Canada: World Social Forum: a success despite the low turnout


An article from Métro (translated by CPNN)

We expected 50 000, but it was rather 35 000 people who participated in the World Social Forum (WSF) 2016, which ended Sunday in Montreal. Organizers estimate however that the event is a success. According to the co-ordinator Carminda Mac Lorin, visa applications from hundreds of international guests were refused or delayed which has undoubtedly contributed to the low number, as compared to 60 000 people in 2013 in Tunis and 155 000 in Porto Alegre in 2005.

Barely a hundred people attended the closing ceremony of the World Social Forum on Sunday at Jarry Park. Photo by Mario Beauregard / Metro

“These refusals were ultimately positive, because they have made it possible to make public a subject we do not talk about enough: the issues of international mobility, closure of borders, and refugees,” said Mrs. Mac Lorin, who conducted a debriefing meeting on Sunday with the International Council of the WSF.

The organizers are also proud of the diversity of countries represented by the participants (125), and the variety of topics covered in the forum. “The people who were involved at the forum put forward many initiatives they are going to implement, whether in relation to the status of women, indigenous rights, demilitarization or the fight against violations of human rights by mining companies, “expressed Mrs. Mac Lorin. During the week, about 70 concrete action plans have been adopted and made public Monday.

“We saw that there are practical collective solutions to global issues. I was able to build links that will result in something. “- Ramiro Lopez, Colombian activist

Mrs. Mac Lorin also welcomed the strong contribution of young people in the event. This also impressed Raymonde Maisonneuve, a participating member of the religious congregation of the Holy Cross Sisters. “To a great extent, it was managed and presented by youth. It’s amazing. This is the future “, welcomed Ms Maisonneuve, who yesterday attended the WSF closing ceremony at Jarry Park.

It lacked atmosphere in the park on Sunday, where only a hundred people attended the ceremony. To some participants who were there, it was like the rest of the week. “I was expecting huge crowds at our demonstration, but that was not the case. In addition, various activities were very scattered, “said Marie Guerda Saint-Fort, a citizen of Haiti.

Several participants, however, were satisfied with the exchange of ideas which resulted from the WSF. “The issues that affect the entire planet, such as mining, oil and food safety, we addressed them,” said Ramiro Lopez, an activist who paid his way to come from Colombia.

In the same vein, the WSF international council is satisfied that such a space of convergence is always needed and that it will be back soon in another corner of the world.

(Click here for the original article in French)

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