Chris Nineham, a member of the ESF steering committee, and Dave Sherry, a delegate at the ESF from the TGWU union in Glasgow, spoke to Socialist Worker about the future for the movement.
TODAY’s “Assembly of the social movements” will coordinate the movement’s struggles over the coming months.
Speaking on the eve of the assembly, Chris Nineham was keen that the London ESF, like previous forums, provided an impetus to the movements against capitalism and war.
“The European Social Forum in Florence, Italy, was the launchpad for 15 February 2003, and the biggest anti-imperialist movement the world has ever seen,” he said. “This year’s ESF has also come at a crucial time for the anti-war movement.
“Popular resistance in Iraq is creating a deep crisis for the ‘Project for the New American Century’. The call for ‘troops out’ is now practical, popular and realistic.
“It’s time for the movement to get back on the streets. That’s why it is vital that this year’s ESF calls for another day of action against war in the new year.”
Chris Nineham added that the movement would have another chance to confront the world’s rulers when the G8 meets at the Gleneagles golf course in Scotland in July 2005.
“It’s a sign of the strength of our movement that the rich and powerful will be cowering at a golf course in the middle of the countryside to hatch their plots,” he said. “We need the biggest possible protests against these leaders of the neo-liberal world order.
“We call on everyone who wants a peaceful future and a world without poverty to join these protests.”
Dave Sherry is one of the Scottish activists already preparing to mobilise against the G8 meeting which takes place from 2 July to 9 July 2005.
“Opposition to the G8 is being coordinated by G8 Alternatives,” he said. “This group has brought together a huge range of movements.
“It has already attracted support from CND and the anti-war movement, from trade unions, environmental groups, political parties, the Muslim Association of Britain, and human rights and refugee campaign groups.
“Susan George, Noam Chomsky, and other celebrities, activists and artists have also pledged their support.
“Earlier this week Mary Senior, speaking as the representative of the Scottish Trades Union Congress at the ESF, urged European trade unions and social movements to make sure tens of thousands come to Scotland to join protests and a counter-summit.
“G8 Alternatives plans to hold a demonstration through the streets of Edinburgh on Saturday 2 July, coinciding with the start of the summit.
“Later that week there will be an international protest at the Faslane nuclear missile base on the River Clyde.
“An alternative summit will counter the pro-war, neo-liberal agenda of the G8.
“The third ESF has shown how the anti-capitalist movement continues to grow in strength and influence. Opposing the G8 in 2005 is now a priority for this movement.
“Let’s begin organising now to make sure that this movement, in its thousands, descends upon Gleneagles in July next year.”
To find out more about G8 Alternatives go to www.g8alternatives.org.uk