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“In five years, social forums have changed the political landscape. But passion is not enough”.

category national | irish social forum | opinion/analysis author Thursday November 25, 2004 02:39author by Mary Kinane - Irish Social Forum Outreach Groupauthor email mkisok at hotmail dot comauthor phone 086 - 609 7532 Report this post to the editors

Two successfully organised Irish Social Forums later, and now where do we stand? Already a debate has begun amongst those involved in the current organising structures around the future direction and vision of the Irish Social Forum process. This discussion is to be continued this Saturday, Nov 27th.

"In five years, social forums have changed the political landscape. But passion is not enough".

So began Susan George, author of ‘Another World Is Possible If ...’, in an article in the Guardian in the aftermath of this year’s European Social Forum in London.

Yet passion is a start. Undoubtedly for many Irish participants, it was the passion generated at the very first European Social Forum in Florence in 2002 that led to the beginnings of an Irish Social Forum in our own country. The success of an international event capable of bringing together such a diverse range of groups and individuals, united in their aspirations of a better world, was a source of inspiration to those of us who felt such a process was worth building here.

Two successfully organised Irish Social Forums later, and now where do we stand? Susan George argues, “at the ESF, as in every other social forum, we should cease ritual, repetitive complaining about the ills of the world and, rather, take the time to examine power coldly, determine its strategic weaknesses and decide, together, how to push our neo-liberal adversaries back until at last they fall over the edge of the political cliff”. Does the model of the Irish Social Forum, in its current shape and direction, allow us to take on this challenge? Already a debate has begun amongst those involved in the current organising structures around such issues as the purpose of plenary sessions, the notion of a Dublin Social Forum, the relevance of social forums to people’s lives, how the ISF can be more effective and how the social forum process can be used to tackle the neo-liberal agenda? These and other questions were discussed at an ESF Feedback / ISF Discussion meeting Saturday November 6th co-hosted by the ISF Outreach Working Group, Comhlámh, DAPSE (Democracy and Public Services in Europe) and AEIP (Another Europe Is Possible). To continue the discussion and to work out realistic future goals for hosting Irish (or Dublin) Social Forums, there will be a follow-up public meeting this Saturday, November 27th 2004, at the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Sq., Dublin 1 from 2 to 4pm. This meeting is open to all those who want to help visualise the future direction of the Irish Social Forum and to those who can contribute to continue making it happen.

Related Link: http://www.irishsocialforum.org
author by wombles.orgpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 11:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This might be a good place to start?

Related Link: http://www.wombles.org.uk/auto/esfcritique.php
 
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