• Nepal & WSF - info & discussion

  • Nepal Social Forum 2017 Consultation meeting

    from uddhab on Dec 15, 2017 10:45 AM
    Dear Comrades
    
    I hope you have received an invitation from Nepal Social Forum Secretariat for
    the consultation to be held tomorrow (December 15, 2017) at Union House,
    Anamnagar at 3.00pm.
    
    Let us discuss about:
    1. the main theme of the proposed Nepal Social Forum: Deepening Democracy
    in Nepal: an Endeavour to Ensure Dignity, Diversity, Justice and Equality
    ???
    2. Date of the event:  March 1 to 3????
    3.  Sub themes:
    
    > i.                     Social Justice and harmony
    >
    > ii.                   Environment Justice: Land and forest
    >
    > iii.                  Corruption and Good Governance
    >
    > iv.                 Electoral system: fair and actual representations
    >
    > v.                   Cast based discrimination and untouchability
    >
    > vi.                  Feudal labor practices and informal employment system
    >
    > vii.                Human Rights and fundamental privileges
    >
    > viii.              Media and right to information
    >
    > ix.                 Participatory democracy and constitution making
    >
    > x.                   Transitional Justice
    >
    > xi.                 Gender justice and gender based violence
    >
    > xii.                Minorities and social inclusion
    >
    > xiii.              Rights of differently able people
    >
    > xiv.              Rights to movement and migration
    >
    > xv.               Children, adolescents and old aged people
    >
    > xvi.              Culture and arts
    >
    > xvii.            Economic solidarity and entrepreneurship
    >
                                  xviii        Tax justice & Evasion.
    
         xviv        Right to Information to Promote Good Governance
    
    ????? ???
    >
    > 4. Stall and event Charge:   Stall charge has been fixed as NRs 5000/-
    > (five thousand rupees only) for an institution, NRs 3000/- (three thousand
    > rupees only) for event organizer for the hall with the capacity of 25
    > people and NRs 5000/- (five thousand rupees only) for the hall with the
    > capacity of 50 persons for an event, and NRs 6000/- (six thousand rupees
    > only) for food counter per day. ???
    >
    5. Organising Committee/Committees: ????????????
    
    
    
    Regards
    
    Uddhab
    On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Bhola Bhattarai <nafannepal8@...>
    wrote:
    
    > 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/>
    > >>
    > >>    - openDemocracy <https://www.opendemocracy.net/>
    > >>    - oD UK <https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk>
    > >>    - oDR <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia>
    > >>    - oD 50.50 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050>
    > >>    - democraciaAdddbierta
    > >>    - TranDeesformation
    > >>    - ourBeeb <https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb>
    > >>    - About us <https://www.opendemocracy.net/about>
    > >>    - Support us→
    > >>
    > >> 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
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> --
    
    
    Thread Outline:
  • Fwd: Nepal Social Forum 2017 Consultation meeting

    from uddhab on Dec 15, 2017 10:45 AM
    Dear Comrades
    
    I hope you have received an invitation from Nepal Social Forum Secretariat for
    the consultation to be held tomorrow (December 15, 2017) at Union House,
    Anamnagar at 3.00pm.
    
    Let us discuss about:
    1. the main theme of the proposed Nepal Social Forum: Deepening Democracy
    in Nepal: an Endeavour to Ensure Dignity, Diversity, Justice and Equality
    ???
    2. Date of the event:  March 1 to 3????
    3.  Sub themes:
    
    > i.                     Social Justice and harmony
    >
    > ii.                   Environment Justice: Land and forest
    >
    > iii.                  Corruption and Good Governance
    >
    > iv.                 Electoral system: fair and actual representations
    >
    > v.                   Cast based discrimination and untouchability
    >
    > vi.                  Feudal labor practices and informal employment system
    >
    > vii.                Human Rights and fundamental privileges
    >
    > viii.              Media and right to information
    >
    > ix.                 Participatory democracy and constitution making
    >
    > x.                   Transitional Justice
    >
    > xi.                 Gender justice and gender based violence
    >
    > xii.                Minorities and social inclusion
    >
    > xiii.              Rights of differently able people
    >
    > xiv.              Rights to movement and migration
    >
    > xv.               Children, adolescents and old aged people
    >
    > xvi.              Culture and arts
    >
    > xvii.            Economic solidarity and entrepreneurship
    >
                                  xviii        Tax justice & Evasion.
    
         xviv        Right to Information to Promote Good Governance
    
    ????? ???
    >
    > 4. Stall and event Charge:   Stall charge has been fixed as NRs 5000/-
    > (five thousand rupees only) for an institution, NRs 3000/- (three thousand
    > rupees only) for event organizer for the hall with the capacity of 25
    > people and NRs 5000/- (five thousand rupees only) for the hall with the
    > capacity of 50 persons for an event, and NRs 6000/- (six thousand rupees
    > only) for food counter per day. ???
    >
    5. Organising Committee/Committees: ????????????
    
    
    
    Regards
    
    Uddhab
    On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Bhola Bhattarai <nafannepal8@...>
    wrote:
    
    > 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/>
    > >>
    > >>    - openDemocracy <https://www.opendemocracy.net/>
    > >>    - oD UK <https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk>
    > >>    - oDR <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia>
    > >>    - oD 50.50 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050>
    > >>    - democraciaAdddbierta
    > >>    - TranDeesformation
    > >>    - ourBeeb <https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb>
    > >>    - About us <https://www.opendemocracy.net/about>
    > >>    - Support us→
    > >>
    > >> 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_imag
    > eupload_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_imag
    > eupload_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_imag
    > eupload_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
    School of Arts, KATHMANDU UNIVERSITY, NEPAL.
    +977-9841566932 (Nepal)/+977-15535628
    Skype: uddhab.pyakurel1
    
    
  • Re: Nepal Social Forum 2017 Consultation meeting

    from Krishna Kumari Waiba on Dec 15, 2017 10:46 AM
    Dear Dr. Uddhab,
    Greetings!
    
    Thank you for your invitation. For your kind information I will not be able
    to attend the tomorrow meeting. Because I am out off the Kathmandu valley.
    
    With best wishes,
    Krishna Kumari Waiba
    
    
    
    On 14 December 2017 at 21:47, Uddhab Pyakurel <upyakurel@...> wrote:
    
    > Dear Comrades
    >
    > I hope you have received an invitation from Nepal Social Forum Secretariat for
    > the consultation to be held tomorrow (December 15, 2017) at Union House,
    > Anamnagar at 3.00pm.
    >
    > Let us discuss about:
    > 1. the main theme of the proposed Nepal Social Forum: Deepening Democracy
    > in Nepal: an Endeavour to Ensure Dignity, Diversity, Justice and Equality
    > ???
    > 2. Date of the event:  March 1 to 3????
    > 3.  Sub themes:
    >
    >> i.                     Social Justice and harmony
    >>
    >> ii.                   Environment Justice: Land and forest
    >>
    >> iii.                  Corruption and Good Governance
    >>
    >> iv.                 Electoral system: fair and actual representations
    >>
    >> v.                   Cast based discrimination and untouchability
    >>
    >> vi.                  Feudal labor practices and informal employment
    >> system
    >>
    >> vii.                Human Rights and fundamental privileges
    >>
    >> viii.              Media and right to information
    >>
    >> ix.                 Participatory democracy and constitution making
    >>
    >> x.                   Transitional Justice
    >>
    >> xi.                 Gender justice and gender based violence
    >>
    >> xii.                Minorities and social inclusion
    >>
    >> xiii.              Rights of differently able people
    >>
    >> xiv.              Rights to movement and migration
    >>
    >> xv.               Children, adolescents and old aged people
    >>
    >> xvi.              Culture and arts
    >>
    >> xvii.            Economic solidarity and entrepreneurship
    >>
    >                               xviii        Tax justice & Evasion.
    >
    >      xviv        Right to Information to Promote Good Governance
    >
    > ????? ???
    >>
    >> 4. Stall and event Charge:   Stall charge has been fixed as NRs 5000/-
    >> (five thousand rupees only) for an institution, NRs 3000/- (three thousand
    >> rupees only) for event organizer for the hall with the capacity of 25
    >> people and NRs 5000/- (five thousand rupees only) for the hall with the
    >> capacity of 50 persons for an event, and NRs 6000/- (six thousand rupees
    >> only) for food counter per day. ???
    >>
    > 5. Organising Committee/Committees: ????????????
    >
    >
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Uddhab
    > On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Bhola Bhattarai <nafannepal8@...>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> 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/>
    >> >>
    >> >>    - openDemocracy <https://www.opendemocracy.net/>
    >> >>    - oD UK <https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk>
    >> >>    - oDR <https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia>
    >> >>    - oD 50.50 <https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050>
    >> >>    - democraciaAdddbierta
    >> >>    - TranDeesformation
    >> >>    - ourBeeb <https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb>
    >> >>    - About us <https://www.opendemocracy.net/about>
    >> >>    - Support us→
    >> >>
    >> >> 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_imag
    >> eupload_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_imag
    >> eupload_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_imag
    >> eupload_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
    >> >>>
    >> >>>
    >> >>
    >> >>
    >> >> --
    >
    >
    >