[WSMDiscuss] Peoples movements response to covid19

Tord Björk tord.bjork at gmail.com
Tue May 12 15:10:12 CEST 2020

With the covid19 crisis the situation has made it necessary for
people's movements to address all levels from daily life routines to global
institutions. They have thus shown a capacity to address a situation in a
comprehensive way far beyond their main area of interest. Each one of them
able to address the whole wide range of issues that sometimes WSF has been
claimed to be capable of. At the same time the actor problems is solved as
they are actors from the local and daily life level to the global.

After this in depth analysis (link below) was made an open space response
to the covid19 crisis also made itself public on May 11. Equally broad in
its answer but without any common demands so central in all the peoples
movements statements and mainly backed by less radical politicians and
media outlets. It can maybe serve as a complementary answer.

The implosion of walls between movements in reaction to COVID19


All main international people’s movement respond with a comprehensive
program on the COVID19 crisis including the Pope. The exception is the main
trade union organizations but here Trade Union for Energy Democracy has
instead addressed a wide range of issues by organizing a global webinar on
COVID19. Main international organizations in women’s, small farmer’s,
environmental, peace and antiimperialist movements all sees the need of
addressing the current crisis in a broad way largely overlapping each
others main areas of interest. A new situation have emerged making far more
radical people’s movement cooperation across many issues possible. The
analysis puts emphasis on class conscious strategies. It shows that the
weakest link are the trade unions. La Via Campesina and its call for class
alliances between people in rural and urban areas is emphasised as a way
forward. The fastest way to strengthen global movement cooperation is to
bring closer together the middle class based environmental and peace
movements. This would be a more attractive cooperation partner to most
trade unions. This would also weaken geopolitical polarizations and make
socio-ecological dimensions more central which helps international
solidarity and the kind of class alliances asked for by La Via Campesina.


Comments in Progressive International:

Finally an open space answer to the corona crisis has emerged. The global
simultaneous crisis makes more or less all of the WSF declaration
relevant. But the social forum process have shown its weakness in
responding to the situation with the exception to my knowledge of Europe
and especially Central and Eastern Europe. The model of the so called
European/Prague Spring 2020 was organized contrary to the open space
formula explicitly as an assembly of social movements with no
selforganized side activities. There will be an evaluation meeting later
today so i can come back to the outcome of this event with two webinars
organized by 8 organizations that did not cooperate before.

With the Progressive International (PI) for good and bad the tendencies in
the open space concept as it has been carried forward by WSF has been used
to address covid19. Officially WSF was not for parties, peoples movements
and NGOs only as well as individuals was the formula- But the sneak door
was opened for political parties by inviting politicians "in their personal

This opening towards political parties, and then in general not the more
radical, becomes with the PI dominant. Most of the council members comes
from political parties, the rest from radical single issue campaigning and
media. Very few from peoples movements.

One exception is India which seems to have the strongest voices from
different strands behind the initiative, e.g. National Alliance of Peoples
movement, Arundhati Roy, Vijay Prashad etc.

It might serve as a good complementary function to the several peoples
movement initiatives.

I will come back with some more analysis


Tord Björk

email: tord.bjork at gmail.com, skype: tordbjork, tel: +46 (0)722 15 16 90
address: Götgatan 7 A, 29133 Kristianstad, Sweden
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.openspaceforum.net/pipermail/wsm-discuss/attachments/20200512/e6ca1eb7/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Peoples movement COVI19 statements.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 38139 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <https://lists.openspaceforum.net/pipermail/wsm-discuss/attachments/20200512/e6ca1eb7/attachment.pdf>

More information about the WSM-Discuss mailing list