World Social Forum - Montreal 2016

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
World Social Forum - Montreal 2016

From the 9th to 14th of August 2016

Summary of titles of 13 WSF 2016 themes

  1. Economic, Social and Solidarity Alternatives facing the Capitalist Crisis
  2. Democratization of Knowledge and Right to Communication
  3. Culture of Peace and Struggle for Justice and Demilitarization
  4. Decolonization and Self-Determination of Peoples
  5. Rights of Nature and Environmental Justice
  6. Global Struggles and International Solidarity
  7. Human and Social Rights, Dignity and Fight against Inequalities
  8. Struggles against Racism, Xenophobia, Patriarchy and Fundamentalism
  9. Fight against the Dictatorship of Finance and for Resource Distribution
  10. Migration, Refugees and Citizenship Without Borders
  11. Democracy, Social and Citizen Movements
  12. Workers against Neoliberalism
  13. Cultural, Artistic and Philosophical Expressions for Another Possible World

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Thousands to Meet in Montreal for World Social Forum

Thousands of people from over 95 countries are expected to gather in Montreal on August 9-14 for a social movement summit called the World Social Forum (WSF). Participants will spend a week attending a great variety of workshops, lectures and cultural events – more than 1200 in total. Famed author Naomi Klein will be giving two talks that are sure to be among the highlights of this unique event, which is designed to allow social activists and scholars to grapple with a host of economic, social, environmental and cultural questions facing the contemporary world. And Klein is just one of a raft of influential speakers who will be engaging audiences at the WSF. The Forum will unfold throughout downtown Montreal at UQAM, Concordia and McGill as well as in many parks and other venues outside the universities....


Selection of events sponsored by Centre for Social Justice, CIDSE, Comboni Network, MAM, MAB, Socialist Project

  • Just Mobility and Environmental Justice - Fri Aug 12th, 9:00 - 11:30:

    • Building an International Free Public Transit Movement. This session brings together activists and movements to discuss strategies for building the international free transit movement. Public transit lies at the intersection of several critical social struggles today. Affordable (or free) public transit is an important mechanism for redistribution, and particularly targets low income women and people of colour. A central component of public policies to address climate change must be mass expenditures on public transit to reduce reliance on private cars and fossil fuels. Speakers:
      • Stefan Kipfer, Free Transit Toronto, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University
      • Müslüm Örtülü, transit activist in Frankfurt/Hessen, Germany and Kurdistan
      • Judith Dellheim, Just Mobility Project, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin
      • Jason Prince, transit activist, Montreal
      • Tailings Dam Breaches in Canada and Brazil “Accidents” or “Environmental Crimes” - Wed Aug 10th, 9:00 - 11:30:

        • In August 2015, the tailings dam at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine collapsed, resulting in a toxic spill of 24 million cubic meters of mine waste. In November 201 5, an even bigger toxic spill occurred in Mariana, Brazil at the Samarco mine, a 50-50 joint venture of Brazil’s Vale and BHP. The toxic tsumani travelled the 800 km of the Sweet River to the Atlantic. The tragedy took 19 lives, left 1 200 homeless and thousands more with loss of land and livelihoods. In a round-table discussion, people affected by these disasters from Mt. Polley and Marianal will compare the strikingly similar circumstances surrounding the two tragedies. Chair: Judith Marshall, CERLAC. Presenters:
          • Ugo Lapoint, Mining Watch Canada
          • Jacinda Mack, First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining, FNWARM, Canada
          • Leticia Oliveira, MAB, Brasil
          • Beatriz Cerqueira, CUT Brasil
      • ...and more


    I hope I can attend that public mobility forum - I'm paid to interpret at some of them, so then I don't have the choice, and of course I have other work to get done, mainly follow-up on the festival I'm working on now.

    Is anyone here from outside Mtl attending the Forum or part of it?

    epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

    Program Grand Conferences WSF 2016

    Montreal, August 10-12, 2016

     18h à 19h30

    epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

    Entry visa denials cast shadow over World Social Forum in Montreal

    This week, thousands of community organizers and social justice activists from around the world will converge in Montreal for the World Social Forum. Their goal? Nothing less than changing the world. But the Canadian government’s denial of entry visas to hundreds of would-be participants has thrown a wrench in the works....



    The Babble twitter feed from Montreal today featured a photo of a WSF banner calling for an end to antiziganism.

    For Google we are grateful.  

    epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

    World Social Forum in Montreal: “Another world is once again being constructed without Africa”

    One day before the start of this year’s edition of the World Social Forum (WSF 2016), to be held in Montreal from 9 – 14 August 2016, civil society representatives from several African nations have announced their intention to boycott the proceedings, due to the overwhelming number of visa denials for members of their delegations. Reports are coming in that participants from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East have been denied visas to travel to the international gathering as well.

    After having carefully prepared their applications over the past year, travelled to sometimes distant Canadian embassies and consulates and paid fees to Canada,  to the WSF organization (entry fees, site rental fees for their conferences or workshops, equipment charges, interpretation fees, and various other charges), as well as thousands in flight, hotel and other transport and accommodation costs, at least 234 community organization leaders and representatives were denied visitor visas to attend and give presentations at the international conference, including persons who were invited and had Canadian sponsors.


    In the run-up to the event, would-be conference presenters and attendees were alerting Forum organizers that their letters of invitation, an essential part of the visa application process, had not been received. And then many others started to receive rejection notifications from the Canadian government.

    While U.S. attendees can enter Canada visa-free, the application process for nationals of other countries becomes increasingly more cumbersome. Europeans can apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for a relatively modest $7 CAD fee, while someone from Bangladesh, for example, would need to submit biometrics (fingerprints and photo, $85 CAD) and make their application for a visa ($100 CAD fee) in person at a Canadian embassy or consulate. Once filed, the consideration process takes 30-90 days or more.

    Preliminary responses to a questionnaire published on the WSF website show that 70% of visa applications have been refused by the Government of Canada, primarily on three grounds: previous foreign travel, insufficient financial means and likelihood to overstay the visa. On the other hand, Canada’s immigration ministry claims to provide special assistance to organizing visas for large international conferences, such as the World Social Forum. Canada has outsourced its visa treatment process to private corporation VFS Global, founded in Mumbai but now based in Zurich.

    Among those refused is U.N. Secretary General candidate Aminata Traoré, who was invited to speak at two of the Forum’s major conferences on August 10. Other prominent persons whose visa applications were rejected include union leaders Rogério Batista of Brazil and Palestinian Imad Temiza. France’s Centre for Research and Information on Development (CRID) issued a statement saying that “partners from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Niger, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Côte d’Ivoire, for example, have had their rights to travel denied.”  Ayana Fleur from Congo, already in Montreal, said that 10 of her colleagues were refused and will not be joining her at the Forum.

    epaulo13 epaulo13's picture


    Refus des visas: une entrave à la liberté d'expression / Visa Refusal: Shackling Freedom of Expression

    A  large number of guests from the Global South have not received their visas to enter Canada. More than  200 visas have been denied or blocked. Their voices, notably from Africa, Asia, and Latin America are therefore silenced and excluded from the work  of constructing another world with real democracy, social justice, equality, pluralism and respect for human rights.

    Freedom  of expression is inseparable from freedom of movement. Without  guaranteeing the right to participation and speech, the World Social  Forum and its thematic forums – such as the World Forum on Free Media  (WFFM) – cannot be built without the expression of different perspectives.  Without the presence of participants from the global south, how can the  diversity observed in the world be fully represented at the World Forum of Free Media and in the World Social Forum? If we restrict our  diversity, how then can we talk about freedom of expression?...

    ikosmos ikosmos's picture

    rabble columnist Emily Blake: 2016 WSF Begins in Montreal

    Emily Blake wrote:
    Today is the opening march of the 2016 World Social Forum (WSF) in Montreal. Between 50,000 and 80,000 people will come together with the intent of creating a better world for future generations. People will be attending from between 120 and 140 different countries and will bring inspiring ideas from the forum back home.

    alan smithee alan smithee's picture

    This Forum has attracted the usual suspects whining and crying.

    Seriously,fuck off.


    I'd like to know who is behind . That site is rife with conspiracy theories.

    There are all sorts of people at Social Forums. And yes, there are "Foundations" that attempt to provide a humanist cover to capitalists. That doesn't mean they or any other group controls them; nobody really controls those talking shops.

    Not all Syrians opposing the regime, and the islamists, are pawns of the US or any other power. I've met people who were jailed for many years there as socialists or anarchists.


    lagatta wrote:

    I'd like to know who is behind . That site is rife with conspiracy theories.

    Rational Wiki pretty much nails it in their article on Global Research (extract follows): 

    Globalresearch is an anti-"Western" website that can't distinguish between serious analysis and discreditable junk -- and so publishes both. It's basically the moonbat equivalent to Infowars or WND.

    While some of GlobalResearch's articles discuss legitimate humanitarian concerns, its view of science,economics, and geopolitics is conspiracist -- if something goes wrong, the Jews West didit! The site has long been a crank magnet: If you disagree with "Western" sources on 9/11, or HAARP, or vaccines, or H1N1, orclimate change, or anything published by the "mainstream" media, then GlobalResearch is guaranteed to have a page you will love.

    The website (under the domain names, .org(link), and .com(link)) is run by the Montreal-based non-profit The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) founded by Michel Chossudovsky,a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa.Weep for the future....

    Whenever someone makes a remarkable claim and cites GlobalResearch, they are almost certainly wrong...

    Because many of its articles are reposts from other sites (and in turn other sites repost from GlobalResearch), it is difficult to tell how widespread the website's publishing is....

    Despite presenting itself as a source of scholarly analysis, Global Research mostly consists of polemicists. The prevalent strand is that a New World Order is being implemented by global elites (primarily governmentsand corporations).  Many of the articles accept conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, and propaganda in order to further this narrative...

    Globalresearch appears to fully believe that my enemy's enemy is my friend. The West can do no right, and anything which opposes the "West" (ie, the US and its allies) can do no wrong... 

    Globalresearch appears to be largely a news clearinghouse, as very few of the stories on their homepage are attributed to "Global Research News"or "Global Research". Globalresearch contributors are happy to source information from anyone who seems vaguely aligned with their ideology, even if said contributors are full of horseshit...

    Multiple people have asserted that GlobalResearch is part of a Russian disinformation network.... All that said, the simpler solution (which also explains everything GlobalResearch has done) is to simply assume that GlobalResearch is merely a nutty anti-Western site, rather than an active member of a Russian information-controlling conspiracy."


    Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

    The website (under the domain names, .org(link), and .com(link)) is run by the Montreal-based non-profit The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) founded by Michel Chossudovsky,a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa.Weep for the future

    Curiously, Chossudovsky is listed as a contributor to, but links to his contribution(s?) seem to be dead.

    Perhaps rabble had no choice but to pull them when he got too close to the truth.


    I suspect irony, Magoo. He used to work with Alternatives, but that collaboration is no more.

    The only problem with "sceptic" sites such as rational wiki, is that while they are very good at exposing wingbattery, they seem to ready to accept the version of reality set forth by major firms such as Monsanto. There are a hell of a lot of people critical of Monsanto who aren't "anti-vaxxers" or think Monsanto is uniquely evil.


    Thousands of Canadian social activists have taken part in numerous WSF gatherings over the years. While this exposure has helped radicalized students in Quebec, it appears to have accomplished little in Eastern Canada. Even during the brutal years of the Harper administration, only a handful of unions and fringe radical groups advocated strong action.
    The NDP and leading social movement groups, say the Council of Canadians, should have seen the need to explore alternatives to Canada's corporate-dominated political system. But the NDP doesn't even acknowledge the existence of neo-liberalism, the damaging centrepiece of right-wing politics.



    Who among us was there? Any report backs?