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Announcement :: Globalization & Capitalism

Americas Social Forum

July 24, 2004 is the first Social Forum of the Americas meeting in Quito, Ecuador. This promises to be an amazing historical event, with social movement, political, and human rights organizations meeting from all of Latin America. With referendums in Boliva and Venezuela coming up in late July, things are very hot in Latin America. Three million refugees fleeing Plan Columbia has created a human rights catastrophe on par with the Sudan.
THE AMERICAS SOCIAL FORUM

The Americas Social Forum(ASF) is part of the World Social Forum (WSF) process initiated in 2001 and has become the largest space for the articulation of social initiatives, the development of critical thinking, and the construction of alternatives to the neoliberal order, under the common belief that ā€œAnother World is Possibleā€?.

Brief summary of the process:

The WSF was initially proposed as a counterpart to the World Economic Forum, which since 1971 has been bringing together the elite of neo-liberal thinkers in Davos (Switzerland). Since the second meeting in Porto Alegre (2002), it has been shown that this goal has been achieved, as the WSF is now an obligatory reference when alluding to Davos. And, more importantly, within this counterpart the character of the WSF as a space and process of solidarity has been key. This is due to those who are shaping themselves as the subjects of struggles, movements, associations, and organizations; in actions small or large, local or national, regional or global. It is a type of melting pot of the diversity of networks, movements, nations, and citizens who interact and project their visions of change at a global level.

The great force of the WSF revolves around that which at the same time makes it unique: that it is an initiative of the emerging planetary civil society that aims to value the practices of civic struggle and participation in different societies, and to give a global dimension to the proposals that are born of them. In this sense, it constitutes a great movement of ideas that feeds off the diversity of human possibilities, in contrast with uni-linear dominant thinking.

The WSF gathered for the third year in a row in the Brazilian city Porto Alegre in January of 2003, affirming itself as a meeting space for the deepening of reflective thinking, the democratic debate of ideas, the formulation of proposals, the free exchange of experiences, and the interlinking for effective action, in which entities and movements of civil society that oppose neo-liberalism and the dominion of the world by capital or by any form of imperialism come together, and are committed to the construction of a planetary society centered on the human person.

The WSF sees itself as a permanent process of searching out and building alternatives, and does not reduce itself to the events in which it is based. It is a process with a global character, and all the meetings that take place within its framework have an international dimension. As such, the world, continental, regional and thematic forums that have been organized since 2001 nourish this larger process.

It was with this perspective that it was agreed that the first Social Forum of the Americas would take place in Quito, Ecuador, from July 25 to 30, 2004. This decision implies a symbolic recognition: Ecuador is a country where the presence of the indigenous movement, which has to its name centuries of resistance and is today one of the most organized on the continent. Since 2001, the social organizations and citizens committed to these causes have given to the Ecuadorian Chapter of the WSF, the agency responsible for the logistic organization of the SFA 2004. It consists of a pluralistic and diverse grouping, incorporating different sectors of the social movement: indigenous peoples, peasants, women, union workers, youth, lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT), environmentalists, human rights workers, churches, mass communications, and centers of study, amongst others.
 
 


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