By Rita Freire, Ciranda International of Shared Communication.
November was the month chosen to hold an international solidarity demonstration for sovereignty and against occupation.
A specific meeting during the most recent World Social Forum International Council Meeting on May 25-27 2011 in Paris gathered several organizations willing to make a world forum of solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people and against Israeli occupation. An agenda was defined there – it will be held in Brazil in 2012.
The proposal was born at the World Forum of Education, the first one held in Palestine in October 2010. It was organized inside the WSF process and made educators and activists from different places and cultures witness the daily drama of living alongside guns and occupation’s check points.
After that, the urgency of solidarity contaminated the Dakar WSF event. One explicit request was made during a meeting of the WSF International Council with members of the Brazilian government, who by that time received well the idea of an international meeting in Brazil. Gilberto de Carvalho, representing President Dilma Roussef, said with no doubt that the country would host an assembly with this proposal.
Also at the Dakar WSF, an Assembly of Convergence for Solidarity with Palestine called upon another meeting, with no scheduled date until the meeting in Paris.
On several times participants of WSF meetings have their attention brought to news on the Palestinian resistance against the occupation, for example the BDS global media campaign, promoted by the organization Stop the Wall – coinciding with the IC Meeting of the November 2010.
The IC Meeting in Paris happened a few days after the Nakba Day protests (remembrance of the expulsion of Palestinians for the creation of the State of Israel on May 15th) when young demonstrators from refugee camps were killed at the borders of Jordan and Lebanon.
The agenda of the International Council was strongly marked by debates and direct testimonies from the revolutionary process of the Arab world, especially Tunisia and Egypt, which are now candidates for hosting the next edition of the World Social Forum. The venue will be defined at the next meeting of the International Council in Bangladesh in November 2011, but it is certain that it will take place in Northern Africa.
In this context, the organizations which gathered to follow up the idea of the Forum of Solidarity for Palestine also considered the candidacy of Egypt to host the initiative. The Brazilian alternative prevailed in the end. It was considered the weight of the availability of organizations to prepare the Forum and the ongoing mobilization process in Brazil, as of CUT for example, which was already preparing a conference Pro-Palestine and will now seek a common agenda with the international solidarity movement.