2004 – a breakthrough for the movement
the biggest event of its kind in
Britain, 20,000 people from nearly 70 countries took part in the
three-day European Social Forum in London this October. Participants
flocked to Alexandra Palace in North London and Bloomsbury in central
London to hear over 2500 speakers at over 500 meetings and to discuss
with passion and enthusiasm how to make Another World Possible. The six
key themes of the forum were: war and peace; democracy and fundamental
rights; social justice and solidarity – against privatisation and
deregulation, for workers, social and women’s rights; corporate
globalisation and global justice; against racism, discrimination and the
far right – for equality and diversity; environmental crisis, against
neo-liberalism and for sustainable society.
An integral part of the
forum was a huge diverse cultural programme with more than 100 films,
music, drama, poetry and exhibitions.
The forum ended with a
huge international demonstration through central
London and a rally at
Trafalgar Square calling for an end to war, racism and privatisation and
for a Europe of peace and social justice.
The forum was witnessed by
600 members of the international media who took the message and
highlights of the ESF to a global audience.
The Assembly of Social
Movements which met during the ESF called for national mobilisations in
all European countries on 19 March against war, racism, and against a
against privatisation, against the Bolkestein project and against the
attacks on working time; for a Europe of rights and solidarity between
the peoples. The date marks the second anniversary of the start of the
war against Iraq and the meeting of the European Council.
The networks and alliances
established during the three days will be strengthened in the coming
weeks and months and years. The next World Social Forum will be held in
Brazil in January 2005. The next European Social Forum will be hosted
by Greece in March 2006.