Emilie Paumard opened the plenary session of the 4th summer University of the CADTM. She presented the debt crisis in only 12 minutes. She used cynical humor to explain how seven years ago in the North neoliberal capitalists realized that the subprime crisis was also an opportunity to dismantle social protections that had emerged in Europe over the past 50 years. These countries’ labor and sexual and reproductive laws went too far; they had to be put back in the ranks. They just had to rewrite history.
And so it came to pass.
It was not deregulation of the finance economy or financial derivatives products that caused the mess. It was the people, the women, the workers! They lived beyond their means, they should return to the “traditional” oppressive way of life! It was not 30 years of neoliberal politics!
Emilie explained that the experience of the South, ravaged by Structural Adjustment Programs, gave her the necessary insights into the system of debt and creditors to become active in the North. In addition, as a woman and as a lesbian woman, she is subjected to a system of oppressions and restrictions.
She sees the citizens’ debt audit as an important public tool that can be vector of grassroots organizing to lead to transformative initiatives. That is most needed to face this cynical and dreadful system that dispossesses the population of their rights.
The secretive functioning of the financial speculative market pulled apart necessary regulations to protect the public system. This allowed the derivative markets to become 10 times the world GDE while political discourse bragged about controlling the banks. Emilie
Paumard believes that the citizens’ debt audit allowed the oppressed population to comprehend and then organize the struggle against these opaque mechanisms that serve the neoliberal elite.
This is a feminist struggle. Now, listen to Emilie Paumard:
For a longer interview with Emilie, in French:
(Interview and photo by Brigitte Marti) (Video interview by Brigitte Marti and Marie–Hélène Le Ny at 50/50)