, by  MESTRUM Francine

The World Social Forum on Migration took place in Mexico City from 2 to 4 November 2018.

A meeting of the International Council was held immediately after with all those present, about 25 or 30 people. This number was too limited to be able to make decisions, and unfortunately, streaming did not work for those who were interested in following the discussions. It was a real disappointment because our discussions were very positive and constructive, as if the shock of the elections in Brazil had awakened all the participants.

The first half-day was devoted to the political situation in the world with the observation of the rise of fascisms and totalitarianism everywhere. Brazilian friends reminded us how, two years ago in Montreal, we failed to get a condemnation of the coup against President Dilma, and how "intellectual masturbation" had paralyzed the IC for years. Surely, those who refuse any political positioning are still here, but a general agreement has nevertheless emerged to underline the necessary and inevitable politicization of the IC and the WSF.

As for the participants from Mexico, they pointed out that while the new president who will take office on December 1 is progressive, his cabinet and government include several members of the old PRI system. Therefore we should not expect shattering decisions from the left. Still, the horizon ahead is an opportunity for social movements to ensure that the new government respects its electoral commitments.

Concerning Europe, it was recalled how right-wing governments and populist movements threaten democracy and the European elections scheduled for May 2019. Steve Bannon has moved to Brussels and will try, with his movement ’The Movement’, to influence the results.

An anti-fascist movement already exists in Central Europe ,’Prague Spring 2’, which should be used to develop action programs. But the big question remains: what to do? A major gathering of resistance will take place in Caracas in the spring of 2019.

Was also pointed out that migration has become a strategic issue and is used by right-wing governments to impose measures restricting freedoms or even militarizing.

At the end of this debate was reminded the initiative to create a network of sanctuary cities, to develop a world movement against fascism and to underline each time more and more the necessary convergence between the movements: "Nadie deja la mano de nadie". Solidarity between us is essential.

We concluded that the next WSF will necessarily have to be more political and pursue concrete objectives. And as "pears cannot give apples" a proposal was made to create a separate movement against fascism, in case the IC actually continues to refuse to take a political position.

The second major debate we had was precisely about the next WSF that the Mexican hope to organize in Mexico City in 2020, possibly 2021. As there is still no government and the preparatory work has not yet begun, this debate was directional and should allow the Mexican movements to better understand the objectives and expectations of the IC.

The Mexican also expressed the wish to give a new dynamic to the WSF, if possible with a change of the Charter of Principles, in any case with a very strong political vision. This will require everyone to do their work, in all continents, to mobilize all the energies and articulate the different themes that matter to make the link between the different thematic forums. This WSF will also be important to continue to pressure the new Mexican government.

All those who were previously in the IC should be contacted again. The message of the WSF should be expressed in a strong and emancipatory political voice. In this context, it was stressed that the approach must always be at the service of politics and not the other way around. Consideration will be given to organizing, in addition to self-managed activities, meetings initiated by the facilitating committee in order to preserve the possibility of a comprehensive and supportive agenda in support of our objectives. This work must be collective and pursue the goal of making it a truly global forum. It is not excluded that in the meantime, the Brazilians try to organize a preparatory event in Salvador de Bahia in support of the Mexican process. WSF 2020 will have to grow to be global, emancipatory and strategic.

Finally, a last debate focused on the secretariat and a new communication campaign, all in service of our mobilization and efficiency. New cooperation between the Maghreb, Canada and Brazil will be set up.

20 years after the first WSF, a new hope has emerged !

Francine Mestrum is Administrator of the CETRI, member of the International Council of the World Social Forum and Manager of Global Social Justice (