video: Sébastian Saugues
PHM-Canada and PHM-USA successfully carried out the first ever North America People’s Health Assembly (PHA) in Montreal on 15 August 2016.
Participants from across North America shared an invigorating day with each other discussing issues of common interest, sharing strategies, and developing common health and social justice framings useful for working in alliance across borders and difference. Together participants worked to strengthen and build coherence among health justice movements across the continent and within new and existing networks.
A wide array of approximately 50 people who passionately work individually, with organizations, and in groups on health and social justice issues attended the PHA. The day was full of discussions that turned on the intersection between the right to health and the environment, research and data, anti-privatization, and anti-capitalism.
Participants left the PHA with plans to continue our work together with some concrete actions:
- collecting a series of global case studies to learn from where anti-privatization campaigns in healthcare have been successful
- forming a reading group on capitalism and health in Montreal
- continuing an online discussion group on environmental and occupational health
- engaging in organizing a global day of solidarity to protest privatization of health and social protections, scheduled for April 2017
The PHA-NA was an incredible lesson and experience for everyone involved. Both PHM-Canada and PHM-USA made new connections with activists in their respective countries and with activists working on similar issues across the border.