We, the participants of the III Free Media Forum, which took place in the context of the Thematic Social Forum in Porto Alegre between January 27th and 28th, 2012 are seeing the reaffirmation of the recognition that communication is a human and social right and a common good, whose defence should reach society as a whole and be the objective of the struggle of free media and the combined social movements.
At a moment when communication assumes a central role in the struggles around the world, as was seen in the Arab Spring, in the indigenous movements and the public occupations, and in which, at the same time, threats arise in the form of internet control measures, arise regarding the retrenchment of liberties, notably the SOPA and PIPA projects that are discussed in the United States, and the Azeredo Law, the “AI-5 Digital” in Brazil; violations of rights in the media and criminalization of community radio stations and social movements, as in the case of the violent eviction of the area of Pinheirinho in the city of San Jose dos Campos; we urge everyone to unite in the struggle for the democratization of communication.
In this unifying and strategic action, even if it is put into effect in the diversity of each organization and initiative, through its networks of dialogue, it is necessary to recognize communication not as a mere tool, but as a potent mobilizer essential to political organization. The central objective of this effort is actually to establish an alternative to commercial and hegemonic media, not only in regards to what is aired, but above all in relation to the appropriation of the means of access, production, dissemination and distribution of information and culture by society.
This includes establishing in Brazil a new regulatory framework in communications which enforces the precepts of the Constitution that are relevant to the sector, the strengthening of free media (community, alternative and popular); the universalization of quality internet access, the neutrality of the net and the respect for user privacy as rights guaranteed within a civil framework for the internet and the reform of the Copyright Act; and to foster development, training and use of technologies that are based on the principles of collaboration, sharing and hacking.
For this goal to be accomplished, there must be effective social participation in the construction, implementation, and monitoring of public policies, strengthening discussion spaces such as communication conferences, forums and sector entity observatories.
It is even imperative to intensify social mobilization, which should move beyond the traditional spaces of debate and out into the streets so that our claims will reverberate throughout society. We commit ourselves in this way to mass actions connected to activism in the social networks.
In this sense, we join the organizations that will be at the People’s Summit next June in Rio de Janeiro for the communcation actions which will form part of the global struggle for a world in which human, social, environmental, economic, political and cultural rights are guaranteed to all citizens of the planet. Jointly and in the midst of this mobilization the Second World Free Media Forum will be held, for which we send out a call for participation to all organizations and activists committed to this transforming agenda.
Hence in 2012 we advocate taking actions which address the guidelines discussed and agreed upon during the Third Free Media Forum, aimed at concretizing the above objectives, among which the following are highlighted:
Global networking with free media movements;
Construct of a draft of the Regulatory Framework for Communications in Brazil;
Create sites for free media access, training and mobilization;
Use language which does not reproduce commercial media hegemony;
Create and promote free, federate, autonomous social networks in order to share content production;
Invest in content production training, such as workshops, observatories, free training and collaborations;
Bring together the free media initiatives of social movements and of the population in general;
Delineate the role that women will play in alternative media to widen the debate;
Expand the use of webTV and other audiovisual tools on the internet as strategic tools for the free media debate, prioritizing the use of free tools;
Build a program to discuss the topic of free media on PosTV with the various organizations working on this agenda;
Disseminate the use of data and IP protection tools;
Empower community radio stations so that the information has a wider reach;
Work for the construction of a large gathering of civil society centered around communication, uniting the different sectors that are working on this agenda;
Support the role and participation of non-digital, popular and alternative media, such as free and community radio, in the construction process of the free media agenda;
Ensure the adoption of free technologies by the Brasilian State
Create Working Group to continue the dialogue on free protocols, understanding these to be the pledging of actions (both political and technological), methods, semantics, and technologies among the movements of civil society. The organization of the Working Group will be done, as of now, on the site: http://pontaopad.me/protocoloslivres;
- Ensure the universality of broadband, with public policies for free access and popular training sites, beyond community providers;
Combat AI-5 Digital and all initiatives which restrict freedom on the internet;
Ask the government to resume the Free Media Points, extending this public policy to states and municipalities;
Fight for a public policy on the appropriation of government funds for advertising that promotes diversity and plurality and guarantees the use of communication for one and all. Above all, this policy should consider the specifications of free media in terms of economic sustainability;
Map out public communication policy initiatives in the states;
To focus on other policies that address the regulatory framework issue which are being approved in an independent manner, such as the regulation of Law 12.485 and the discussion regarding audiovisual classification currently underway at the Federal Supreme Court;
To demand spectrum band for digital radio and TV, and public funding policies for radio and TV transmissions for Free Media Points;
To share information and guidelines regarding legal support for free media;
To internationally articulate struggles for public policy and regulatory initiatives that guarantee freedom and the elimination of laws and policies that restrict freedom;
To fight for policies aimed at expanding the free spectrum and white spaces for appropriation by free media;
To discuss and take a stance regarding the digital radio standard to be implemented in Brazil;
To articulate the on- and offline mobilization spaces, on the networks and in the streets;
To denounce and combat private appropriation of personal data by third parties;
To host/participate in the II World Free Media Forum (WFMF) in Rio de Janeiro, between the 16th and 18th of June, as proposed in the letter of Dakar;
Integrate the II WFMF, an event that forms part of the World Social Forum process, with the process of the Peoples Summit Rio +20, in accordance with its principles, and to begin acting in its dialogue and working groups, aiming to prepare a communication agenda;
To map current experiences in the development and use of resource sharing networks by global activism aiming to contribute to the discussion of free protocols proposed for the II WFMF;
To promote a jointly-defined communication action whose impact may be felt beyond those sectors involved in the UN Conference process;
To provide translations of the concepts to be discussed at the UN Conference and the Peoples Summit and of those in the agendas of the various movements, so as to improve understanding of what is at stake at the Rio+20 events;
To dialogue with organizations and movements of civil society so that their communication may be integrated to the II WFMF development process;
To set up a local organizing and logistics group that, through international dialogue, may carry out the II WFMF. Organizations outside Brazil may participate in this group;
To promote at the II WFMF international dialogue between developers and managers of communication networks and resources aimed at internet activism for the construction of international protocols;
To organize prior shared communication actions and to define how to coordinate actions in a self-managed manner;
To expand the participation of Brazilian organizations in the international debate for the construction of the II WFMF;
To assess the possibility of extension (distance participation) of the II WFMF, by organizing activities and debates outside the city of Rio de Janeiro during the days of the event in June;
To promote and support development of remote collective intercommunication practices between organizations, particularly on occasion of activities located in social forum process
To participate and promote the participation of free media in the World Social Forum’s Communication Commission.
All the contributions are available at: http://forumdemidialivre.org
III Free Media Forum – Thematic Social Forum
The plenary of the III Free Media Forum opted to organize into Working Groups comprised of one Liaison Group. These WGs are open to participation
WG - Communication
Revista Fórum, Coletivo Fora do Eixo, The National Adolescent and Youth Communicators Network, Alquimidia.org, and Ciranda.
WG - Organization
Radio Muda, Radio UFSCar, PET-ECO/UFRJ, Coletivo Fora do Eixo, Soylocoporti, COMULHER.,
WG - Protocols
Alquimidia.org, Fora do Eixo, Soylocoporti, Ciranda
WG – Public Policies
The Gaúcho Collective Initiative for Democratic Communication and Culture, Intervozes, Abraço, Altercom/International Alliance of Journalists, Barão de Itararé, Soyloco/Intervozes, Fora do Eixo, Amarc.
WG – Organization of the II FMML venue
Revista Fórum (Renato Rovai), Pontão da ECO (Ivana Bentes), FDE (Carol e Dríade), Amarc (Arthur), Abraço (José Soter), Ciranda (Rita Freire), Intervozes (Bia), Caritas (Pierre George), WSFTV (Antonio Pacor), Ejoussour (Mohamed Leghtas), ALAI (Sally Burch).
Revista Fórum, Radio Muda, Alquimidia.org, Amarc, Pontão da ECO, Ciranda
The contact of each WG is available at: http://forumdemidialivre.org
III Free Media Forum –Thematic Social Forum
The plenary of the III Free Media Forum listed the following strategic events towards the joint mobilization of the Free Media Movement:
9 -11February – National Meeting on the Right to Communication (Recife)
8 March – International Women fs Day
11 March – Meeting of the I Free Media Forum of the countries in the Magreb Machrek region
May – Designate one day for a street action, in the month of May, on the Communication movement. Announce this day of action during the 1st of May activities.
June – Street action during Rio+20
16 - 18 June – II World Free Media Forum
14 - 22 de June - Various activities of the Peoples Summit for Rio + 20
25 August – National Community Radio Day
18 October – National Democratic Communication Day
20 November – Black Awareness Day