[WSF-Discuss] Tunisia anti-terror march kicks off World Social Forum; Thousands gather for 13th World Social Forum

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Thu Mar 26 05:06:44 CDT 2015


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Worlds in movement, worlds of movement…

World Social Forum 2015 in movement :

(Although it’s disconcerting to see ‘even Al-Jazeera’ use “London’s Hyde Park” as its comparison for what is happening in Tunis at the moment (how many people in the world have seen London’s Hyde Park, anyway ?  And is it really still the centre of the universe ?), and even though the reports – by this journalist – are not especially enthusiastic, here anyway are its reports from the first and second days of the World Social Forum taking place in Tunis at the moment… - JS)

Tunisia anti-terror march kicks off World Social Forum : Activists from around the globe honour victims of museum attack last week that left 21 people, mostly tourists, dead

Thousands gather for 13th World Social Forum : The Tunisian capital resembles London's Hyde Park with the coming together of anti-capitalism groups

(If there are any of you who are in Tunis who can do reports on what is going on, that would be best !  If you aren’t already a subscriber and would like to subscribe to WSFDiscuss, it’s easy :

WSFDiscuss is an open and unmoderated 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.  Started in 2005 as a list around the WSF, it has now – and especially during 2012-2014 - matured into a discussion around movement more generically.  It now has a great list membership, with people from many parts of the world including activists, students and researchers, teachers, and others, and importantly, located both near 'the centre' and towards 'the margins’ of societies as they today are.  To subscribe, simply send an empty email to worldsocialforum-discuss-subscribe at openspaceforum.net.)

 

Thousands gather for 13th World Social Forum

The Tunisian capital resembles London's Hyde Park with the coming together of anti-capitalism groups.

25 Mar 2015 13:44 GMT | 

http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/africa/2015/03/thousands-gather-13th-world-social-forum-150325113117601.html


Forum participants on Tuesday marched in solidarity with the victims of the Bardo museum attack in Tunis [EPA]

About the Author

Ahmed El Amraoui


The Tunisian capital resembles London’s Hyde Park as thousands of anti-capitalism groups have gathered to tackle a wide range of interconnected social ills that persist worldwide.
Over 70,000 participants representing an impressive diversity of people and social movement sectors from around the globe are taking part in the 13th edition of the World Social Forum (WSF).

Set on the campus of El Manar University in the capital Tunis, WSF participants are milling about the stalls, tents, workshops and seminars debating the key issues of our times and how to achieve social justice at local, national, regional and international levels.

The participants at this festival of ideas and discussions debate topics that impact a number of social causes ranging from poverty to literacy to gender equality in a bid to draw a shared procedural vision of emancipation and diversity.

The participants pride themselves on being global actors in building a better world based on a participatory and democratic process.

They also put out an inspiring message that the WSF is not only a gathering and networking bonanza, but also a space that affirms solidarity with the world living in profound crises where nearly half of the global population - more than three billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day.

According to UN agencies and World Bank figures, around 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat, and millions more children are living in poverty.

The increasing violent conflicts, wars and economic crises have laid bare the dark sides of global capitalism, leading the majority of WSF participants to blame social problems on the power of global capital and the institutions that serve it.

Since the first edition of the WSF, which took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001, the annual event has dramatically expanded to include local, national and continental advocacy groups and activists.

The WSF has also proven to have grown in popularity with many editions bringing in over 100,000 participants.

The Forum, however, has so far failed to come up with alternative systems to globalisation.

It is not clear how this time the participants’ shared vision can move from rhetoric to action.

Nevertheless, the WSF has shown that there are people who create a loud and resounding voice in striving for a better world based on awareness-building and social mobilisation.

Source: Al Jazeera





Tunisia anti-terror march kicks off World Social Forum


Activists from around the globe honour victims of museum attack last week that left 21 people, mostly tourists, dead.

Ahmed El Amraoui | 24 Mar 2015 20:38 GMT |


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/tunisia-world-social-forum-bard-museum-attack-150324180814122.html




Demonstrators chanted 'Tunisia is free, terrorism out,' as they condemned the Bardo attack [Rabii Kalboussi/Al Jazeera]

Tunis, Tunisia - The World Social Forum has kicked off in the Tunisian capital with a march in solidarity with the victims of last week’s Bardo museum attack that left 21 people, mostly foreign tourists, dead.

Tuesday’s march was marred by lower-than-expected turnout due to heavy rains but several hundred activists, NGO workers, and members of civil society organisations joined in to take a stand against terrorism and in support of peaceful co-existence.

The march proceeded as scheduled amid heavy security arrangements. Demonstrators set off from Bab Saadoun Square at 3pm local time and walked to the Bardo museum, under the motto “People of the World against Terrorism.”

Chanting, "Tunisia is free, terrorism out," the participants carried anti-terrorism banners and decried the attack, which according to many of them sought to undermine the democratic and peaceful transition of Tunisia by creating a climate of fear among citizens.

“I wanted to attend the march despite knowing that the main slogan may increase risks," Sofia Laine from the Youth Research Network, Finland, told Al Jazeera.


How will the Bardo Museum attack affect Tunisia?
"By taking part in the march I showed that I won't let politics of fear and threat win. We have to occupy public spaces and support freedom and peace globally and locally. We embodied a global movement in solidarity with Tunisian people against all forms of oppressions," Laine added.

Last Wednesday, at least two Tunisian men opened fire on tourists as they got off buses at the Bardo. Security forces later shot dead the two attackers.

The museum held a ceremonial reopening on Tuesday, while the official reopening to the public was postponed to a later date.

Museum officials have said that no major archaeological treasures suffered damage and the museum needs only minimal repairs.

Tunisian officials announced that another march against terrorism will be staged in Tunis on March 29, which world leaders are invited to join.

The museum attack was the worst on the North African country since an al-Qaeda fighter detonated a truck bomb in front of a historic synagogue on the island of Djerba in 2002, killing 21, mostly German tourists.

Five-day forum

At least 70,000 delegates representing more than 4,000 grassroots movements and organisations from 128 countries are participating in the five-day forum, which serves as an annual counterweight to the Davos World Economic Forum, where top political leaders and business elites meet to discuss economic issues.

The event aims to provide a space for a mosaic of youth and labour unions, environmental and peace associations, as well as various communities and activists from across the globe to develop and put forward alternative ideas for a fairer society based on the principles of equality, reciprocity and solidarity.

Over 1,000 workshops will be held during the event, discussing a number of issues such as the fight against hunger, immigrant rights, labour rights in the global economy, gender equality, and climate change.

More than 200 cultural events will also take place in Tunis as part of the forum, including exhibitions, an alternative media fair, film screenings, street performances and concerts.

Source: Al Jazeera

______________________________

Jai Sen

jai.sen at cacim.net / jai at openword.in

www.cacim.net / http://www.openword.in

Now based in Ottawa, Canada (+1-613-282 2900), and New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS :

Jai Sen, ed, 2013 – The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other Worlds, Part I. Volume 4 Part I in the Challenging Empires series. New Delhi : OpenWord.  Available @ http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/

FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS  :

Jai Sen and Peter Waterman, eds, forthcoming (2015) – The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other Worlds, Part 2. Volume 4 Part II in the Challenging Empires series.  New Delhi : OpenWord

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