• Peoples’ Forum and Demonstrations against the last G-20 in Nice

  • Von Chantal Delmas | 16 Nov 11
  • A New Threshold Crossed by the Movements

    Despite some real difficulties with the Nice local authorities over organising these events, the demonstrations covered some 10,000 people. There was a very colourful demonstration supported by over fifty organisations in France. The Forum of Peoples had about thirty seminars covering a range of issues: social, ecological, trade union, feminist, migration rights and democracy.

    Two general assemblies - a European and a worldwide one - enabled a sharing of analyses and working on convergences. The presence of trade unionists, important NGOs, the alter-globalist movement as well as new movements - the Indignant Ones, participants in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions - contributed to a great number of encounters. A Canadian activist expressed the following new aspiration, "Every movement creates its own field and asks the others to come into its field - we won't get anywhere this way. It is more than time to create a great common field." The Forum showed that, despite their great diversity, the various organisations and movements have been brought together in challenging the capitalist system and demanding democracy at the height of the crisis. In this context, it is noticeable that the "lobbyist attitude" of some NGOs towards the G-20 has tended to be replaced by a franker attitude of protest, in the spirit of "They are twenty, we are millions" and "The Peoples first, not finance" (the Coalition's slogan). The question of democracy, of power, was raised to a greater extent, and by forces that would be credible as bearers of a democratic alternative. It was around the issues of European space that transform! europe organised its workshop. The necessity for proposing an alternative to the present logic, to a capitalism that is destroying our lives, for a future for our planet by building a society based on solidarity seems broadly shared. There is a feeling that we are on a watershed between great dangers (the danger of toppling over into disaster) and of something better (a democratic revolution).

    Another important point is that while several political parties were not members but still supported the Coalition against the G20, they were able to organise two debates. This was as an extension of the Cochabamba Peoples' Summit, at which the alter-globalist movement, but also the progressive parties, fully participated. Despite the crisis of the political situation, the search for new relations with politics is also on the agenda. In short, this was a Peoples' Forum that bore witness to the movements' availability, in all their diversity, to create new and hopeful forms of cooperation.