quality public transport for all
- Public housing for everyone
- More green public spaces. Redesign Thessaloniki Internation Fare (TIF) and Eleftheria’s Square into a park.
- Open access to free food in the university’s dining hall.
- Full compensation for the people of Thessaly and Evros, as well as all the people affected by this year’s wildfires.
- Quick transition to renewables and substantial legislation to combat climate change
To any excuse stating that there is no money to fix the city’s and nation’s pathological problems, we answer “It’s Their Time to Pay”.
In Switzerland, during the national climate demonstration that will gather thousands in Bern, the System Change block will carry the message and demands of Their Time to Pay!
We will not continue to pay the price for all the crime and excesses imposed on us.
Today, energy, food, housing, heating and transportation costs are reflected in our bills at incredible levels, while the profits of these costs are transferred to the coffers of private companies.
In order to obtain coal, oil and natural gas, that is, fossil fuels, these companies commit ecocide on an unprecedented scale in history and commit all kinds of injustice acts that violate human rights.
Old women born and raised in Akbelen Forest are beaten by police and gendarmerie when they hug trees to protect the land under which there is a coal mine. While the villagers who enter their homes by showing their ID cards and whose lands are subjected to acid rain due to coal power plants are the primary victims, those living in cities are crushed under high electricity bills, constantly rising fuel prices and rent prices.
Big companies, which have narrowed down the working area of farmers, small fishermen, tradesmen and craftsmen to the point of non-existence, and spread to all areas of life, are growing endlessly, seeking to increase their profitability at our expense, under the guarantee of the government, while the people are being pushed into deep poverty in order for these companies to grow further in the grip of inflation. According to newly announced data, the 500 largest industrial enterprises in Turkey increased their profitability by 96 percent, that is, they added money to their coffers from the public’s pocket and ignored the right to live in a healthy environment and the responsibility to protect nature.
The climate crisis, caused by the temperature increase triggered by the human species using fossil fuels, is now causing unprecedented destruction in our country and the world. While fire and flood disasters hit one after another, the famine caused by the inability to produce agricultural products, combined with the fierce profit ambition of companies, has today reached a level that threatens the survival of humanity. While the situation is obvious, no precautions have been taken to stop this downward spiral, and on the contrary, policies are being followed to completely destroy living resources and only increase company profits. The existence of humans and nature is ignored, and huge, excessive and incredible costs are placed on the people to hold on to life.
It is time to stop this vicious circle. It is enough. We cannot bear paying these unfair prices any longer. It is time to start a social movement, unlike many institutions, governments and political parties that refuse to take responsibility before history.
On this day, September 30, we come together in many cities and squares of the world. We will now demand that the super rich, who feed on the profits of big companies, pay the prices we pay in areas that directly concern human rights, such as housing, education, food and energy. We have paid too much, now it is their time to pay for the chaos they caused.
Bring your imagination, your will, your banners, your families, your friends to the action on September 30th. Bring your local association, student union, discussion group, union, cooperative, yourself. We have paid too much, now it is time to make them, the super rich, and those who destroy nature and life with their greed for profit, pay for what they have done. Let’s all say stop this disaster they are causing.
- End coal, oil and natural gas extraction, immediate closure of the thermal power plant illegally operated by Limak, which destroyed the Akbelen forest.
- Price controls of essential sectors (Food and water; Electricity and heating; House rents; Healthcare; Education)
- End of tax havens / fiscal paradises
- Deployment of decentralized, community-based and democratically controlled renewable energy to achieve 100% of renewable electricity by 2025
- Free public transport for all
- Public housing for everyone
The Netherlands is involved in Their Time To Pay in various ways and is committed to organize actions and campaigns around the demands. Due to local circumstances such and a full activism agenda, we are taking a different approach in the fight to Make them pay. Further updates will follow but feel free to get in touch!