ESF-6: Assembly “Solidarity of the East and the West”

Tord Björk | CEE,ESF,right wing,Uncategorized | Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Assembly “Solidarity of the East and the West”
6th ESF Istanbul, 3rd  July 2010

Present 56 participants from 21 countries: Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey

Facilitator: Leo Gabriel
After the total failure of the Turkish organizers to facilitate and support the participation of social and environmental movements from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), this participation and this assembly were only enabled thanks to generous short notice donations of the World Social Forum Expansion Commission “Rosa Luxemburg Foundation”, the European leftist network transform!, members of the European Parliament from the GUE/NGL faction as well as members of the German Federal Parliament from Die Linke (The Left).

Russian Antifascist with translator on struggle against right wing extremism

Issues:
Co-operation between the East and the West in fighting right-wing extremism (RWE)
Rights of the Mother Earth, campaigning before the summit in Cancun

Tord Björk: We have to address the crisis in CEE jointly. Lot of big and rich WE organisations are reluctant to work together or even to help because they feel themselves superior. In fact, some little movements in CEE function better than big Western European organisations or TUs despite their own very bad political, legal and economic conditions and very limited financial and human resources in CEE countries.
Said Gafurov: Social movements and SF in Russia are no more marginalized, they become appropriate media attention, thanks to the help of some people from WSF and ESF. However, there is a lack of information what is happening in other CEE countries.
Françoise: E.g. women in Poland have lost their rights, like the right for abortion.
Leo Gabriel informed about the establishment of the “Prague Spring II – all-European network against right-wing extremism and populism” and recommended to make use of its resources and possibilities and to develop it jointly as an information hub between the East and the West.

Alexander Buzgalin in action at ESF

Proposals:
a) To distribute information as much as possible and on different levels: website and lobbying of left and liberal mass media.
b) Alexander Buzgalin from Russia proposed to organize a conference under an ultimate condition: those CEE groups who are not able to work together will not be granted any financial support from Western donor foundations.
c) To integrate into the existing structure of the network on RWE a discussion on fundamental questions in education, health and gender.
d) To create a method of exchanging opinions and research results on solutions of the crisis.
f) Invitation for a conference in Kiev on Climate change in September and against RWE in St.Petersburg on the 3rd November 2010.
g) Follow up of the seminars on Free Trade, Feminism and the Lisbon Treaty held at 5th ESF.

Conclusions: Assembly “Solidarity of the East and the West”

1.    With regard to the upcoming European mobilisations it was said that it is preferable to develop simultaneous activities against crises, poverty, unemployment in many countries during the time of the big demonstration on 29th September in Brussels. The slogan ”Human beings are more important than banks” was suggested as well as the integration of our struggle against racism and xenophobia.
2.    The open All-European Mobilizing Committee should support the co-operation and participation of CEE movements for the next EPAs and ESF, based upon the good experience with frequent Skype conferences
3.    The open-esf website should be renewed and continued with a better balanced participation of women and of CEE movements.
4.    Everyone is invited to participate in the network “Prague Spring II” and to integrate other issues into its work, e.g. women’s issues, sustainability or social issues.
5.    The next ESF should take place either in a CEE country or in one of the neighbouring countries like Austria.

Seminar on right wing extremism intiated by the ESF network Prague Spring II

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