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Home > English > Alternatives International Journal > 2011 > Ides of March 2011 > Palestine at the World Social Forum 2011

Palestine at the World Social Forum 2011

Wednesday 16 February 2011, by Feroz MEHDI

In the plenary concluding session of the World Education Forum in Ramallah on October 31, 2010 it was decided to hold a thematic forum “World Forum in Solidarity with Palestine” sometimes in 2012.

Alternatives International organized a seminar on this theme to explore further the possibility of achieving this goal. The seminar was registered in the self-organized activities during the World Social Forum 2011 held in Dakar from February 6 to 11, 2011.


Last couple of years we have seen a steep rise in international solidarity movements for Palestinian rights. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid is growing at a tremendous pace with major trade unions representing millions of workers in Europe and North America adopting the Palestinian BDS call of 2005.

The international solidarity actions inside the Palestinian territories is also gaining steam despite increasing restrictions imposed on travelers by the Israeli authorities. Delegations from many countries enter Palestine every month and join anti-apartheid rallies. They participate with Palestinians against house demolitions and for lifting the siege of Gaza. Free Gaza Flotilla campaign is increasing despite the Israeli attack on a Turkish boat and murdering of several peace activists. Flotillas from all over the world are preparing to reach Gaza with humanitarian assistance supplies and to protest the siege.

Many political parties around the world have adopted the BDS resolution and over a 100 countries have recognized an independent state of Palestine within the 1967 borders. Latest countries to join in recognizing an independent Palestinian state are Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Failures of all peace processes sponsored by the USA its allies and its client states will definitely bring even more countries to take independent decisions of recognizing the state of Palestine.

And now the Palestinian cause has entered the family of the WSF process in a big way. All organizations participating in the WSF since its inception in 2001 are in support for Palestinian rights but by choosing Palestine as the venue for the World Education Forum in 2010 they have brought the issue to the centre stage of the global social movements. Palestinian organizations and social movements including the trade unions took up the challenge and did a great job in hosting the Forum in several cities in Palestine including 1948 Palestine. Now it is the responsibility and duty of the WSF members to take the cause further and mobilize social movements in favour of the Palestinian rights and for the BDS campaign all over the world.

It is in this background that Alternatives International organized a seminar “Towards a World Forum in Solidarity with Palestine” during the WSF 2011 in Dakar.

People’s Assembly on Palestine

In addition to discussions around the above mentioned forum, several other seminars and discussions took place around issues of solidarity with Palestine. Three whole days were spent on discussions on BDS campaign, Russell Tribunal activities, Free Gaza Flotilla and other actions such as the Israeli Apartheid week held in several university campuses around the world. All these activities were held under the same tent and were attended by over 300 people in all. This convergence of activities and activists amplified the mood and the message having a significant impact on the people gathered for the WSF.

The following declaration was adopted by the Assembly:

WSF: People’s Movement Assembly on Palestine Declaration

In Dakar, Senegal the People’s movement Assembly on Palestine convenes at the World Social Forum (WSF) at a time of intense popular struggle in Palestine against Israeli apartheid, colonization and occupation, and for full implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

For the People’s Movement Assembly on Palestine hundreds have gathered during the WSF at the Palestine tent to strengthen, re-enforce and strategize on the growing global solidarity movement rooted in and lead-by the Palestinian popular resistance against Israeli occupation.

Activists, meeting in Dakar, building global strategies to support Palestinian Liberation, stand in full solidarity with popular protests in Egypt, Tunisia and across the region resisting oppressive state regimes inherently linked to Israeli apartheid, and will participate in the solidarity actions.

Today, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is a central tool for social movements working to confront Israeli apartheid policies. As the global movement for liberation in Palestine grows and social movements internationally deepen their implication in the Palestinian liberation struggle the Peoples’ Movement Assembly on Palestine calls for people to support the following actions:

1. Global Day of Action March 30th on Palestinian land day and the International assembly against AGREXCO/Carmel in June 4 and 5 in Montpellier, France.

2. Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) events from the 7th to the 21th of March 2011 and beyond including at University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar.

3. World Social Forum in Solidarity with Palestine, a thematic event within the WSF process, with national and international consultations in Palestine and globally starting now lead by Palestinian Civil Society.

4. Global week of actions in support of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II that will confront the illegal Israeli siege on Gaza the last week of May 2011.

5. Support the Russel Tribunal working to highlight Israeli violations of International law.

6. Support Palestinian Popular resistance by sending International civilian mission in Palestine.