The World Social Forum was created in 2001 by organizations and social movements that were self summoned and mobilized for a huge meeting in Porto Alegre, in opposition to the neoliberalism represented by the World Economic Forum, which took place at the same time in Davos, in Switzerland.
Participants discussed ways to confront the dictatorship of the financial system, the imperialism of transnational corporations, the oppression of authoritarian regimes, the enslavement by the media, the culture of patriarchy and racism. They discussed alternative proposals for building more just and sovereign societies, access to knowledge and technologies and protection of the planet’s resources. It was the first great meeting of the diversity of the many libertarian struggles, bringing together historical movements and self-organized youth. Thousands of workshops and conferences have put in debate the dilemmas, projects and utopias of the turn of the millennium.
In opposition to the single thought proposed by the Davos Forum, the meeting in Porto Alegre announced that Another World is Possible.
The world events that followed the first WSF have clashed with humanity’s longings for peace. In the same year 2001 the Twin Towers came down. And in the name of fighting terrorism, the US-led West has come to justify new wars and sow new forms of terror, to stigmatize entire peoples by their ethnicity and cultures, and to violently persecute immigrants. It armed himself without hesitation to fight precisely the diversity that the WSF celebrated.
Against all this, the movements and struggles gathered at the WSF were able to drive changes and show alternative paths which are now seriously threatened. In Latin America, in particular, more democratic experiences were possible through the rise to power of more progressive and diversified forces, including women, indigenous people and workers. And against which all conservative forces have teamed up.
The dreams of humanity today are confronted with the fundamentalisms of wars and xenophobia, and systems of domination with their new ways of striking liberties and democracies. The ability to resist is once again challenged. That is why organizations and movements aligned with the Charter of Principles of the World Social Forum once again join together to gather their diversity of struggles and join forces for resistance.
Salvador 2018 will be the meeting point: horizontal, self-managed and determined. If you agree with the WSF Charter of Principles, you are already a part of it. Get involved either in person or from the distance. The Salvador meeting will be networked, with everyone who wants to participate.