The III Americas Social Forum took place October 7-12 at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City. The gathering was composed of a space “to bring together all of the different forms of resistance and alternatives to neoliberal policies that have been created… and for the development of critical and original thought” (Irene León, Agencia Latinoamerica de Información) among the thousands of participants from all over the continent.
The forum was made up of a plethora of discussion groups, workshops and seminars organized under 6 main themes: Achievments and Challenges due to Changes in the Hemisphere; People in Resistance to Neoliberal Policies and Imperial Domination; In Defense of Quality of Life while Confronting the Capitalist Opresor; Diversity and Equality; The Ideological Dispute; and Original Peoples and Nations, Indigenous and Afro-descendents.
The Red por la Paz, of which SIPAZ is a member, also participated in the forum through a seminar titled “Land, Territory and Social Conflict.”
The presence of Bolivian president Evo Morales was anticipated for October 9. Unfortunately he was unable to attend personally, though he did prepare a statement in solidarity with the forum (see below) which was read that same afternoon.
The Social Forum was concluded with a March of Indigenous, Campesino, Workers Union, Black, Feminist and Popular Resistance which left from the Obelisco in the south of the city to the Central Plaza. At the plaza in front of the National Palace participants of the forum read the final declaration of the Social Movements’ Assembly (see below) in which “the Mérida Initiative, Plan Colombia, the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America), military bases, the School of the Americas and the Fourth Fleet” were denounced. The declaration also stated, “We are participants in a decisive and historic moment for humanity. In these few days the disaster created by the capitalist system has become evident, something those of us from social movements have been warning about for a long time.”
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