National Sections of the L5I:

ESF: forum of resistance?

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As the programme for a bosses' Europe  the European Constitution  is defeated yet again in another referendum, the movement for another Europe is building its forces to meet at the European Social Forum in Malmo is September.

The ESF is hoping to attract the many social movements from across the region  immigrants, women, students, youth, workers, climate change and environmental activists, anti-racists, socialists, anarchists, and social justice activists  to come together and build common action against the neo-liberal Europe embodied in the Lisbon 2010 agenda.

The ESF was born out of the World Social Forum, which began as an opposing pole to the World Economic Forum meetings. At the WEF, the richest in the world come together to decide how to most efficiently divide up the wealth of the world among themselves. The WSF drew in the poor, the disenfranchised, the exploited across the world from the landless peasants movement (MST) in Brazil, the German metal workers, the Bolivian anti-water privatisation campaigners  all those that were fighting oppression and ultimately the neo-liberal, privatisation assault by the imperialist nations.

The ESF embodies the best and the worst of the WSF. It embodies activism against militarism  it was the Florence ESF in 2002 and the Assembly of Social Movements that sent out the call for the international day of action against the imminent war against Iraq. Across the world, more that 25 million people demonstrated against the US/UK war drive. But that was decided outside of the ESF for the WSF Charter, which the ESF adheres to, outlaws decision-making, saying instead that the WSF/ESF is just a "space" and can't make decisions.

Workers Power, the British section of the League for the Fifth International, will be there fighting for a revolutionary socialist answer to the bosses' agenda, as we were in the four previous ESF's  Florence 2002, Paris 2003, London 2005 and Athens 2007.

The LFI and Revolution, a socialist youth group, has consistently argued for the scrapping of the WSF Charter and the setting up of an elected co-ordination body that can link up struggles across Europe to take the movement forward.

In 2005 Revolution was instrumental in co-ordinating a Youth Assembly where young people could truly participate through debating issues and planning action.

In Malmo, Revolution and other European youth organisations will be involved in a Youth Space to make our struggles more effective, whether it is against tuition fees or in support of asylum seekers.

Come to the European Social Forum in Malmˆ, Sweden, 17  21 September

The ESF is based on 10 themes: social inclusion and social rights; a sustainable world, food sovereignty, environmental and climate justice; democracy and rights in Europe; equality and rights, acknowledging diversities; justice, peace and solidarity; labour strategies for decent work and dignity for all; economic and social justice; democratising knowledge, culture, education information and mass media; fighting against all forms of racism and discrimination; plus transversal activities.

During five days seminars and workshops will be mixed with culture, music, activism and demonstrations. As the Nordic organisers put it: "The forum is so much more than a meeting of a couple of days - now we in the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe have the chance to put forward alternatives for the future."