What are we really doing here?

26 January 2006
  At the World Social Forum Presentation yesterday, organizers of the Caracas, Mali, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Brazil Social Forums met in a panel discussion to talk about the direction that the World Social Forum should advocate.  While the talk did occasionally veer into substantive issues, the meat of the discussion boiled down to advocacy and whether it was the place of a forum that promotes open dialogue to advocate on behalf on certain political issues.  [Although it should be noted that there was a large poster that read "Bush iAsesino! (killer)" with a rather inflammatory picture of Bush sporting a Hitler style Mustache].
A highlight of the talk was Jacobo Torres de Leon (organizer of the Caracas WSF) assertion that the Forum could maintain its autonomy from government, despite the belief that Chavez was running the show.  He spoke of the importance of autonomy in maintaining a free discourse at the forum but felt the need to qualify that statement by saying that he personally advocated the Chavez government and that the forum could only happen in South America with the help of leaders like him.  While it is a valid assertion of one's personal beliefs, it seemed inappropriate to the procedural purpose of the panel discussion. The panel never fully resolved the issue, but it could be that the forum is what the participants make of it.  Formal goals and procedures are often the downfall of open discourse.

Trade deals, Brexit and disaster capitalism

If you're tired of Brexit, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Is the UK joining Trumpland? Does this explain Boris Johnson's kamikaze EU negotiating strategy? And could beating this deal begin a challenge to the iniquities of the global economy?

Join us for a free live discussion at 5pm UK time, 24 September

In conversation:

Nick Dearden Director of Global Justice Now and author of 'Trade Secrets: The Truth about the US Trade Deal and How We Can Stop It'

Caroline Molloy Editor of openDemocracyUK and ourNHS

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData