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Alternatives organises activities at the 2013 World Social Forum

Author's name: 
Alexandra Groome
Montreal

APC member Alternatives helped organise a delegation of 200 people from Quebec to attend the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunis, where the Arab Spring movement was born, from 26 – 30 March 2013.

The 2013 WSF was marked by a total of 62,000 participants, many of whom were from social movements in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. The forum was charactised by a remarkably young group of people. The dynamic and innovative spirit of this year’s forum made it one of the best editions in years, says Alternatives.

Since 2003, Alternatives and nine other organisations have comprised Alternatives International (AlterInter). Over 100 people from these organisations participated in the WSF this year!

Discussion about women’s rights, which Alternatives deems of the most fundamental issues facing the world today, was very significant, especially with regard to fundamentalist and conservative forces, within regional contexts world-wide, seeking to restrict the rights of women.

Alter, in collaboration with various other organisations, created a “climate space” within the WSF, focusing on the battle to boycott the Canadian Tar Sands. They also organised an information session on the challenges faced by Iraqi social movements. The first Iraqi Social Forum will be held in November 2014 in Baghdad. A seminar on Political Islam co-organised by AlterInter attracted over 600 people.

Participants from Quebec learned a lot about the “next steps” to be taken at home in order to deal with anti-civil society, anti-environmental and anti-human rights forces from Ottawa. Many of these participants will be using the lessons learned from WSF at the 2014 People’s Social Forum, which will bring together communities in Quebec, Canada, and the First Nations.

Keep an eye out for a Magheb/Mashrek campaign against political violence against women launched by Alternatives partners in Tunis.

View the original article about Alternatives’ participation at the WSF in French at http://journal.alternatives.ca/spip.php?article7304

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