I suggest that you will conclude this account with a few personal reflections on the way of the new cycle of alter-globalization that calls for the world social forums and their come-ups.
The definition that we retain of alter-globalization is one of an historic movement of the emancipation that extends and renews past historical movements; the movement of the workers, the movement of the peasant, the movement of the decolonization… this movement began at the end of the 1970s with a new phase of the capitalist globalization, that of the neoliberalism and the financialization. There are many phases which are already known: initially, the recovery phase after the decolonization, with the imposed structural adjustment plans and the debt; the phase of the challenge of the international institutions of finance to leave the global mobilizations against the G7 and the G20, the FMI, the world bank and the OMC; the current phase which began in 2000 is the one of the world’s social forums, it’s the phase’s voice of exhaustion.
The alter-globalization firstly confronted the evolution of the international situation and to that the global capitalism. The financial crisis of 2008 showed the opposition forms of the neoliberalism and the fragility of the financial capitalism. The perception of the ecological awareness, noticeably the one of the climate, showed the limits of the capitalism and its productivity. Crisis exit policies, the debt and the plans of austerity exacerbated the inequality and the mistrust towards the politicians. Towards the end of 2011, the rebellion actions burst in tens of countries; millions of people occupied the streets and the public places. The reaction was a huge brutality through the repressions and the security policies, thus creating a trend of decentralized wars. Racist, xenophobic, anti-migrants and anti-poor ideologies occupied the front stage. The government’s reaction took the power in Latin America and in other places in the world. After Temer in Brazil, the arrival of Trump confirmed that that was a cold time.
This rise in power of rights and extreme rights was not imposed without any resistance. That is a response to the force of the social movements and the citizens of 2000, which can be found in the social forums, in the trade unions and peasants, the women movements, in the indigenous people, the inhabitants, the ecologists, human rights, etc. This is a response of insurrectional movements after 2011, the insurrections of Maghreb and Mackrek, of indigenes, of occupiers, of movements of students, in Taksim in Istanbul, in the red squares, etc. Today a new trend of resistance defrosted with Black Lives Matter, the refusal of the pipelines in Dakota and in Canada, and since Trump’s election millions of demonstrators in more than 600 cities in the world. The people are not disarmed and the confrontations became more and more violent.
Since the beginning of the neoliberalism there was no lack of event break-outs. Let’s remember the breakdown of the Soviet Union, the new American strategy after the attacks in New York in 2001, the instability of the middle east from the wars in Iraq… the world is in the midst of upheaval. Two points of view of movement, new tracks emerged. Including others: the joint between the social and the ecological, the joint between the social foundations and the projects, the radicalism of the democracy and the rejection of the various forms of corruption, in particular the political corruption which created the fusion between the political and the financial classes; the new joint between the local power scales, the national, the regional and the world power scales, etc.
The process of the world social forums maintains its importance, but it doesn’t have a way of unifying all the various forms of resistance and all the initiatives. In one part the radicalism of the struggles and the mobilization has incarnated itself more in its singularity then in its convergence. In another part, the situations differ from each other and the local and national situations take presence over regional scales. Despite the permanence of financial power and the multinationals in the globalization, the global situation is a mutation. The passage of a multipolar world changed the given; the American imperialism is in decline but it didn’t forget its ability of nuisance, the new geopolitical equilibrium is unstable, the local situations are less dependent of global balances and are less predicted.
The social movements and the ones of the citizens are confronted with the necessity to redefine their strategies in order to take account in their national scale. They also need to take account with the evolution of the international scale and the regional situations in order to take account with the evolution of the globalization, the geopolitical evolution and also the ideological evolution with the reinforcement of the xenophobic ideas, racism, security and wars which enter our world due to extreme forces which are coming from all directions. The strategy of each movement should articulate the resistance of danger and the necessary definition of an alternative project of emancipation. No strategy of movement can neglect an international dimension. The importance of renovating the processes of the forums, or of its successor, will be to define a common international strategy to stop the strategies of the movements.
The global social forums keep their importance. They will be one of the components of the new phase of the alter-globalization. A place where new forms of alter-globalization merge; new forms of struggles, new forms of mobilization, new forms of redefying the abilities. Yet they have to make sure that the process of the forums will adapt itself and will renovate itself in order to contribute new courses. The forums rest on the only bases of international dimension and the confrontation of the movements, a large place of strategical definition, a base for the resistors, a space for the elaboration of projects of emancipation, a space for the confrontation of new practices. Yet they have to make sure that their usefulness must be recognized by the social and citizen movements assembly.
Two process extensions of the global social forums have been put forward:
- To stop the struggles and the new forms of struggles (land grabbing; solidarity for the migrants; Black Live Matters; Dakota Access; the Kinder Morgan pipeline in Canada; rallies of women against Trump…) and to identify the movements and new forms of movements to stop the struggles and the new forms of struggles.
- Redefine the global processes of international mobilization by registering the related events in the forum’s processes in a larger assembly (the climate urgency; OMC; extractivism; the global agenda; multinational companies; free exchange…).