• Axes for European Social Forum defined in Diyarbakir and Paris

  • By João Romão | 01 Dec 09 | Posted under: Social Forums
  • 13 axes of discussion were defined for the European Social Forum - 2010 that will be held in Istanbul (1 to 4 of July), after the meeting of a working group last saturday (November, 21), in Paris, and a previous discussion in the European Preparatory Assembly (EPA) in Diyarbakir (September, 25 and 26). The ESF will be settled in the center of Istanbul and the calendar to prepare this big Forum is defined.

    An "Assembly of the Assemblies" in the last day of the ESF, including topics discussed in the meetings of the previous days and inspired by the model created in the last World Social Forum (Belém – 2009), will be the most important novelty in the program of the European Social Forum, replacing the "Assembly of Social Movements". Another innovation inspired by the activities from Belém will be the initiative "Istanbul Expanded", that will allow activists and organizations that can not go to Istanbul to organize events using video-projection and internet.

    Taskisla Campus of the Istanbul Technical University, 5 minutes away from Taksim Square (the most crowded area of the city), will be the main meeting place. All the places for the events are very close to each other (few minutes walking) and various movie theaters and cultural centers on Istiklal Street (linked to Taksim Square) will be used for these events. Yeni Melek Concert Hall will be the biggest place, with capacity for 2.000 persons. The European Social Forum will occupy the center of Istanbul, with a very strong visibility for the local population.

    77 Turkish organizations are supporting the organization of the European Social Forum. Their appeal for participation states that "We struggled together against the privatization of public services, occupations in the Middle East, deadlock in Kurdish problem, deaths of the workers in dockyards, commercialization of water, violence against women, censor to media, unidentified murders, isolation in prison, urban transformation, environmental disasters and violation of trade unions and labor rights. We developed a common struggle and discussion culture. We will host the social movements of Europe and organizations that are in favor of labor, democracy and freedom in Istanbul in 2010. We believe that the European Social Forum in Istanbul is an important opportunity for the social movements which are active in Turkey in to meet with their corresponding organizations at the international level and to share their experiences".

    The proposals for seminars can be presented from December, 15 to March, 15. Each organization can present up to 3 proposals, that will be merged, to avoid repetitions of similar seminars, in the last European Preparatory Assembly before the ESF, to be held in May (14 to 16). This Assembly will define the final program for the ESF in Istanbul. Before that, another EPA will define the logistics and organizational aspects of the Forum, in Berlin (January, 29 and 30).

    The axes for the European Social Forum that were approved last saturday in the working group meeting in Paris were based on an exhaustive previous discussion in the European Preparatory Assembly held in September, in Diyarbakir, in the days before the Mesopotamian Social Forum. These axes (and subtitles) are:

    1 - Economic and social crises: Resistance and alternatives,

    • Crisis or failure of capitalism?
    • Specificities and similarities of the crisis in CEE
    • Solidarity versus competition
    • Labour struggles against dismissals, closures and against precarity
    • Is a fair international financial system possible?
    • How to link struggles for rights with alternatives?

     

    2 - Social Rights for Social Europe

    • Common goods and public services for all
    • A new welfare model against the ongoing destruction
    • Housing rights and resistance against forced evictions
    • Basic income and minimum wage
    • Labour and trade union rights

     

    3 - What kind of democracy? Promoting civil and political liberties

    • Against racist securitarian policies and anti-terror laws
    • Disappearances in custody and jail, isolation, prisons
    • The rise of the far right and authoritarian policies
    • Which EU construction? Who decides?
    • Democracy and civil rights in CEE and Russia

     

    4 - In defence of the rights of oppressed nations and minorities

     

    • A peaceful, just and democratic solution to the Kurdish question
    • Access to water and safe energy for all
    • Against unsustainable production, distribution and consumption

     

    5 - Against fortress Europe: -Full rights for Migrants and refugees

    • Equal social and political rights
    • Right to free movement of people

     

    6 - Equality versus discrimination. Feminist alternatives facing the global crisis.

    • Opposing patriarchal system 
    • Struggles against violence on women 
    • Sexual diversity, civil rights for LGBTT

     

    7 - Save the planet: Building a sustainable world

    • Overcoming the ecological crisis: How to link struggles for a sustainable environment and social justice

     

    8 - Peace versus war, militarism, occupations

    • The struggle to stop occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere
    • Militarist policies in Europe
    • Disarmament is necessary, how can we achieve it?
    • Stop nuclear armament, military bases and missile shield projects
    • Responsibility of EU in the implementation of international law to achieve justice and peace in Middle East
    • Struggles of European movements for a just and peaceful solution for Palestine

     

    9 - Youth - the right to education, work and a future

     

    10 - Democratising knowledge, education and culture; creating alternatives

    • Privatization and commodification of Education: The Lizbon Strategy
    • Which content and which methodologies for which goals
    • Life-long learning, vocational learning -Culture, science and democracy
    • For a democratic construction of Europe based on the respect of its diversity and the self governance and participation of the populations at all levels

     

    11 - Mass media and power relations: Defending the freedom of expression and democratising information

    • Against censorship

     

    12 - Europe and the world: Cooperation and development based on solidarity versus domination and neo-colonialism

    • Free trade as a means of domination 
    • For a democratic international framework

     

    13 - The state and future of global justice movement

     


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