• salvador18 input4

last modified May 17, 2018 by facilitfsm

 29 march 

Francine and Boaventura:

I actually respect your political comments on WSF held in Salvador; however, I was impressed by the personal considerations in relation to certain groups. Francine wrote that the CI’s Brazilians talk too much and outside the context. Such view demonstrated prejudice against Brazilians. Boaventura referred to those who disagree with his opinions as counterrevolutionary and persons who act based only on personal interests. Several authoritarian governments killed their opponents calling them counterrevolutionary. This is not compatible with an intellectual who should respect differences of opinion and democracy. I believe that such comments do not comply with the respect and fraternity spirit that should guide all those attending the Forum.

I would like to suggest that Francine organized a Social Forum in Belgium and Boaventura organized another one in Portugal, and such forums would be held according to their beliefs, putting their ideas in practice, and that we could evaluate the outcome and the effects. For this purpose you do not need an authorization, as several thematic and regional social forums have already been held worldwide under the organizers’ responsibility. I hope that you carry on with this proposal which would be a concrete action that would help and improve the debate as well as our learning about the WSF process.

Best regards,



Dear Oded,

Thank you for your message.

I thought it was generally known, well beyond our forum, that people from the South, like Latin America an Brazil, speak far more - and better - than people from the North, like Northern Europe, where I come from. That is a cultural difference. Is it disrespectful to state a difference? Did not everyone get the floor, for at least 5 minutes, and some even for more. In the session that Rogelio and I have been facilitating, 11 + 38 people took the floor, in total 49 persons. Is there anything disrespectful in that? Was there any manifestation of intolerance or impatience? Even those who came at the very last minute (around 10!) got a chance to speak. And yes, the Northern European that I am still thinks that Brazilians talk a lot.

I have said and I repeated that I have great respect and admiration for the team in Salvador that organized the forum. They did a wonderful job in difficult circumstances and with little resources. My gratitude goes to them. And also to you Oded, because you were so generous to admit your initial resistance was misplaced. I also noted you were the only one to say so. But again, the people from Salvador organized an excellent forum for the Brazilians.

At the same time I regret the limited international participation. I do not blame the Brazilians for that but, speaking for my own continent, the Europeans. They are wrong to disregard the forum which continues to have a great potential.

We have a fundamental disagreement on the political character of the forum and this will remain so, I am afraid. We do not have to start blaming each other for divergent opinions. On the contrary, we should analyse the reasons for the less positive aspects of the forum.

With all respect,