„We, members of the International Council of the WSF, gathered in Porto Alegre for the Social Forum of the Resistances, affirm our solidarity with the millions of people who answered in Washington and in more 600 cities of the world, the call of the women’s march against Trump and trumpism.
More than ever, it is fundamental to rise all over the world to defend our rights, to resist an ecocide neoliberal attack, to stop wars and to fight the rise of extremism.
We call to pursue these acts of resistance and go on the offensive by calling for global mobilizations for peace and social and climate justice.
Another world is possible, necessary and urgent”
Porto Alegre (Brazil), 21 January 2017
Towards an Struggling Movements Assembly – SMA
This text follows the report of the IC meetings of August 2016 in Montreal. It focusses on the proposal to create a working group on the establishment of a “Struggling Movements Assembly-SMA” within the WSF process. The initial proposed methodology (September 2016) planned to hold a consultation
with various stakeholders of the Social Forums as well as previous social movements assemblies BEFORE the January 2017 meeting of the IC. We were hoping to rapidly be able to propose an SMA process to respond to the growing problems of mobilizing the movements in a process essentially built around the concept of space, and to meet the increasing demand for setting up a dynamic that would aim to obtain more political structured outcomes, better able to support the common international action.
Unfortunately, it was not possible for facilitators to hold more than one meeting. However, it has been possible to define the following terms of reference for the establishment of the Struggling Movements Assembly.
SMA: a definition
The Struggling Movements Assembly has the ambition to create in the WSF process a space more directly linked to social resistances and movements in struggle.
It is a permanent assembly that identifies and lists the struggles in progress and the movements in struggle and gives them the floor. It guarantees them a place and a voice in the WSF process and in WSF events with the aim of promoting a pooling of knowledge, practices and experiences for collective appropriation.
It maps the struggles and mobilizations in progress, by themes and territories.
It contributes to the definition of global strategies for the movements starting from local struggles and resistance. Ultimatly, the SMA aims at the convergence of struggles through the coordination of objectives, strategies and actions.
From the Assembly of Social Movements to the Struggling Movements Assembly
Launched by a few large organizations involved in the WSF, the process of assembly of social movements has since suffered from various difficulties, including a certain discontinuity between the events of the Social Forum. Since Dakar, the assemblies have been „localized” (in the sense that they have been increasingly organized by the local organizers of the world social forums).
Consequently, there has been a form of „disconnection” from one forum to another, and gradually the Assembly has been replaced by „thematic convergence” processes where the final assembly has often become, rather
by definition , a collage, an assembly of the assemblies, but where the results will not be taken up in the subsequent Forum for an update on the actions and strategies undertaken since, and especially, to define together a possible follow-up.
To address this issue, the SMA aims to set up a new process that is permanent and allows the follow-up of strategies and actions, from one forum event to another. The mechanisms for this follow-up remain to be defined, but the initial facilitators of the SMA process consider that by initially and continuously
involving grassroots movements, the Assembly will be better able to support the definition and implementation of strategies at global level. In essence, this approach will enable the WSF process to be more committed to joint action and to respond to one of the most critical criticisms made at the WSF in recent years.
1. Define a consensus for the SMA
2. make a report of the initial work at the January 2017 IC meeting
3. To consult the said Struggling Movements (especially those who have been active in the Assemblies of the social movements) on an SMA project that would be launched during the next WSF. The consultation could focus on the expectations of the movements in relation to the project, the SMA’s own construction process and, above all, the prospect of a permanent SAM, with a process that would continue from Forum to Forum, with common perspectives, strategies, actions and political commitments.
4. Following the consultation, better define the construction process of the SMA;
5. Precise the project at the second IC of 2017;
6. Hold the first preparatory meetings (2018) and define the follow up and permanence mechanisms of the SMA;
7. Archive and make available work on the SAM on OpenFSM.net.
8. Organize a first major SMA in the next WSF.
The Basic idea is not so much and many Seminars, but plenaries to put Forward an Action plan for the next 6 months/1 year
If the Basic idea is accepted we Need a one-day preparatory meeting in Budapest on 4th or 5th March 2017.
Later, the idea is to stage a 2 days ASSEMBLY OF RESITANCES in Budapest. It would be great if an issue can be found uniting resistance in several CEE countries.
Next Skype chat: Tuesday 21st 17hCET.