portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

Make a Social Forum in your region

Make a Social Forum in your region
Here's an article I wrote at IMC, Norway. I thought it also would be interesting for you to look at.

Jon Werman in Ryter could inform us about the facts that activists from the entire Balkan met in the little Serbian city Kraljevo to create a Social Forum in the south east of Europe. The Social Forum should be a place for debate and discussions between different kinds of organizations and ideologies which resist neo-liberalism and the consequences of globalization. The Social Forum should be constructed on principles of freedom and try to prevent difficulties like bureaucratization and absence of intern democracy which they look upon as a problem for the Social Forum of Porto Alegre.

I am happy to see that a Social Forum has been created. All different regions have to construct Social Forums. ( In the Nordic countries we also need to construct a Social Forum).

Below I have written something from two of my other essays. "Who owns the new science ", where the idee of networking is central, together with the computer as an enormous important tool, and the essay "democracy from below ", about the construction and work of the Social Forums, and what the task for IMC can be.

It is important that IMC bring information about these forums further and help developing such Forums. This because the Forums will be places where cooperation, resistance and development can find place. The Forums will be tools to create a new and better community. That's the ( a) way we have to ( can) organize our self. Porto Alegre as a global Forum, and the creation of regional ones.

What's important is that these Forums doesn't become to big and alienated, or that it becomes a new power structure. The Forums should in no way should be new kind of governments. Power structures is not ecological, but patriarchical. We can't have a sustainable society with such power structures. The Forums should be used when necessary, a place for organizing and cooperation. They should be democratic places, where open discussions find place, flexible and dynamic, and for both antiauthoritarian and authoritarian thaughts and groups. I don't think this in the length will be the big discussion.

The society should be in process, not a goal. Revolution doesn't need to be a big pang, it can happen slowly through people's work for liberty, common goods and justice for all. This does not mean that we shouldn't support such a revolution, cause that we really should do. But I don't think that would be the case today. The forces we fight against is powerful. There will always be resistance, and there will always be better solutions. The thing is that we have to do it in cooperation and solidarity towards each others.


Who owns the technology

The computer technology is a good and effective tool in the hands of the people and can be essential in the work for democratization, but it includes also a frightening power, just in the wrong hands, for benefits for the big multinational societies or the state. Internet and mail is tools which will make a better society possible, and which today give us the feeling of belonging to a global family and the feeling of international solidarity, in the wrong hands it will be a weapon against free thinking and democratization. If the elites get the monopoly over this technology, they will get a lot of power, something that could lead to a global dictatorship. We have therfor to analyse which interests and power relations exists. The new technology give us the oppurtunity to discuss all different topics all around the world, and make it possible to globalize the resistance againt the power structure and the neo-liberalism, the negative consequences of globalization and unjustice. Today we are able to make a better democracy than we ever could have done before.

Our conciousness have changed and we work and organize our self in new ways, through networks. Just like in communication systems, or webs of life.

The computer is in this way a good picture on our society today. It's important to keep it in our hands, a technology we are dependent of, and which in many ways have become a part of us. In many ways the society is a mirror of the computer.

Democracy from below

How to fight the big multinational companies and the government

There are no doubt that the democratization must come from below. One of the strangest thing in our society is that people support the supression of them selves. This they do by supporting the policymakers and the MNC/TNC. The power and money is today centred.

The reason, as I see it, must be the capitalistic structure which shaps the life of people and which they are socialised into from they are children. They get a roll which they keep, and are afraid of loosing. It demands both will and strength to break this structure. Many people can't even afford it. Therefor the change must be slowly. They have to take part in the process. This will be self realising, something which give a tast of freedom and happyness. This process, first started, will therefore all the time go faster.

The important thing is that they create alternatives, empower themselves and join the movement of democratization, which will lead to the end of the global empires. This can be done through creation of decentralizated and horizontal social forums, regionally and globally, like the one in Porto Alegre.

To do this we have to make a global grasroot infrastructure where IMC have the roll as a communication tool which can communicate between the different networks.

This mean that we doesn't need a big revolution. We don't have to fight a war we can't win. What we do need is to create concrete alternatives to the existing powers. In this way the forums becomes a sort of direct democratic forum which can be a tool to create a different world.

The work we have to do now is to create this forums. To do this we have to work through networks. We have to create links between us. We have to be critical and constructive. To make demonstrations, both globally and locally, is good, but not enoghf. We have to front all the different levels in the same time as we create our own channels. We have to get most people as possible to join this. Through conferances and meetings we can can create understanding, cooperation and awarness.
Reductionism 14.Feb.2002 18:22

Yellow Solar Sun ysab@efn.org

I learned a lot from the WSF. Especially about "oversimplification." This is seen as a major dilemma of U.S. foreign policy. Now that I've learned this, I realize the problem I have with diplomacy. For instance: "Eating meat is wrong. You should stop killing animals." Instead of expressing myself cynically I need to be more compassionate about the way I put my point accross. Thank all of you from the World Social Forum for Helping me be more empowered and be able to be a better catalyst for social change!

Sipapu