Nongovernment organisations, civil society, and social movements around the world are gearing up for the World Social Forum 2008 on 26 January. Declared the Global Day of Mobilisation and Action, WSF 2008 promises a reinvigorated fight against neo-liberalism, war, colonialism, racism and patriarchy. Find out how the world will celebrate this event.
Across the globe, on January 26, 2008, millions of women and men, communities, organisations, networks, and movements will march, speak, celebrate, and dialogue in rural villages and urban centres in celebration of the World Social Forum (WSF) 2008: Global Day of Mobilisation and Action.
WSF 2008 calls for actions to fight neo-liberalism, war, colonialism, racism, and patriarchy as well as to strengthen the solidarity and convergence amongst common struggles, campaigns, and constructions of alternatives and alliances.
To announce details of the WSF 2008, at least nine press conferences on January 22, 2008 will be held in Atlanta, USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Mumbai, India; Rome, Italy; Brussels, Belgium; Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro, Brasil; Erbil, Iraq; and Seoul, South Korea.
Current mobilisations in the Asia-Pacific region include the following:
(1) India -
Women's groups are planning a conference and a march. In Maharashtra, there will be a protest by indebted farmers and their supporters. In Mumbai, a float parade is planned. Delegates also reported that they would try and organise a response to the global call in west Bengal.
(2) Indonesia -
Farmer groups are responding to the call from Via Campesina, an international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.
(3) Japan -
Activists will stage protest against the coming G8 meeting to be held in Hokaido until January 26. Trade unions, nongovernment organisations, and a wide variety of social movements will come together to focus on issues including labour rights, caste, migration, peace, and human rights.
(4) Philippines -
Different organisations will come together for a week of action in which a “people's camp” will be set up from January 23 to 25 where various activities such as workshops, forum, film showing, trade fair, and concerts will be held.
(5) South Korea -
There will be a week of action involving various social movements on January 21-25.
To learn more about the WSF 2008 and the mobilisations around the world, visit <www.wsf2008.net> for more details.
Background: World Social Forum
The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organisations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies.
The World Social Forum is also characterised by plurality and diversity, is non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party. It proposes to facilitate decentralised coordination and networking among organisations engaged in concrete action towards building another world, at any level from the local to the international, but it does not intend to be a body representing world civil society. The World Social Forum is neither a group nor an organisation.
Source: WSF2008, <http://dev.wsf2008.net/eng/about>.
“AMARC Supports WSF Call for Day of Mobilization and Action - January 26th 2008” from AMARC, <http://www.amarc.org/index.php?p=shownews&id=905>.
“World Social Forum 2008: A Global Day of Action and Mobilisation” from Focus on the Global South, posted on January 10, 2008,