GLOBALISE Resistance, the anti-capitalist network, held its annual conference in London last Saturday. The discussion was dominated by preparations for two important mobilisations. In October the European Social Forum (ESF)-a gathering of tens of thousands of anti-capitalists, trade unionists and campaigners-will be hosted in London.
In 2005 New Labour are hosting the G8 summit-a meeting of the eight biggest capitalist powers discussing how to exploit the world's people and resources. Walden Bello, one of the leading strategists of the anti-capitalist movement, flew from the Philippines to take part in the discussion. He argued that the failures of globalisation and Bush's drive to war were creating splits among the global elite.
He said mass mobilisations around the ESF and G8 were a way of taking advantage of these splits. Christophe Aguiton from ATTAC France said the war in Iraq and the failure of the WTO talks had created new opportunities and challenges for the movement. The ESF was the place to discuss the movement's response to this new period, he said.
Chris Nineham from Globalise Resistance stressed that the whole union movement and non-governmental organisations were open to involvement in the ESF. He added that as the movement developed there was a greater need to discuss the role of political parties.
There were additional sessions on the Muslim headscarf, or hijab, the media and Palestine. Around 200 people registered for the event.