[WSF-Discuss] Reframing the World Social Forum March (request to endorse)

jasper teunissen jasperteunissen at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 22 18:53:20 CDT 2015


Hi Andres,
To get the full picture: here is the statement of the preparatory 
Committee, posted on the facebook page of the FSM on March 19 
(https://www.facebook.com/fsm2015 - i can't find anything on the 
official website) to which the call to reframe the march is a 
response... And below my personal comment.

    /Statement/

    /The preparatory Committee of the World Social Forum (WSF) held an
    urgent meeting this morning to consider the latest repercussions of
    the terrorist operation that targeted the Bardo Museum yesterday./

    /After that the Preparatory Committee recorded the size of the
    reassuring messages and solidary statements with Tunisia from
    different social actors and civilians across the world who renewed
    their full engagement to participate in the Forum and their
    eagerness for it to//be the meeting of popular mobilization against
    terrorism in Tunisia, in the region and in the world;/

    /International public opinion announced that: /

    /- All international delegations confirmed their programmed
    participation without any change, which stresses the actual size of
    the solidarity of the alternative globalization movement activists
    with Tunisia, its people, and the families of the victims of various
    nationalities, and their extent of commitment to peace and
    solidarity principles among peoples for freedom and democracy./

    /- The opening march is programmed to be on Tuesday, March 24th,
    starting at 4 p.m. from Bab Saadoun Square toward the Bardo Museum
    under the slogan:/

    /'' Peoples of the world united against terrorism ''/

    /- A special committee within the WSF International Council is
    established so as to formulate the Bardo International Charter of
    the alternative globalization movement in order to combat terrorism
    and call for a general gathering on March 26th, in the Campus
    University Farhat Hached around 12 p.m. for the announcement of the
    Charter./

    /Believing in the role of social, civil, and democratic and peaceful
    alternatives movements, in response to terrorism, the preparatory
    committee renews its call to mobilize all energies so that the WSF
    held in Tunisia will be a decisive turning point in changing the
    scales in favor of peace, democracy and social justice strengths in
    the region and in the world./

    /Preparatory Committee of the World Social Forum:/

    /Abderrahman Hethili/


This is yet another example of a violation of the WSF Charter of 
Principles (there was a similar discussion two years ago when Tunisian 
activist and politician Chokri Belaid was murdered weeks before the 
forum) see rule number 6:

*6.* The meetings of the World Social Forum do not deliberate on behalf 
of the World Social Forum as a body. No-one, therefore, will be 
authorized, on behalf of any of the editions of the Forum, to express 
positions claiming to be those of all its participants. The participants 
in the Forum shall not be called on to take decisions as a body, whether 
by vote or acclamation, on declarations or proposals for action that 
would commit all, or the majority, of them and that propose to be taken 
as establishing positions of the Forum as a body. It thus does not 
constitute a locus of power to be disputed by the participants in its 
meetings, nor does it intend to constitute the only option for 
interrelation and action by the organizations and movements that 
participate in it. 
(http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/main.php?id_menu=4&cd_language=2)

But pfff, I will try not to complain too much and I appreciate the call 
for reframing instead of waiting for this 'special committee' of the 
International Council that will present "the Bardo International Charter 
of the alternative globalization movement" two days after the march. I 
hope we can have a constructive debate about this.

greetings jasper

>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From:*jasper teunissen*<jasperteunissen at hotmail.com 
> <mailto:jasperteunissen at hotmail.com>>
> Date: 2015-03-22 22:13 GMT+01:00
> Subject: Reframing the World Social Forum March (request to endorse)
> To: aconteris at gmail.com <mailto:aconteris at gmail.com>
>
>
> Hi all,
>
> Below is statement from the National Lawyers Guild expressing concerns 
> about the framing of the opening march of the WSF in the wake of the 
> Bardo attack. The opening march will take on tuesday. French and Arab 
> versions are included below, please read and consider to endorse this 
> statement with your organisation (or as individual).
>
> Please send endorsements to Audrey Bomse from the National Lawyers 
> Guild before monday morning:audreybomse at hotmail.com 
> <mailto:audreybomse at hotmail.com><mailto:audreybomse at hotmail.com 
> <mailto:audreybomse at hotmail.com>>
> greetings Jasper (in Tunis)
>
>
>
> [English]
>
> Reframing the World Social Forum March
>
> We are writing to express our alarm at the position adopted by the 
> Preparatory Commission in its comunique regarding the tragic events at 
> Tunisia's Bardo national museum. In particular, its announcement that 
> the opening World Social Forum march will come under the theme of 
> "Peoples of the world united against terrorism". We are seriously 
> concerned that the Preparatory Commission may be facilitating the 
> usurpation of the World Social Forum by the "war on terror" agenda.
>
> Progressives around the globe view the World Social Forum as an 
> alternative space in which they can critically reflect upon and 
> challenge dominant narratives of state, capitalist and imperialist 
> power that keep peoples from imagining and achieving "another world". 
> The first principle of the original WSF charter is to bring together 
> civil society organizations "that are opposed to neoliberalism and to 
> domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism". For 
> the past 15 years, the discourses, policies and practices of the "war 
> on terror" have played a key role in (re)producing the various 
> hierarchies (of socio-economic status, of citizenship, of sovereignty, 
> etc) that perpetuate capitalist and imperialist power. We believe the 
> role of progressives should always be to express empathy and 
> solidarity with innocent victims of crime, regardless of the 
> perpetrator, whether states or non-state actors. We also believe there 
> are times when "civil society" may find it in their strategic 
> interests to work with governments to achieve certain aims. However, 
> in a context in which clarity is lacking and where it is difficult to 
> access accurate information, it is incumbent upon progressives to 
> challenge official narratives and propose emancipatory alternatives.
> The global justice movement cannot allow itself to be used for a 
> domestic and geopolitical agenda that seeks to manipulate the emotions 
> of the public to justify a further militarization of Tunisian society 
> (and the world) in a way that only benefits the 
> security/military-industrial-complex. It also enables the entrenchment 
> of racialized counter-terror practices that marginalize whole 
> communities, criminalize dissent and, most importantly, divert 
> attention away from the most pressing social, economic and political 
> issues that were at the heart of the uprisings in Tunisia and 
> elsewhere in the world.
> We believe the raison d'être of the WSF is to speak truth to power, 
> not to collude with power. In light of this, we hope the WSF 
> Preparatory Commission statement will be redrafted to take our 
> concerns into consideration in a cooperative and consultative fashion.
>
> ---
>

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