[Marxism] Chavez: "transform the WSF into a tool of struggle"

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 30 20:45:35 MST 2006

More on what I posted yesterday under subject line "gotta love
this guy."
A refreshing turn for the WSF away from its NGO-ish, "networking"
festival roots.
  ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
World Social Forum: Series of Global Protests to Begin in March 
by Humberto Marquez
  Published on Monday, January 30, 2006 by Inter Press Service 
Distributed by Common Dreams
(full at http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0130-06.htm)
CARACAS- A day of international protests against the
occupation of Iraq, on Mar. 18, will mark the start of
a series of demonstrations and mobilisations organised
at the sixth World Social Forum, which ended Sunday in
  A conference against the U.S. occupation of Iraq will
be held Mar. 24-27 in Cairo, Egypt...
  Some 2,200 civil society organisations organised nearly
1,800 seminars, panels, workshops and other activities
during the five-day WSF, which served as a
meeting-place for sharing ideas and experiences, but
also for organising networks to undertake concrete
campaigns, as advocated by the Assembly of Social
  Speaking before thousands of participants at the Forum
on Friday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he
hoped the WSF did not turn into merely a "revolutionary
tourism" activity, and called for it to come up with
programmes for concrete action against "political
imperialism" and neoliberal, free-market economic
  ....The Assembly of Social Movements proclaimed that
resources like water, land and energy, as well as
biodiversity, belong to the people and are public
goods, while it condemned the privatisation of
communications, health care and education.
  The Assembly, which is among the participating groups
and networks at the WSF that wants to see the annual
global civil society gathering take on a more political
focus and move in the direction of concrete action,
also called for protests to be held against the summit
of the Group of Eight (G8) most powerful countries in
St. Petersburg, Russia in July and against
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank
policies during their annual assembly in September.
  In a final statement issued in Caracas, the Assembly
stated that Latin America is seeing an "explosion of
movements against free trade, militarisation and
privatisation, and in defence of natural resources and
food sovereignty."
  These movements "have permitted political alternatives
born in the heat of popular struggles to reach
government," as in the case of Bolivia, where Evo
Morales of the Movement Towards Socialism took office
this month as the country's first indigenous president.
  Nevertheless, "given the access to government that is
being gained by political alternatives linked to
popular struggles, social movements should maintain
political and programmatic autonomy," added the
  A cross-cutting theme in almost all of the WSF
discussions was the debate over the role that should be
played by the annual civil society meet, specifically,
whether it should serve primarily as a meeting space,
or rather as a "catapult" for concrete actions. The
latter stance was advocated by Chavez, who urged
participants to transform the WSF into a tool of

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