Francine Mestrum –  The World Social Forum on Migrations took place i A Mexico eut lieu du 2 au 4 novembre 2018 le Forum Social Mondial des Migrations.n Mexico City from 2 to 4 November 2018. A meeting of the International Council of the WSF was held immediately after this with all those who were present. .We were, in total, about 25 or 30 people.

This number is too limited to make decisions, and unfortunately, ‘streaming’ did not work and those who were interested in following the discussions could not. Really a shame because our discussions were very positive and constructive, as if the shock of the elections in Brazil had awakened all participants.

The first half-day was devoted to the political situation in the world with a report on the rise of fascism and totalitarianism everywhere. The Brazilian friends reminded us of how, two years ago in Montreal, we had not succeeded to condemn the ‘coup’ against President Dilma Rousseff, and how the ‘intellectual masturbation’ had paralyzed the IC for years. Admittedly, those who refuse any political positioning are still there, but a general agreement has nevertheless emerged to emphasize the necessary and inevitable politicization of the IC and the WSF.

As for the participants from Mexico, they pointed out that although the new president who will assume his duties on 1 December is progressive, his cabinet and his government include several members of the old PRI system. .So do not expect shattering leftist decisions. However, the horizon that opens up is an opportunity for social movements to ensure that the new government meets its electoral commitments.

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

A movement against fascism already exists in Central Europe, ‘Prague Spring 2’, which should be used to develop action programs. Because the big question remains :what to do? A big resistance meeting will be held in Caracas in the spring of 2019.

It was also recalled how the topic of migration has become strategic and is used by right-wing governments to impose measures that reduce liberties or even allow for militarization.

At the end of this debate, the initiative to make a network of sanctuary cities, to develop a world movement against fascism and to emphasize the need for convergence between the movements was agreed on: ‘Nadie deja la mano de nadie’,  the solidarity between us is essential.

These debates also led us to the conclusion that the next WSF will have to be more political and pursue concrete objectives.

And as ‘pear trees cannot grow apples’ a proposal was made to create a separate movement in case the IC actually continues to refuse to position itself politically.

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

Our Mexican friends have expressed the wish to give a new dynamic to the WSF, if possible with a change in the rules of the Charter of Principles, at least with a very strong political vision. This will require everyone to do his/her work in every continent in order we to mobilize all energies and to get to articulate the various themes we are working on. In this way we should make the link between the different thematic forums. This WSF will also be important in continuing to put pressure on the new Mexican government. TAll those who were at the IC before should be contacted and invited again. The message of the WSF will have to be expressed in a strong and emancipatory political voice.

In this context it was emphasized that the methodology must always be at the service of politics and not vice versa. The organizers will consider how to organize, apart from self-managed activities, meetings stimulated by the facilitating committee in order to preserve the possibility of a comprehensive agenda and guidance, at the service of our objectives. This work must necessarily be collective and pursue the goal of making it a truly global forum.

It is not excluded that in the meantime, the Brazilians will try to organize a preparatory event in Salvador de Bahia, in support of the Mexican process.

The WSF 2020 will have to develop without any straitjacket in order to be global, emancipatory and strategic.

Finally a last debate took place on the IC secretariat and a new communication initiative, all at the service of our mobilizations and our efficiency. A new cooperation between the Maghreb, Canada and Brazil will be put in place.

At 20 years of the first WSF, new hope exists   !!


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