ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Dakar, le forum qui relance l’altermondialisme ?
by Dany Stive
Translated Sunday 27 February 2011, by Derek Hansonand reviewed by
The 11th annual World Social Forum (WSF), held in Dakar, has completed its sessions. Buoyed by developments in North Africa, this forum had a significant impact, reviving interest in the global justice movement.
The people of Tunisia and Egypt offered a glimmer of hope for the alter-globalisation activists gathered on the campus of the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal’s capital. Gustave Massiah, member of the International Council of the WSF noted in l’Humanité on February 4 that these people "do not define themselves as alter-globalists as such, but many of the organisations they are involved with recognize and participate in the social forums". Their claims and their way of defending them reinforce radical alternatives: the link between freedom and social justice, the calling into question of oligarchies, and the demand for wealth redistribution. If the anti-globalization movement was, in recent years, less visible, the Dakar forum marked its return to the spotlight. The presence of the Presidents of Bolivia, Evo Morales, Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and former Brazilian President Lula in the Senegalese capital gave political weight to this global meeting. On site, participants considered how proposals such as ‘food sovereignty’ or the ‘fight against financial secrecy’ as voiced yesterday, were today if not shared, then at least flaunted by many political (and other) officials. This creates a unique challenge for activists in preventing these demands from becoming misguided and, more importantly, ensuring their implementation to give substance to this other world dreamt up ten years ago.