• European Social Forum on its way to Istanbul

  • João Romão | 08 Jul 09 | Posted under: Social Forums
  • The EPA was held in Vienna from 19 to 21 June. More than 70 organizations from Turkey are involved in the organization of the next European Social Forum (ESF), to be held in Istanbul, in June 2010. This open and dynamic process was presented and discussed in the last European Preparatory Assembly (EPA), in Vienna, and its participants showed a strong motivation to organize an "historic" edition of the ESF in Turkey.

     

    A first structure of axis for the next ESF was defined at this EPA:

    Global economic crisis and resistance, Social Europe, and social cities (welfare, public services, resistance against forced evictions, for housing rights), a democratic and rights-based Europe (against racist and “securitarian” policies, anti- terror laws, torture, disappearances in custody and jail, isolation, prisons, the rise of the far right. For migrant, refugee and human rights), oppressed people (Kurdish, Armenian, Palestinian, Tamil, Basque.... questions), discrimination and equality (against male domination and homophobia, for gender and equality), a sustainable world (agriculture, water, food sovereignty, energy, environmental and climate change), War and peace (against war, militarism and occupation), youth (right to education, work and future), culture, arts, informatics and mass media (democratising knowledge, creating alternatives, against neoliberal “Capital of Culture” projects) and social movements (the state and future of global justice movement).

     

    This first approach to the program will be developed by an "open European program and structure” working group that will prepare concrete proposals for the next EPA. This group will meet on September, in Istanbul or Diyarbakir, in Turkey, and the next EPA will be held in Diyarbakir, from 25th to 27th of September, just before the Mesopotamian Social Forum (from 28th of September till the 1st of , in Diyarbakir). The last EPA before the next ESF (the 5th) will be in Germany, in February 2010.

     

    The deepness of the contemporary crisis of the capitalist system and the answers and alternatives to be proposed by the social movements were also discussed in this EPA and will have an important place in the next ESF. Before its conclusion, the EPA approved a declaration, which states that "besides the financial and economic crises, the climate crisis, including the energy crisis, is the other dimension of the global crisis we face. We participants of the EPA in Vienna, recognize the importance and the challenge of social movements, trade unions and NGOs to build the links between the ecological and the social crises as they are intrinsically linked with each other".

     

    The recent arrestment of 30 unionists in Turkey was also strongly criticized at this EPA, with a declaration about that issue: "The trade unions, networks and organizations, gathered in Vienna for ESF-EPA on June 21st 2009, want to protest against arrest of 30 unionists from KESK-confederation and Egitim-Sen, and demand their immediate liberation, on behalf of Trade unions’ rights and the right of expression and of association".

     

    This EPA also called for the mobilization against the G8 meeting (Italy, June) and the next WTO meeting, and for the participation in the Klimaforum (Denmark, from 7th to 20th December 2009). These are important issues in the global resistance against capitalism where the social movements must show its resistance and alternatives.


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