ON THE DOCUMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL FORUMS IN THE LIBRARIES (Part two)
These notes are a continuation of an article about the documentation of knowledge versus the documentation of social activities. The article relates to the documentation of the process and events of the world social forum as well as the regional, national and local social forums. In this later part, I shall bear in mind the response from some librarians and social activists to the first part of the article..
The theme of this second part is that we need to organize a documentation for the future on the basis of our documentation of the past.
PREMISES. OPEN SPACE AND CYBERSPACE
The social forum, in the form it was given by its founders, is a step forward on the road towards a world society. The 'open space' of the social forum is a sign of the 'globalization' of civic action. Global democratization ought longer to be seen as an abstract goal, or utopia, but as a practical task for the citizens to complete.
The part played by information in global democratization is crucial. To paraphrase an old saying: at the global level information becomes the continuation of war and politics by other means. H.G Wells said as much in his manifesto from 1928, which he called The Open Conspiracy (and later renamed to What To Do with Our Lives?):
" Existing states are primarily militant states, and a world state cannot be militant. There will be little need for president or king to lead the marshalled hosts of humanity, for where there is no war there is no need of any leader to lead hosts anywhere, and in a polyglot world a parliament of mankind or any sort of council that meets and talks is an inconceivable instrument of government. The voice will cease to be a suitable vehicle. World government, like scientific process, will be conducted by statement, criticism, and publication that will be capable of efficient translation." 
However, a 'world government conducted by statement, criticism and publication' presupposes world society.
The library institution, old as the society itself, and the internet, still in its infancy, are two facets of the transformation of man into a writing and reading being with an external memory. Together, they form the foundation on which world self-government can be built .
The birth and the growth of the 'open space' of the world social forum is a sign of the formation of a global society -- a society with a common library and a common internet.
Those who remain mental prisoners of the present hierarchic system of military blocs and states are not able to build a common society. The little they have achieved in terms of diplomatic agreements, such as, for instance, the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, they have systematically spoiled. After 1945, traditional, inter-governmental diplomacy, has only managed to create "cold war", which could mean the end of mankind, and "war on terror", which means infinite war. Their infinite war on terror is just another way to kill us all.
Hope, therefore, lies in 'citizens diplomacy'. The social forum is its current form. Precisely because the social forum is not a political party, or a social movement with some specified goals, (which is another way to say 'political party'), but an opening towards a common society of mankind, the social forum is a historical novelty.
If the process which took off at Porto Alegre in 2001 would fail, the social forum would have to be re-invented later on. The citizens of the world need a common 'open space'. It is a basic necessity, like food, health-care and democracy.
The conditions are in some respects more favorable today than at the time of Wells. The internet, in particular, gives a new point of departure for political thought and political praxis. With the internet, it may be possible, for the first time, to create a common human understanding ("an information"), which is not controlled and manipulated by Nationalist and military-industrial interests, or religious fanatics. Thus it may be possible to add a new dimension to the old idea of liberty, based on the separation of state powers.
The internet can become an Informational Power, which completes the constitutional triad of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Powers of the modern Nation-States. The peoples of the world need to install a global political system, in which the new informational power checks and balances the powers of the nation-states.
The internet regulates itself to a great extent. This is why we call it cyberspace. Cyberspace means self-government by means of information. But the self-governance of the internet is not yet on a secure basis. It needs to be be further separated from the militaristic nation-states and the corporate interests, which threaten to turn information into exclusive 'intellectual property'.
The solution to the problem of 'internet governance' is at hand. Internet governance is a librarian's task.
The library is said to be the memory of mankind.  Let us accept this definition, although it may be a bit difficult to understand how mankind can have a common memory.
What we do understand is that past knowledge and knowledge of the past are necessary in order to foresee and plan for the future. This is why past and present knowledge and events are documented and put on record. But how to prepare the memory of mankind for the future?
The memory of mankind, that is, the library, has to be prepared in three ways. Or, rather it should prepare itself in three ways. The library, after all, is an independent institution. The following is primarily about what its professional staff, the librarians, have to do.
Firstly, the librarians must continue with the activities that have made the library into the great and indispensable institution it is.
Secondly, the library needs to continue with what at least some libraries have already started to do in order to be better integrated in their local communities. The current buzzword is "Library 2.0" (imitated after "Web 2.0").
Finally, there is a third item on the librarian's todo-list , which he or she has not really started to do yet. This is described as "government".
RANGANATHAN AND HIS FOLLOWERS
Nobody has summarized the librarian's task more succinctly than the Indian mathematician and librarian S.R Ranganathan. (1892-1972). Erik Carlqvist, in his introduction to Ranganathan's classical writing Five Laws of Library Science, jokingly calls him the "law-giver" of the library. Ranganathan's five laws are:
1. Books are for use. 2. Every reader his [or her] book. 3. Every book its reader. 4. Save the time of the User. 5. The library is a growing organism.
In the age of he internet, Ranganathan's laws may be bit too bookcentric (i.e. fixated with one particular cultural archetype, the book). Therefore, Timo Kuronen's two supplementary laws are also worth mentioning:
6. Every reader his library 7. Every writer his [or her] contribution to the library 
The above mentioned five "laws" already keep the librarians very busy. Kuronen's two supplementary laws give the librarians even more to do. Developing "Library 2.0" is indeed very much about using the Internet and the World Wide Web locally, to make the local public library as relevant as possible for the members of the local community. For instance, in order to give every writer in the neighborhood possibility to make "his [or her ] contribution to the library", the library needs to maintain blogs and wikis. The implication is that "the library takes up the case", as Norwegian librarian and journalist Anders Ericson puts it. Thus the librarian's new awareness for the needs of the local people translates into an ongoing documentation of current "issues". This activity comes close to journalism. As an example Anders Ericson takes the case of library blogs which document the debates and the historical background of a planned new civil airport in Rygge near Oslo.
A lot more is to be said about what librarians already are doing. Canadian library scientist Toni Samek, for instance, has written an an entertaining guide to socially active public librarianship, in which she describes the "prevalent manifestations of social action applied to library work", as well as many "specific forms of social action used in library and information work for social change". 
It was said that the library has not yet started to "govern" or to be a "government". This is not wholly true. The power of the libraries resides in their crucial role in the transmission of culture and knowledge.  Thus our libraries are governing us in many indirect ways which we may be more or less unaware of.
The question is, should the library do even more than guaranteeing the historical continuity of mankind? Should the library more than hitherto start behaving like the government of a state and become more like a state power?
The answer is yes. Of course, the library must not become violent like the state. It should not start building and modernizing its own atomic bombs like, for instance, the states of France and Britain. No, the library should govern exclusively by means of information. In this respect, however, the library has something to learn from the state.
The modern state is organized around a limited number of "actionable themes", to use an expression from the World Social Forum. The various ministries or departments of the state are named after these themes. Those themes amount to nothing more and nothing less than rough classification of practical action.
The state is, firstly, a brutal and violent apparatus for repression and even annihilation (those barbaric weapons of mass destruction!) But the state is also the home of government, which sets out to solve the main problems of the nation.
What the library needs to do, in addition to all the things it is already doing, is to organize its information around the main problems of mankind. The 21 "actionable themes" of the world social forum, already quoted in the first part of this article, is a decent listing of the problems and therefore a good start.
Is this a wildly unrealistic and far out Utopian proposal? Certainly not. What is needed is only a little bit of more courage from the side of the librarians to conspire openly against their state governments. It is difficult, because of the fact that the libraries are (mostly) dependent on the state governments for their funding. However, with global democratization comes global taxes, from which the libraries of the world society may be funded.
The end of the era of Neoliberalism is in sight, the present financial system is rotten. A new system of world public finances is badly needed. The library ought to side with the people who want to build it -- the peoples of the World Social Forum.
The library is not supposed to stay within any national borders, or to accept any limitations its information. The library is expected to deliver all the information without delay to all. The library cannot obey to any "Patriot Acts", because it has to stick to the principle of the Freedom of Information. We may conclude, again, that the library already is on the right track in what it is doing. The principle of the Freedom of Information is, since long, accepted by all professional members of the library community. It is just a question of keeping up the good work.
AN ADDITIONAL REMARK ON ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES
Professional archivists often stick to the principle of provenance.:
"One of the main principles of systematising archives is the principle of provenience [i.e. provenance - MB]. It means that the archive should be kept or brought back to the original order. To achieve this it is important to understand the organisation of the institution, the structure of the archives, the work flow and so on." 
A related rule of the archivist is, or has been, that the uniqueness of the materials has to be respected This has gone hand in hand with the idea that records need to be archived only once, in one archive:
"uniqueness... a record should, by way of principle, only be stored in one place, in contrast with books, which are preserved in many places in many copies [exemplar]. Therefore each archive is different." 
However, after the advent of digital computers and networks the borderline between archives and libraries has become blurred. Henceforward, whole archives - small or large - can be scanned, copied and included in the collections of libraries. And vice versa: archives may keep copies of whole libraries together with their archived materials.
The mutual extension and fusion of archives and libraries has not only become technically feasible. It is also economically possible. Furthermore, it is socially desirable.
Yet archives containing the original 'physical' records and documents, and library buildings with collections of printed books and professional librarians, are necessary as ever. We want to keep "the originals", the printed book must stay, and the professional librarian remains as indispensable as the medical professional, the judge and the lawyer, and the engineer.
However, due to changes in technology the library is also changing to be online and information in websites are much more easily accessible that any other in the conventional libraries for use on research papers 
Above all, the internet needs to be anchored in a social institution. That institution must not be the nation-state or the business corporation. It must be the library. In the long perspective, the internet is just an extension of what Ranganathan called 'a growing organism'. (To be finalized after the European Social Forum in Malmö 17-21 September 2008 ).
 Leena Krohn is a living Finnish author. One of her many works is Tainaron. Mail from another city (A novel. Translated by Hildi Hawkins. Prime Books 2004).
 Summary of the response received:
Hilde C Stepansen sent me the "Proposal for memory plan for ESF2008 (by the Documentation workgroup, NOC ESF2008 July 13, 2008), from which I quote this sentence: "The information posted about an activity through the ESF2008 homepage, both outcome field or other data, shall be stored in such a way that it can survive even when the ESF2008 homepage no longer exists". -- In my opinion, the documentation on the social forum should be stored in public libraries and archives, which are maintained by professional librarians and archivists.
Tord Björk supported my view that the social forum needs to become integrated into society via the libraries, but criticizes my opinions about the internet and the social forum.
Hervé Le Crosnier, university librarian at Caen (France), wrote in a private email: "I think your desire to gain trained librarians to be full participants [in the social forum's process] with their own speciality is a very good point. Movement sometimes have "communication specialists", but never Librarians. May be because they aim at future in a pro-active way and never as an history continuum." Hervé here formulates the problem, which I am trying to address in this second series of notes. Francine Mestrum doubted that the "21 actionable themes" (which I listed and wrote about in the first part of this article) where never 'unanimously decided', but were instead "improvised during WSF Nairobi by organizing committee or someone else..." . Francine also wondered where to put 'social movements' and 'globalization' among the '21 actionable themes'. Ask the librarian!
Michael Widerkrantz, who (at the time of writing) works on an eprints file archive for the European Social Forum, also commented on the '21 actionable themes': "It seems like a decent list. We might need to add subjects as we go along, I guess. For one thing, I find it difficult to include a text on, say alternative use of technology under any subject in this list."
 The present author is a member of the Network Institute of Global Democratization (http://www.nigd.org).
 From H.G.Wells: The Open Conspiracy , in H.G.Wells on World Revolution. Edited and with a critical introduction by W. Warren Wagar. Praeger 2002, pp 70-71. The article in the English language Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Conspiracy) links to the elecctronic text of Wells's book.
 Thus Erik Carlqvist and Harry Järv have chosen the title "Mänsklighetens minne" (The Memory of Mankind) for their anthology on library history. See Mänsklighetens minne, Schildts 2008.
 About Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science, see e.g. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_laws_of_library_science. For a Swedish translation of Ranganathan's writing, see "Mänsklighetens minne", op.cit, pp 593-672.
 Quoted from Timo Kuronen's dissertation help in information science; see Kuronen, Timo: "English Summary", pp. 126ff in Kansalaiskeskustelun edellytykset ja mahdollisuudet tietoverkkojen aikakaudella, Acta Electronica Universitatis Tamperensis 31 , Tampere 2000. http://acta.uta.fi/english/teos.phtml?3809 ff. (ISBN 951-44-4814-6)
 See "The Library Takes Up The Case- A Handshake For More Democracy, http://edufdaoduf.googlepages.com/librarycase (accessed 16 Sept 2008).
 Samek, Toni: Librarianship and Human Rights. A twenty-first century guide. Foreword by Edgardo Civallero. Contributions by Kenneth D. Gariepy . Chandos Publishing 2007.
 "Le pouvoir des bibliothÁ ques rÁ side enfin dans leur role crucial dans la transmission de la culture et des savoirs", as the editor of a book on the subject of library power has put it. See Baratin, Marc & Jacob, Christian eds.: Le pouvoir des bibliothÁques. La memoire des livres en Occident. Albin Michel 1996, p. 17.
 Quoted from the article "Making archives accessible", (http://www.arkivverket.no/stavanger/konferanse/totalfina.html, accessed 14 Sep 2008). "Provenance is a fundamental principle of archives, referring to the individual, group, or organization that created or received the items in a collection", it is also stated in an article on the Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provenance#Archives)
 Quoted from Valtonen, Marjo: "Arkiv och handlingar", in Mäkinen, Ilkka & Sandqvist, Katja eds.: Introduktion till informationsvetenskapen. Tampere University Press 2003, p 171.
 Quoted from university essays source where students get much of their information university essay (accessed 13 Sept 2009)
 This article (and its first part) is my contribution to the discussions in the ESF workshop SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, LIBRARIES, RESEARCHERS AND HISTORIANS in Malmö 18 September 2008 and the related workshop THE LIBRARY STRIKES BACK in the library of Malmö university 20 September 2008. Hopefully, delegates to the meeting of International Council of the World Social Forum, which takes place in Copenhagen some days after the ESF in Malmö, will also take an interest in these ideas.
A lot of books have appeared, or are coming, about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. I read one of them, namely, “WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency”, by Micah L. Sifry (OR Books 2011, http://www.orbooks.com/our-books/wikileaks/).
This author, who is a social entrepreneur and who seems to have some links to the risk capitalists, does in my opinion quite successfully present the WikiLeaks as an important and positive phenomenon in the development of the internet. As the title says, Sifry sees the Net as a movement towards “transparency”, which, of course, he links to global (although mostly only American) democratization and democracy. “Transparency may be the best medicine for a healthy democracy”, he writes, “but the problem with the WikiLeaks revelations from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, plus the State Department Cables, may well be that they expose too much”. One of Sifry’s peers, Clay Shirky, has compared WikiLeaks to the secret pact, known as “UKUSA”, which the USA, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand formed after World War II:
Wikileaks, too, has found a way to route around the laws of the singular states. Commenting more specifically on the role of Assange, Sifry arrives at the following conclusion:
The way of WikiLeaks leads to what one might call the dilemma of the ethical pirate, and which actually concerns not only news organisations. Big corporations like Google Inc., for instance, also must consider this problem. And so must certain institutions, e.g. the institution of the library. I have a dream about the librarians of the world acting like ethical pirates.
Sifry does perhaps not have so much to say about how we shall continue on the road of WikiLeaks, but he surely points in the right direction when he says that
We should probably ask whether that “global town square” really differs from the “world social forum”. Will the the WSF and the internet be genuinely connected to each other by 2013? (About the WSF 2013, see Teivo Teivainen's message "World Social Forum 2013: Where? In Montreal?" at http://www.nigd.org/?p=75.)
And which is the missing link between the WSF and the internet? You may have guessed my answer: the library. But then, how can the library be “as decentralized and uncontrollable as life itself”?
Instead of contemplating eternally whether there can be such things as black swans, or ethical pirates, let’s do something together. Heikki Patomäki and others, including myself, are going to set up a Citizens’ Committee to support WikiLeaks and the the principle of public access to official records*. Today at 18 pm, at the Old Cable Factory in Helsinki, we shall discuss this at the AGM of the cooperative “Katto-Meny”, which, incidentally, is also the internet service provider of NIGD.
FSM 2011,Dakar:My Experience
Another World is Possible: My first participation in the WSF was in Nairobi WSF 2007. Librarians from East Africa were involved in the first ever documentation of the WSF memory. Since then, Librarians from across the world have been involved in the documentation of the WSF Belem WSF 2009, Porto Alegre 2010 Dakar WSF 2011.
This year's Forum in Senegal begun with the march on the streets of Dakar where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital marched with the banners, placards to show their solidarity. , .
The following activities were organised during the forum; 2nd day : Day of Africa and Diasporas 3rd day : Self-organized activities 4th day : Self-organized activities 5th day : Assemblies of convergence for action 6th day : Assemblies of convergence for action / Assembly of Assemblies
As always, the forum had a hive of activities which included panels,exhibitions, plenaries etc. I must say that I did not fully participate in all the activities because of the language barrier. Most of the activities organised were in french language and on top of that there were not interpretation facilities which made my situation worse. In other circumstances, I could not locate the venue.My health also betrayed me, I felt unwell in the middle of the Forum because of my current status and I left Dakar before the close of the Forum. Thank God I arrived safely and was able to seek medical assistance and I am now okay.
All that did not stop me from enjoying myself and interacting with wonderful and dynamic librarians and activists.
I left the forum, promising myself to learn french language because I dont want to be left out again. Please if you know of any content online which can help me to learn french, please pass it over to me
January 14th 2010
World Social Forum 2010 starts with great event in the Greater Porto Alegre - Brazil
Celebrating its tenth year of existence, the World Social Forum (WSF), will take place in 2010 in a decentralized manner, with at least 27 regional, national and local events throughout the world over the next period (see agenda on the WSF official website).
Opening this process, the regional event "Greater Porto Alegre 10 Years Social Forum" which is going to happen from January 25th to 29th in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, will have over 500 decentralized activities in the cities of Porto Alegre, Gravatai, Canoas, Sao Leopoldo, Novo Hamburgo and Sapiranga.
Given the importance of the date and the event itself, the presence of some heads of state is waited (Lula, Evo Morales, Mojica and Fernando Lugo), as well as several ministers and prominent politicians (Dilma Rouseff, Marina Silva, Heloisa Helena and Ciro Gomes) which have already expressed their interest in accepting invitations to activities during the event.
One of the core activities of the Greater Porto Alegre Social Forum is the International Seminar "10 Years Later: Challenges and proposals for another possible world" which will feature more than 70 intellectuals and social leaders around the world - many of whom have integrated the process of creation and construction of the World Social Forum (WSF) in the last ten years. See list of participants (in Portuguese).
The seminar, held in the city of Porto Alegre, aims to examine the new challenges of alter-globalist civil society and to design future directions to be followed by the WSF. It also aims to provide a more systematic reflection on what has been done thus far, mistakes and successes, and the WSF institutional dynamics, becoming thus a moment of strategic thinking addressed to the activists most involved in the process. The activities will take place in the Legislative Assembly, in the Usina do Gasometro and in the Armazens do Porto, always in the morning
1st day, January 25 - World Social Forum – Examining the last 10 years
2nd day, January 26 - World conjuncture today buy essay Table 1: Environmental Conjuncture Table 2: Economic Conjuncture Table 3: Political Conjuncture Table 4: Social Conjuncture
3rd day, January 27 - Elements of a new agenda I Table 1: Common Goods Table 2: Common Goods Table 3: Economy and Gratuity Table 4: Good Life
4th day, January 28 - Elements of a new agenda II Table 1: State Organization and political power Table 2: Rights and Collective Responsibilities Table 3: New World Order Table 4: How to Construct Political Hegemony
5th day, January 29 - Systematizing big issues and contributing to the World Social Forum process
TOWARDS DAKAR 2011: the multiplicity of forums
The registration of participants can be made on the website http://www.fsm10.org. The registration fee is R$20,00 and it covers the material that will be provided in the accreditation.
Registration for press coverage must be made on the same page. The press center for communication professionals is located at the Legislative Assembly.
The registration of activities is closed.
- Sao Paulo: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (11) 9853-9950 - (Verena Glass)
- Porto Alegre: email@example.com, phone: (51) 3433.1233 / (51) 9317.0862 - (Luciana Borba)
"Greater Porto Alegre 10 Years Social Forum" official website: http://www.fsm10.org/
Seminar "10 years later" official blog: http://seminario10anosdepois.wordpress.com/
In order to receive the bulletin, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "SUBSCRIBE" as the subject.
In order not to receive the bulletin anymore, send an e-mail to: gerente @ forumsocialmundial.org.br. Don't forget to write on the "CANCEL" on the subject spot.
Suggestions and comments: fsmsite @ forumsocialmundial.org.br
WSF Office - Brazil
Address: Rua General Jardim, 660, 7th floor, Sao Paulo - SP- Brasil, Zip Code: 01223-010
email: fsminfo @ forumsocialmundial.org.br
This week has been pure torture for me. So far I have been a researcher, a writer, a manager, a cook and a nanny -and all that just for the first 3 days. My tutor for my major subject is on a rampage, giving assignment after assignment as if the world were to end this week. The papers I have to write have piled up and I just could not see how I could do all the research for this. Fortunately, my roommate had the same problem before and she suggested looking online for free essays where I could get ideas for the ones I am going to write.
It turned out that that advice was the best I had all week. It found it easier to do my research based on the free essay that had the related topic to finance essays. One had a long list of references that I found very useful as it saved me a lot of time in researching by myself. Also, the points raised in those essays help considerably in fine tuning my own points so it would not become redundant. Now, I am quite confident that I could survive this week after all.
Kpomassé, Madrid, Prague and Greater Porto Alegre are the first cities to host Social Forums in 2010
Kpomassé, Madrid, Prague and Greater Porto Alegre are the first cities to host Social Forums in 2010 Kpomassé, Madrid, Prague, Salvador and Greater Porto Alegre are among the cities that will start the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the World Social Forum process in 2010. The calendar of events will start in Greater Porto Alegre, with the 1st Solidary Economy Forum and the 1st Solidary Economy World Fair, on January 22-24, in Santa Maria. Right after those, on the 25th, the Greater Porto Alegre 10 years Social Forum will start. In the same region, it will take place, on January 26-28 the World Forum on Theology and Liberation in São Leopoldo. Still in Brazil, Salvador will host the Bahia Thematic Social Forum on January 29-31. In the city of Kpomassé in Benin (Africa) it will take place on 28-31 the 2nd Atlantic Local Social Forum, whose main theme will be “the impacts of the world financial and food crises on African agriculture: citizen responses and alternatives”. About 1500 participants are being expected to participant. The first edition of the event, that gathered 1200 people, took place in 2008 in the city of Allada. Among the main objectives of the ALSF are “defense of positions and strategies by different organizations to struggle against the neoliberal economic policies effects and to consolidate the articulation among local social movements and the whole African Social Forum in order to fulfill the expectations of the 2011 Dakar WSF”. In the European continent two events will take place in January: on 28-31 it will be held the 2010 Madrid World Social Forum, at the E.P.A. Patio Maravillas. This will be the third edition of the event in the Spanish capital city. Among the themes which will be discussed are: global crisis and alternatives; the environment; energy and climate; Europe; Latin America, Asia and Africa; social economy and fair trade; education, health, social movements, feminism, migrations, trade union struggles, State and political struggles; historical memory. In Czech Republic, three cities will host the Czech Social Forum on January 20-30: Praga, Brno and Usti nad Labem. The program of activities will include seminars, workshops, demonstrations and cultural events during the evening. All over 2010, the World Social Forum process will take place in a decentralized manner with events and activities across the globe. The main objective of the events will be to sum up, from the analyzes and experiences of global civil society social movements and organizations, proposals to face the global crisis in all its dimensions – economic, environmental, political, food, energy, cultural etc. The convergence of all this process will happen in Dakar, Senegal, during the 2011 World Social Forum. Service: I Solidarity Economy Social Forum and I Solidarity Economy World Fair Where: Santa Maria and Canoas (Great Porto Alegre), Brazil. When: January 22-24th (Santa Maria), 25-29th (Canoas) Contact info: email@example.com Website: http://www.fsmecosol.org.br Greater Porto Alegre 10 Years Social Forum Where: Greater Porto Alegre, Brazil When: January 25-29 Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Wbsite: http://www.fsm10.org World Forum Theology and Liberation Where: São Leopoldo (Great Porto Alegre) - RS - Brazil When: January, 26th-28th Contact: email@example.com (FMTL Permanent Secretariat) II Atlantic Local Social Forum Where: Kpomassé, Benin When: January 28-31 Contact info: Yoro Bi Ta Raymond: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com Madrid World Social Forum 2010 Where: Madrid, Spain When: January 28-31 Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.fsmmadrid.org Czech Social Forum Where: Prague, Brno, Usti nad Labem - Czech Republic When: Januray 29-30 Contact info: Marek Hrubec - email@example.com
Source: WSF TV at http://www.wsftv.net/
While news about the two fire tragedies, first in a supermarket of Nairobi, and the in Rift Valley, reach us via the media and by email, we also hear about the Social Forum event, which took place in Kariobangi (Nairobi):
Daniel Onyango reports:
This year the World Social Forum will be taking place in Belem Brazil from 27 January to 1 February. As away of showing solidarity with the thousands of participants who will be attending the event, youths from Kariobangi Parish that was part of Nairobi 2007 World social forum have organized different activities in preparation to the global event. On 10 January 2009, the youths organized an environmental clean up in Korogocho slum where the residents are faced with environmental hazards that has affected thousand of people and claimed many life. There was a large turn out of community members and young people who joined there effort to make Korogocho a cleaner and safer place. With an aim of creating awareness on the importance of conserving the environment, the event also aimed at mobilizing the community to participate in the coming social forum and other activities scheduled to take place in Kariobangi, Korogocho slums. Other activities to take place include peaceful demonstration about human rights issues, Human rights workshop and seminar, Cultural performances and others.
The most recent World Social Forum event ended yesterday in Belém, Brazil, without, as far as I know, any input from the world's library community. I hope to be proven wrong by public librarians who went there to do what Kay Raseroka suggested (no, adviced, or even recommended and requested) them to do. IFLA chair Kay Raseroka (at the WSF in Mumbai, January 2004) said that the librarians should all attend the Social Forums in order to document the Forums in their libraries.
As for the public librarians in, say, East Africa, I can understand why they where not there. It costs a lot of money and effort to go to Belém, Brazil. And so it might be with librarians and library activists (like me) in other parts of the world. If they have jobs as librarians or library activists at all, they are not well paid, anyway. (The library activist is a pro, who earns his necessary cash working half-time in the greater library of the internet.)
Reports from Belém
The International Council of the World Social Forum met in Abuja, Nigeria between 30 March and 3 April 2008. Reports from the meetings are found on the website of the Network Institute for Global Democratization, which is a partner in the WSG Library project. Link:
The Wiki mode? An enormous potential!
You may have heard of Wikipedia : A Web-based encyclopedia, to find almost anything you could think of, and in many languages ! Try the Web to learn about "Ramses II" egyptian pharaon and you get the Wikipedia full answer. Wish it were in esperanto ? Yes, it is also available.
This impressive achievement results from a collective, round the clock effort of countless volunteers worlwide.The Wikipedia knowledge-base expands continuously, wider than any commercial encyclopedia.
At the core is the "Wiki" free-software allowing distant people to contribute, discuss, amend and agree. Anybody can retrieve knowledge one day and contribute the other day to the community.
The Wiki-WTO project is to operate on the wiki-mode, overcoming distances and language barriers, to shape a worlwide project at virtually no cost.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is an international organization designed to supervise and liberalize international trade. It came into being in 1995, following the former General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) created in 1948. Wikipedia tells you the details.
What the WTO does, impacts on nations, on people, on the way the planet goes.
Although the stated aim of the WTO is to liberalize trade and stimulate economic growth, globally free trade results in the rich becoming richer, while the poor are getting poorer. The issues of labour and environment are steadfastly ignored. To the extent the WTO succeeds at promoting globalization, then in equal measure do the environment and labour rights suffer.
Despite of strong opposition from poor countries, the WTO continues encouraging harmful policies which would benefit the largest farmers, destroy nascent or fragile industries throughout the South and open public services everywhere to corporate takeover.
There is much to say about the decision making in the WTO: obscure, unrepresentative and non-inclusive. The Third World Network called the WTO "the most non-transparent of international organisations", because "the vast majority of developing countries have very little real say in the WTO system".
Soon after the Second World War, the economist John Maynard Keynes came with an innovative project for the future of world trade, which he called the International Trade Organisation (ITO).
It offers brilliant concepts as reported by Susan George in an inspiring article "The world trade organisation we could have had": Yes, it is possible to construct a trading system serving the needs of people in both North and South. The Wiki-ITO is meant to follow this route and to shape an alternative International Trade Organisation: useful for people, careful for life and environment, while fostering fair trade practices.
Would it be possible to revive the ITO, as a collective project driven by the civil society? Why not using the Internet tools? Look, the Wiki-ITO is already there, started as a local experiment. This is where we stand today.
What next? The idea is to build a community of interest, join forces and gain speed, until the Wiki-ITO becomes a knowledge base which no economist could ignore.
Thanks to a legitimate, representative and transparent operation, it would ideally grow strong enough to deprive the market-based WTO of its already undermined credibility.
Many NGOs do protest, fight against, oppose to. The Wiki-ITO complementary approach would be to positively build, elaborate, discuss until sound International trade rules are collectively agreed.
We can see conflicting commercial interests everywhere. But where governments may fight, civil society reach the consensus, because people from widely differing cultures and economic standards still share universal values.
The Wiki-ITO will recognize the United Nations legal instruments, mandate cooperation with the International Labour Organisation...a solid and valid framework for everybody to adhere.
The Wiki-WTO will derive its proposals from uppermost values: Human Rights, Environmental Charter; it will put trade where it belongs - Economy is to serve mankind; it will strive to stop the non-sense - biodiversity erosion for the sake of wrong macroeconomics.
It make sense to create the Wiki-ITO as an activity of the World Social Forum (WSF), within the www.wsflibrary.org .This WSF Library website aims at creating a permanent link between libraries, librarians and the WSF, it has been created by the Kenya Library Association in connection with the WSF in Nairobi, January 2007.
The 21 actionnable themes of the World Social Forum (WSF) seem relevant to start and they address a broad spectrum: water, food security, health... In a cascading mode, each field may be worked out into progressive details, stepwise, until reaching an international consensus on trade rules for agriculture, industry, services.
Even if it means a long way to go, it will be dotted by victories, since it is of great value to internationally agree on sound principles (food security), on appropriate indicators (ecological footprint, human development index)...so much to learn and to share.
The Wiki-WTO is a tool for a yet-to-be formed community. Now we should link, network and build this community of interest. Also write our own rules (editing, checking; translations; moderation, administration). Common rules are needed for constructive interactions and by chance the Wikipedia example proposes a comprehensive and well-proven set of rules.
The wiki mode allows routinely duplicating a page in many languages. More than 30 translators from the Coorditrad networks are ready to support the project! Their fast response encourage us.
At www.wsflibrary.org, under "Belem 2009”�heading is the wiki-WTO Home page.
The project Context, Objectives and Approach are documented in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. That is like a seed.
The upcoming Attac European Summer University to be staged in Saarebrueck, Germany, may gather enough impulse for kick-off.
The Wiki-WTO may become an activity of the next World Social Forum In Belem, 2009.
What volunteers could bring at present is:
- Expertise: to develop the intellectual social contents
- Moderation: to guide the efforts
- Translation: to communicate everywhere
- Administration: to maintain a fast and robust platform. Once properly launched, a dedicated wiki-site will be set up.
But if the market-oriented WTO is to collapse soon from its internal contradictions, the situation will be no better.
An international trade regulation is needed, and this makes alternative ITO proposals so more so desirable.