The “Vida Justa” manifesto, which Lusa agency access to and which already has around 200 signatures, is subscribed by “neighbourhood residents, people from social movements and other citizens”, from various sectors of society, and demands the “defence of neighbourhoods and the dignity of life of those who work and who create the country's wealth”.
On February 25, “we will be on the streets to demand that the Government listen to us and comply with these minimum measures that we propose so that the crisis is fought with justice and equality”, reads the note.
Heat or eat?
Subscribers call for “a fair life” and an end to price increases: “Every day prices go up, evictions from houses increase and salaries are given for fewer days of the month. People are choosing whether to heat their homes or eat.”
“People need to be empowered to lead a dignified life. We demand a crisis program that defends those who work: the prices of energy and essential food products must be regulated; interest on house loans frozen, prevent speculative rents from houses, prohibited evictions; there must be a general increase in wages above inflation; measures to support businesses, small businesses and local jobs and to value economically and socially the most invisible jobs such as those who work in cleaning”, they demand.
The manifesto highlights that “the crisis seems to have no end”, noting that “after the pandemic came wars and sanctions and with them the social crisis and the threat of economic recession”.
“People are victims of a society that considers it normal to pay poorly to those who work. When the pandemic started, the people of the neighbourhoods continued to do their duty, when many took their homes home. Cleaning workers continued to work, transport workers to keep the country running, construction workers to go to the works, supermarket workers continued to sacrifice for everyone”, they write.
"No dia 25 de fevereiro, estaremos na rua para exigir ao governo que nos ouça e que cumpra estas medidas mínimas que propomos para que a crise seja combatida com justiça". https://t.co/d9YTLRJZ7u— Vida Justa (@VidajustaPt) January 13, 2023
In contrast, they recall that every day we see “the profits of oil companies and large companies growing and the wages of those who work disappear”.
The subscribers argue that "the Government is more concerned with paying the public debt, at twice the speed that the European Union wants to oblige, than with helping the majority of people to resist this crisis".
“The state of war in Europe has turned – with the blind sanctions that do not stop the massacre and the escalation of the fighting in Ukraine – into a war on the working people, giving even more money to the rich, while lowering, more and more, the real wages of workers”, they argue.
Rich getting richer
They also state that “in many of the neighbourhoods, the authorities attack and close the small businesses that serve the communities, seizing the goods and jeopardizing the sustainability of the neighbourhoods and the maintenance of the local economy” that “there is a war against the poorest populations it has to stop”.
To reverse this situation, according to the document, "people must have the power to demand a fairer path that equally distributes the costs of this crisis" and "it cannot always be the people who pay for everything, while the richest still manage to stay richer".
“In times of crisis, politics has to protect people more. Concerned people from the neighbourhoods, militants of various causes and social movements want to take steps to build a network and multiply actions that give people more power and that manage to impose policies that defend the populations and those who work”, they declare.