[WSMDiscuss] World Social Forum: Pre-call to movements
jai.sen at cacim.net
Tue May 5 16:48:08 CEST 2020
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Thank you so much for sharing with us all this absolutely frank, and straightforward, letter that you have sent to the members of the WSF International Council. I am stunned to read what you have to say. And I’m now so glad I asked you to come in and comment – though I never expected that this would be the kind of thing that you might have to say.
In responding, I of course have to say that we have to see what you have shared with us as of course only one opinion of what took place at the meeting in Porto Alegre in January. But nevertheless, what you have said remains stunning, and of course so deeply disappointing to hear. And if I may add this, I also personally feel so much for you given the crushing disappointment you must now be feeling, given – as all of us who have been involved with the organisational aspects of the WSF know – the many, many years that you have devoted to the WSF, and the hope you have invested in it… and especially at this historical juncture.
It is of course not for me to comment as yet on what you have said beyond what I've said above, and so what I'm doing is taking the liberty of copying in here two people I know and respect and who I see from the documents that Tord circulated were present at the Porto Alegre meeting, Chico Whitaker and Carminda Mac Lorin, with the very personal request to each of you – Chico and Carminda – to please respond and give your comments on the Porto Alegre meeting and on what Francine has said here.
(For those on this list who do not know this, Chico Whitaker (of Brazil) was one of the founders of the World Social Forum, and is widely seen – in his own words ! – as ‘one of the uncles of the Forum’; and Carminda Mac Lorin was one of the main organisers of the FSM / WSF in Montreal in 2016.)
I am also copying in another person who has also been deeply involved with the WSF over many years and who in the past decade was particularly engaged, at strategic levels, and who I deeply respect, Gustave Massiah, of France; for any comments you would like to add.
Let me only add that this return to this subject, on this list - World Social Movement Discuss, which grew out of an earlier list ‘World Social Forum Discuss’ -, is especially meaningful : Because this is precisely why some of us set up the WSFDiscuss list in the first place, in 2006, as an independent ‘open space’ for the horizontal sharing of information on the World Social Forum and for critical discussion of what it was doing, all in order to help strengthen the great social and political experiment that had by then been nicknamed ‘the Forum’.
I therefore now hope that we might again be able to do so here on this list, even now… and I am therefore deeply hopeful that Chico, Carminda, and Gustave, you will reply. Please…
With thanks, and in hope,
Copy : Chico Whitaker, Carminda Mac Lorin, Gustave Massiah
> On May 5, 2020, at 4:17 AM, Francine Mestrum via WSM-Discuss <wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net> wrote:
> Since Jai, asked my opinion, this is the letter I just sent to the International Council of the WSF:
> Dear friends of the International Council,
> You will have received the documents of the Facilitating Committee of the WSF Mexico with a pre-invitation.
> I would like to explain very briefly why I voted ‘no’ to this proposal. I think that, at this moment, the Committee is not able to organize a Social Forum.
> 1) The Committee is extremely weak and all but democratic. Comments and questions of those who do not totally agree with the proposals are simply ignored. It is a very weird interpretation of what they see as ‘consensus’. For instance, as the thematic axes necessarily have to be the result of the proposals of participating movements, I proposed a simple framework within which these proposals can be integrated. Nevertheless, the group continues to work with a predetermined list of axes in which even the struggles against authoritarianism and fascism are failing! You will understand that various organisations already have left this facilitating committee.
> 2) In 2021 the WSF will celebrate its 20th anniversary! This is an excellent opportunity to invite movements and organisations that till now did not take part in the Forum so that the process can be enlarged. It is also an opportunity to reflect and discuss the rules and principles of the WSF. This is what a small group of members of the IC has proposed. They want to organize, inside the Forum, a debate on the relevance of the Charter of Principles after 20 years. For these two reasons, they propose to ask all facilitators and participants in the Forum not to ‘agree with the Charter of Principles’ but to ‘respect the Charter of Principles’. This simple change is also totally rejected and people are asked to sign a ‘letter of commitment’ of two full pages!
> In other words, the current process is excluding and bureaucratic and it lacks the most minimal sense of democracy. I could give you many other examples. Without fundamental changes, I cannot participate in such a process. After almost twenty years of work for and in the WSF, this really hurts. But I think that all persons and all opinions deserve some respect.
> Op 04/05/2020 om 23:02 schreef Tord Björk via WSM-Discuss:
>> Tord Björk
>> email: tord.bjork at gmail.com <mailto:tord.bjork at gmail.com>, skype: tordbjork, tel: +46 (0)722 15 16 90
>> address: Götgatan 7 A, 29133 Kristianstad, Sweden
>> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
>> From: Mirek Prokeš <mirek.prokes at gmail.com <mailto:mirek.prokes at gmail.com>>
>> Date: Mon, May 4, 2020 at 10:39 PM
>> Subject: World Social Forum: Pre-call to movements
>> To: Tord Björk <tord.bjork at gmail.com <mailto:tord.bjork at gmail.com>>
>> Cc: Balint <balint at unitedagainstracism.org <mailto:balint at unitedagainstracism.org>>, helga suleiman <helga.suleiman at gmail.com <mailto:helga.suleiman at gmail.com>>, Viktor Koren <viktor at iynf.org <mailto:viktor at iynf.org>>, Leo Gabriel <lgabriel at gmx.net <mailto:lgabriel at gmx.net>>, igor <igorgotlib0 at gmail.com <mailto:igorgotlib0 at gmail.com>>, matyas benyik <benyikmatyas at gmail.com <mailto:benyikmatyas at gmail.com>>, Aktivister för Fred <aktivisterforfred at gmail.com <mailto:aktivisterforfred at gmail.com>>, Dagmar Svendova <svendova at transform-network.net <mailto:svendova at transform-network.net>>, Bilinç Sezgin <bilinc at yeenet.eu <mailto:bilinc at yeenet.eu>>, Marek Hrubec <marek.hrubec at gmail.com <mailto:marek.hrubec at gmail.com>>, Kavan Jan <kavanjan17 at gmail.com <mailto:kavanjan17 at gmail.com>>
>> Dear friends and comrades,
>> three months after the meeting of the International Council in Porto Alegre, it has today published the attached call and conclusions of the meeting (by consensus).
>> Please spread the call, e.g. post it on your websites and facebook pages/groups.
>> Have a good evening,
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> ** Inspired by the World Social Forum, WSMDiscuss – the successor to a list named ‘WSFDiscuss’ started in 2005 - is an open, unmoderated, and self-organising forum for the exchange of information and views on the experience, practice, and theory of social and political movement at any level (local, national, regional, and global), including the World Social Forum. Join in ! **
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Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa
jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
CURRENT / RECENT publications :
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press. Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?. New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
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