ESF 2008: Power to the people – against capitalism and environmental destruction. Another world is possible!
Under this slogan over 15.000 people took the streets in Malmö (Sweden) on Saturday 20th September 2008. The peaceful three-hour parade was part of the 5th European Social Forum that took place in South Sweden from 17 to 21 September and included 250 seminars, workshops and assemblies and over 400 cultural activities (films, theatre, concerts, poetry).
Over 13.000 participants came to the Social Forum discussing over a great variety of topics from welfare and public services, economic alternatives to environmental and climate justice. The European Network "Transform!" was present with a stand and organized several debates, e.g. about the “Left Actors and the European Social Model” . The debates and conferences were accompanied by cultural activities.
During the 2008 ESF several initiatives and campaigns were planned, e.g. towards the Climate summit in Copenhagen 2009 and the 60th anniversary of NATO 2009 and the next European Social Forum which is scheduled to take place in Istanbul 2010.
With the following declaration of the Assembly of the Social Movements, the Social Forum was closed (European Social Forum Malmö, Sunday 21st September 2008, evening):
2009: To Change Europe
On the European level, we are witnessing a liberal and anti-social front on all domains: economic financial crisis, price increases, food borne illness crisis, privatization and disassembly of public services, movements against work reform, decisions of the European Court of Justice, dismantling of the Common Agricultural Policy, reinforcement of Fortress Europe against migrants, weakening of democratic and civil rights and growing repression, economic cooperation agreements, military intervention in external conflicts, military bases, all this in a world where inequalities, poverty and global and permanent war are increasing day by day.
In this context of global crisis, we want to reaffirm that alternatives do exist for global justice, peace, democracy and environment.
We, the European social movements gathering in Malmö, have committed on a common agenda in the way to lead the fight for "Another Europe" and Europe based on the people’s rights.
1. On the social issue : We launch immediately a COMMON EUROPEAN CAMPAIGN against UE social and labour policies, first to oppose specifically the EU directive on working time and UE decision on migrant labour. This campaign will have different steps (e.g.: December the 6th in Paris) and includes the objective of a massive joint mobilization at European level as soon as possible.
As a second step, we build up a large, inclusive and strategic conference/counter-summit of all the European social movement, in Brussels in March.
2. Against NATO and war: we call a large demonstration in April the 4th in Strasbourg/Kiel, centre of celebration of the 60th anniversary of NATO, to say “Stop NATO!” and dissolving this terrifying tool of war. In the same day we call demonstrations in all countries in Europe. We propose the WSF in Belem to declare the 4th of April a day of international mobilisation against NATO.
3. Against the climate crisis: we call for a global day of action on climate on December 6th during the Poznan summit in Poznan itself and al other the world. We are calling for a massive international mobilisation next year to make the critical Copenhagen talks in December 2009.
4. Against the G8: In July 2009, the Sardinian and Italian social movement will invite all movements to come to Sardinia where the G8 summit will be held in la Maddalena island to protest against G8 and its policies and to present our alternatives for global justice, peace, democracy and environment.