CESE marches for democracy at the opening of the World Social Forum

At the 13th edition of the World Social Forum (WSF) and in the year in which CESE is celebrating 45 years of operations, the team joined thousands of activists to shout out against the rights violations suffered around the world.  Social movements, grassroots organizations, trade unions, student movements, international delegations and cooperation agencies marched together around the slogan “Resist is to create. Resist is to transform!”.

For Dimas Galvão, CESE’s Projects and Training Coordinator, CESE’s participation in the forum provides a unique opportunity, given that it is an event for reflection about the global context of the struggle for rights waged in all parts of the planet: “The WSF is an auspicious moment.  We are excited to be participating.  I hope that this WSF sheds new light for us to reflect on the Brazilian reality and to advance in the resistance process for the construction of a full democracy and a fairer society.”

Since its establishment in 2001, this is the first time the forum has been held in a city in the Northeast.  And despite organizational difficulties, due to funding limitations and because of the unfavourable political situation, CESE had a chance to dialogue and listen more directly to the sectors it supports. “We believe in the WSF, because this exchange helps CESE to reflect on its role in this scenario, to develop policies and strategies to confront rights violations in a context of setbacks,” Dimas Galvão stated.

Maria Conceição da Cruz, who came from the municipality of Codó (MA) to camp at CESE, works with agroextractivist famers in the solidarity economy and is part of the Association for the Training and Capacity Building of the Cocais.  She outlined her reasons for coming to the 2018 WSF: “I am here to say no to Temer, to say no to government projects and decisions that do not consult the people.” She ended her speech in the hope that grassroots groups will be able to advance their struggles: “I believe in grassroots strength, in the organization of the people of Brazil and of the world, that there is hope to transform the difficult days which we are experiencing”.

With the same expectation of change, Silas Santos, organizer of the Intercontinental Youth Camp, highlighted the importance of young people’s participation in the WSF’s Opening March: “When young people are organized, participation in this act is to aspire, to show that we are present, that we resist and fight! Because in the current political situation what we have done most is to resist, to reinvent and create new forms of dialogue, of debating public policies and resisting the coups and threats to rights,” Silas asserted.  For him, young people have the power and dynamic to readapt and reframe and the WSF is a favourable arena for new ideas of resistance and transformation.


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