European Social Forum London, 14-17 October 2004
It's happening in London The organisers of the European Social Forum (ESF) in London have booked Alexandra Palace, a huge venue in Haringey, which will provide space for tens of thousands of activists.
The London ESF will be a chance for tens of thousands of activists to meet, discuss and debate the key issues facing the movement. Who will be there?
The European Social Forums bring together anti-war campaigners, those who want to resist global capital, trade unionists, NGOs, anti-racist groups, and thousands of other organisations and individuals.
The most recent meeting of the World Social Forum took place in Mumbai, India, in January. Over 100,000 people attended, mostly from India. The last ESF attracted 50,000 people to Paris last November, with 55 giant meetings and 500 smaller ones taking place. What will happen? The London ESF will include hundreds of rallies, debates and meetings. There will be a demonstration through London during the ESF. The demonstration in Florence at the ESF in 2002 attracted one million people.
There will also be a an 'Assembly of the Social Movements' to give thousands of activists the chance to coordinate future campaigns across Europe. The ESF meetings in Florence in 2002 and in Paris last November had an inspiring, vibrant atmosphere.
Organisers plan to create a carnival atmosphere with hundreds of political meetings, music, films and other cultural events. They have started inviting leading figures to the ESF, including Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Nelson Mandela and Naomi Klein.
Who is backing it? Cheering erupted when an assembly of 250 people from across Europe agreed to hold the ESF right under the nose of Tony Blair at a meeting in London last weekend.
The TUC is backing the event. London Region Unison have voted to give £50,000 towards the costs of organising the event-expected to be in the region of £1 million. Other trade unions, the TUC and the Greater London Assembly have pledged to support the event.
Lots of other campaigning groups are supporting the London ESF. Among them are Globalise Resistance, Amnesty International, CND, the Muslim Parliament and Help the Aged.
What you can do
Tell everyone you know that the ESF is coming to London in October. Many people in campaigns and trade unions will want to get involved in this event.
Pass motions to affiliate to the UK ESF Committee. The more groups that affiliate to the committee, the more diverse and exciting the event will be. And the committee needs funds to help pay for the event.
Send delegates to the next European Assembly in Istanbul 17-18 April.