ESF EPA Newsletter:
Berlin 29th- 31st January 2010
(written by Mariangela Casalucci and Giovanna Fassetta, January 2010)
The next meeting of the EPA and the program group
Next EPA will be in Istanbul from the 21st to the 23rd of May. On Friday the 21st there will be a meeting of the Program Group which is going to last all day in order to finalize the work started in the preparatory meeting.
The preparatory meeting of the Program group is going to take place in Brussels from the 7th to the 9th of May and will prepare a merging proposal for all the activities/ seminars/ assemblies of the next European Social Forum (ESF) which is going to take place in Istanbul from the 1st to the 4th of July.
Minutes from Berlin
Friday 28th of January (network meetings) The reports will be shortly sent to the list
Saturday 29th of January:
The agenda was changed in order to give more time for the climate change debate and the CEE participation to the forum (Saturday) and to include an hour debate on Babel (Sunday)
Turkey’s OC report and information about the next European Social Forum in Istanbul
sosyalforum.org is the website of the Turkey Social Forum with information about the next ESF in Istanbul. It is mostly in Turkish but there is some information in English too.
On the 10th of february the ESF website will be ready and therefore it will be possible to start to submit proposasl. The address will be sent to the list by the Turkish OC.
Program of ESF in Istanbul:
30th of June European day of action - organized by the Women World March
Opening times and slots:
1st July Thursday 9.00 – 12.00; 14.00-17.00; 17.30 – 20.30
2nd July Friday 9.00 – 12.00 ; 14.00-17.00 ; 17.30 – 20.30
3rd Of July Saturday 9.00 – 12.00; 13.00 – 15.30; 18.00: Demonstration.
4th of July Sunday 10.00 – 13.00 Thematic Assemblies ; 15.00 -18.00 Assembly of Assemblies
On the morning of the first day there will be an opening session. Speakers and details of the opening session will be defined at the Istanbul Preparatory Assembly in May.
The demonstration will be held on Staurday at 18.00, in Taksim square.
Max. capacity (people) Number of rooms available:
In total there are 30 rooms, which, in the 8 time-slots, can host 240 activities.
Seminar fees for the different size rooms are as follows:
2000 3000 euro
1000 1500 euro
750 1100 euro
600 900 euro
350 525 euro
250 375 euro
150 225 euro
100 150 euro
Normal: 30 Euro
Youth (under 22 years), unemployed or retired, Regular fee for CEE-countries: 15 Euros
Youth (under 22), unemployed or retired from CEE-countries: 10 Euro
Participants from Turkey: no fee
Participation fee for organizations: 250 Euros
Stands and stalls:
100 Euro for informational stalls of ESF participants.
250 Euro for commercial stalls (there will be a limitation on commercial stalls, only the stalls of publishing houses, CDs and T-Shirts will be allowed)
There will be a working group inside Social Forum of Turkey, which will take care of the organizaiton of stalls. This working group will decide which commercial stalls will be allowed.
Applications for Thematic Spaces will be taken through the mailing list. The cost of the Thematic Spaces will be 500 Euros for 20 square meters.
10th February: website to submit proposals for workshops, seminars, activities will be available 15th of March final deadline for proposals submission on the web.
Merging process will run until the end of April in order to lower the number of the meeting, avoid repetitions and merge proposals together.
Visa: None of the people of European countries need a Visa to visit Turkey but citizens of some non-European countries will need a Visa. And Visa process for Turkey citizens of some countries are very long (it can even take months). Those who will need a Visa invitation should send their passport information to the following email address: email@example.com
Because of both environmental and financial reasons, priority access to the solidarity fund will be given to those who travel as group by bus or train from neighbouring countries.
A European working group in order to look for new funding resources for solidarity fund is suggested as a very useful contribution.
Proposals from the program group and from the people meeting in the EPA in Berlin to be taken in consideration in the next program group and decided in the next EPA
1. Role of the European assemblies: thematic assemblies, assembly of social movements, assembly of the assemblies, final assembly. It was stressed that the Final Assembly has to collect proposals from networks activities, thematic assemblies and people participating in the Esf,. The aim is to give visibility to the social forum and to prepare the call for the actions taking place in Europe. In the course of the next EPA, a decision will be taken on whether the conclusive meeting of the next ESF will be a Final assembly, the Assembly of the Assemblies or the Assembly of social movements.
2. How do we prepare the “final assembly”? Meetings will have to be organized during the ESF in order to collect proposals but they have to be clearly indicated in the program to allow all those who are interested to take part.
3. Big event, plenaries : they are to be decided in a open and transparent way. Suggestions were made on the following: Kurdish issue, alternatives to crisis, poverty as this year is the "European Year Against Poverty”, democracy, economy, Lisbon treaty, the debt, economic crisis (which needs to have two people from each country present - both Eastern and Western European to allow for positive discrimination), ", climate change.
4. There was a call for Culture events coordination. The aim is to have cultural events with messages, exhibitions, theatre, performances, music, etc.
5. It is important to have cross cutting and thematic spaces in the forum in order to show materials/ videos/ have meetings. …….
6. It was suggested to think about the No participation fee for local people
7. It was suggested to start an European budget in order to ensure some fundamental tools for the ESF process (e.g. web tools and Babel)
AXES of the ESF in Istanbul
ANOTHER EUROPE IS NECESSARY
published in http://www.sosyalforum.org/images/b...
1-Economic and social crises: Resistance and alternatives
crises or failure of capitalism?
Specificities and similarities of the crisis in CEE
solidarity versus competition
labour struggles against dismissals, closures and against precarity
Is a fair international financial system possible?
how to link struggles for rights with alternatives?
2-Social Rights for Social Europe
common goods and public services for all
a new welfare model against the ongoing destruction
housing rights and resistance against forced evictions
basic income and minimum wage
labour and trade union rights
3-What kind of democracy? Promoting civil and political liberties
against racist securitarian policies and anti-terror laws
disappearances in custody and jail, isolation, prisons
the rise of the far right and authoritarian policies
which EU construction? Who decides?
Democracy and civil rights in CEE and Russia
4-In defence of the rights of oppressed nations and minorities
A peaceful, just and democratic solution to the Kurdish question
For a democratic construction of Europe based on the respect of its diversity and the self governance and participation of the populations of all levels
5- Against fortress Europe:
Full rights for Migrants and refugees
Equal social and political rights
Right to free movement of people
6-Equality versus discrimination. Feminist alternatives facing the global crisis.
opposing patriarchal system
struggles against violence on women
sexual diversity, civil rights for LGBTT
7-Save the planet: Building a sustainable world
overcoming the ecological crisis: How to link struggles for a sustainable environment and social justice
food sovereignty based on peasant’s rights and land access
access to water and safe energy for all
against unsustainable production, distribution and consumption.
8-Peace versus war, militarism, occupations
The struggle to stop occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere
Militarist policies in Europe
disarmament is necessary, how can we achieve it?
stop nuclear armament, military bases and missile shield projects
Responsibility of EU in the implementation of international law to achieve justice and peace in Middle East
Struggles of European movements for a just and peaceful solution for Palestine
9-Youth - the right to education, work and a future
10-Democratising knowledge, education and culture; creating alternatives
Privatization and commodification of Education: The Lisbon Strategy
Which content and which methodologies for which goals
Life-long learning, vocational learning
Culture, science and democracy
11- Mass media and power relations: Defending the freedom of expression and democratising information
12 -Europe and the world: Cooperation and development based on solidarity versus domination and neo-colonialism
Free trade as a means of domination
For a democratic international framework
13-The state and future of global justice movement
Proposals from the CEE participation debate
1. In order to join efforts to mobilize more movements and people from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and from Western Europe towards the ESF in Istanbul, we propose to set up an open Mobilizing Committee consisting of interested people from Eastern and Western countries. They should solve the problems of mobilization in close co-operation with the Turkish Organizing Committee.
2. We back up the proposal of the Greek movements to organize a meeting in Thessaloniki for interested people/movements especially from the Balkans at the end of March.
3. In order to convince people to join the ESF process, we have to organize a discussion on national and sub regional level about alternative exits from the crisis. We have to open such thematic spaces on Facebook.
4. We agreed to organize a conference for CEE countries in Prague on the 27th of March to mobilize people towards Istanbul on a specific issue which is felt of utmost importance for Eastern Europeans (e.g. pauperization, unemployment, neo-Nazism) under the title Alternative to RWE in the Time of the Social and Ecological Crisis. Possible sources of support were identified: Trialog Vienna, Austrian Aid, euro-parliamentarians,
5. Participants in the meeting took up concrete responsibilities to initiate the mobilizing processes in countries from where no participants from were present at this EPA.
6. There will be a Skype chat conference on this issue on the 24th of February at 5 pm (CET) lead by leogabriel3 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Climate change debate
The Climate Summit in Copenhagen showed again that we shouldn’t hope for any UN process, for any reasonability or responsibility of the ruling in the global North.
The 2°C ceiling in the dubious final document of the Climate summit is the reflection of neo-colonial policies. In 2005 the European Union decided 2°C as the maximum acceptable average global warming by 2100 compared with the pre-industrialised level as a guideline for their climate policy. This was progressive in relation to the US positions. These 2°C were accepted by more and more countries. But 2°C average global warming could also mean that the climate would “tip over” with biodiversity shrinking further. A 2°C average global warming and a prevented “climate tipping” would mean that more and more islands would disappear, 20 – 30% fresh water loss in the Mediterranean region and in the Southern Africa, a drastic decline of the harvest in the tropics which would reach 5-10% in Africa. A 2°C average global warming would mean that 40-60 million of people would be exposed to malaria, that annually an additional 10 million of people would be concerned by storm tides and that biodiversity would shrink in the order of 15-40%. ....Consequenty, the aim must be an average global warming of a maximum of 1,5°C and 350 ppm. The climate issue shouldn’t be regarded and discussed isolated from other ecological issues and, above all, from social problems
The 2°C temperature rise and the fact that even the realisation of this unsatisfactory goal is not safeguarded reflect our weakness. The question is do we admit to ourselves this weakness and do we want to overcome it? In connection to this, we have clarify three sub-questions: a) Are we ready to question the appropriateness of our own lifestyle – an everyday life based on capitalist production and consumption structures which are colonial and patriarchal, socially and ecologically destructive. b) Can we further accept and tolerate that we participate in exploitation of people and nature? c) Goes our policy out from solidarity above all with the socially weakest?
The conditions of human life always involve the physical and mental wholeness of individuals, their individual freedom and possible influence on societal developments, their mutual relationships within and outside the territorial centre of their lives - especially as regards their place in society and in the social processes of labour and reproduction - their education, medical treatment and social-security protection and in the way their natural conditions of life are constructed. “People” are always specific: girls, boys, women and men, who live within gender relations and within structures of cohabitation. Regardless of the social domain in which one is predominantly engaged, one is always dealing with a many-sided complex of human life relations. Every relevant societal problem has a social, ecological and power-political dimension. In the end it is always a question of economic interests and the question of who decides the organisation of economic processes and the appropriation of its results, of who has access to the resources of production and reproduction.
So we should discuss in which way we will deal with the further negotiation process on the UN climate protocol – so with the working conference in Bonn in June; how we could use the assembly in Bolivia in April and our ESF in Istanbul to strengthen and to promote a climate movement questioning capitalism – a climate movement as a cornerstone of a movement oriented to the individual freedom of girls and boys, women and men, to peace and social equality, to interconnection based on solidarity and rationality in dealing with nature.
Declaration on repression in Turkey
We, the participants of the EPA meeting in Berlin are preparing the 6th ESF which will take place in July 2010 in Istanbul.
We will gather in Istanbul in the forum to discuss and express our commitment and solidarity with the social and democratic struggles in Turkey and all Europe.
Today many Kurdish and Turkish activists involved in those struggles are the victims of repression and many of them, including local and national elected representatives of Kurdish people, human rights activists and hundreds of Kurdish children, are arrested.
On the other hand there is the very important struggle of Tekel workers against the results of neoliberal privatization process.
We express our solidarity with the social and democratic struggles.
We call the Turkish authorities to stop the repression and to respect democratic, social and human rights.
Translation and Babel
Translation (Turkish OC)
Since there is a limited budget for the organizing of the 2010 ESF, most of the translators will be from the Turkey. Around 100 translators will come from the Babels network and the rest will be found within Turkey. In order to ask for Babels help on planning the translation for the 2010 ESF, the Babels debt from the previous Forum should first be paid. It is the responsibility of all the ESF components to pay for the Babels debt and this issue should be taken into very serious consideration. In order to reassure the Babels interpreters that their expenses will be paid in Istanbul ESF, the Organizing Committee is considering pre-paying the tickets. In this way, we can avoid a debt to translators after the Forum.
The Babels network presented the difficult situation of the interpreters who worked in the Malmo ESF. 13.000 Euros haven’t yet been paid. The problem has to be solved before the ESF in Istanbul. The foundation of the Malmo ESF has 8000 Euros and they don’t want to pay until they reach 30.000 Euro. Babels is not going to participate without being sure that the debt will be paid. As a consequence of their experience, most of the people in the network don’t wish to be involved anymore. Babels asks for transportation costs, food, and accommodation for interpreters.
A solution has to be found by the end of February
Babels network ask to be taken in consideration as a political actor in the ESF process.
After a debate in which everybody underlined the importance of pay this debt, Tord, as member of Malmo committee, stated that TUs involved in the ESF didn’t pay the money they said they would pay and that the foundation still hopes to pay the debt.
There was a call to encourage organizations to contribute to the payment on the debt and it was proposed that those contributing organization will be listed in the ESF-FSE website.
Michel and Leo took the responsibility of coordinating in order to help solving the problem.
The Turkish OC is really worried because if the debt isn’t paid now it will be difficult for them to guarantee a good system for the translation in the forum.
We, the people meeting in the EPA in January 2010 in Berlin, are support the following actions presented during the debate
1st of march
European day of action for the right of migration
8th to 18th March local actions of world women march
11th - 14th March 2010 Vienna during the summit of EU ministers celebrating the “10 years Bologna process” counter-summit on higher Education
(to get involved in the preparation email@example.com)
25th March counter-summit on the day of a meeting of European education ministers NON C’E’ IL LUOGO
27th of March Conference in Prague for movements from Central and Eastern Europe, organized by the Mobilization Committee: Alternative to Right Wing Extremism in a Time of Social and Ecological Crisis.
13th or 14th April 2010
Madrid counter-summit action in occasion of the European ministries of Education meeting
19th – 22nd April 2010 peoples’ world conference on climate change and mother Earth’s rights in Cochabamba called by president Evo Morales who invites all governments, UN agencies, scientists, social movements and NGOs to take part. The objective of the conference is to change the correlation of forces to shift the international agenda decided in Copenhagen.
14-18 May in Madrid The Presidents and Heads of State of the European Union (EU), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will meet in Madrid under the Spanish Presidency of the EU. Join the preparation process and participate in Madrid in the Peoples’ Alternative Summit, Enlazando Alternativas 4 in defense of peoples’ sovereignty, human rights, participatory democracy, labour rights, the rights of women and indigenous peoples, social justice, the defense of the environment in the face of climate change, and the establishment of peace.
31st May – 6th June 2010 actions in Bonn which is the place for negotiation on the global climate protocol on working level. There will be a meeting to organize on the 5th of February in Bonn. Information to follow in the list
4th 6th June Jena Caravan for the rights of refugees
June/July: Balkan-Caravan of the World March of Women starting in Skopje/Macedonia, travelling through 8 Balkan countries with actions and meetings in several cities (including Istanbul for the ESF)
December 2010 Cancun, Mexico Climate Counter Summit at COP16
14-17 October: international action of the World March of Women in South Kivu (Democratic Republic of Congo)
October 2010: Euromarches organizing marches and actions against unemployment and poverty culminating in Brussels on the week (10/17 October during the Belgium presidency of the EU) with MMF, EAPN, No Vox and organizations of Social Forum of Belgium.
The future of the ESF? Has the ESF a future?
Problems and ideas:
1. Risk that ESF is not an actor anymore. Are people thinking that its not useful to go to the ESF? Why?
2. Have a meeting at least twice a year not focusing on the ESF but on what we can do.
3. Crises of the ESF linked with other crises, power structure in the ESF relations
4. The axes increase the fragmentation of the debate
5. We cannot only substitute an ideology with an other one
6. It will be important to see the ESF process as a laboratory for building alternatives
7. Centralization in the process in which only a certain kind of people from some regions participate more than others
8. Decisions are based too much on countries ideas. Too much TUs and parties-oriented.
9. The ESF process needs a European funding. Not possible to go from one committee to an other for web tools and translation
10. How to enlarge the process
11. Is it time to update the charter of the ESF?
12. Having a seminar in Istanbul about the future of the ESF organized by a working group
13. Between this EPA and Istanbul we have to decide the role of the ESF. Only if the people in that space can decide common actions and strategies than we can reach a wider participation. It is important that the final assembly takes decisions.
14. Istanbul has to be the place where we talk and but also hold actions to show the problems of the detention centers of migrants who are detained and who die in the attempt of crossing the Aegean sea
A working group on the Future of the ESF was formed. If you are interested please contact Alessandra Mecozzi firstname.lastname@example.org o Hugo Braun email@example.com
Decision taken in previous EPAs not to be forgotten
Logistic in ESFs:
Food and accommodation must be consistent with our messages: i.e. affordable, environmental friendly, use local farmer products…
Accommodation: (try to organize solidarity accommodation, hotels, hostels, campsite)
Presence of Political parties
Should neither have a separate space in the ESF nor be among the organisers. This does not exclude the participation of party members for special sessions of political dialogue, which could be particularly attractive also for the public opinion.
In Istanbul it was decided that all websites and tools need a permanent funding (see http://openesf.net/projects/openesf...) but this decision was never implemented
The moderation guidelines for the openspace website were approved in Berlin (see them: http://openesf.net/projects/openesf...)
Guidelines for facilitators in meetings
during the EPA should try to allow more people to express themselves. The moderators have to come to work informed and prepared; at the beginning of the process they have to present the rules for consensus; the plenary debates should be structured according to the agreed agenda. Women have to be in the panels (at least 50%) of all the meetings including facilitating the Assembly, EPA plenaries and network meetings
make a list of speakers, new speakers will be prioritised, Gender balance of speakers (1/1), moderator on the list as well, fix a time at the beginning for speakers,
Speakers: have to stick to the subject, be respectful, not to be interrupted, speak slowly and don’t raise their voice when speaking in the microphone
“L-sign” when translation doesn’t work
No applauses – out of respect for the translators – shaking hands in the air is much better to show the agreement
Moderators have to close the speaker list if time is running out asking if someone wants to sign up before unless the assembly decides to carry on the discussion.
When a decision has to be taken facilitators of the meeting have to:
summon up the discussion and present the final proposals, ask if the assembly is ready to make a decision on this and if anyone disagree (before decision is taken)
If somebody disagree the assembly has to find the way of reaching consensus
The consensus about the proposals has to be shown in an open, transparent and clear way and has to be directly asked.
has to be seen more during the ESF and the whole process maintaining the quota rule. Women have to be in the panels (at least 50%) of all the meetings including facilitating assemblies. For the seminar the program group is going to give priority to proposal where the people commit themselves to balance women and men (this commitment has to be part
In all seminars it will be important a special commitment by the organizers to include different point of views in the panel to increase the debate by genders, age, geographical and cultural backgrounds, different abilities and so on