The World Social Forum: Past Achievements, Present Dilemmas, and Future Hopes is a community forum on the WSF, global coalition movements, and local activisms. The event begins with a keynote address by the leading world-systems and anti-systemic movements scholar, Immanuel Wallerstein, on the World Social Forum in historical perspective, followed by a dozen respondents from the Bay Area representing a range of social justice movements who will speak to questions of local and transnational challenges and possibilities for organizing global coalition networks. Respondents include Walter Turner, Global Exchange: tammy ko Robinson, San Francisco Art Institute; Annie Fukushima, Women for Genuine Security; Andrej Grubacic, Global Balkans and Zmagazine; Ramón Grosfoguel, UC-Berkeley; Iain Boal, Retort Collective; Evelyne Jouanno, Emergency Biennale of Chechnya; Marina Sitrin, New College of California; and Martha Wallner, Independent Media Activist. Following the respondents, the conversation will open up to the whole room. In addition to being a discussion on the role of the WSF and alter-globalization movements, the gathering serves as a first encounter among individuals interested in forming a Bay Area Social Forum.
The World Social Forum (WSF) is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world 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 annually for the past seven years, always coinciding with the World Economic Forum in Davos, against which it stands as a protest and an alternative. In 2008, the World Social Forum will consist of decentralized meetings around the world. Millions of people all over the world will march, speak, celebrate, and dialogue in a week of mobilization and a Global Day of Action on January 26th that will testify that the other possible world is already underway and being built all over the globe.
Attached is a copy of a speech by Annie Fukushima during the said forum.