What is the World Social Forum Movement?

From the latest Green Left Weekly


When the World Social Forum was first launched, its activities were largely shaped by the founding WSF organising committee, made up of a number of Brazilian and European NGOs, some of which were closely tied to left and radical parties. By the third forum, the WSF’s international council, which had grown to more than 100 organisations, mostly set the agenda. But the pressure to relate to the large non-European social movements, namely in south Asia, took the 2004 WSF to Mumbai, India. There, parties, in particular the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the radical Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) took on an organising role.


For the first time this year, three regional WSFs took place. More than 15,000 people, mostly from the French-speaking parts of Africa, attended a series of 600 meetings during the WSF in Bamako, Mali, from January 19-23. Immediately after that, some 100,000 people participated in the Caracas WSF, where Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution was the big drawcard. And some 35,000 people, mainly Pakistanis, attended the Karachi WSF, delayed until March due to last October’s earthquake.

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