I’M FROM the University of Barcelona. There are some 650 of us here from Barcelona and some 1,000 from all over Spain, including activists from Madrid and Bilbao.
I’ve come as part of XMG, a Catalan anti-capitalist network.
People have seen the movement at other social forums and can see the importance of what’s happening.
For the majority of people, it’s a mood, no more than that, but that’s still good. I’m planning to listen to all the different views and strategies. After the ESF we plan to build our movement locally, in the schools, universities, trade unions and neighbourhoods.
Our main objective is to build two big campaigns next year—against the European Union constitution and against factory closures.
On 1 February next year, Schröder, Chirac and Zapatero will start the EU constitution campaign in Barcelona.
It’s a great opportunity for us to turn out a mass demonstration against them, like the demonstration against the EU summit two years ago where 500,000 took to the streets.
In terms of the objectives of the ESF and the next step for the movement, it’s important for the international movement to have a global vision of the world at the same time as looking at national and regional strategy.
The international movement needs one objective worldwide, and the most important thing at the moment is the war in Iraq.
The Iraqi resistance cannot win alone, but with an international movement like that of 15 February 2003, they will be able to defeat imperialism and prevent future wars.
I spent the morning in a meeting about Europe, asking whether it is an alternative to the US. Samir Amin and Alex Callinicos spoke at it.
Some people argued that Europe has a different political culture to the US, and a strong Europe would be better than a world led by the US.
The other side argued that Europe wasn’t that different, that Europe also supports wars and racism.
The new EU constitution is all about neo-liberalism. Europe wants to be a military power and that contradicts our objective, which is a peaceful world.
I think most people want a different Europe in a different world.
Arundhati Roy concludes her article on ‘Public power in the age of empire’. John Rose and Ghada Karmi on the struggle for Palestine. Interview with Peter Doherty on music and the movement…
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