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"Linking Social Forum processes and the development of local alternatives"
On 10 February 2011, at the World Social Forum in Dakar, organizations and networks from 7 countries (4 continents) developing local alternatives (social economy, ecological transition, new "commons") met at the initiative of the French speaking network for the facilitation of local social forums.
With the economic, ecological and civilization crises which the world, driven by the international oligarchy, is now facing, - we welcome fraternally the ongoing struggle of the tunisian and egyptian people ! – implementing local field-experiences and making visible another possible world is an essential piller for alterglobalist action.
As usual in History, such a new world can really emerge only if, in the world to come, new forms of development are created as well as, more generally, new modes of relations between citizens and new forms of social life.
Although still scattered, the local alternatives of social economy, as well as those along the lines of essential ecological transition, are beginning to respond this requirement. The new "commons" such as: local exchange systems; knowledge sharing and dissemination of culture; software free of the market; and truly citizen-based and democratic media, also participate in this movement.
Articulation of the local field-experiences in a common and open area would allow them to :
1) reinforce each other in terms of participation,
2) articulate the projects and bring out new ones,
3) give the projects full visibility to citizens, therefore, increase their force.
We recognized that the local social forum is the appropriate tool to achieve this goal :
A) local alternatives and social forums cultivate the same values of living together, where relationships with others are no longer based on relations of domination but on a voluntary exchange between persons within an open and non-alienating collective,
B) when local alternatives are actions in themselves, the social forum rightly has a role as an incubator of actions,
C) the space of the local social forum provides an opening to other themes and other scales necessary for a truly transformative effectiveness of local alternatives.
We are pleased that extended Dakar has been a milestone in the consideration of the local, especially its alternatives, in the WSF process.
We call on the organizations and networks, of local or larger scale, engaged with our themes to join the present approach, in order to disseminate it in their own network.
We call on them in particular to build around the world in the spring / summer 2012 (date to be refined), an international week of local social forums.
This initiative, placed under the charter of the WSF, could be called CIEL* (Convergence of local empowerment initiatives).
*: english : sky
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