Millions of women and men, organizations, networks, movements, trade unions from all parts of the world the January 26th will act together all around the globe to show that another world is possible

On January 22, 2008 at least seven global press conferences will announce details of the 2008 decentralized World Social Forum Global Day of Mobilization and Action. Millions of people all over the world will march, speak, celebrate, and dialogue in villages, rural zones, and urban centers. They will mobilize on the date of the 26th of January to coincide the Global Day of Mobilization and Action with the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland to confront this important neo-liberal gathering of the elites.

In these same days the "old" world, represented by the World Economic Forum complete with its economists, experts, and ideologies that produce violence, exploitation, exclusion, poverty, hunger and ecological disaster and deprive people of human rights, will meet in Davos as usual. In contrast, the people's movement of movements will raise their collective voices and take action all around the globe for the World Social Forum 2008.  

The World Social Forum is an open space where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations come together to lift up issues, debate ideas democratically, formulate proposals, share experiences, and network for effective action. These movements are opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital and all forms of imperialism. Since the first worldwide encounter in 2001, the World Social Forum has become a permanent global process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies.

World Social Forums have taken place at the end of January at different sites throughout the world each year for the past seven years, and their spirit will continue to be reflected in the activities planned at those same sites and worldwide in 2008.

On January 22nd, at least nine press conferences will take place in:

– Atlanta, USA

– Zurich, Switzerland

– Mumbai, India

– Rome, Italy

– Brussels, Belgium

– Sao Paulo, Brazil

– Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

– Erbil, Iraq (to be confirmed)

– Seoul, Korea

The press conferences will highlight actions happening in each country as well as stories from the front lines of people's struggles.

Millions of people, workers, organizations, networks, and movements around the world are struggling, against neo-liberalism, war, colonialism, racism, and patriarchy with rich and varied proposals of real-life alternatives.They represent all ages, peoples, cultures, and beliefs united by the strong conviction that ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE! 

 

The website www.wsf2008.net <http://www.wsf2008.net> is on line. From now until January 26th, the Global Day of Action, it will be the main communication tool for organizing actions as well as the main source of information about the World Social Forum 2008.

World Social Forum 2008

Snapshots of current mobilizations towards January 26 2008.

 

In AUSTRIA:

– There will be a Carnival of Solidarity in Vienna and a conference on the reform treaty in Linz, a conference in ROMANIA, and a meeting in CHEZCH REPUBLIC.

In BELGIUM:

– The Belgian Social Forum is organizing a guided tour of "a different Brussels", to invite people to visit Brussels while meeting its movements and associations. Between January 21st and 25th 2008, local activities willbe held in some cities, like debates, public events and workshops. On Saturday, January 26th, a common action day will be organized in Brussels.On this date, a big "alternative visit to Brussels" will begin at 12 p.m.(GMT +1), with stops at 15 typical places in the city. Several guides will accompany the visitors during the walking. Between 5 and 6 p.m. (GMT +1), the idea is to have an interactive action, with direct contact with people that organize actions in other countries of the world, like, for instance, a giant videoconference.

In BRAZIL:

– Many events are happening, from a large carnival parade in Belem to a large concert on the beach in Rio, alternating famous performers with performers from the favelas. Actions are known to take place so far also in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Curitiba, Natal, Belo Horizonte and Pelotas.

 

In CANADA:

– Organizations in Quebec are organizing a week in which all the events will be symbolically linked by the image of snow and fire, under the idea of "Laneige brule".

In CATALUNYA:

– Civil society organizations will organize the first Fòrum Social Català (FSCat) on 25-27 Jan (press dossier available on www.forumsocialcatala.cat) which has already been announced through an action on 28 Dec (people on the streets of Barcelona carrying banners with phrases showing how "naive" is our political and economic establishment… like "it's not pollution that threatens the environment, but impurity of water and air" by Bush, or "what is good for multinational corporations, is good for the country" by World Bank). On the 26th, in the Hall of Barcelona University, we will project on a big screen activities being done on the Global Day of Action, and establish direct connection with movements all over the world.

In COLOMBIA:

– The WSF local committee is focusing the activities on the struggle against poverty and exclusion. There will be a large concert in the Bolivar Square in Bogota.

In CONGO:

– The journey will coincide with several local social forums, one of them in Kinshasa. Three other provinces have also expressed that they will carry through some activities.

In FINLAND:

– In Finland, we are planning on having a WSF speakers corner downtown Helsinki from Monday 21 January – Friday 25 January 2008. On Saturday 26 January 2008 the idea is to give an as large as possible visibility to the WSF process /our visions for another world in the form of an open space for any organisations to carry out own actions, followed by a downtown Helsinki rally with candles/torches.

In FRANCE:

– Large mobilization in Paris and other smaller initiatives in other towns, specially about migration and the war on Iraq.

In INDIA:

– Women's groups are planning a conference and a march.

– In Maharashtra there will be a protest by indebted farmers and their supporters.

– In Mumbai a float parade is planned. Delegates also reported that they would try and organize a response to the global call in west Bengal and UP.

In INDONESIA:

– Farmer groups are responding to the call from Via Campesina, an international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers.

In IRAQ:

– The Hiwar (means "dialogue" in Kurdish) Centre in Erbil is coordinating activities that will take place in Erbil, Dohuk, Suleymania and other towns of the Iraqi Kurdistan. In Erbil there will be a panel between local politicians and activists, islamists, trade unions, NGOs and the local civil society on the meaning of the WSF as an open political space. The Hiwar Centre will also produce material in Arabic on the WSF that will be posted on websites of Iraqi networks for Human Rights and Nonviolence. The Iraqi Nonviolent Movement LAONF expressed interest in organizing decentralized actions in some central and southern towns of Iraq.

In ISRAEL:

– The Alternative Information Centre is interested in organizing an event against the occupation of Palestinian territories, or at least spreading information in Israel on what is going on in Palestine on that day. 

 

In ITALY:

– Several events will take place all regions in around issues of peace, disarmament, racism, xenophobia and solidarity economy. Symbolic actions will take place around military basis and barraks. Arci Turin and Arci Terni, for instance, are organizing in Turin a concert in memory of the dead workers of ThyssenKrupp and a congress in Collegno (Turin) about the experience of other workers killed by cancer in a colour factory. The nonviolent activist of Rete Lilliput will do several decentralized pacifist actions. In Rome the Città dell'Altraeconomia, the first "town in the town" of fair trade, organic and social economy will host an event organized Fair Cooperative, Liberomondo, Reorient and other solidary economy linked to similar initiatives done by Thanapara Project (Thanapara Village, Bangladesh), Asha Handicrafts (Mumbai, India), Rais network (Guatemala), Kwanza (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) and Korogocho (Nairobi, Kenya). In Florence a party will celebrate the experience of European Social Forum 2002 hosted by this city, that introduced regional Forums in WSF process.

– This email group has been created for making easier a common thought: we could imagine to organize different and small events coordinated (as a seminar, a public debate, or a small exhibition, or a prayer meeting) having the same keyword and a common idea.

We think that six different initiatives coordinated could be an important message for our fair trade movement: we have to act together if we want to change our future.

Within few days we'll send you more informations about the initiative in Rome, have you any new idea about the eventual your initiatives in your country?

Remember to register your organization end your event on the WSF website too: www.wsf2008.net  (you can find some informations on www.faircoop.it/wsf2008.htm )

 

In JAPAN:

– To protest the coming G 8 meeting to be held in Hokaido, a campaign starts in the end of December and will continue through January 26th. Trade unions, non-governmental organizations and a wide variety of social movements will come together to focus on issues including labor rights, caste, migration, peace, and human rights.

 

In LEBANON:

– Beirut International Resistance Social Forum will take place from 26 JANUARY /02 FEBRUARY /2008. 

 

In MAURITANIA:

– The Maghreb Social Forum will take place in Mauritania and the African Council is organizing support for widespread initiatives connected to the Global Day of Action.

In MEXICO:

– Large events will coincide with the summit of the heads of state of the Latin American countries, such as the Mexico Social Forum and the Corn March that will be part of the Global Day of Action.

 

In PAKISTAN:

 

– Pakistan Social Forum is planning for the year 2007-08: events, messages and mobilization (WSF "Action Week" on 19-26th January 2008).

In PALESTINE:

– The National Committee for the Commemoration of the Nakba, and the Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, in collaboration with al-Mubadara (Palestinian National Initiative), are preparing actions along the Wall and a massive popular march to demand an end to the Nakba in Palestine, and an end to war on people of Middle East. Another Voice Campaign will organize actions to ask for international solidarity for Gaza, and are planning an event in Ramallah to denounce all deaths of Palestinians in Gaza as a result of the siege.

 

In the PHILIPPINES:

 

– Different organizations have come together for a week of action in which a "peoples camp' will be set up from January 23-25 where various activities (workshops, forums, film showing, trade fair, concerts) will be held.

In PORTUGAL:

 

– Preparatory meetings are taking place at the P. Carlos Alberto nº 128 A, no Porto.(http://pimentanegra.blogspot.com/2007/12/reunio-preparatria-para-o-dia-de-aco.html ).

In SOUTH KOREA:

 

– There will be a week of action involving various social movements from the 21st to 25th. Each day there will be focused on one major theme.

In SPAIN:

– Andalucia: the Foro Social de Sevilla (España) will organize a meeting of social movements on 23-26 Jan in Sevilla. The january 26 several organizations of Andalucía, coordinated in the Foro Social de Sevilla, Foro Social de Granada, Foro Social de Jaen y Córdoba Solidaria, will organize a march in Córdoba. Contacts: Miguel Sanz Alcántara, Foro Social de Sevilla, [email protected]

 

Catalunya, civil society organizations will organize the first Fòrum Social Català (FSCat) on 25-27 Jan (press dossier available on www.forumsocialcatala.cat) which has already been announced through an action on 28 Dec (people on the streets of Barcelona carrying banners with phrases showing how "naive" is our political and economic establishment…like "it's not pollution that threatens the environment, but impurity of water and air" by Bush, or "what is good for multinational corporations, is good for the country" by World Bank). On the 26th, in the Hall of Barcelona University, we willthey'll project on a big screen activities being done on the Global Day of Action, and establish direct connection with movements all over the world. They'll sent to the communication commission our call for press conferences on the 22nd, and they'll take a decision on the 9th in the preparatory assembly.

– Canarias: se ha hecho un llamamiento a la participación en el Enero 26, yavanza la preparación de actividades en las islas en el marco del Día de Acción Global. Contacto: Koldobi Velasco Vázquez, grupo de enlace y comunicación del foro en las islas, Gran Canaria, [email protected]

 

In SWITZERLAND:

– "The Other Davos" a counter- World Economic Forum conference occurs every year during the Davos Symposium.

– The Genevoise Federation of Cooperation will organize from Jan 24 to 26 the second Solidarity Crusade to the Meyrin Forum.

 

In THAILAND:

– Actions are in the planning stage.

In the USA:

– A major action in Atlanta, the Poor People's Caravan and Movement Assembly, will bring together thousands of voices demanding change.

 – Grassroots Global Justice Alliance has called on all the member groups to do actions across the country.

 

– There will be actions at the border of Mexico and the US against the fence

the US has plans to build along the border. Those active against the fence

have named it the "wall of death".

– In New Orleans, actions will demand the Right to Return, and solidarity actions will take place in different states for Gulf Coast/Katrina Survivors and local housing struggles.

– And the AFSC, Jobs with Justice, AFL-CIO are planning various actions with their members.

 

– RUSSIA, SIBERIA, AFGHANISTAN, and perhaps UZBEKISTAN will be on board as well.

 

OTHER INITIATIVES:

– AMARC, World Association of Community Radio stations, will cover the initiatives trying to connect them online

–  CARITAS INTERNATIONAL has issued a call to all its members to participate.

– HABITAT INTERNATIONAL COALITION: Campaign Act Together – Housing for All! Various international networks that develop and organize campaigns and events for housing and land rights are taking part of this action. It will last four months: from October 1st 2007, International Housing and Land Rights Day and/or the celebration of the Habitat Day, until January 26 2008, with the global day of mobilization and action within the WSF process. The world campaign is the result of a joint initiative from the networks Habitat International Coallition (HIC), International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI) and Forum of Local Authorities, consolidated at the WSF 2007 in Nairobi.

– HEMISPHERIC SOCIAL ALLIANCE is planning the following: as the Bolivian crisis is getting deeper, the HSA proposes at the national level, but also in Bolivia, to organize solidarity activities on Jan 26 around the Bolivian situation.

– IFAT, International Fair Trade Association has communicate to their members the event trying to connect local producers and initiatives with global day of action.

– INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNIONS CONFEDERATION (ITUC) will issue its own call on

decent work.

– IPS will distribute WSF 2008 Global Day of Action' stories on TerraViva and the IPS wire

– PEOPLE'S HEALTH MOVEMENT: The People's Health Movement (PHM), whose Global Secretariat is in Egypt is strongest in the Arab countries, Iran, Africa and Asia, but have members also in Latin America, Europe, Australia and US/Canada. Member organizations/movements from around the world are being called on to join the Global Day of Action, with a focus on health and neoliberalism. There will be an event in Egypt, and they will submit others to the website and let us know as other events are developed. Also, Doctors for Global Health, a part of PHM global and US will be having a meeting and event in New York that week.

 

– SOCIAL MOVEMENTS NETWORK has also issued a call to mobilize.

 

– TERRE DES HOMMES – INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION: For a mobilisation on Child Rights. Terre des Hommes – International Federation reiterate its support to the Mobilisation Day 26 Jannuary 2008 by inviting all others associations, social movements, NGOs dealing with child rights issues to create a network so that the WSF Mobilisation Day becomes also a mobilisation for the Rights of the Child. As international network, Terre des Hommes will promote local initiatives with others actors in favor of child rights aiming at supporting a successful Mobilisation Day and will invite each of those local network initiatives to use WSF website to give visibility to the Mobilisation Day.

 

– VIA CAMPESINA calls for mobilisation throughout the world against multinational corporations. Via Campesina has member organizations in 56 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

 

– WORLD MARCH OF WOMEN: The WMW has sent an appeal for the different countries to participate and there are already 17 countries where some initiative will be organized. WMW will address the specific corporate power and is looking forward to build alliances around these issues. There is a blog that will be used to mobilize the women. Blog on J26:

http://www.wmw-action26january.blogspot.com/