Horizontal | 27.02.2004 00:26 | European Social Forum
www.esf2004.net and is ready for people to sign up to. This statement
has been crafted by a range of people and speaks for itself. If you
would like your name to be added to this statement please email
email@example.com or fill out the form on the site. All names of
individuals who support it and the groups, networks and organisations
they are involved with, but not which they neccesarily represent, will
be published in a week or so's time.
Please promote 'A Call for Democracy in the ESF Process' around all
relevant networks you are involved with.
If you are able to translate this statement into any other language then
please do so and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be added to the
site. It would also be very useful if you could translate the green box
on the homepage, perhaps with a note mentioning that most of the site as
yet to be translated but that the statement has been.
There are many other simple ways you can help develop www.esf2004.net,
please follow the link from the homepage.
The full statement is below.
A Call for Democracy in the ESF Process
We are a wide group of UK and European activists who are currently
extremely unhappy with the ESF 2004 Organising Process. Despite frequent
interventions and attempts to make our views known, our methods of
organising, demands for democracy and transparency, and even the right
to attend meetings have been trampled upon by those currently dominating
the process. This is unacceptable in a process which declares "Another
World is Possible!". Despite all this, we believe very strongly that a
European Social Forum in the UK can be a positive event, which we would
like to support. We are calling not for the abolition of the ESF 2004,
but rather for the enlargement of the process and the involvement of all
sectors of the UK and European movement.
We are urging the delegates at the European Assembly to closely examine
the ESF 2004 Organising Process as it currently stands. We believe that
the basic principles of the WSF Charter have already been treated with
contempt. In particular, we propose that:
(i) Ways are devised in which individuals and loose networks of
activists can participate fully in the Organising Process.
(ii) The Organising Process MUST be made less London-centric and more
accessible to all sectors of the movement, not just large trade unions
and the Greater London Assembly.
(iii) The role of the GLA in the process must immediately be clarified.
(iv) The role of political parties within the process must be clarified.
(v) A clear, transparent and fair decision-making process must be
instituted to replace the opaque and confusing 'faux-consensus' that is
currently being used, which is neither majority voting nor proper
consensus decision making.
(vi) The outsourcing of ESF functions to private companies must be
urgently addressed. By sidelining hundreds of enthusiastic activists,
those currently organising the ESF are forcing us to spend thousands of
pounds on private services.
(vii) No one part of the UK movement can be allowed to blackmail or
bully another. A process of disaffection and disengagement with the ESF
process has already begun. This may seem convenient for those organising
the process at the moment, but when the time comes that enthusiastic
volunteers are needed, we fear that no-one will become involved.
(viii) Agendas and minutes of all ESF meetings should be openly
circulated to all interested parties in good time before them in the
case of agendas and immediately after them in the case of minutes. This
is currently the official policy but has largely been ignored.
We urge everyone to support this *positive* transition towards a more
democratic and open ESF process, which will lead to a successful ESF 2004.