Greening the ESF

Tord Björk | ESF,Friends of the Earth | Sunday, January 18th, 2009

FoE Sweden ESF and 2009 follow-up policy

Friends of the Earth Sweden strategy policy for ESF in Malmö; 2008 and WSF in Amazonia, Swedish EU-presiden

cy and Climate Summit in Copenhagen 2009.

The 5th European Soc

ial Forum will be held in Malmö; 17-21st of September 2008. The first was held in Florence 2002. At this forum the initiative to demonstrate against the Iraq war was taken. Later ESF took place in Paris 2003, London 2004, and Athens 2006. Social forums have been held since 1999 in Norway and for the whole world in Porto Alegre and other places since 2001. In Sweden local social forums have been organised in Norrköping, Lun

d, St

ockholm, Göteborg, Umeå; and Falun. Local environmental groups or FoE Sweden have been co-organisers of all these forums with the exception of Umeå;. According to a scientific study FoE Sweden is one of the organisations with most partcipants at these social forum. FoE Sweden has not participated very actively at earlier

ESF. The environmental issues have been well recieved by ESF but the environmental movement in Europe; has not been strongly engaged so far. At regional forums on other continents as Latin America environmental issues has been the most addressed issue as the struggle against GMO during a continental forum in Ecuador.

The FoE Sweden strategy is three-folded:

1. One level is the need to establish a program and processes together with our sister organisations and like-minded movements at ESF in limited issues as food sovereignity, climate and nuclear power.

2. The second level is to promote popular movment cooperation by initiating a political campaign making demands on issues as social justice, environment, peace and solidarity with activities during ESF as an element and a follow-up during 2009. To this level belong taking initiatives by jointly organizing seminars of interest to all popular movements and other activitities like participating in the big ESF demonstration.

3. The third level is to support ESF cooperation as a whole.

During 2007 FoE Sweden put most ener

gy into the third level and less than was wished into the two other levels. When ESF comes closer environmental issues will probably be the largest task at least in quantity while popular movement alliance building behind political demands may become the most important task in the follow-up of ESF. We hope by making a good effort at all three levels to strengthen the combined results of the contribution by FoE Sweden.

All three levels are parts of a common st

rategy making it fun and interesting for members of FoE Sweden and other popular movements to participat

e at ESF. We want to renew ESF by making ESF more interesting for people in common, green, open, democratic cultural and political. To make such a broad strategy possible FoE Sweden builds a close relationship with FoE sister organisations, peasant organisation as Nordbruk in Sweden, member of Via Campesina and solidarity organisations promoting global democray and popular movement cooperation as Democracy Forum Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in Finland and the Nordic Association for Knowledge on Activism and Popular movements/ Surrounding such a core of closely related organisations cooperation is promoted with all interested environmental and other popular movements.

The full policy is available in Swedish

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