[WSF-Discuss] Background on WSF in Maghreb
p.waterman at inter.nl.net
Fri Apr 10 03:56:58 CDT 2009
From CETRI in Belgium
Why Social Forum ?
par *Kamal Lahbib*
/(22 octobre 2008)/
Genesis of Maghreb Social Forum :
*From Rabat to Barcelona and From Bamako to Bouznika*
The first call for a North African Social Forum was launched by
representatives of civil society Tunisian and Moroccan at the second
edition of the social forum in Morocco in July 2004.
Since World Social Forum in 2005 at Porto Alegre, contacts between civil
society actors of the three Maghreb countries and the Maghreb emigration
in France have increased.
The initiative of organizing world Social Forum in 2006 in Morocco have
failed (for essentially political reasons, particularly because of
blockage of the Moroccan authorities with a pretext insufficient time to
organize the event), setting up a preparatory session was endorsed. All
those involved felt it was too early to organize the Maghreb Social
Forum itself, partly because of organizational and political gridlock.
To better prepare for the mobilization of social movements and networks
and adapt to the constraints imposed by states in the region, the
initiators of this process are then made the choice to proceed in
stages, organizing, before the Maghreb Social Forum, preparatory
session, which took place in late January 2006 at Bouznika in Morocco.
Based on the achievements of two editions of the Moroccan Social Forum,
the goal of the Maghreb Social Forum is to live alongside local social
forums, an open space for the confrontation of ideas and democratic
debate to enable the development of concrete proposals articulated for
effective action to bring about a "Maghreb peoples."
Organized at Bouznika, 27 to 29 January 2006, the Preparatory Assembly
Maghreb Social Forum was a major step in the process of building this
momentum. Done unprecedented in the history of social movements and
civil society in the region, more than 600 alterglobalists from Tunisia,
Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Saharan civil society and North African
associations in Europe and their international guests were given the
opportunity to share in non-formal space and to reflect together on
concrete initiatives to transform societies deeply in the Maghreb and
win the bet of peace and democracy.
To conclude the event, representatives of all the dynamics present at
Bouznika boarded of Rabat on the Bouregreg River in "pateras"
circumstantial, in tribute to the thousands of young North African and
sub-Saharan dead in the Strait, cut by despair for believing in a better
future on the other side of the Mediterranean. In memory of these
victims of liberalism wild, these beautiful breakaway "pateras the
dignity" has paved the way towards the construction of another Maghreb :
that of Peoples.
The players Maghreb Social Forum : united around another Maghreb
*Towards a Maghreb of Peoples*
The project initiators,the Maghreb dimension is not a hollow concept or
a vision. It is not only a story broken by the old colonial wars, but it
is an economic necessity to face the offensive European and U.S.
attempts to enter into bilateral agreements with countries in the
region. The failure of the states in the region to achieve unity of the
Maghreb regional conflicts and put us under an obligation to search for
alternatives to create a space Maghreb peace, prosperity and democracy.
The Maghreb has become a gateway to the illusory and so-called European
Eldorado. Aware that the association agreements and free trade
established with the Maghreb countries have been conditioned to the
participation of the latter’s policy of "outsourcing" of controlling
migration flows and aware of the risk of increasing influx of
sub-Saharan migrants who will remain for a long time in transit Maghreb
with consequences for development of intolerance and xenophobia,
participants at the Assembly of Bouznika have focused not only on the
participation of migrants in the construction of A Maghreb peoples, but
also on the need to defend the rights of migrants in host countries
A Maghreb with an international dimension
The approach of Moroccan Social Forum is an example to follow in
expanding the dynamic in North Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East and
the rest of the world. It is for the success Maghreb Social Forum five
* Linking the local dynamics. The Maghreb Social Forum must be part
of the momentum of Porto Alegre to establish an international
movement of resistance to the global capitalism
* The articulation South / South : open up and integrate the
dynamics of the Horn of conflicts (Palestine, Iraq…)
* The Maghreb is an integral part of Africa, is to renew ties broken
by colonisation and local despots to enter the Maghreb in the
major challenges of Africa : the struggle for dignity and
equitable sharing of wealth And the fight against famine,
fratricidal wars, mounted ideologies of identity, access to care
and basic services…
* Ensuring the presence of women in the Maghreb construction
process. The challenge remains, however, about the willingness of
women’s associations to be involved in the movement.
* The challenge of social anchor and expanding the various social
dynamics of the region
The fragility of the process
Originally scheduled for May 2007, the Maghreb Social Forum was
postponed to January 2008 at the invitation of the WSF for a global day
However, the Mauritanian government, which has resulted in a first time
his agreement, he retracted and requested the postponement to a later date.
Given the arbitrary regimes in place and the limited spaces of freedom,
the path is therefore long, tortuous and mined to achieve Another
Maghreb. But our belief is that it is possible. Under this process, the
Social Forum hosts in Morocco 25-26 and 27 January 2008 a demonstration
Maghreb tour to Africa on the theme "March of social movements to a
Maghreb between peoples and for a Better World".
* 'Needed: A Global Labour Charter Movement', ESF Malmo Update: http://www.netzwerkit.de/projekte/waterman/gc
* 'Challenging Empires: The World Social Forum. (2nd Edition, 488 pp). Ordering: http://www.blackrosebooks.net/wsf.htm
* 'Back in the (Ex-) USSR': http://zope2.netzwerkit.de/RusRepLatest.pdf
* 'Recovering Internationalism; Creating New Global Solidarity', http://www.choike.org/nuevo_eng/informes/6439.html
* 'Prague 1968: "Workers of the World, Forgive Me!"', http://www.tni.org/archives/waterman/prague1968.pdf
* 'A Union Internationalism for the 21stC', http://www.plutobooks.com/cgi-local/nplutobrows.pl?chkisbn=9780745327563
* 'International Labour Studies in the UK’, in "Work Organisation Labour and Globalisation", Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 180-200. http://www.analyticapublications.co.uk/
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