World Social Forum, European Social Forum, ...
Athens. Click here for more.
Earlier this month Italy’s final appeal court upheld a previous guilty verdict on twenty-four of the most senior police officers involved in the planning and execution of the shocking acts of police violence at the 300,000-strong G8 protests in Genoa in 2001.
AWL rendezvous point: outside University of London Union. Phone 07979 241998.
Malet St, London WC1.
The ESF events are spread between Alexandra Palace and Bloomsbury. For details see the ESF website.
The principal and primary function of banks is to serve as middlemen in the making of payments. In so doing they transform inactive money capital into active, that is, into capital yielding a profit; they collect all kinds of money revenues and place them at the disposal of the capitalist class.
What Made the Communards' Attempt Heroic?
What is to Replace the Smashed State Machine?
Abolition of Parliamentarism
Organisation of National Unity
Aboloition of the Parasite State
I attended the first ever Social Forum in Kiev, Ukraine. Called by a coalition of Ukrainian independent trade unions and left wing groups for 1 and 2 May 2008 it included speakers from trade unions, and the anti-fascist movement, and special guest Dashty Jamal, an Iraqi trade unionist and refugee rights campaigner.
BY Vicki Morris
FRESH from his PR appearance on the BBC, President Vladimir Putin of Russia is preparing to host the leaders of the new free world at the G8 summit at St Petersburg (15-17 July). A counter-summit and the second Russian Social Forum have been organised, but, as was feared, they are meeting with sinister repression. A report from French journalist Carine Clément was sent to the email lists of the European Social Forum. Here is a translated extract:
Fresh from his PR appearance on the BBC, President Vladimir Putin of Russia is preparing to host the leaders of the new free world at the G8 summit at St Petersburg (15-17 July). A counter-summit and the second Russian Social Forum have been organised, but, as was feared, they are meeting with sinister repression. A report from French journalist Carine Clément was sent to the email lists of the European Social Forum. Here is a translated extract:
More information on the European Network for Public Services which came out of the European Social Forum in Athens click here
this proposal is going to Northern region of unison from Newcastle City Branch delegates to Esf from Northern Region
EUROPEAN SOCIAL FORUM 2006
Public services were a major theme at the 4th ESF held in Athens, between
Four members of the AWL attended this year’s European Social Forum in Athens, held from 3 to 7 May. Although the huge venue made the size of the event difficult to estimate, it seemed smaller than previous Forums. That perhaps reflects the relative cost of getting to Athens, and the size of the Greek left.
The dominant politics were the usual inclusive but vague ‘Another World is Possible’, with a strong anti-American flavour.
A group of AWL members are attended the 4th European Social Forum here in Athens.
This 4th ESF is smaller than its predecessors with approx 10,000 people registered (50,000 was the figure given for the first ESF in florence in 2006)
By samm farai monro
At the Southern African Social Forum (SASF) held in Harare Gardens between 13-15 October, 3000 radical souls came together to discuss their struggles.
Since 2003 the Zimbabwean Social Forum has brought together social movements, progressive NGOs and freedom fighters for people’s forums, action plans and networks to fight poverty and oppression. So it was a natural choice that the ZSF should host the SASF especially since the Zimbabwean democratic struggle against nationalism, capitalism and the love of power is key to the rest of the region.
Cath Fletcher went along to the “Assembly on the Charter of Principles of Another Europe” in Florence on 12 November, a meeting of various groups and individuals involved in the European Social Forum, who are drawing up the said charter for presentation at the next ESF in Athens in May 2006. It was very different from the South African
When it happened minds came together. Struggles converged like many rivulets forming a powerful river. Floating hopes joined to become an unstoppable Hope. It all flowed towards the future. This was the force of the just-ended Zimbabwe Social Forum as thousands of radical spirits came together in central Harare from 28-30 October. Problems were attacked, common struggles found. Visions of The Society We Want abounded, strategies were laid out. The future was on the horizon, it felt.
Nearly 25,000 people in London for two and a half days of debate, and tens of thousands on a Sunday afternoon closing demonstration — the European Social Forum 2004, on 15-17 October, was well worth attending, despite the rain!
It was more fractious than the previous ESFs, Florence 2002 and Paris 2003, in part because of choices by the organisers and in part because of a build-up of activist frustration at the domination of the big Forum platforms by not-very-radical speakers.
By Colin Foster
At the Respect fringe meeting at the European Social Forum (Saturday 16 October), George Galloway set out to define for Respect “the traditions in which we stand... the flag we seek to carry”.
Starting with Wat Tyler and John Ball and going up to Antonio Gramsci, his references were distant enough to be shared by almost any left-winger. But already he had noticeably omitted Lenin, Trotsky, and any reference to the Russian Revolution.
By Mark Osborn
On 15 October, at the same time as the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions leader, Subhi al Mashadani was being shouted down at Alexandra Palace, Conway Hall was packed for a benefit night with comedians Mark Thomas and Simon Munnery, to raise money for the Basra Unemployed Workers’ Centre, linked to the Union of the Unemployed of Iraq.
At the European Social Forum on 15–17 October, AWL members leafleted, sold papers, ran literature stalls, and sought out people interested in political discussion.
Where we could, we took the floor in sessions to put our point of view. That wasn’t always possible: many of the sessions, crowded and with large platforms, took only a small proportion of those wanting to speak from the floor.
Leaflet issued at the European Social Forum, 16 October 2004.
LAST NIGHT, Friday 15 October, Subhi al Mashadani, general secretary of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, was shouted down and prevented from speaking.
He was a scheduled speaker in the plenary, "End the Occupation of Iraq". Before the plenary started, some dozens of people tried to rush the platform and force him off. When his turn came to speak, he was unable to get himself heard beyond yelling through the microphone, "I do not support the occupation".
On Wednesday October 6th, the National Union of Students National Executive Committee overwhelmingly passed a motion proposed by AWL member Alan Clarke, stating that since Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan is an Islamist reactionary, NUS should oppose his invitation to speak at the European Social Forum.
The Greater London Authority and Ken Livingstone are supporting the London ESF. A demonstration of the progressive politics of the London Mayor perhaps? Not quite. John Bloxam examines his record.
In June this year Livingstone intervened into a pay dispute on the London Underground to say that members of the RMT union should cross picket lines. He was urging people to scab. This is a disgrace, but one that comes on top of many other disgraces.
A is for ATTAC
The biggest “movement for another globalisation” in France, which has a large international network. It has a considerable overlap with official politics, for example in the French Socialist Party. But some revolutionaries are active within it.
ATTAC France was launched in June 1998, following a call for an “Association for the Tobin Tax for Aid to Citizens” in the December 1997 issue of the magazine Le Monde Diplomatique. It now has more than 30,000 members, and other national ATTAC groups tens of thousands. For Tobin Tax, see T, below.
The Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) is the biggest left group in Britain. Earlier this year the SWP and some other socialists put a big effort into a Respect election campaign for the European Parliament (held on 10 June). The election campaign was organised around the politics and personality of George Galloway MP, a figure who will be prominent at the ESF. But was it left-wing? Does George Galloway deserve to be a hero of the left? Does the SWP’s self-submergence in Respect help socialist and anti-capitalist politics? Colin Foster says no.
Tariq Ramadan is one of the top-billed speakers at the European Social Forum, appearing on a panel to present “Voices of resistance and alternatives from the global South”.
In fact Tariq Ramadan is not from “the global South”, but a professor in Switzerland. His Islamism, presumably, is supposed to authorise him to speak for “the South”.
This choice by the ESF organisers is a betrayal of Muslim socialists and democrats, and secular and non-religious people in mainly-Muslim countries and communities.
The Islamist writer Tariq Ramadan is a top-billed speaker at the ESF in London in October.
The following text gives some information on the debate in France about Tariq Ramadan and his politics.
No Sweat is bringing two main speakers to intervene at the ESF, with its own meetings and official seminars (time, date, place on the No Sweat website as soon as we know them).
They are: Yannick Etienne of the Bataye Ouvriye union federation of Haiti who will speak about the fight against sweatshops and how to make international solidarity; and Abdel Mabrouki of Stop Précarité, France, author of Génération Précaire, who will speak about the fight against casualisation and his experience organising fast food workers.
By Joan Trevor
Last-minute preparations are being made for the 3rd European Social Forum, less than a month away. While it’s far from being the ESF we — or many others — would have wanted, it will still be an immensely significant and enjoyable event.
14-17 October, London
Join Workers' Liberty and No Sweat activities and meetings at the ESF. Tel 020 7207 3997 for Workers' Liberty details. Tel 07719 283132 for No Sweat details.
Friday 15 October: all day: ESF plenaries, seminars and workshops at Alexandra Palace, N22
The 2006 ESF will be in Athens from 6 to 9 April
European Social Forum website | No Sweat
London ESF (15 to 17 October 2004)
ESF 2003: 12-16 November, Paris
Reports and impressions: