Upcoming Events

International | Irish Social Forum

no events match your query!

Blog Feeds

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

offsite link On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan

offsite link What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith

offsite link Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017

offsite link IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017

offsite link Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016

offsite link The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015

offsite link Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015

Dublin Opinion >>

NAMA Wine Lake

offsite link Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake

offsite link Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake

offsite link Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake

offsite link Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake

NAMA Wine Lake >>

Global Day of Action - An Opportunity to Localise a Global Movement …..

category international | irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Wednesday January 16, 2008 11:11author by Nessa - Debt and Development Coalition Report this post to the editors

Nessa Ní Chasaide argues that the World Social Forum Global Day of Action provides an opportunity to bring a global movement home

The World Social Forum (WSF) last met in Nairobi, Kenya in January 2007. It was a hugely significant moment for the process of the WSF which, for many activists, had come to represent a new hope for achieving greater global justice through building connections between people-based, grassroots social movements from around the world. 2007 was particularly important as the WSF was being held in Africa. This represented a strong statement by the WSF council that the forum could thrive outside its typical home of Latin America. Many African activists were proud that their long marginalized continent was hosting the forum. It was also a significant political statement as it challenged a belief prevalent that Africa does not have the possibility for building ‘social movements’ in the same sense that Latin America has.

Personally speaking, there were many positive lessons that emerged from the WSF 2007. I attended as a member of the debt cancellation movement, and the WSF presented many opportunities for activists working on debt, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to share strategies and plan ahead. More importantly, the Forum provides a much wider political framework in which to hold these discussions. The slogan of the WSF ‘Another World Is Possible’ highlights the open, and radical, character of the WSF. The WSF is never meant to be just another international ‘talking shop’ of policy makers. Instead, it invites all politically active people to gather and share their concrete stories of struggle and to plan the future of their struggles for a better world.

Another significant highlight from the Nairobi Forum was the ‘coming out’ of the African Gay and Lesbian movement. There were inspirational statements from African gay activists who spoke publicly of their personal struggles to live freely in a highly hostile and homophobic environment. New steps were also taken by activists fighting for water access through the formation of the Africa Water Network.

However, the Nairobi WSF came under fire from many quarters. Part of the problem was that the WSF itself was quite inaccessible to poor Kenyans who had to travel a long way, incurring high travel costs, and pay high entry fees to access the forum. Potentially, as a result, the Forum appeared populated with mainstream, well resourced NGOs and religious groups. This raised questions about who is actually able to access and raise the resources to attend the World Social Forum? And is encouraging activists to increase their carbon footprints by getting on aeroplanes to travel to yet another meeting a progressive way to change the world? Another criticism was that activists tended to disappear into their respective workshops on specific issues, leading to the problem that the WSF has failed to make enough inter-connections between movements and struggles. Some activists also believe that the WSF should aim to develop a coherent process for the compilation of an anti-capitalist, or an anti-neo-liberal manifesto or platform, but is failing to do so.

It is within this context of these unanswered questions, that we should plan how to engage with the latest proposal from the WSF. The proposal is to hold a Global Week of Action, culminating in a Global Day of Action on January 26th 2008. This means that the usual format of one global gathering, in one location, will not happen in 2008 (that will happen in Belem, Brazil, in 2009). Instead, the WSF is calling on activists around the world to concentrate on strengthening their engagement in struggle in their own local arenas. The common ‘moment’ of the week of action, or the day of action, will allow activists to share their plans, thoughts and reflections with each other at a distance. But the focus should be on building the local strength of political movements.

This seems to me to be an opportune time for us to reflect on the strength, or otherwise, of our own political work and groupings. It also provides an opportunity to take a collective approach to organising political action nationally, during that week. At the WSF in Nairobi in 2007, I found that the value of an internationalist approach to politics was re-enforced. However, it struck me that it is easy to invest large amounts of time in organising at the international level. However, the real struggle lies in challenging and pressuring our own political representatives and building our collective strength as a movement locally. The Global Week of Action in January 2008 will present a valuable opportunity to reflect on this challenge, and a chance to re-commit to building our strength from the bottom up.

http://www.wsf2008.net/

Related Link: http://www.comhlamh.org/campaigns-trade-justice-campaign.html
© 2001-2020 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy