Another World is Possible!
Let’s Build It!
Another world is possible! That's the challenge and the promise held out by the World Social Forum 2004.
The WSF is as an international forum that provides a democratic, people-centred alternative to imperialist globalisation around the slogan: "Another World Is Possible". It is an open space for discussing alternatives, for exchanging experiences and for strengthening alliances among mass organisations of workers, peasants, women, youth, students and social and people’s movements of dalits, indigenous peoples, minorities, and immigrants, and NGOs.
WSF India has adopted as its principle focus opposition to imperialist globalisation, patriarchy and militarism, and in order to address concerns Indian, opposition to communalism (religious sectarianism and fundamentalism), casteism & racism (oppression, exclusion and discrimination based on descent and work).
proposed at the World Social Forum are strategies of defiance against the model
of globalisation orchestrated by the large multinational corporations and by the
national governments and IMF, the World Bank and the WTO that are the foot
soldiers of these corporations. The World Social Forum processes respect
universal human rights, and those of all citizens-men and women-of all nations
and social justice, equality and the economic and political sovereignty of
The first WSF was held in 2001,in the southern-Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. WSF 2001 was received with great enthusiasm and its success inspirational in making the World Social Forum an annual event. It saw the participation of about 20,000 people representing over 500 national and international organisations from more than 100 countries. The second WSF, held in January and February 2002, was a bigger success in that, it saw the participation of 55,000 people from 131 countries. It was at WSF 2002 where it was agreed, in principle, to host the World Social Forum outside Brazil. The Asian Social Forum held in Hyderabad, India in January 2003, and the other continental and country social forums deepened the WSF processes around the world. Over the last three years, the WSF has come to symbolize the strength of the gathering forces against globalisation. WSF 2003, with over 100,000 delegates, became a rallying point for the world-wide protest against the war in Iraq.
Having been hosted for three consecutive years in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, the World Social Forum 2004 will be held in India, in the city of Mumbai from 16th to 21st January 2004.
The shift is in recognition of the fact that the WSF must reach out and involve a greater part of the humanity of the world, that lives in Asia and Africa and thereby include all peoples facing the brunt of imperialist and neo liberal globalisation, and enjoined in strong popular struggle against it. The principal focus of WSF 2004 will be to address Afro-Asian concerns, whiles simultaneously maintain an international perspective.
The Asian Social Forum saw the participation of over 20,000 delegates representing 840 organisations and its success has contributed to the enthusiasm about the WSF process within Asia. The decision to host WSF 2004 in India was based on a detailed review of the success of the Asian Social Forum 2003 and evaluation of the experience of representatives of Indian organizations who participated in WSF 2003. This is a reflection of the World Social Forum having become a worldwide peoples’ globalisation forum
About 75,000 delegates are expected at WSF 2004. Of these, about 10,000 would be from outside India. The Opening and Closing plenaries of WSF 2004 will be the exclusive events on the initial and final days of the WSF. During the four intervening days there will be 15 panel discussions, 5 dialogues and debates, 4 public meetings, 800 self-organised activities, and testimonials and open “spaces” for mass movements. Cultural events, exhibitions of the arts, expressions of the performing arts, and screening of films drawn from peoples’ movements will capture the flavour of cultural responses to the onslaught of globalisation, and the politics of exclusion, sectarian violence and war.
The Youth Forum, will run concurrently, adding value to the WSF in spirit, thought and action, not merely as a parallel event but with the objective to ‘mainstream’ the discourse of the youth.10,000 delegates will participate in the Youth Forum, of which about 2,000 will be from outside India.
The January event will be the culmination of a process that will involve a significant number of Asians and Africans from diverse sections of society. It will be preceded by activities across India that are as important as the event itself. These activities will be important contributions to the process of building sustainable alliances and coalitions against globalisation, and not merely be an exercise to mobilise for the final event. These processes will be open, inclusive and flexible, and designed to build the capabilities of local groups and movements, and will try to leverage their individual strengths. These processes are designed to seek peoples' perceptions about the impact of neo-liberal economic policies and imperialism on their daily lives. and to express the language of dissent and resistance in local idioms and forms.
Join WSF 2004 to redefine and restructure our world because the price of silence is paid in the hard currency of human suffering. Asking the right questions makes all the difference between fate and destination, drifting and travelling.
Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan, 3rd Floor, Leningrad Chowk, 85 Sayani Road, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400 025, India
Telephone: + 91 22
2421 6249 / + 91 22 2421 6251