New Internationalist

Global week of action

Here's the latest Bulletin from the World Social Forum. Please note that activities around the G20 coincide with solidarity with Palestine and the 60th anniversary of NATO. What follows is an unedited transcript of the latest WSF Bulletin: contact/subscription details are at the end.

From the 28th March to the 4th April, women and men from all over the world will be in the streets to protest against capitalism and war and to affirm that they will not pay for the crisis. Launched by the Social Movements' Assembly, that gathered during WSF 2009 in Belem.

Three moments mark this week of mobilisation:

  • 28th March: Mobilisations in protest of the Group of 20 meeting (the G20), composed of representatives of Central Banks and governments from the 20 countries that represent two thirds of world commerce and population and more than 90% of the gross world product. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are also members of the G20. They will meet in London (United Kingdom) at the beginning of April.
  • 30th March: Day of mobilisation against the war and the crisis, and in solidarity with the Palestinian people. This day coincides with Palestinian Land Day, which remembers the 1976 Israeli massacre of Palestinians in Galilee. It was chosen to strengthen the campaign for boycott, disinvestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
  • 4th April: Day that marks the 60th anniversary of NATO - North American Trade Organisation, an alliance of military cooperation between the USA and several European countries. NATO will meet between the 3rd and 4th April in Baden-Baden and Kehl, in Germany, and in Strasbourg, in France. In Europe, movements will concentrate their actions in London and Strasbourg.

There are many different street activities (such as marches, flyering and bike rides) planned in the following countries: Australia, the Basque Country, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Catalonia, France, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Holland (the Netherlands), India, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Quebec, the Spanish State, the United Kingdom (Scotland and England) and the USA.

During this week and particularly on the days mentioned above, movements will affirm that in order to overcome the different crises (food, finance, economy, climate, energy and population migration), it is necessary to tackle with the root of the problem and build a radical alternative to the capitalist system and patriarchal domination.

In the face of the false answers presented by companies, banks and governments to deal with the crisis - such as dismissals and privatisation of public services, natural and energy resources - which merely aim at socialising losses, social movements will demand a number of urgent measures such as:

  • Nationalising the banking sector without compensations and with full social monitoring, - Reducing working time without wage cuts,
  • Taking measures to ensure food and energy sovereignty, - Stopping wars, withdrawing occupation troops and dismantling foreign military bases,
  • Acknowledging peoples' sovereignty and autonomy, and ensuring their right to self-determination,
  •  Guaranteeing rights to land, territory, work, education and health for all, - Democratising access to means of communication and knowledge.

You can read the full Declaration of the Social Movements' Assembly, held during the WSF 2009 in Belém. 

Here are some of the actions already scheduled:

AUSTRALIA

30th March: In Melbourne, the Coalition of Palestinian Support Groups is launching a campaign called "The Sack Connex, Boycott Israel".  

BELGIUM

28th March: In Brussels, an action drawing attention to the financial crisis and the Palestinian question will take place under the slogan "Palestine occupied, Dexia implied", as well as a symbolic action between 1.30pm and 16.30pm with the performing of the street theatre "Who will pay for the crisis?" In addition, as part of the mobilisations against the crisis and war, the largest Belgian trade union (FGTB) has launched a campaign with the theme "Capitalism is seriously bad for our health". More information (in French)

BRAZIL

30th March: In São Paulo a national demonstration organised by various different social movements and Brazilian trade union networks will affirm that: "Workers will not pay for the crisis!" The demonstration will begin in the Avenue Paulista and will continue throughout the centre of the city. The act will be accompanied by actions and demonstrations in cities around the country. Look at the flyer Demonstrations against the ratification of the Mercosur-Israel trade agreement, and in support of the BDS (boycott, disinvestments and sanctions) campaign against Israel will also take place in the centre of the city, organised by the Solidarity with the Palestinian People's Front.  

CANADA AND QUEBEC

28th March: In Montreal, peaceful demonstration in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex at 1.30pm to say no to the G20, considered an illegitimate forum in which to solve the crisis.

30th March: In Toronto, "Resisting War from Gaza to Kandahar", a talk by George Galloway organised by the Toronto Stop the War Coalition.

30th March: In Montreal, symbolic olive tree planting in front of the Israeli consulate, and an exhibition and sharing of testimonies with regards to the Gaza situation.

CATALONIA, THE BASQUE COUNTRY AND THE SPANISH STATE

28th March: Demonstrations against the crisis and G20 and in solidarity with Palestinian people will be held in Albacete, Almería, Barcelona, Bilbao, Cádiz, Córdoba, Alicante, Elche, Madrid, Murcia, Pontevedra, Tarragona and Valencia. Check the agenda 

FRANCE

28th March: In Paris, demonstration organised by a wide coalition of organisations, movements, trade unions and political parties will leave from the Place de l'Opera at 2 pm. Activities are also scheduled in a further 30 cities. Read the full list

On this same day, various activities in solidarity with Palestine, such as demonstrations, film exhibitions and conferences will take place in Paris, Lille, Le Mans, St Brieuc and St Denis, organised by the France - Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS, in French). 

On the 4th April, under the slogan « No to war! No to NATO ! », thousands of people from all over Europe will meet in Strasbourg where different forms of action will take place to demand an end to  militarisation and to NATO: workshops, flyering to raise awareness, street blockades, meetings and civil disobedience actions. A large demonstration is scheduled to depart at 1pm. An alternative cblogspot.comamp also will be organised. Further information (only in French)  

GERMANY

3rd April: Demonstrations and blockades are planned in the city of Baden-Baden, one of the entrance points for Heads of State and military chiefs who will participate in the NATO ceremonies in Strasbourg. 

GREECE

2nd April: In Crete, demonstration in support of sports boycott and protest of the Greece - Israel soccer match in Heraclion.

HOLLAND (NETHERLANDS)

28th March - 31st March: Cycling event calling for the suspension of the EU - Israel Association Agreement. Bicyclists will begin at the International Courts of Justice at The Hague on the 28th and arrive at European Parliament in Brussels on the 31st to deliver a petition to European MPs. Organised by The Peace Cycle.  

INDIA

30th March: In Delhi, Exhibition, poetry and films commemorating Palestinian Land Day.

ITALY

28th March: Demonstration will take place at 2.30pm in Rome under the slogan "Loro la crisi, noi la soluzione" ("Their crisis, our solutions"), organised by COBAS. Sit-in at various shopping centres in Milan, Turin, Pisa, Bologna, Rome, and Naples, organized by Forum Palestine will also be held.

4th April: large demonstration organised by CGIL and other organisations and networks through the streets of Rome in direction of the Circo Massimo.  

KENYA

28th March: the World March of Women will participate in actions in support of women artists, and to affirm that women will not pay for the crisis. They will be accompanied by a feminist drumming group and will base their actions around the themes of women's work, the common good, food security, domestic violence and peace.  

NORWAY

30th March: in Kristiansand and Oslo debates and workshops around the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign as a tool to pressure Israel. In selected neighbourhoods of Oslo, the Socialist Youth will engage in a face to face boycott action, going door to door and informing inhabitants about the BDS campaign, which products to boycott, and how they can get involved. Finally, the Palestine Committee and others will hold a joint BDS demonstration at the Israeli embassy in Oslo.  

PAKISTAN

In Karachi, a conference on the Palestinian situation will be held on 28th March. On 2nd April, demonstrations against the G20 will take place in the city streets.  

UNITED KINGDOM

28th March to 4th April: London will receive participants from all over Europe for the demonstrations against the capitalistic system and the crisis, on the 28th March, and against the war and the NATO, on the 2nd April. Surprise actions, meetings and debates will take place during the week, as well as a camp in the city centre. In Glasgow and Edinburgh, in Scotland, boycotts of supermarkets will take place on the 29th March in solidarity with Palestine. On 30th March, mass calls to Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets' customer services to complain about the sale of Israeli products across the UK. 

UNITED STATES

29th March: Film projections, discussion around BDS actions with speakers recently returned from Gaza and on links between Mexico and Palestine walls, will be held in Santa Cruz, and on the30th March in San Diego and Los Angeles, California. In New York, the Campaign for the Boycott of Israel will launch a broad boycott campaign against the Motorola Company on the 30th.

... And much more around the World.

WSF Office - BrazilAddress: Rua General Jardim, 660, 7th floor, São Paulo - SP- Brasil, Zip Code: 01223-010 email: escritorio(at)forumsocialmundial.org.br Website: www.forumsocialmundial.org.brWSF Bulletin

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