Worldwide social forum
The Worldwide social forum or FSM is a forum altermondialist which is held annually with Porto Alegre, in the State of the Rio Grande C Sul, with the Brésil, (except in 2004 in India, the forum polycentré of 2006 and in 2007 where it was held with Nairobi from January 20th to 25th 2007). This forum is presented, from its denomination, like a social alternative to the World economic forum, which is held each year in January with Davos in Suisse.
The purpose of it is to make meet organizations citizens of the whole world to work out a social transformation of the world. The Slogan is “Another world is possible”.
The number of participants increased during the successive editions of the forums: from 10 to 15.000 with the first forum of 2001 to 100.000 participants in 2004, coming from a growing number of countries, although more mainly European, north and Latin-American, except of course with the FSM 2004, which was held in India. What encouraged so that certain forums are held in continents less represented like Asia and Africa. Thus, it was held in Nairobi in Kenya in January 2007.
In 2008, a Worldwide social forum, but one day ago of international mobilization. The international counsel has just decided that the next Worldwide social forum will take place in 2009 with Belem in Brazilian Amazonia. Of another country were candidates, like South Korea, Indonesia, and South Africa.
The forum covers main subjects of concern of the civil society in connection with universalization.
5 subjects were initially identified:
- Sustainable development and democracy.
- Human rights, diversity and equality.
- Media, culture and hegemony.
- Political power and relationship with the civil society and the democracy.
- democratic world Order, militarization and peace.
The last FSM (Porto Alegre 2005, Bamako 2006) joined together up to 11 topics, in spaces different from the same cities.
Since 2002-2003, the social forums on all the scales are governed by the Charter of the Principles of the FSM. It is enough to adhere to these principles to adhere to the FSM. Among the most important principles are: the opening to all the ideological currents, opposition to the order néo-liberal, the absence of the political parties as such. The social forums do not deliver a final declaration, but are open spaces of debate, confrontation of positions, and development of proposals.
A proclamation was nevertheless elaborate in 2005, support of discussions and proposals to be discussed, benchmark to know the general orientations but not having any value " officielle". The organization of the forum is done by the international counsel , which joined together in 2005 forty ONG and associations but which does not cease increasing.
The social forum also essaimé (in an independent way) in continental social forums like the European Social forum, the Social forum of Americas, the African Social forum, the Asian Social forum, of the “regional” forums like the Social forum of the Maghreb or the Social forum of the Middle East, of the national forums, regional or buildings. The formula of the social forums thus was an important success.
- 2002: of the 31 January to the 5 February 2002 second Worldwide social forum Porto Alegre
- 7 November 2002, the 1st European Social forum (FSE) is held with Florence in Italy until November 10th.
- 9 November 2002, in Florence in Italy, demonstration gathering 400.000 people of all Europe against a War in Iraq and against universalization.
- 2003: from the 23 to the 28 January 2003, with Porto Alegre with the Brésil,
- In 2004 the Forum is held from January 16th to 21st with Bombay, India.
- In 2005, the FSM is of return to Porto Alegre
- In 2006, the FSM “is polycentré” on three continents:
- January: from January 24th to 29th with Caracas (Venezuela) - from January 19th to 23rd with Bamako (Mali).
- March: Karachi (Pakistan)
- In 2007, the FSM with: Nairobi with the Kenya (1st FSM on the continent)
See also the Chronology of the altermondialisation.
Porto Alegre 2001Estimate from 5.000 to 20.000 participants according to the sources, a few hundreds of journalists.
Concerning the organization of the first social forum, certain association met to concretize the idea of a forum parallel with the FEM: Attac and of Brazilian associations: Movement of the without-ground, ABONG - Brazilian Association governmental organizations , CIVES - Brazilian Association of the business men for the citizenship , CBJP Brazilian Commission Justice and Peace , IBASE Brazilian Institute of socio-economic analyzes , single CUT Central of the workers like CJG Center of world justice ( justiça total ).
Thereafter, much of other ONG, associations like CADTM, CETRI, country coordination Via campesina (to which belonged the Movement of the without-ground)… came to be added to help with the preparation of the FSM.
A televised dialog, connected by satellite some important people present at Davos, where the World economic forum was held although they stressed that they did not represent officially the FEM and of the participants of the FSM, representing a dozen ONGs. The two simple proposals of the Tobin tax and the cancellation of the debt of the Third world, on which the participants in the dialog seemed to agree, were not relayed. The " dialog" Davos-Oporto Alegre was also marked by incomprehension between the two parts, symbolized by the mother of missings Hebe de Bonafi and the " specultor philanthrope" George Soros.
Concurrently to that, with the FSM of Porto Alegre, of the workshops, plenary joined together organizations of the whole world.
Porto Alegre 200250.000 participants for the 2nd edition of the FSM. This second FSM marks the passage of a qualification anti-mondialiste with an identification alter-mondialist of the FSM. It is followed drafting of the Charter of the principles of the Worldwide social forum.
Porto Alegre 2003In Porto Alegre, with 100.000 to 120.000 participants, 4750 associations or movements, coming from 150 countries.
1760 workshops, seminars and conferences, 3rd Worldwide social forum, begin with a great walk against the neoliberalism, gathering between 70.000 and 140.000 demonstrators. January 26th, the president Venezuelan Hugo Chávez is ovationné.
Mumbai 2004The FSM was held with Bombay in India with approximately 150 00 participants, of 132 different countries and 2.660 associations or movements. More exactly the forum was held to forty kilometers of the center of the city, true mégapole.
Some important guests animated conferences and exposed their points of view: the Iranian woman Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Prize of peace), the States-unien Joseph Stiglitz, (Price of economy), Chilean the Juan Samovia, current director of the International office of work (the ILO).
But, overall, this forum had a content rather different from the preceding forums, with a great participation of south-Asian popular environments, and a great part of popular expressions and policies in theatrical or artistic form, while the conference rooms were less full. With Mumbai, the FSM adapts to new cultural forms.
Porto Alegre 2005In 2005, the FSM returns to Porto Alegre with approximately 120.000 participants. Certain participants write there the Manifeste of Porto Alegre, together of reform proposals.
Polycentric forum of 2006In 2006, it is held in several countries at the same time, and is described as polycentré : in January with the Venezuela and the Mali, in March with the Pakistan. It is thus the first time that a FSM is held partly in Africa, even if this one organized on a continental scale a African Social forum. Approximately 5.000 people take part in FSM of Bamako. Among the new discussed topics the question of driven back emigration appears. The agricultural questions and of water take also a great place.
A more massive presence characterizes the FSM with Caracas, with approximately 100.000 people.
Principles of the ForumFollowing the first worldwide social forum of 2001 the organizers worked out a " charter of principles and the orientations for the organization of the forums of 2002". As explained in the book of Chico Whitaker, cofounder of the forum, this charter became the background document of the forum. It gives truly a nature different from that of the other instruments of fight for a " other monde". " Its starting point is the organization of the Forum like “spaces open” " (Chico Whitaker) and not like a movement.
15 constituent points the methodological guide approached in the chapter 2 " Basic options in the organization of the Forums sociaux" book of Chico Whitaker
Organizers facilitateursThe FSM is different from the other forum like the " forum of the parlementaires" or the " forum of the authorities locales" on the role which the organizers have. They do not have indeed any role of direction, do not decide, the top downwards, which must take part or how. They have a function of " facilitation" creation of an open space of meeting, of world size, regional or local, that they offer to all the social movements, trade unions and with the organizations and nongovernmental associations.
This principle of non-directive method calls into question the traditional manner to organize a forum. It prevents that analyzes of time series with an aim are made of choosing in advance the contents of the forum. A dominating place is thus left with the car activities organized under the responsibility of the participants them even.
Car organization and self-managementThe workshops - name given to these car-organized activities - allow a more active participation compared with the passivity of the large audiences. Strong of dynamics observed with Mumbai, the organization of the FSM 2005 in Porto Alegre sought to radicalize this choice of the priority given to these activities. The assembly of the program was made by the participants themselves which thus managed them same the role of facilitateurs to the service of the others.
One of the important consequences of this priority to the organized car activities is that it creates a space of experimentation of self-management. The going beyond of the domination passes by the going beyond of the dependence of the citizens with regard to the financial, economic and political powers and by consequence by the construction of autonomy and the citizenship Co-person in charge.
Present: delegated or participating individual?
The respect of diversity and pluralism
The respect of the environment
Financing of the meetings
Space civil society
To support the setting in network and the action
Multiplicity of the possible political actions
The refusal of violence
The refusal of final document
For further information: with the original document of the charter of the principles.
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