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Agora of Initiatives

Agora of Initiatives for another world (August 13)

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At one point the forum closed with an assembly of social movements that was not a formal part of the forum but provided groups with a way to articulate their actions that they had developed during the course of the forum. In a sense, the Agora of Initiatives is a continuation of that. The 3 days of the forum included 22 convergent assemblies, and the agora was an opportunity for those groups to put forward concrete actions. The day then closed with people coming together and presenting their proposals to the entire group which will be posted to the website I attended two of the sessions.

Extractivism, Free Trade and Multinational Powers
Summarize discussions and plan actions. What can we do at an international level?
Share from convergence assembly yesterday.
Organizers of convergent assemblies are not present
Nov 4/5 is day against free trade. call from Latin America, but not good in US because of elections. Oct 24 UN day of human rights, from Geneva. Sept 12 Day of action against Chevron. Don't find one day for everyone because it may not work. Website with list of all initiatives. Everyone should send in actions to collect them. Need exchange of information.
Canada's historical role in mining, most have head quarters here. Communities should have right to consultation on mines. We don't talk about problems with prostitution, etc. Campaign for accountability of companies. Promise on liberal party website to work on these issues--victory that can stimulate the fight. We can say that the government should do this, but the government is us and we should pressure it. But the questions is what we should do. We need mass mobilization and information on an international level. We need concrete action. Who will make website. Need to capture people's attention. Exploit weaknesses in culture to our advantage. Hack coke screen with message.
Common slogan: People and the planet before profit
German woman: concrete action, declare your city free of free trade treaties.

Agora of InitiativesStruggles and visions of First Nations
This session started with no Indigenous peoples present. Some participants advocated working on Palestine & the BDS campaign, and others talked about the importance of education & changes in school curriculums. About half way through, a chief and his son showed up and attracted a lot of attention with an anti-modernist discourse which of course the white liberals ate up.

Future of the Forum
I didn't attend this session, but this is from their report back to the plenary session. They came up with 3 conclusions:
1. the forum will continue
2. we need the forum, but not the same one. more than strategies and activities. This forum will never be another international, but it will stimulate new actions
3. the forum is not an event, it is a process, and needs to be rooted locally. This year were 500 forums, and next yr we want 2000. Needs better communication platform to support this.

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