• comcom meeting amed page2 a

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==  REPORT ON MSF / intercom meeting Amed  in COMMUNICATION COMMISSION ==

 - Downloadable report document


Preparation in Communications Commission. 1

Mesopotamia Social Forum.. 1

WSF IC Meeting. 2

Enlargement of the Amed Meeting On-line: Practical Considerations. 2

Situation in Kurdistan. 3

Preamble. 3

Second Day on Finance and Organization. 6

Drafts for Establishing FSMM/WSF 2013 Frame. 8

A Starting Point for Communications. 8

Interpretation. 9

Follow Up from Communications Commission Perspective. 9

Annex: Updated OE Spaces Proposal after Amed. 9


Preparation in Communications Commission

Two persons related to communication commission were present in MSF and in the WSF IC Commission meeting: Mallory and Pierre.

The meeting had been prepared in an on-line chat to state objectives.(note 1) The outcomes are briefly discussed here and in more detail below under the third section on the WSF meeting.

  1. Explain to new people present in Amed what it means to be a Communications Commission participant and what are the facilitation tasks. Conditions for such a discussion didn't exist (see xxx below).
  2. Inform and be informed about what is being done in the Middle East region regarding communication dimensions inside the WSF process. This was not accomplished for lack of time and focus in the WSF meeting.
  3. Welcome inter-commission proposals that may arise in the meeting and give views about them from Communication Commission's perspective. The occasion to support the methodological proposals exposed during the meeting was not used.
  4. Enlarge inter-commission meeting on September 26 and 27, 2011. This was done(2)

Note1   http://openfsm.net/projects/communication-commission/transcript-6-sept11 a page was proposed by Pierre during MSF to develop the lines sketched in that meeting http://openfsm.net/projects/communication-commission/ComCom-meeting-amed-page1 


 2011-09-30-ivry-msf-169.JPG - 2011-09-30-ivry-msf-170.JPG - 2011-09-30-ivry-msf-240.JPG-2011-09-30-ivry-msf-141.JPG - 2011-09-30-ivry-msf-145.JPG


Mesopotamia Social Forum

The forum's message was “Freedom Will Prevail” and its program contained around 80 activities that gathered 2,000 participants from 170 organizations. (According to the local organizing committee). The opening march was met with strong state police presence, although the local governments were supportive of the forum. Also, a march against violence on women, highlighting that Kurdistan is a place where honor crimes are a reality, was also faced with control and confrontations by riot police. Both confrontations with the Turkish state enforcements were without incident. And these confrontations highlight the tension between the local Kurdish government, who were supportive of the forum events, and the Turkish state government, which regarded the forum with suspicion.

Update: Repression by the Turkish state of the MSF process has continued. One member of the local organizing committee has been arrested and is currently in prison for his work as a coordinator of the forum.

The MSF was held in the Amed/Diyarbakir city of 1.2 million inhabitants, known as main city in Turkish Kurdistan. All the local municipalities of the city have elected mayors from the BDP party (33 MPs in Turkish parliament) and some of these have given support to the social forum process. Concretely, as for its first edition in 2009, the forum took place in a public space called Sumer Park (name of the Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia), which has in its center a big social center building that provides support and services to the local population. The MSF used about ten large rooms in this building, many of them with simultaneous interpretation equipment.

In Sumer Park there is a small building that has been entrusted by the municipality for a team of volunteers that make up MSF local organizing committee. This group seems to be active permanently as a facilitating resource for local organization networking.

See photos of MSF here: http://openfsm.net/projects/msf-extended/msfext-photos


Communications Commission Presence in MSF

Mallory stayed throughout the MSF and focused mostly on BDS campaign. Pierre was present during the last three days of the MSF and acted full-time inside “MSF Extended.” Pierre suggested to a MSF organizing committee member to propose during a daily OC meeting to have a one-hour discussion with Pierre and Mallory about the communication commission. This suggestion did not came through because the agenda of the OC on that day was too dense.

MSF Extended: A Concrete Link with Communications Commission

MSF OC had set up in relation with the Sfex initiative, a “MSF Extended” team of five. The team learned to broadcast eight activities, encountering technical problems in about half of the cases related to weak internet or lack of preparation time. http://openfsm.net/projects/msf-extended/project-home  

Also, several contacts were prepared with:

  1. TCC in Palestine: people were on-line, but internet was very low in Palestine on that day perhaps due to restriction of Israelis in the context of the independence claim in UN.
  2. Tunis: A sensitivity about the program speakers list resulted in non-remote participation from Tunis.
  3. Bangladesh: The distance encounter could not take place at the agreed moment.
  4. msfextended.jpg


 2011-09-30-ivry-msf-208.JPG  2011-09-30-ivry-msf-207.JPG


WSF IC Intercom Meeting Amed

Enlargement of the Amed Meeting On-line: Practical Considerations

As a contribution from Communications Commmission IC extended initiative, Pierre and Yasmine of the MSF helped to make available a live transmission of video and English audio using UStream, which was complimented by Skype chat and email updates over the IC lists.

The whole meeting is available in English with simultaneous translation. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/project-home

Along with the video are transcript notes taken in real time and left un-modified. These are a support to understand the dynamics of the meeting.

Yasmine was most of the time requested to be in the translation booth, which took her away of stimulating remote participation on Skype that Pierre could not do properly because he was taking transcript notes and moreover could not access Skype on his computer. Refaat from TCC, who was refused permission to travel to the MSF by Israel, tried to join the meeting but was seen too late. The various video parts were viewed by between 9 and 74 people on October 8, 2011.

The enlargement produced is promoted on the Sao Paulo website, through a page in Ciranda. It's recommended to edit a link towards the IC extended initiative webpage on this site since it is in the context of this initiative that the enlargement was made: http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/project-home


Situation in Kurdistan

Organizers of the MSF and our hosts for the meeting were able to frame the political situation in Kurdistan through the showing of a film of the MSF 2011 itself, describing personal experiences with state repression, and also outlining the importance of an international solidarity movement with the Kurdish position.

A position document was created and will be translated into the official languages of the forum with the expectation that IC member organizations will sign the document in solidarity with Kurdish in their popular struggle for national identity. Organizations are then encouraged to circulate this document to their own networks as well.

See transcript notes by Pierre: http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-2-en/#_Toc304957929


Three Meanings of the Word “Inter-commission”

It is important to note that this was the first time that such an inter-commission meeting was held, i.e. not linked to preparation of an event a few months later in the same place, such as was done in Dakar in July 2010. Indeed the term “inter-commission” appeared to have three different meanings for different participants. Many also rejected the idea that this small IC meeting was at all intended to be about IC commission work all together.

  1. This meeting in Amed was deemed an inter-commission meeting because it was decided in Paris that it was not to be an IC meeting.
  2. There is an ongoing issue of having IC meeting agendas give more time to meeting between commissions, i.e. “inter-commission,” which was done in Mexico 2010 and was asked for in Paris but denied. This Amed meeting was to mix people from various commissions. However, except from Gina and Pierre mentioning or presenting work and discussion in methodology commission, and Francine for strategy, participants did not mention discussion or work done in other commissions. Several of them spoke of the weaknesses of commission work.
  3. FSMM future organizers understood the defined “inter-commission“ meeting as a coordination group in the FSMM process, starting with the three commissions of strategy, methodology, and communication, in order not to fragment their organizing process from the beginning.

About Differences of Context Between Rabat IC Meeting and Amed Inter-Commission Meeting

Some differences can be noted between the 2012-13 cycle and 2010-11 cycle:

Rabat IC in May 2009, took place after a positively-felt Belem WSF and invited a full-year process for 2010 with 30 to 50 events coming into WSF dynamics, including 3 large-process events including Europe and the United States. WSF 2011 was already defined in Africa and perceived as a final climax of this dynamic.

In 2010 there was a will to reclaim the experience of those 200 events and of Belem with the concept of a WSF calendar and a WSF process made of events emerged.

Now, after a less positively felt WSF 2011 (see evaluation in Paris), the context is significantly different from 2010:

  1. 2012 has fewer scheduled events than 2010 and after Dhaka in 2011 there is only one large-process event in 2012 in the Maghreb/Mashrek. The Paris IC meeting allotted time to taking stock of Dakar's problems and deciding on the orientation of WSF 2013 in the Arab world yet not listing other expansion potentialities.
  2. In Paris there was a seminar on the international agenda. However, the “non-forum events” presence, e.g. Rio+20, G20, FAME, proves not so easy to include in the operational discussion of WSF process and facilitation. Preparing the Rio+20 in Porto Alegre this winter is a practical operating mode. However, this event was not presented in the Amed meeting.
  3. There are new elements in the general context: the Middle East people's spring, acceleration of crisis in Europe and the US with an absence of leadership from the European Social Forum, and the rise of movements such as “Indignados” and “Occupy Wall Street.”
  4. Buildup processes of WSF 2013 through FSMM 2012 is something specific, which is good for the quality of preparation of WSF 2013, but also tends to concentrate attention away from other event actors.
  5. The overall financial situation for WSF participating organizations is more severe than in 2009.

Thus, there is a tension that can be perceived. On one hand, reclaiming experience since 2009-11, it is appropriate to work on organizing better the “overall facilitation of the WSF process,” conceived in the perspective of 2010 as a vast diversity of events inasmuch they identify with WSF, as per the criteria defined in 2010.

This implies that new actors participate in a varied array of forum events proposed as initiatives by event organizers and it means balancing transversal and general commission work, which proved insufficient for WSF 2010-11, with “exchange spaces” focused on concrete event organizers work, which proved strong in 2010.

On the other hand, the more restricted 2012-13 context in the Amed meeting tended to focus participants on sustaining FSMM/WSF event buildup, with only a few other events visible in the way up to 2013 and not enough event organizers around the table present ready to discuss practicalities.

It may be relevant to maintain a broader process scope for Dhaka in order to include a diversity of events of various scales, while of course supporting the 2013 buildup.

Meeting Agenda Successive Versions

It is significant to review the versions of the agenda before and during this meeting to give context to the expectations and actualizations of the Commission's goals.

Agenda Version 1: The agenda proposed by Helio and Hamouda for the two days of meeting was given on the evening of the meeting.

1.       Presentation and adoption of agenda

2.       Opening with organizers of the MSF

3.       WSF 2013 presentation: role of IC commissions in this process of WSF 2013 preparation

4.       WSF 2013 discussion

5.       Mobilization towards WSF 2013 - events and actions from now to 2013, including: Rio+20; Canadian Social Forum process; Forum of Forums in Galicia; Porto Alegre January 2012; G20 in France etc.

6.       Commission's preparations for IC meeting in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Morning of day one was used to define the agenda and share expectations and concerns from participants. People from methodology and strategy commissions presented their contribution briefly. Event organizers, mainly from FSMM/WSF 2013, expressed views on how they wanted to proceed ( See the transcript notes http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-en/#_Toc304871922 ). Afternoon of day one was spent in the review of 2012 events.

Agenda Version 2: By midday of day one Helio proposed three points of agenda in his input, which was adopted as the frame for subsequent discussions on mobilization and organization (See the transcript notes http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-en/#_Toc304871930)

ñ  Organization: A group that will be obliged to work on a more permanent way towards WSF2013

ñ  Mobilization: Not just discussion on WSF 2013 axes, but how the forum can be a working place for interconnection of struggles e.g. the USSF based its process on assemblies that were build before and during the forum

ñ  Financial sustainability: Event and process funding. For Porto Alegre and Belem was to finance process from event. Belem financed the process. In Dakar we tried but did not succeed.

Agenda Version 3: Formulated the next day by Rafaela:

  1. Kurdish situation
  2. Organization to walk the path to WSF 2013
  3. Mobilization to involve other actors
  4. Financial sustainability
  5. Preparation of Dhaka
  6. Interpretation issue

Review of 2012 Events

The main agenda point of Monday afternoon was to discuss the various forums as opportunities for mobilization towards 2013 and also as inspiration for organizing models, mobilization strategies, and new approaches to financing and sustainability. These forums include: Maghreb/Mashrek Social Forum (March 2012), Rio+20 People's Summit (June 2012), Forum on Forums in Galicia (September 2012), First Nations Forum in Montreal (date to be determined), and a Global Forum on Palestine (Fall 2012 and 2013).

Second Day on Finance and Organization[1]

The second day then took inspiration from the upcoming forums to again discuss the points of organization, mobilization, and sustainability. It is clear from these discussions that communications as a tool for organizing the forum and mobilization is fundamental.

The meeting was held in the frame of a straightforward proposal request by FSMM/WSF13 that a document compiling proposals from three perspectives, methodology, communications, and financing, would be drafted by small working groups and would reflect new suggestions from core commission members as well as the following points that were presented and discussed in Diyarbakir.

The main discussion focused on the following questions and proposals:


Note : Transcript Notes taken by Pierre are available here : http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-2-en  

A concrete possibility explicitly presented in the meeting was to start opening spaces of exchange between FSMM and Galicia and invite Dhaka, Porto Alegre, and MSF organizers along with potentially other new initiatives, and create a working calendar on the way to WSF 2013 (See link to exchange spaces here – presented in internet during the meeting http://openfsm.net/projects/espacios-oe/project-home ).

ñ  What is the role of IC commissions in this process of WSF 2013 preparation?

ñ  Interpretation and translation should be a focal point for organizing the 2013 forum.

ñ  Cultural programming must be fundamental, not extra.

ñ  Combining more closely methodology committee and local organizing committee is essential.

ñ  How can we build on the experiences of past forums in specific logistical areas?

ñ  What is the role of the Internet for solutions in better organization towards 2013?

ñ  The Maghreb Forum (March 2012) and the Galicia Forum of Forums (September 2012) are possibly the main IC meetings before WSF 2013.


Pierre transcript notes on point 2 as seen from the video and notes, this issue was not addressed by a focused discussion during the meeting

ñ  We want the creation and communication of proposals from the forum and its social movements to be visible.

ñ  How can we ensure the involvement of new movements?

ñ  Axes can be a way to mobilize movements. In terms of crises, these are mainly:

◦     Civilization, economics, religion, and authority

◦     The decline of the legitimacy of the state

◦     The crisis of international institutions


Pierre transcript notes on point 3 http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-2-en/#_Toc304957931

ñ  Transparency of financial support is key to ensure participation of new movements and trust from existing networks and organizations.

ñ  Office will be maintained until the end of November. The Liaison Group will write urgent letters to IC members to get funding to sustain secretariat operations.

ñ  There is already a proposal to have IC members make yearly contributions to maintain the costs of the process, namely the secretariat, which is clearly prioritized.

ñ  Working online can mitigate costs, although organizing online has exposed large challenges that have not yet been solved in 10 years.

ñ  Perhaps it is important to address the difficulty to justify funding an office that is not associated with the next event location. There is a history of separating the office between forum venues before Belem, though it was not done for Dakar.

ñ  We must look into possibilities of crowd funding.

ñ  Ask for regional/thematic forums to financially support the inclusion of IC members as part of international delegations. Or impose a small tax, or compulsory donation, on participants of regional and thematic forums to support the global process.

ñ  One solution is to fund a discreet series of projects for activities rather than general operations. The Maghreb process has been doing fundraising along thematic axes. Each dynamic of the forum manages their own finances. The narrative to funders: "If you don't want to fund this forum, then fund this axis."

ñ  Other creative funding models are to include donations of hotel rooms or other in-kind donations from places like the local government, universities, etc.

ñ  Babels is a concrete way to reduce costs. Prioritize the organizing of this in the Maghreb.

ñ  How to integrate into the organizing process towards 2013 one person from each of the commissions to minimize costs while also using their experience?

Drafts for Establishing FSMM/WSF 2013 Frame

Pierre transcript notes : http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-2-en/#_Toc304957937

Gina, Pierre, Francine, and Hamouda will work on the issue of methodology. Mallory and Thais will work on the issue of communications. And Rafaela and Michel will work on the issue of financing. The process of drafting these interconnected perspectives needs, and proposals will be carried out by these small groups. They will circulate their drafts for preliminary discussion within the existing IC commissions before a final submission at the IC meeting in Dhaka. There, these points will be open for discussion and modification with the hope of adoption by the Council. No time was dedicated in the meeting to define those documents more in detail.

A Starting Point for Communications

Note :In transcript notes, there is no explicit discussion on communication during the meeting. These points were cherry picked from the 2-day meeting as a whole.

Specific inputs on the issue of communication were presented transversally throughout the discussion. It was clear that the Maghreb process is deep on the issue of communications particularly in its use for mobilization of the region. Their approach will influence the document presented at Dhaka. There is a proposal that to aid communication and involvement of the commissions in the 2013 organizing process that representatives from each commission as well as the Secretariat be at the WSF 2013 forum site six months in advance.


Translation for the meeting was provided by Babels in Turkish, French, Spanish, and English. The interpreters intervened three times in the meeting on the subject of working conditions, which was a strong way of beginning the conversation about the role of service provision by interpreters. IC members present in the meeting engaged the complaints and it lead to explicit treatment of translation as an important consideration on the first point about organization of the 2013 forum.

See Pierre transcript notes : http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-2-en/#_Toc304957938  - Pierre invited Babels to engage in an exchange space on interpretation – and contacted Judith about this http://openfsm.net/projects/espacios-oe/espaciosoe-tema6  


Follow Up from Communications Commission Perspective

Communication Commission Preparation and Presence

Looking back on notes and on the video record of the meeting, it appears that no explicit input was made in the discussion from communication commission viewpoint during the meeting by either Mallory or Pierre.

Pierre acted as part of methodology commission during the meeting promoting as a reflection of methodology commission discussions a scheme of exchange on line spaces between event organizers[2]. This scheme had been announced in Communications Commission meeting on Sept 6, and maybe a good space of work between projects in the commission and the various event organizing committees. Galicia and Tunis organizers were invited to populate these spaces. No input or comment on this scheme proposal was made from communication viewpoint during the meeting.

Practical Perspectives after the Meeting

Mallory will make the draft with Thais and it will be discussed in communication commission then on IC list.

Mallory had informal talks with Helio about the portal. More information is expected in Communication Commission list.

Pierre will make the draft with Francine and Gina and it will be discussed in methodology commission then on IC list.

Pierre will continue promoting the “Organizing Event” exchange spaces idea (“OE space”), accommodating the peculiar situation we are in, i.e. with not enough events identified in 2012 and a continuum of organizers FSMM 2012/WSF 2013 (see preamble part).

Effective support through practical contribution in these various OE spaces is welcome, all the more as this scheme is a convenient way for Communications Commission to promote projects among future event organizers.


Annex: Updated OE Spaces Proposal after Amed

OE spaces proposed at this stage are http://openfsm.net/projects/espacios-oe/project-home

ñ  One holistic “Agora”,

ñ  Five spaces on the general interconnection process (first round, OC build up, mobilization, agglutination, final)

ñ  Six spaces on specific progress points (media, interpretation, culture inclusion, website , extension , logistics).

Next steps can be a discussion on themes, outreach for participation, first exchanges.