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Reflections on the FSM process

segunda-feira 16 de novembro de 2020, por Oded Grajew, Oded Grajew

Todas as versões desta matéria: [English] [Português do Brasil]

Facilitation of the Virtual Forum 2021

Twenty years ago, a relatively small group of people and organizations succeeded, thanks to an innovative methodology that was translated into a Charter of Principles, in making the launch of the WSF in Porto Alegre possible. This first edition had the participation of approximately 40,000 people and thousands of organizations. In 2002 we had the participation of 100 thousand people and in 2003, 150 thousand.
This innovative methodology started from the vision that the protagonism of social struggles is the organizations and that the role of the organizing group was to offer space for activities organized by the organizations and facilitate communication between them, aiming at building alliances, articulations, convergences and mobilizations to strengthen their struggles. And, above all, to engage in CONCRETE ACTIONS as encouraged by the Charter of Principles.
This methodology was effective because it took into account the diversity and autonomy of the movements, without hierarchizing or trying to direct. Everyone felt welcomed and respected. This methodology, this political culture, spread throughout the world and generated numerous thematic and regional forums and made it possible to create numerous networks, partnerships, initiatives, mobilizations and alliances. Each reader of this article certainly participated in or was aware of the initiatives that emerged from the WSF or the thematic and regional social forums.
We are facing the challenge of the January Virtual Forum. Although we have a technological challenge (although we already have known technologies for virtual events), the task of organization is much easier. As long as we maintain the principles of the methodology. We don’t have to pay or look for physical spaces. We don’t need to make possible rooms, equipment, infrastructure, translation for the activities requested and organized by the organizations. We do not need to take care of lodging, transportation and tickets. All these activities have always demanded a lot of work, most of the efforts.

Faced with this opportunity, a roadmap of facilitation could be:
1-Define guiding axes that can account for the diversity of themes. Due to the transversality of the initiatives, they all end up fitting in and taking over the activities according to their criteria.
2-To set up a calendar: for example, first day of opening and march, 3 days of self-organized activities and last day of convergence presentation and assemblies built by the organizations.
3-Call the organizations to plan their activities stimulating them to build convergences and from the diagnoses (state of the subject) and debates plan, propose and present CONCRETE ACTIONS as stimulated by our Charter of Principles. These actions should be placed on a platform for everyone’s knowledge, so that they can encourage adherence and
expand participation.

4-A from the information of the organizations set up and widely disseminate the agenda of the Forum with the activities, dates, times and forms of participation.

5-Construct a platform where organizations and convergences can put the actions and mobilizations planned and proposed to be fed and updated throughout the year. A Platform of Actions for Another Possible World. This would be an important result of the Forum.

Self-organization, the open space, allows us to account for the diversity and autonomy of movements and organizations. It greatly expands the possibilities. It facilitates the organization, expansion and exploitation of the possibilities of articulation, convergence and actions. Otherwise, it limits us and is like wanting to stick an elephant inside a soda bottle. Let’s take advantage of our accumulation of knowledge.

Humanity has existed for thousands of years and has given us enough examples to know what goes right and what goes wrong. It seems that, in general, we don’t learn. For example, the current resurgence of fascist, Nazi and authoritarian movements with significant support from the populations. For me, progress is incorporating what has worked and always trying to improve. Regression is disregarding the past and repeating the mistakes, what in the past no longer worked.
Let’s make a Virtual Forum that allows us to take advantage of experiences and knowledge and that points to a renewal that can make us progress.

Photo: Oded Grajew no FSM 2021. [André Carvalho/Sul21]