Written by Asso Amelior. Facebook. 10/25/2014
On October 27th to 29th, 2014, on the initiative of the Pontifical Council and the Justice and Peace organization, the first World Meeting of Popular Movements was held in Rome and at the Vatican City. Among the 150 international groups invited (including slum dwellers, the homeless, the landless or climate-change refugees) were waste pickers (recicladores, cartoneros, catadores…) as well as the biffins of Paris represented by the Secretary of the association Sauve-qui-peut (Y. Grimaldi) and the President of the association AMELIOR (S. Le Cœur). The Paris biffins — being oppressed workers, deprived of access to labor law protections, vilified in speeches and excluded from policies that affect them — saw the invitation to the event as a welcome sign of recognition. Though a secular organization, AMELIOR and waste picker participants made it to Rome to participate in discussions that focused on the themes of land, housing, and jobs. They attended working sessions, met other waste picker organizations, and spoke at the assembly about the history of the Parisian waste pickers and their struggle. The biffins representatives also seized the opportunity to visit many formal and informal markets in Rome and meet with local waste pickers and dealers.