Debat within the WSF: The establishment of the World Assembly of Resistances
terça-feira 14 de março de 2017, por ,
This document to be submitted to a broad international consultation with the movements within and outside the Forum process
At the CI held after the WSF in Montreal, a committee was created to work on the establishment of a Movement Assembly that would offer continuity between the world assemblies and more connection between all these national, regional or thematic assemblies that are already organized around social forum events. The ultimate goal is to ensure a better involvement of the movements within a renewed WSF which, by the Assembly, will further support movements in the definition and implementation of common strategies at the global level, from forum to forum.
This document brings together all the proposals discussed at the Porto Alegre 2017 IC concerning the Assembly process. It aims at explaining the process, the proposed structure of the local assemblies and the world assembly, the objectives, the expected results, the means, the dates of possible first assemblies, and the other opportunities to benefit from the implementation process.
This document should now be submitted to a broad international consultation with the movements within and outside the Forum process in order to validate and clarify their interests for a permanent Assembly.
The name of the Assembly continued to be debated. Inspired by the process of the Forum of Resistances this year in Brazil, I proposed to use the name "World Assembly of Resistances"
Definition of the World Assembly of Resistances
The aim of the World Assembly of Resistances is to create an area within the WFT process that is more directly linked to social resistances and movements in action.
It is a permanent assembly which 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 events with the aim of promoting a pooling of knowledge, best 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 movements starting from local struggles and resistance. In the end, the World Assembly if Resistances aims at the convergence of struggles through the coordination of objectives, strategies and actions.
Participation of movements and structure:
To ensure the continuity of the process, we propose to build a structure that allows information sharing and follow-up. But the movements are numerous and diverse. They are made of citizens, trade unions, indigenous peoples, feminists, ecologists, etc. They are different in their structures and in their internal functioning. Some are formal, some are not. Their approaches and actions are multiple. They are sectoral or global, bearers of a long history or they are new, both in their approaches and their visions of the world. This incredible diversity raises its share of questions and challenges when considering the structure and mechanisms of an Assembly that can hope to achieve results at national and global levels. This diversity is also an extraordinary wealth, because of course we will be able to invest in already existing national, regional or thematic networks.
At the international level, this structure must be new and open. It must develop in parallel with the IC and aim both to integrate the movements and to leave them the leadership of the process..
Before being logistic (for example, to organize an World Assembly within the WSF), the structure of the process must be political.
Experience shows that the only structure that provides the best balance between sectors and regions would be a two-dimensional structure composed of thematic global assemblies (climate, labor, rights, racism, equality, etc.) and National or Regional Assemblies (North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, etc.). This same two-dimensional structure was put in place for the Peoples’ Social Forum (Ottawa 2014) and allowed the participation of movements with very different structures and operations.
The World Assembly of Resistance is held within the framework of the WSF. It is the meeting of all the movements already involved in a local, regional or thematic assembly.
To ensure follow-up between the Assemblies, a committee of the "representatives" of these assemblies is created with the following three mandates:
Share information to all dimensions of the structure;
Ensure the participation of representatives of all existing assemblies in the meetings;
Propose "consensus" which will have to be validated - also by consensus - in the various assemblies.
There is no established direction in decision making. There is no, for example, “decision” that would be systematically coming from below - or from above – to be approved at other levels. Consensus comes from everywhere and must be adopted everywhere.
The committee of representatives can set up working committees - within which movements will be invited to get involved.
1. Fall 2016: Define a first proposal for the Assembly;
2. January 2017: Report at the Porto Alegre CI;
3. February to April 2017: Consult with the Movements (especially those active in Social Movements Assemblies) on the various elements of the World Assembly project. The consultation could focus on the expectations of the movements in relation to the project, the process and the proposed structure, but above all on the prospect of a permanent Assembly process that would continue from one Forum to the next with commun strategies, actions and political commitments.
4. June 2017: Consultation Report to the Second IC of 2017;
5. Fall 2017 and 2018: National, Regional and Thematic Assemblies held
6. 2018: Organization of a first World Assembly in the next WSF.
Some more precise dates an opportunities:
A Social Forum is expected in Detroit in the United States from 8 to 11 June. An American resistance assembly could be organized there;
In September, Montreal could hold an Assembly Against Racism and Living Together;
The African Social Forum is also discussing an African Assembly proposal ;
— An assembly could be organized within the framework of the Social Forum against Nuclear in November 2017.
An assembly could be organized within the framework of the Internet Social Forum (dates and place to be confirmed)
An assembly could be organized within the framework of the Fair Trade Social Forum (dates and location to be confirmed)