The European Social Forum (ESF) is on course to be held in London this year. There was a real buzz of excitement at a meeting of around 150 activists in London last Saturday-the UK Assembly for the ESF.
News of the brilliant success of the 100,000-strong World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai helped to create a sense of determination to stage a successful forum in London.
The assembly agreed on a statement of organising principles. They followed the models adopted by the WSF in Mumbai and the ESFs in Florence and Paris. The statement was proposed by six national unions-the RMT, Unison, Natfhe, the NUJ, Usdaw and the CWU-as well as NGOs, and representatives from the Greater London Assembly.
The statement pledges that, 'The ESF in London will allow social movements, trade unions, NGOs, peace and anti-imperialist groups, anti-racist movements, environmental movements, networks of the excluded and community campaigns from Europe and the world to come together and discuss themes linked to major European and global issues.'
These issues include privatisation, globalisation, racism and war.
The organising committee is asking for groups to affiliate. It will meet regularly to publicise the ESF and raise money.
Chris Nineham of Globalise Resistance told Socialist Worker, 'Most people feel really relieved. The meeting last Saturday was big and very representative of the movement. Everyone wants the ESF to come to London. Now we have a democratic and transparent structure we can get on with the job of organising the event.
'We appeal to all organisations and social movements to affiliate to the organising committee and get stuck into the task of raising money. The WSF in Mumbai gave a huge boost to the movement in India. An ESF in London will be absolutely electric. The kinds of organisations involved is already amazingly broad.'
For details of how to get involved in the ESF, see next week's Socialist Worker.