Day 5 - March 26, 2015
Despite the rain, and a lot of it, the march to open the World Social Forum was well attended by thousands! Watch video from the WSF which captured the energy!
Registration line the first day was quite long as you can see – but luckily, it moved fairly fast and was quite well organized; no easy matter having attended other forums that were not half as well planned!
With nearly 4,400 organizations and countless of events, formal and informal, the World Social Forum is a hub it was intended to be, bringing individuals and groups from nearly every corner of the world.
Most visible and audible were groups representing Western Sahara, Egyptian, Algerian and Palestinian – vibrant in color and energy. Watch this one-minute video of the Palestinians!
It is almost overwhelming to view the list of workshops and plenaries. Many happening at around the same time making decisions difficult. Outside the workshops, there’s protests, music, speakers and of course food courts of all kinds.
Events I attended included on gender, PanAfricanism, migration – from global and within Africa, race, gender, militarism, etc. Most workshops are translated – languages used include English, French, Arabic mainly, but also many others. A workshop on PanAfricanism for example was conducted in English with French and Portuguese and at times Spanish translation. It was amazing how well it went despite the multitude of ideas and people from virtually every part of the world. See photos of speakers and participants here and kudos to Hakima Abbas who did an amazingjob in translating and speaking in three different languages.
Beyond the formal workshops and plenaries, the best thing about the WSF is running into people - friends and colleagues I don't see often enough. It is gives me a boost of energy to get a hug and reconnect with them.
They included people like Firoze
This group of Brazilian activists were powerful in their analysis of PanAfricanismin today's struggle. They send this message of solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US!
A young brother from Ivory Coast spoke powerfully about the need to get AfricaCommand - and indeed all US military intervention out of Africa! a protest that he says is connect to and groups in France as well as in many cities throughout the continent!
As a proud member of the Black Immigration Network (BIN) it was important to connect with so many people at so many different levels and find common ground in our struggles against injustice.
BIN has a global framework and analysis on race and immigration - we make that connection real by my presence at the World Social Forum in Tunis in 2015.