WSF 2005

20th November 2004

World Social Forum 2005 will take place in Porto Alegre

The World Social Forum (WSF) International Council Secretariat and the Organizing Committee for the fifth Forum have confirmed that the next meeting of the World Social Forum will take place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from January 26 to 31 2005.

Independent, radical and highly successful in keeping important issues on the world's political agenda - issues which many powerful people would prefer to see either forgotten about or, at best, addressed by technocrats and tame NGOs - the WSF has now flourished for four years. Not only that, but the local, regional and national Social Forums - such as the European version that took place recently in London - have spread to most parts of the globe. As a spokesperson for the WSF 2005 Organising Committee explained, "Multiple campaigns, struggles, projects and dreams of a new possible society are shared at theses events – and none of them is more important than the other. This new horizon to political action is in contrast with the weariness of the traditional institutions, which are seen more and more as not very democratic, submissive to the financial markets and impervious to citizens’ opinions."

The choice of Porto Alegre for the third time in five WSF gatherings is significant, for Porto Alegre, with its (until recently) radical left local administration and innovative approach to democracy has become a point of reference for the type of movement and activist who tend to be involved. Also, however, with the left having lost local power in the recent round of elections, insisting on continuing to meet in Porto Alegre is an important act of solidarity and the exercise of democratic rights. Decades of struggle in the region have, according to organisers led to "a society that is critical, organised, aware of its rights and willing to fight for them." On each occasion the WSF has been warmly welcomed by the broad population and has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the town’s City Hall and the regional State Government.

Despite the decision to return once again to Porto Alegre, the WSF Secretariat has said that it is determined to turn the Forum into a genuinely worldwide event. "It has already been decided that the meeting in 2007 will take place in an African country."

Read more about the WSF here