As the powerful collective energy continues to surge through Dakar, veterans of the World Social Forum (WSF) are taking a moment to examine the history, trajectory and future of the alternative global movement.
It is only the second time that the World Social Forum (WSF) takes place in Africa, the first one having been held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2007. Since the start of the WSF in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 10 years ago, the organisers have been building African participation.
Behind the headlines of mass social forums and violent protests, fighting oppression and changing the world requires sustained grassroots action, according to Kenyan social justice activist Onyango Oloo.
Zimbabwean activists will raise the issue of privatisation at the World Social Forum, taking place Feb 6-11 in Dakar, Senegal, and seek solidarity from other activists to resist a renewed government attempt at selling Zimbabwe’s state- owned enterprises.
Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Dakar on Sunday to mark the start of the annual World Social Forum. Activists carried colorful banners denouncing land grabs, restrictive immigration laws, agricultural subsidies in Europe and the U.S. and many other issues.
European non-governmental organisations combating neo-liberal globalisation find their position vindicated by the ongoing socio-economic and environmental crisis upsetting the world.
The world is in financial crisis thanks to the reckless behaviour of bankers, say campaigners, yet ordinary people are picking up the tab. Debt activists fear the recession will provide cover for a fresh round of toxic debt to countries in the South.
Is it more important to build links with African civil society groups or concentrate on existing networks in the South Asian region? That is the dilemma before Indian delegates heading for the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, and some who have opted out.
Neoliberalism and the attendant financial globalisation were a common enemy that unified and mobilised activists of the most diverse tendencies who founded, ten years ago in Porto Alegre in southern Brazil, the World Social Forum (WSF) as a space to meet, reflect and debate, under the slogan "Another World Is Possible".
It's the land of freedom, of bright lights and burgers, where daring entrepreneurs arrive from across the planet in search of fame and fortune. The United States of America - the world's melting pot - has been a symbol of hope for centuries, but behind this vision of wealth and wonder is a tale often untold.
"One of the things we will be taking to Dakar," says Onyango Oloo, "is [knowledge of] how not to organise a World Social Forum."
Ecuadorean immigrants have been put in an even more vulnerable position by the lingering economic crisis in the industrialised world, especially in Spain and the United States, the main destinations for migrants from Latin America.
Education in Palestinian areas and the longing for a homeland were given a major boost over the weekend through the World Education Forum (WEF). The four-day education conference Oct. 28-31 was held in cities across the West Bank and in Gaza, as well as Lebanon.
The focus on people's movements in Palestine continues to gain momentum with growing non-violent demonstrations in Gaza, the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, and with a Palestine-wide call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
"What lies ahead in Colombia is an increase in the number of refugees and displaced persons, while in Guatemala and Mexico people are going to continue leaving their countries in difficult conditions in which they face dangers to their lives," said Nelsy Lizarazu, one of the spokespersons for the Fourth World Social Forum on Migration.