[CIFS] Fw: WSF 2007: press release COTU(K)

Françoise Feugas francoise.feugas at wanadoo.fr
Tue Dec 12 22:47:13 CET 2006

Une déclaration de l'organisation centrale des syndicats kenyans - COTUK -, 
affiliée à la CSI, "tenue à distance" de l'organisation du FSM.

----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 10:11 PM
Subject:  WSF 2007: press release COTU(K)

> EN only
> I stumbled upon this:
> http://www.cotu-kenya.org/Press%20Releases.htm
> Press Release by Bro. George M. Muchai, COTU(K) Deputy Secretary
> General, on the forthcoming World Social Forum, 5th November, 2006
> Ladies and Gentlemen,  Members of the Press,
> The 7th World Social Forum will be held in Nairobi, Kenya from January
> 20th – 25th, 2007 at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
> This is an important event that will bring the world to Africa.
> Activists, Social and Labour Movements, Networks, Coalitions and other
> progressive forces from Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean,
> North America, Europe and all corners of Africa will converge in
> Nairobi, Kenya for five days of cultural resistance and celebration,
> panels, workshops, symposia, processions, film nights and much more.
> Despite the importance that the country’s trade union movement attaches
> to this event, we as leaders in the Trade Union movement have been kept
> at bay as far as the planning and organization of the event is concerned.
> The World Social Forum’s anti-capitalist and neo-liberal globalization
> agenda carries with it the workers’ aspirations and it will be a futile
> exercise for anybody to dare believe that such an event could be
> organized, planned and executed without its core subjects, namely the
> workers.
> Whereas we do not, as the umbrella workers’ body, wish to cast
> aspersions to the importance the event holds for the world workers, it
> would be prudent that workers ought to take a central role in this event
> as opposed to the current cat-and-mouse-game that the local organizing
> committee housed in a local NGO office is playing.
> The World Social Forum Secretariat is charged with co-coordinating the
> Social Forum process working in close collaboration with the
> International Organizing Committee consisting of 129 organizations 
> globally.
> In Africa, the African Social Forum Council co-ordinates the Social
> Forum process and for the year 2007 forum, the Eastern Africa Organizing
> Committee is hosting supported by the World Social Forum Kenya 
> Secretariat.
> Interestingly, NGOs have hijacked this important process pushing the
> core stakeholders of the process, namely the workers, to the periphery
> as they grab the chance for their own selfish ends attracting huge sums
> of donor funds that have since ended up in individuals’ pockets.
> These individuals remain elusive to us despite our efforts to reach them
> and whereas we would not wish to sabotage this event, we demand that it
> should not be used as a conduit to siphon money from foreign donors for
> selfish individuals ends but let it be an event creating an opportunity
> to showcase Africa together with her social and Trade Union movement
> partners.
> The local team of individuals purporting to own the process and who have
> opted to shut the doors to everybody should own up soonest lest the
> Kenyan workers will rise up against their underground dealings and with
> consequences that may cost the forum a great deal.
> We understand the amorphous structures that such event elsewhere holds,
> however, for purposes of achieving its goal and successfully reaching
> out to all, necessary mobilization is required as opposed to only a
> click of individuals meeting in hotels purportedly to meet on behalf of
> the rest with no clear view as to which direction the event should take.
> We remain open to consultations and any individual who subscribes to the
> forum’s ideologies is free to join us, but we will not allow a small
> cartel of self appointed individuals answerable to themselves and their
> accomplices to take the workers at ransom shifting positions for
> conveniency purposes at the expense of its’ subjects.
> To this, we say NO!
> Thank you.
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