[fse-esf] concerning the booths - a proposal
lunatic at auth.gr
Thu Nov 20 19:46:05 CET 2008
there is a .doc formated version that you can find here: =20
Dear comrades of the European Social Forum,
what follows is a proposal for the matter of the ESF's equipment and =20
more precisily a proposal concerning the future of the booths. It's =20
made by a group of activists from Northern Greece that form a small =20
association called "Voluntary Work of Thessaloniki". It's the group =20
that constructed, delivered and mounted the booths for the 4th ESF in =20
Athens (further information on who we are and what we do are included =20
in the main body of the proposal that follows).
(note: acctually it's a proposal writen several months before and =20
intented for a former EPA that unfortunately (for various reasons that =20
really don't matter now) didn't arrive at its destination)
The organisation of the 4th European Social Forum in Athens in the =20
srping of 2006, one and a half year after the 3rd ESF in London, came =20
as promise for refresh of the ESF proccess. Most estimations agreed =20
that this bet has been won to some point.
The organisation of the 4th ESF in Athens, the way the ESF was =20
actually "self-organised" was without doubt successful itself. . We =20
refer to the way that activists, organisations, trade unions, social =20
and political movements, political parties worked together during the =20
early preparation, the coordination with EPAs, the preparation at the =20
site of Elliniko, the support during the days of the ESF etc.
Big efforts were made for an alternative organisation of the 4th ESF. =20
Big efforts to search for and use the alternatives, supplied from the =20
parts of the social movements in priority, trying to minimize the use =20
of commercial solutions. Alternatives for services at the ESF like =20
food, drinks etc, alternatives for the festival constructions at the =20
site, alternatives for the telecomunication needs and alternatives for =20
the support of the multilingual needs of the seminars, workshops =20
etc.or (to name it the official way) the Alternative Interpretation =20
System (ALIS) which succeeded to fullfil the requirements of the 4th =20
ALIS's valuable experience (with some other international examples of =20
successful implementation of the system within the last two years) is =20
going to be legated to the 5th ESF at Malmo and to other organisations =20
after it, together with the whole of the equipment.
One necessary part of the equipment for indoor and outdoor seminars =20
and worskshops are the cabins. For the cabins the 4th ESF also avoided =20
comercial (expensive) solutions. The alternative came from a =20
non-commercial organisation from Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, the =20
"Voluntary Work of Thessaloniki" (VWT) which delivered 100 full cabins =20
and 50 tabletop cabins at a cost of 50.000 euros (=A4). These cabins =20
belong to the movements of Europe and not only. VWT apart from the =20
cabins which were prepared months before the ESF, supported actively =20
the on site preparation (which lasted 22 days) of the 4th ESF with =20
more than 10 activists-volunteers far from their homes and comforts in =20
Thessaloniki. Moreover, VWT supplied two trucks of festival equipment =20
from northern Greece's festivals of the movements (e.g. antiracist =20
festival in Thessaloniki etc).
Unfortunately, because of bad coordination and misunderstandings after =20
the end of the 4th ESF, there is still a debt left that the ESF owes =20
VWT over these two years. Only 30.000 from the 50.000 where paid and =20
that caused big problems to VWT to go on with its alternative projects =20
during this period.
We, come up now with a reasonable, political and in solidarity =20
We find it reasonable that the cabins (as far as they are used in =20
Malmo) shall be funded jointly by two ESF organisations in a row (in =20
this case the 4th and the 5th) and we consider it as a sustainable and =20
comradely solution. We propose to the EPA of Kiev and to the =20
organising comittee of the 5th ESF to include in the budget the =20
amount of money left and owed to VWT from the total cost of the cabins =20
Reforming the paragraph above to an updated one:
First of all about the property status - who has the "right" to do =20
what (sell, lend etc) we agree with the view that the booths belong to =20
the Greek Organising Committee, which has not fully covered the =20
economical equivalent of this aquisition until now and which then =20
lent them to the Nordic Organising Commitee.
If a process of selling the booths (with or without the corresponding =20
Alis equipment) is in progress we expect to see an ethical and solidal =20
attitude that will, among other issues, consider covering the debt of =20
the Greek Orgnising Commitee.
If there is no such process we think that the booths should return to =20
Thessaloniki (and of course at no case destroyed), where we have the =20
adequative space to store them and can possibly cover part of the =20
amount owed, by renting them - even though this is least probable and =20
from where it would be simplier for them to arrive at the next ESF in =20
Istanbul. Unfortunately, we cannot afford the cost of such =20
We want to help and watch alternative experiments succeed. We want the =20
movements themselves to be able to meet their organizational, =20
technical -and other- needs and aims. We are working on these goals =20
and will continue to act so.
Voluntary Work of Thessaloniki
Unfortunately we don't have neither the time nor the ability to travel =20
to Istanbul to support the above proposal with our physical presence =20
and give explanations so as to clarify things as well as possible.
We consider (and hope that others do too) that is not too late and =20
that none in the ESF process lack good will (solidal driven thinking) =20
to reach a solution that can satisfy all the involved parts.
More information about the FSE-ESF