• Iraq Social Forum


    from gkabaso2003 on Aug 20, 2015 09:12 PM
    Dear All, As we prepare for the ISF this October I wish to share with you
    this article as attached below:
    Harnessing the Power of Social Movements to overcome Boundaries
    Written By Gershom Kabaso . Posted in Drums of Change, Transcending
    Boundaries: Migrants, Refugees and the Movement of People
    Social movements have the power to break social, political and economic
    barriers. These movements have the power to advocate for policies and
    strategies that allow people in and around Africa to move in and out of
    their countries freely. However, the strategies adopted by social movement
    groups to influence policies need to be thoroughly thought through.
    Social movement is a catalyst in the quest to change unconducive
    environments into a desirable ideal. In this context, movement could be
    defined as an open free space for reflective thinking, democratic debate of
    ideas, exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective actions at
    all levels by groups of people and organizations who want to change the
    world view. Social movements are also like threads that bond together
    efforts across the nations, tapping into people’s aspirations and
    imaginations for a better world. Boundaries, on the other hand, may be
    described in simple terms as the dividing line or location between two
    areas that have a different common culture, values, morals, languages and
    ethnicity groups. Social movements cut across all these differences in
    nature, lending them the power to build a culture of solidarity among
    people, and echoing the need for human dignity at all levels.
    Given these premises as alluded above, and from experiences, movements
    could be considered among many other avenues as a powerful resource to
    overcome boundaries across nations in the sense that social movements are
    loose in nature and people are free to participate at any given time.
    Collectively this depends on collaborative efforts, through solidarity
    support, to facilitate change. This contribution upholds the view that
    social movements are not subject to the boundaries that often divide us,
    and this type of activism can go beyond borders, across infrastructures of
    other collaborative players at local, regional and global levels.
    Mobilizing critical masses of people is not difficult as long as people
    have bought into the idea of the social changes that would be taking place.
    Moreover, movements have no form of legal identity as compared to other
    forms of registered organizations or coalitions. As Gihan Perrera from the
    Miami Workers’ Centre points out, “The difference between a movement and a
    coalition is that when an issue changes, a movement doesn’t have an
    identity crisis – its ‘frame’ holds a story and has an explicative value
    even as times change.”
    >From observations and experiences, I believe no single movement is
    successful without the efforts of others. It is critical that social
    movements focus on particular issues at a broad level, always finding
    potential allies in other movements. Indeed, movements that are too
    exclusive or too focused on building their own group may fail to build
    their movement, by failing to utilize the potential of a borderless
    For example; Tunisians in North Africa were able to change their former
    dictatorial rule of government to a democratic one because the people used
    social activism in a way that enabled their efforts to garner massive
    solidarity support from across the whole world to change the political
    environment. They used every possible channel at their disposal, including
    social media, women and youth campaigns, and seeking solidarity support
    through other platforms such as World Social Forums. The Arab spring
    (revolution) was an example of how social movements can break ground;
    political barriers that had people believing it was only one political
    system that could work in most Arab countries, were overthrown. Some of
    these countries include Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt. The social movements
    within those countries, however, managed to change perceptions of what was
    possible, and pushed for democratic governance. (It is important to note,
    however, that calling and advocating for good governance and democracy
    could have taken place without involving violent mechanisms).
    Another example may be cited from the African history of nationalism, that
    was both a belief system and a movement towards decolonization in Africa,
    influencing a number of institutions that granted many Africans
    independence. African nationalism was the process at national level that
    aimed to mobilise people to unite as a nation, without looking down upon
    others for their culture, tribe, language and region, so that they could
    free themselves from colonial rule. Similarly, strengthening and building a
    culture of borderless-ness in Africa through already existing systems such
    as the AU, the philosophies of Pan- Africanism and the African Renaissance
    can indeed serve to realize the borderless Africa we want. In addition,
    regional initiatives such as the Proudly African campaign and African
    Solidarity Caravan are proving successful in connecting, transforming and
    consolidating common solidarity ethos in the region and diaspora.
    Essentially, it is important to consider investing more in social movements
    that are concerned with common causes in order to transcend issues around
    boundaries. Because social movements have no limits whatsoever the case may
    be, in the same way, regional integration of programmes and activities that
    promote solidarity as a means to overcome disputes derived from social or
    geographic borders, can be a vehicle to drive the change we want.
    On 20 August 2015 at 10:47, NOZHA ACTIVISTE <he_zar@...> wrote:
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    > Hi dear Martina,
    > I hope you are  fine.
    > Thank you for your email.I ask you if it is possible to  interfere  in
    > Baghdah Forum about Transitional Justice as I'm expert in Transitional
    > Justice and I
    > interfiere  in many countries about this theme as in  South Africa,
    > Marroco,Libya.
    > Also I want to inform you that it is quite impossible for me to afford my
    > own accomodation  and ticket because my association doesn't have funds.
    > I ask you  if there is  another possibility to help me for travelling
    > Baghdad.
    > kind regards
    > ben fredj Nozha
    > International Obsevatory of Human Rights
    > 0021623569622
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sat, 15 Aug 2015 12:16:00 +0200
    > From: martina.pignatti@...
    > To: iraq-social-forum-english@...
    > Subject: [Iraq Social Forum] Announcing Iraqi Social Forum on Civil Peace
    > and Coexistence in Baghdad, October 2015
    > Dear all,
    > I forward you the ICSSI newsletter with the announcement of the Iraqi
    > Social Forum 2015, please spread the news!
    > This year unfortunately ICSSI cannot cover travel or accommodation costs
    > of internationals so I ask all of you to look for funding through your
    > organizations, if you wish to travel to Baghdad. And register online as
    > soon as possible, since you will need to apply for the visa at the Iraqi
    > Ambassy in your country... not easy visa at the airport this time, we do
    > not have an endorsement of an Iraqi institution.
    > But I'm sure we can put together an important international delegation,
    > come on, registrations are open!!!
    > Warmly
    > Martina
    > www.unponteper.it
    > www.iraqicivilsociety.org
    > If you cannot view this email properly please click here
    > <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/newsletter/newsletter_ICSSI_04_2015.html>
    > *SUPPORT US* <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/joinsupport-icssi/>
    > *ICSSI WEBSITE* <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org>
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    > <http://www.facebook.com/people/Icssi-Solidarity-Initiative/100001518226619>
    > *ICCSI Newsletter n. 04 year 2015*
    > * Announcing the Iraqi Social Forum 2015. Join us in Baghdad! *A thematic
    > Iraqi Social Forum on Coexistence and Civil Peace has been launched by
    > Iraqi civil society organizations, and will take place in Baghdad from the
    > 1st to the 3rd of October 2015. During the Forum we will host a
    > Mini-Marathon for Peace to celebrate the International Day of Nonviolence
    > on the 2nd of October. Read the call and register online! >>
    > <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4527>
    > * Victory of anti-corruption protests in Iraq. Statement by the Iraqi
    > Social Forum *The Iraqi Council of Representatives unanimously voted this
    > week on a paper of reforms to combat corruption and government waste, that
    > was approved by the Council of Ministers in an extraordinary session held
    > last Sunday. This is a result of the public pressure produced in the past
    > two weeks by massive social protests that took place in many Iraqi
    > provinces. >> <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4510>
    > * Videos on demonstrations in Baghdad *Watch these exceptional videos on
    > the demonstrations in Tahrir Sqare, Baghdad. People are singing, police
    > smile at activists and distribute water to them, women feel confident
    > enough to be in the crowd. Another Iraqi is possible, indeed! >>
    > <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4522>
    > * After ISIS: Perspectives of Displaced Communities from Ninewa on Return
    > to Iraq's Disputed Territory *Recently, military developments and
    > international involvement have resulted in ISIS retreating from some areas
    > previously under its control in Iraq. IDP communities struggle to return
    > while the potential for renewed conflict remains alarmingly high. A report
    > comissioned by PAX in order to prepare for conflict sensitive peace
    > building programs. >> <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4368>
    > * Alternatives to War: Eight Things the US Should do Regarding Daesh *When
    > it comes to dealing with US policy towards ISIS, there are two critical
    > understandings. One requires rejecting George W. Bush's post-9/11 claim
    > that the only choice was "we either go to war, or we let 'em get away with
    > it." That was not the only choice for dealing with al Qaeda then, it is not
    > the only choice for dealing with ISIS now. War or nothing is never the only
    > choice. >> <http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4464>
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    Gershom Kabaso,Jr.,  National Coordinator ,
    Zambia Social Forum  ( ZAMSOF)
     Email:gersheek@...   Zamsof@...
     PO BOX CA 131 Castle Lusaka, Zambia Southern Africa
     Cell Phone: +260 977 46 72 86  +260 950 72 11 22