The below is the introduction to the report ‘The state of the growing movement fighting inequality‘. reposted from the Fight Inequality alliance
In the 21st century so far, levels of inequality within and between countries have been rising. The neoliberal economic system has enabled an explosion in the concentrations of wealth and power in our societies: 26 individuals now hold the same wealth as the 3.8 billion poorest people.1 Interconnected and systemic forms of oppression and inequity such as racism, patriarchy and homophobia shape the daily realities of the majority of the world’s population.
Rising authoritarianism is fuelled by growing inequality and concentration of power. It is resulting in attacks on freedoms and protections on assembly, association, and speech— rights that peoples’ movements exercise in order to organise and influence action—as well as the enhanced targeting of particular marginalised groups and minorities by many regimes.
The Fight Inequality Alliance was formed to fight this growing crisis of inequality. Numerous groups came together to establish the Alliance: leading international and national non-profit organisations, human rights campaigners, women’s rights groups, environmental groups, faith-based organisations, trade unions, social movements, artists, individual activists and other civil society organisations. They had a shared vision for radical, systemic change and tackling the root causes of inequality through a people powered movement2.
This research was initiated by Fight Inequality Alliance with the support of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme at the International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. Fight Inequality Alliance partnered with Rhize to lead the research, building on their experience in studying multi-country social movements3.
This study was conducted in response to the evident gap in existing research on inequality, which has to date has focused on tracking and analysing its rise in different forms. Much less attention has been given to the analysis of campaigning and organising against inequality. This research aims to widen and deepen our collective understanding of movements fighting inequality around the world.
The research findings are based on 138 responses to a 30 minute survey and over 40 in-depth interviews conducted between 2018 and 2019 with people in 23 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.