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On the future of the World Social Forum

sábado 2 de janeiro de 2021, por Ciranda.net, Ciranda.net Ciranda.net Ciranda.net

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Since 2018, with the holding of the WSF in Salvador, Bahia - and especially after the IC meeting in January this year in Porto Alegre - we have witnessed a further heating of of the debates on the future of the World Social Forum. Some texts and opinions have circulated, all of them defending the need for the Forum to regain its power on the international stage.

For us, everyone are legitimate to think and propose alternatives for the common future of humanity. For this reason, we praise the initiatives that call for a dialogue on the necessary changes in the dynamics of the WSF in the face of an increasingly unequal, unsustainable and authoritarian world.

Despite this, we are concerned that, at times, this debate will fall into accusations and personal criticism. It is not a constructive path. Even more so when it is carried out by people who have a historical connection with the WSF processes.

Almost all the many formulas for organizing and carrying out the WSF have already been tested by practically all the thoughts, segments, networks and alliances that were or still are in the WSF. Those models helped refine the process, but none found the most suitable method. Neither managed to respond to all the existing dilemmas in an international, broad, diverse and radically democratic process.

We understand that difficulties do not detract from the WSF, on the contrary, they strengthen it.

For this reason, we insist on affirming that we see no contradiction in the WSF being a space for meeting, debate and articulation of actions and, at the same time, being an actor on the international stage.

For us, it has sought to fulfill that role throughout these 20 years.

There are countless networks and articulations that have emerged in the spaces of the Social Forum and countless proposals developed and implemented throughout these decades, many of them even contributing to public policies implemented by governments on various continents.

We understand that the WSF has already acted as a global actor, publishing statements, leading global actions, defending ideas and values, despite the controversies about that. It has been a dynamic process, multiplying in thematic, regional and national forums, social assemblies, women assemblies, and different convergences; a space of diversity, richness and breadth of social movements, as happened at the WSF 2018 in Salvador; and in the dialogues that marked the various 2020 expanded online meetings.

But the WSF can beES Sélectionnez et triez les thèmes du WSF Virtual 2021 par affinité
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Due to its history and legitimacy, it can play an important role in rearticulating the various forms of resistance. We believe that, for this, there must be changes in the atmosphere of the WSF. One of them is the need of expanding, in its process, the protagonism and incidence of those networks and movements that have led international anti-capitalist struggles, especially the mobilizations against climate change, for gender equality, for an anti-racism, anti-patriarchal, anti-colonial world, against austerity policies and the dismantling of social and economic protections for populations; in defense of democracy.

It is necessary to recognize the aging of certain forms of struggle and the novelties of new strategies. The WSF must seek to have the breadth and representativeness of global resistance movements.

Our diversity is also in the ways we think, organize and exercise power.

There are very different political cultures, some more centralizing and others more horizontal. Therefore, together with this empowerment, it is necessary to deepen a decision-making methodology that starts from the recognition and appreciation of diversity, that respects the right to divergence, that is based on the legitimacy of collective processes, respect and in solidarity ..

The WSF must build a non-hegemonist, profoundly democratic decision-making methodology. But a methodology, essentially, respects the divergences, without being banned by them. No to the dictatorships of the majority or minorities. We need to recognize that the debate on the necessary evolution of the WSF’s method of being and doing is the door for the construction of convergences in diversity.

For this reason, we, Brazilian organizations that integrate the IC-WSF, welcome the recent decision of the Council to formalize and open spaces for this debate on the future of the WSF and we are open to discuss and update the WSF methodology and its role in the global anti-capitalist struggle. We want this debate to be held in a climate of respect and cordiality by all parties. Make it a confrontation of ideas and not between people.

We are not dogmatic about methodologies. We just keep betting on the fight for the radicality of democracy. The WSF must broaden the democratic horizons in the relations between our social movements, taking a fundamental step for the construction of this other possible world defended more than 20 years ago and that today continues to be so urgent and necessary.

Brazil, December 28, 2020.