• Nepal & WSF - info & discussion

Re: Nepal Social Forum 2017 Consultation meeting

de parte de Bhola Bhattarai on 2017-12-15 10:45
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for invitation. I will be there at 3 pm.

Bhola Bhattarai

On 13/12/2017, World Social Forum Nepal <wsfnepal2013@...> wrote:
> Dear Comrades
> As Dr. Uddhab Pyakurel wrote last month, Nepal WSF Secretariat  has been
> busy in conducting bi-lateral and multi-lateral consultation of various
> stakeholders to explore the possibility to revive Nepal Social Forum
> process. As there were proposals for Nepal Social Forum to be organised in
> Kathmandu in the first week of March 2018, we wish to invite you for the
> consultation on the December 15, 2017 at Union House, Anamnagar at 3.00pm
> so that we start preparatory work to make the proposal a success.
> Also we would like to request you to please share contact emails of other
> like-minded institutions so that we can inform them about the meeting.
> Sincerely Yours,
> *Nepal WSF Secretariat, **SADED-Nepal Office*
> *Sanepa, Lalitpur, **Nepal*
> *Email - wsfnepal2013@... <wsfnepal2013@...>*
> *Telephone - 977-1- 5535628*
> On Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 3:10 PM, Uddhab Pyakurel <upyakurel@...>
> wrote:
>> Dear Comrades
>> I find a very good write-up to understand what is Social Forum and where
>> is it heading today. Please feel free to read and share your thoughts.
>> Regards
>> Uddhab
>> [image: Home] <https://www.opendemocracy.net/>
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>> Reinventing the World Social Forum: how powerful an idea can be
>> FRANCINE MESTRUM <https://www.opendemocracy.net/author/francine-mestrum>
>> 18
>> November 2017
>> The collective in Salvador has succeeded in bringing together thousands
>> of
>> organisations for preparing the Forum: the slogan is ‘to resist is to
>> create, to resist is to transform’.
>> [image: open Movements] <https://opendemocracy.net/openmovements>
>> *The openMovements <https://opendemocracy.net/openmovements> series
>> invites leading social scientists to share their research results and
>> perspectives on contemporary social struggles.*
>> *
>> <https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/corebranco-783x274.png>*It
>> was in 2001. Almost a generation ago now! The first World Social Forum
>> (WSF) was organised in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the city of the Workers’
>> Party
>> of future president Lula da Silva and the city of the participatory
>> budget.
>> There was hope, much hope, and a belief that ‘another world’ was possible
>> and that we could shape it. This became the slogan of all future WSFs.
>> There were not that many people at this first meeting, though the fact
>> that almost 15,000 people from all over the world gathered at short
>> notice
>> was a real surprise. Those who had taken the initiative included people
>> from the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT), intellectuals from Latin America,
>> Africa, Europe and Asia, such as François Houtart, people from the French
>> monthly Le Monde Diplomatique… It was a real success and one year later
>> there were 50,000 making the trip to Brazil, with more than 1000
>> journalists! The World Social Forum was the reply to the World Economic
>> Forum in Davos and wanted to propose an alternative to neoliberal
>> globalisation.
>> An ‘International Council’ was created in order to strengthen the process
>> and a ‘Charter of Principles’ was written containing the main rules for
>> the
>> events.
>> Not in the name of the Forum
>> One of the most important of these principles is that no one can ever
>> speak ‘in the name of’ the Forum. Participants can speak for their
>> organisations, possibly together with others, but not ‘as Forum’.
>> Organisations involved in the armed struggle are not welcome. The Forum
>> wants to be an ‘open space’, something that can be interpreted in
>> different
>> ways and at the same time needs to be seen as a guarantee for
>> ‘horizontality’ – no hierarchies, self-management and the democratic
>> participation of all.
>> [image: lead]
>> <https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/773806570_c9d2c0e39d_z.jpg>Opening
>> march of the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela in January 2006.
>> Flickr/Brooke Anderson. Some rights reserved.Initially, the international
>> council was a closed gathering of intellectuals who jealously guarded
>> their
>> privilege, tried to control the Forum process and discussed world
>> political
>> matters.[i]
>> <https://www.opendemocracy.net/francine-mestrum/reinventing-world-social-forum-how-powerful-idea-can-be#_edn1>
>> *Big crowds*
>> After three very successful forums in Brazil, the event left for Mumbai,
>> India, with as much success. Nevertheless, the first small cracks came to
>> light when the anti-capitalists, refusing to envisage even the slightest
>> compromise, organised their own anti-imperialist forum, parallel to the
>> official WSF.
>> Afterwards, we had a ‘polycentric’ Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, Bamako,
>> Mali and Karachi, Pakistan. One year later we moved to Nairobi, Kenya,
>> which was not a success because of failing organisation and a lack of
>> resources. We went back to Brazil with a gigantic Forum (150,000 people!)
>> in Belem and the focus on the Amazon region and its indigenous people. We
>> tried Africa once more but again the organisation was below zero.
>> The rules which were set up to guarantee democracy and horizontality were
>> not as solid as expected. At each meeting of the international council –
>> twice a year – a new commission, a new working-party or another liaison
>> committee was necessary to mend the cracks.
>> But the cracks kept emerging and the global left appeared to be as weak
>> as
>> its national counterparts: bickering egos, divergent philosophies … the
>> European forums did not survive the endless squabbling.
>> The belief in ‘another world’ came under threat after the events of 11
>> September 2001, and almost disappeared with the financial crisis of
>> 2007-2008. The WSF continued to gather, but became less dynamic.
>> The Arab spring gave new hope and we organised an excellent Forum in
>> Tunis
>> in 2013 and another one in 2015.
>> The Canadians proposed a new formula for the WSF and organised one in
>> Montreal in the summer of 2016. It was fine, but there were hardly any
>> organisations involved. As is the case for many young people today, its
>> philosophy was focused on individuals, with little vision of the global
>> world.
>> *Bursting cracks*
>> The Brazilians were fed up. They were no longer keen to organise
>> international council meetings and had doubts on future world social
>> forums. A couple of times, there were real clashes at meetings and one
>> had
>> to be an expert with lots of empathy to understand what was being said
>> during the debates. What was meant was hidden under several layers of
>> newspeak and empty concepts.[ii]
>> <https://www.opendemocracy.net/francine-mestrum/reinventing-world-social-forum-how-powerful-idea-can-be#_edn2>
>> It has often been said that the main problem of the WSF is the opposition
>> between NGOs and social movements. NGOs are said to be reformist with
>> little or no contact with their social base, whereas social movements are
>> supposed to be revolutionary and very popular. I do not believe this.
>> Some
>> NGOs are very revolutionary and some social movements know perfectly well
>> how to keep their members in line.
>> *So what’s up?*
>> A first real problem is the failing and vague definition of the ‘open
>> space’, including its intrinsic ‘horizontality’. These are attractive
>> principles but they do need a concrete meaning. In any place where people
>> are gathering, in small or less small groups, power relations will exist
>> and these have to be monitored in a democratic way.
>> If the ‘horizontality’ means that the really existing hierarchy remains
>> hidden behind a non-defined principle, problems with accountability and
>> transparency will necessarily arise. If structures are so complex that no
>> one knows who has to do what, misunderstandings are inevitable. A small
>> group within the international council continued to request a light
>> structure with clear responsibilities and transparency, to no avail.
>> Those
>> who have power, especially if it remains invisible, will not accept any
>> changes.In Europe as well as in Latin America, Asia and Africa, democracy
>> is threatened. The differences are often smaller than they seem to be at
>> first sight.
>> A second problem is that some of the Brazilian ‘fathers’ of the Forum
>> fear
>> political positions.[iii]
>> <https://www.opendemocracy.net/francine-mestrum/reinventing-world-social-forum-how-powerful-idea-can-be#_edn3>
>> Even
>> if the first Forum was organised just before the elections that made Lula
>> president of the country – and promoting his candidacy – today, there is
>> a
>> tremendous fear of touching anything political. This obviously is very
>> absurd when one wants to shape ‘another world’, but it does lead to a
>> permanent struggle between a small club of ‘fathers’ and the many dynamic
>> and younger members of the international council. The former do not want
>> to
>> organise general forums any more and instead focus on thematic forums,
>> such
>> as on water, migration or nuclear matters. They keep focusing on
>> diversity
>> and the idea of ‘convergence’ makes them shiver.
>> <https://cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/500209/Opening_walk_of_2002_World_Social_Forum.jpg>Opening
>> walk of the World Social Forum, 2002. Wikicommons/Passeata de Abertura.
>> Some rights reserved.The third problem, finally, is purely material: a
>> lack of resources. A meeting of the international council will easily
>> cost
>> around 100,000 euros, except if all pay their own ticket. The budget for
>> the forum in Salvador is around 2.5 million Euro, a very modest amount
>> compared to previous forums. The fact that the international council paid
>> tickets for many of its members made it very easy to make alliances. Now
>> that this has stopped, it is only the more autonomous members who remain
>> and can put the ‘old guard’ in a minority position.
>> Financial constraints, all over the world, make it very difficult for
>> many
>> movements to make long trips. It explains why the last forums may have
>> been
>> a success but were not really ‘global’ forums any more. The participation
>> of Africa has dwindled, Asian participation has almost disappeared.
>> A new beginning
>> The international council meeting in Porto Alegre in January 2017 was a
>> real turning point. Two and a half days long, discussions were serious
>> and
>> calm, everyone fearing to repeat the clash of Montreal, where even in
>> spite
>> of a consensus, it was not possible to condemn the ‘coup’ in Brazil. But
>> the last half day, the old guard flatly refused to envisage a next Forum
>> in
>> Salvador in spring 2018. They were defeated …
>> Now, in October 2017, another meeting of the international council took
>> place in Salvador in order to concretely prepare the Forum. It was a very
>> positive and constructive meeting, without any conflicts. The movements
>> in
>> Salvador are very dynamic, all are very optimistic about the chances for
>> the next Forum.We have to act as adults, forget all egocentricity and
>> learn to search for what we have in common.
>> A very interesting cooperation with the Federal University of Bahia, a
>> public establishment with more than 200,000 students, is very promising.
>> After the international council meeting, we had an international
>> conference
>> with activists and academics, with very good results. For the rector of
>> the
>> University, this is a unique opportunity for reaching out to society. The
>> opening ceremony was particularly moving, with, obviously, many
>> discourses,
>> but also lots of music, theatre and poetry, and lots, lots of politics.
>> These are politically difficult times for Brazil, the memory of the
>> military dictatorship remains vivid and moreover, in the same way as in
>> other parts of the world, a struggle needs to be organised against
>> budgetary cuts in education and research.
>> The collective in Salvador has succeeded in bringing together thousands
>> of
>> organisations for preparing the Forum, trade unions will be massively
>> participating, the slogan is ‘to resist is to create, to resist is to
>> transform’. In the same way as in the past, the Forums offered an
>> opportunity to directly listen to Chavez, Lula, Correa and Morales, the
>> proposal now is to invite Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders.
>> All are very optimistic about the chances of the next Forum. The
>> movements
>> are very dynamic and the international council can also take a new start.
>> From the one hundred and fifty movements on the list, fifty have
>> confirmed
>> they believe in its future.
>> A global transversal gathering
>> The WSF is not the only global Forum. Thanks to the many initiatives that
>> were taken from the 1990s onwards, many thematic networks have been
>> created
>> and they continue their very useful work. But the WSF is the only global
>> transversal gathering where different groups can discuss their
>> objectives,
>> their strategies and their campaigns. There is now a general
>> understanding
>> that climate justice is not possible without social justice, that peace
>> is
>> not possible without climate and social justice and that media play a
>> very
>> important role in all these sectors. It therefore is urgent to sit and
>> plan
>> together. In Mexico, a major Forum on migration will be organised in
>> November 2018 and we all know that labour law, climate change and peace
>> will have to be discussed there.In Mexico, a major Forum on migration
>> will be organised in November 2018 and we all know that labour law,
>> climate
>> change and peace will have to be discussed there.
>> Too many movements have now withdrawn to the local level and have
>> forgotten that local and global levels are not opposed or hierarchical.
>> They need to go hand in hand. Moreover, in Europe a new tendency to put
>> up
>> more barriers is growing, whereas we need the opposite. The WSF can make
>> an
>> important contribution to this.
>> This Forum can be a new start. The old guard of the opponents has
>> certainly not disappeared and one may expect it will make itself heard
>> once
>> again after March 2018. That is why major mobilisations in Latin America,
>> Europe, Africa and Asia are very important, because yes, another world is
>> possible. Does anyone believe the world today is in a better shape than
>> fifteen years ago? That the demands of the alter-globalist movement are
>> now
>> irrelevant? We should not be afraid of politics, on the contrary. But we
>> have to act as adults, forget all egocentricity and learn to search for
>> what we have in common.
>> Today, some global initiatives are worth defending, such as the social
>> protection ‘floors’ of the ILO, or the Sustainable Development Goals of
>> the
>> United Nations. But these certainly deserve a boost from social movements
>> in order to make them really transformative. We have to act as adults,
>> forget all egocentricity and learn to search for what we have in common.
>> Hopefully, many movements and people will participate in the Forum,
>> directly, in Salvador, or at a distance, thanks to the new technologies.
>> The very interesting local initiatives, in Europe, Africa or Asia can
>> learn
>> from what is happening in Latin America, and vice versa. Working
>> together,
>> movements are strengthened and better able to tackle the dominant system.
>> If the World Social Forum succeeds in giving a voice to many different
>> voices, in helping movements search for their commonalities, respecting
>> their diversity, this Forum can play a major role.
>> In Europe as well as in Latin America, Asia and Africa, democracy is
>> threatened. The differences are often smaller than they seem to be at
>> first
>> sight. By working together, we are stronger and have more chances to win.
>> We do not need new borders but have to build new bridges.
>> The fathers of the World Social Forum have created a very powerful idea
>> <http://fsm2018.org/en/>!
>> [i]
>> <https://www.opendemocracy.net/francine-mestrum/reinventing-world-social-forum-how-powerful-idea-can-be#_ednref1>
>> An
>> extensive literature now exists on the World Social Forum. Here are
>> mentioned some of the first and most important books : Fisher, W.F. &
>> Poniah, T., *Another World is Possible, *London, Zed Books, 2003; Polet,
>> F. (ed.), *Globalizing Resistance, *London, Pluto Press, 2004; Pleyers,
>> G., *Alter-Globalization. Becoming Actors in the Global Age, *Cambridge,
>> Polity Press, 2010.
>> [ii]
>> <https://www.opendemocracy.net/francine-mestrum/reinventing-world-social-forum-how-powerful-idea-can-be#_ednref2>
>> For
>> a kind of overview, see Boaventura de Sousa Santos, ‘Indispensável
>> Reinvençao’ in *Carta Capital, *18 Outubro de 2017, p. 40.
>> [iii]
>> <https://www.opendemocracy.net/francine-mestrum/reinventing-world-social-forum-how-powerful-idea-can-be#_ednref3>
>> To
>> better understand the origins of the WSF, read Milcíades Pena, A. &
>> Davies,
>> T.R., ‘Globalisation from Above? Corporate Social Responsibility, the
>> Workers’ Party and the Origins of the World Social Forum’ in *New
>> Political Economy, *2013.
>> On Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 8:07 PM, Uddhab Pyakurel <upyakurel@...>
>> wrote:
>>> Dear WSF comrades
>>> I wish to inform you about the bi-lateral/multi-lateral consultation to
>>> revive Nepal WSF process. Some of our friends are for the national level
>>> Social Forum to be organised in Kathmandu in the first week of March
>>> 2018.
>>> If we feel like we can do it, we need to sit together and finalise the
>>> themes, registration process and deadline, etc.
>>> We expect your constructive suggestions shortly so that we can move
>>> ahead....
>>> regards
>>> Uddhab
>> --
>> Uddhab Pyakurel, PhD
>> +977-9841566932 <+977%20984-1566932> (Nepal)/+977-15535628
>> <+977%201-5535628>
>> Skype: uddhab.pyakurel1

*Bhola Bhattarai*

Kageshori Manahar Municipality-13, Suncity, Pepsicola,

Kathmandu, Nepal.

Mobile: 00977-9851074770/9804237991
Email; nafannepal8@...,
Website: nafan.org.np

skype;  bhola-bhattarai
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