Le groupe Rénovation du Forum Social Mondial lance un processus de réflexion

Maintenant que la situation mondiale exige une prise de conscience et un engagement face à la gravité des choses, il est décourageant de comparer les espoirs, l’enthousiasme et la mobilisation qui ont accompagné la naissance du Forum Social Mondial à Porto Alegre en 2001, avec sa marginalisation aujourd’hui et les grandes mobilisations qui ébranlent les fondations d’un système infiniment plus en crise et délégitimée qu’il y a 20 ans. Le FSM à l’époque était une référence mondiale. Holistique, non sectoriel, transversal, horizontal, participatif. Des centaines de milliers de personnes de divers lieux et engagements se sont réunis près de cent fois pour débattre, échanger et construire un monde meilleur. Cette brillante idée de certains militants brésiliens s’est accompagnée de la générosité et de la situation politique au Brésil à l’époque et de l’intérêt de divers gouvernements qui croyaient à la paix et à la coopération internationale.

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THE WSF RENEWAL GROUP BEGINS A PROCESS OF REFLECTION

Now that the world situation demands greater awareness and commitment, two decades away, it is discouraging to compare the hopes, enthusiasm and mobilization that accompanied the birth of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in 2001, with its marginalization today in the large mobilizations that are shaking the foundations of a system infinitely more in crisis and de-legitimised than 20 years ago. The WSF at the time was a world reference. Holistic, non-sectoral, transversal, horizontal, participatory. Hundreds of thousands of people from various places and commitments came together almost a hundred times to debate, exchange and build a better world. This brilliant idea of ​​some Brazilian activists was accompanied by the generosity and the political situation in Brazil at the time and the interest of various governments that believed in peace and international cooperation.

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EL GRUPO RENOVADOR DEL FMS INICIA UN PROCESO DE REFLEXIÓN

Ahora que la situación mundial demanda mayor conciencia y compromiso, a dos décadas de distancia es desalentador comparar las esperanzas, el entusiasmo y la movilización que acompañaron el nacimiento del Foro Social Mundial en Porto Alegre en el 2001, con  su marginación de hoy en las grandes movilizaciones que están sacudiendo los cimientos de un sistema infinitamente más en crisis y deslegitimación que hace 20 años. El FSM en su momento fue un punto de referencia mundial. Holístico, no sectorial, transversal, horizontal, participativo. Centenares de miles de personas de diversos lugares y  compromisos se juntaron casi cien veces para debatir, intercambiar y construir un mundo mejor.  Esta brillante idea de algunos activistas brasileños se vio acompañada por la generosidad y la situación política del Brasil de entonces y el interés  de varios gobiernos que creían en la paz y en la cooperación internacional.

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Para un FSM para la acción, hay que ver el mundo con ojos del presente y del futuro pospandémico

Aram Aharonian

Hace dos décadas, la movilización de trabajadores, campesinos, estudiantes, exigía la necesidad de otro mundo posible, en plena arremetida del neoliberalismo y de la financiarización de la economía. Había esperanza, había entusiasmo, había movilización. Estábamos (re)descubriéndonos, viéndonos con nuestros propios ojos.

Y también surgían gobiernos progresistas, preocupados por las grandes mayorías de sus países, por la paz, el multilateralismo, que, vale reconocerlo, dieron aliento a la creación y a las casi un centenar de sucesivas reuniones multitudinarias del Foro Social Mundial, desde Porto Alegre al mundo.

¿Otro mundo todavía es posible?, se pregunta el sociólogo brasileño Emir Sader (1). Lo cierto es que éste, el de hoy, ya es otro mundo. No el que queríamos, no por el que luchábamos, pero sin duda muy, muy diferente a aquel de principios del milenio. Ese mundo ya no existe. Pero tampoco existen los imaginarios unitarios de ese mundo que anhelábamos.

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The Trial of the Century

Progressive International
“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.” ― Julian Assange On Friday October 2, the Progressive International will convene a planetary cast of activists, artists, thinkers, and political representatives to stand with Julian Assange in the fight for truth and justice against extradition to the United States. The event takes its inspiration from the Russell-Sartre Tribunal of 1966, when representatives of 18 countries gathered to hold the United States accountable for their war crimes in Vietnam, in the absence of an international authority that dared to do so. Friday’s public event will put the United States government on trial for its crimes of the twenty first century — from atrocities in Iraq to torture at Guantánamo Bay to the CIA‘s illegal surveillance program — and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them, a case that will shape the future of publishing, journalism, speech, and democracy for decades to come. Wikileaks has been an inspiration to social movements around the world. Now it is time for social movements to stand with Assange. Our collective freedom is at stake.
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Observations concerning the renewal of the World Social Forum process 

Tord Björk, Sweden

In January 2020 the International Council (IC) meeting decided to start a dialogue with main international movements to give new energy to the World Social Forum (WSF) process ahead of the 20 year anniversary in January 2021. This resulted in four digital international meetings between June 27 and September 27. An intellectual polarization also became explicit concerning the form of WSF. On the one hand between those promoting what is called open space saying WSF should not take common positions and those claiming that WSF has to become a political subject and make decisions, a conflict that has been evident in more than ten years but made more explicit this year.

Official reports from these meetings have been made or are on their way. My personal observation is that the sharp and sometimes seemingly endless intellectual controversy has been helpful in producing a unifying way forward. This has come about due to the love of the WSF child by both opposing parties in the intellectual conflict. Both sides have been given central roles in facilitating the renewal process. Due to this practical work together inviting new movements and movements that were engaged before this unifying has been possible. In the last meeting Francine Mestrum, a strong proponent of turning WSF into a decision-making body expressed this unifying message – The young do not care about whether WSF is an open space or a decision-making body, they see the need to come together and act in common.

The intellectual controversy is not over, but moving ahead acknowledging that there might be useful strength in both opposing positions while moving the process forward. This might be seen in comments from both sides acknowledging the need to be a political subject whether through open space and decision-making process by self-organized process or by the WSF as a whole. Partly the unity has been the result of glossing over the problems both sides have in showing how their vision can solve the great problems we have ahead. A certain degree of ambiguous language in a good sense has been necessary to enable the process to move forward.

Now we enter into a new era for renewing WSF. The sometimes ambiguous language must be replaced with more time consciousness and clear messages. The twenty-year anniversary in the end of January 2021 is the most pressing deadline. The Davos meeting will take place in digital form while their physical meeting has been postponed. What kind of actions WSF will do at the 20 year anniversary in physical and/or digital form needs to be planned urgently. The kind of mass mobilization needed to address the multidimensional crisis with its hunger, mass unemployment, poverty among filthy rich, suppressing trade unions for peasants and workers and other movements, destruction of biological diversity and creation of pandemics, climate crisis, repair of social solidarity and care work, economic and military imperialism against non-privileged countries cannot wait. The antiglobalization movement initiated by movements like the Zapatistas and carried forward by movements like Via Campesina as well as WSF is well placed to take an initiative if being self-critical. Antiglobalization demands are still important but need to be connected to local and daily life issues in a more clear way.

Here the discussions during the digital future of WSF meetings have developed considerably. From mainly addressing focusing on issues of concern for a single or local issue and ideologies while in the end addressing what issues are needed to address in general. Here the environmental issues came to the fore and then explicitly not only c,.imate but equally important the struggle for biological diversity. Several proposed to change the name of WSF to World Ecosocial Forum to explicitly show how social and ecological issues in the future will be treated as more equally important issues. Such a change of name might be important but might not take place, anyway upgrading environmental issues in the WSF process met only approval. The same goes for peace issues.

The key organizational change to renew the WSF was proposed by Ashish Kotari from Global Tapestry of Alternatives (GTA). He proposed the IC to establish a continuous dialogue with main international movements to find common ground. This might be a more historic change if taken seriously of both the IC and the international movements. It can bring about enabling turning the WSF into a key actor in becoming one of several catalysts for fomenting the political subject that all agree is needed to change the present world order. What it means is the end of proclaiming WSF as the unique actor enabling movements to connect issues and combine new ways of finding common ground. Instead, this puts different ways of multidimensional initiatives on an equal level. Which initiative is best at connecting an understanding of the multidimensional crisis with political action calling it practical, local, or international will not be an issue decided by normative statements but rather more humble by trying to find synergy solutions creating a change of relevance for people’s daily life.

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Síntesis de la reunion del CI ampliado, 26-27 Sep 2020

Una de las primeras palabras ayer por la mañana fueron las siguientes: tenemos urgentemente que  construir una agenda del futuro  y  un verdadero proceso, permanente, para organizar una solidaridad global y sustentable!

Pienso que ése fue el mensaje más importante, que nunca debemos olvidar. De eso trata el Foro Social Mundial.

Un segundo mensaje fue el de decir que se acabó el tiempo para buscar soluciones a temáticas singulares. Todas las temáticas están interconectadas y además tenemos que articular las acciones locales con las nacionales, regionales y globales. Es ése el desafío más importante que tenemos, y por eso necesitamos al  F S M.

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UN OTRO MUNDO ES TODAVIA POSIBLE?

Emir Sader

                En plena década de 1990, momento auge de surgimento del neoliberalismo en escala mundial, se  han desarrollado formas de resistencia a ese modelo. En EEUU, en Europa, en America Latina, movimientos aislados algunos, coordenados otros, locales o nacionales, seguian el grito de Chiapas, de resistencia a la ola neoliberal.

                Ese conjunto de movimientos y fuerzas se ha reunido, finamente, en 2001, en Porto Alegre, en el primer Forum Social Mundial. La ciudad surena de Brasil fué la escogida, antes de todo por las mobilizaciones antineoliberales en vários países de Latinoamerica. Pero la opcion recayo’ en Brasil, por ser la sede de organizaciones como el Partido de los Trabajadores, la CUT (Central Unica de los Trabajadores), MST (Movimiento de los Sin Tierra), entre otros.  La ciudad de Porto Alegre fué la escogida como sede, por las inovadoras experiencias del presupuesto participativo.

                Contrariando la ola del pensamiento único y del Consenso de Washington, se definió como lema del evento: Un otro mundo es posible. Se han reunido movimientos sociales, ONGs, intelectuales, militantes antineoliberales, entre tantos otros, en una sorpreendente convergencia, que daria inicio al movimiento organizado de lucha en contra del modelo predominante en el capitalismo.

                Casi 20 anos despues, como está la lucha en contra el neoliberalismo, que ha pasado con el FSM y todavia se puede decir que Otro mundo es posible?

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A Rally of Hope!

Global Gathering to Draw Millions: World Leaders Support Rally of Hope

Saturday, September 26, 2020 8:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 PDT)

The Universal Peace Federation (UPF), an NGO holding general consultative status with the United Nations, will conduct a second Rally of Hope this weekend. It will feature world-class entertainment along with messages of hope from prominent global leaders who will share an optimistic side of the post-Covid-19 recovery. The event will be virtual with the production center in South Korea. Starting at 9:30 a.m. (Korean standard time) on Sunday, Sept. 27th.

Keynote speakers include two current Heads of State from Africa, namely, President Cyril Ramaphosa from the Republic of South Africa and President Evaristo Carvalho from Sao Tome and Principe. From the Asia Pacific region, the current President of the National Assembly of Cambodia, H.E. Samdech Heng Samrin, will be highlighted, as well as former 5-time Speaker of the House from the Philippines, H.E. Jose de Venecia, Jr. Two former US Vice-Presidents and a former European Commission Chairman are among other guests. In addition, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, Co-founder of the Universal Peace Federation, affectionately known as the Mother of Peace, will give a short inspirational message.

Music performances will be offered by the renowned Little Angels Folk Ballet of Korea and Kim Myung-gon, a South Korean actor and singer who was also Korea’s Minister of Culture and Tourism.

The first Rally of Hope, held August 9, drew several million online viewers from around the world and featured Cambodian Prime Minister H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Speaker Newt Gingrich, together with other world dignitaries. The September rally will build on the success of the first Rally while focusing on the same central concepts of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.

Media and the public may register to attend the rally live at www.peacelink.live

For more information please contact:

Larry Moffitt  lmoffitt@us.upf.org 

Universal Peace Federation
3600 New York Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002

www.upf.org

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No more harakiri

Sometimes we are asked why this initiative for renewing the WSF is necessary. Is not everything going fine? Are we not already changing with the several enlarged IC meetings we organise? Is change not a matter of little steps that have to be taken, one by one?

All this is very true. But it is also important to know that the first steps for renewal were taken … almost ten years ago. We had meetings and discussions, with documents, interviews and concrete proposals, and we got … nowhere. A small group of people in the IC refuse every single change and since we have a consensus rule, everything is blocked. That is why we decided we could not wait any longer. The situation in the world is now so bad that we either act now or disappear.

For many of us the tipping point was the IC meeting in Montreal in 2016. It left many wounds. To give you an idea of what happened there, please read the article below. See it as a historical document, and also as a fundamental reason why we cannot go on with ‘business as usual’.

The political harakiri of the World Social Forum

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