The greatest progressive innovation of our century -- to this point -- has been the World Social Forum (WSF). In the book Another World is Possible: popular alternatives to globalization at the World Social Forum, William Fisher and I first contended that the World Social Forum represented the beginning of building a new left and a new global civilization, grounded by a desire for participatory, radical democracy.
While I was visiting my family and friends in Tunisia this summer, I came across a new feeling, or maybe it is an impression -- a feeling or impression that I never encountered before in the country that is proud today to be called the sparkle of the "Arab Spring."
I grew up there in the '80s. I remember seeing in people's eyes the fear of authority, humiliation, loss of dignity, the sorrow of poverty, suspicion, but I didn't see the "fear of terrorism." Even in the darkest hours of the country, during the '80s, when there were violent incidents attributed to Islamist militants, I didn't hear from people around me that they were afraid.
"This was like a dream come true," said a radiant Sossi Mohamed Sadek, a Tunisian second year engineering student who was one of the hundreds of local volunteers at the World Social Forum in Tunis. "To see our university overflowing with over 50,000 people from Africa, Europe, Latin America, the United States, the Middle East -- it was extraordinary. I came away with new ideas and new friends that will surely have a great impact on my life."
The following declaration was issued in Hammamet, Tunisia, during the second international preparatory meeting of the World Social Forum (WSF) 2013.
The World Social Forum Dignity-Karama will take place as foreseen in Tunis, from the 26th to the 30th of March 2013. The active involvment of movements, organizations, trade unions, platforms and networks from Tunisia, Maghreb, Machrek, Sub-saharan African, Americas, Europe and from all over the world is allowing us to hope a successful, popular and dynamic Forum.
Izza Leghtas of Amnesty International on the assassination of Chokri Belaid in Tunisia.