World Social Forum 2009
On January 27th the streets of Belem (Brasil) were filled with more than 100.000 people marching, singing and dancing during the colourful opening March of the WSF 2009 in the Amazon region.
The first thematic day of the Forum focussed on the Pan Amazon region. Main issues dealt with the defence of the rights of indigenous communities, environment, the preservation of the Amazon rainforest and fighting climate change. The Activities were accompanied by a huge variety of cultural activities, during the whole Forum.
The ninth edition of the WSF continued during three days with over 2,000 activities and spontaneous street actions with participants from over 150 countries debating about “Another possible World”. A novelty of this Forum was that theses discussions were followed by a “Day of Convergence” giving the individuals, networks, social movements among others the possibility to directly debate their proposals, plans of actions and strategies with other people. The last day the “Assemblies of the Social Movements” closed the program of the 2009 WSF, presenting the convergences of this Alliance Day. 21 thematic Assemblies presented their common positions and call for actions, among others:
• March 8 : Day from Women’s Rights
• March 14-22 : Alternative World Water Forum in Istanbul
• March 28: Week of Action at the G20 in London
• March 30: Mobilization against the war and the crisis
• March 30: Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people
• April 4: Day of Action at the 60th anniversary of NATO
• April 17: International Day for Food Sovereignty
• May 1: International Day of workers
• July: Days of Action on the occasion of the G8 in Italy
• October 12: World Day of Action for Protection of Mother Earth,
against the commodification of life
• December 12: Day of Action on Global Justice at the climate
conference in Copenhagen on climate
Transform! Europe participated in the Forum with several delegates from Europe. Several debates were organized with various networks bringing together new people and building new bridges between various actors. The European Left was represented by two delegates, Natasha Theodorakopoulou from Greece and Angels Tomas from Spain, amongst many other activists from the EL networks.
At the convention of the Movement of Landless Peasants (MST) four presidents of Latin America, Evo Morales (Bolivia), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) were invited for a dialogue. Brazil's president Luiz Inácio da Silva joined the four presidents in a big evening event in the stadium of Belem.
The Forum was a big success, which after the editions 2001-2003 and 2005 the WSF returned back to Brazil. The WSF 2009 in Belem proved that it is still a vivid colourful space attracting people from all over the world united by the conviction of “Another possible World”. The next World Social Forum will be held in 2011.