So here we are. It is November 29 2012. November 29 is the international day in solidarity with Palestine. It is also the day when the UN passed the resolution for partition of Palestine in 1947. It is today in 2012 that the World Social Forum-Free Palestine was launched in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It is today that the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of giving a non-member state status to Palestine. 138 countries voted in favour and 9 voted against. Canada has officially joined the axis of evil with Israel and the USA by voting against the Palestinian proposal. The Canadian foreign minister, we were told by the Canadian media, flew to the UN meeting specially to vote against the Palestinian proposal.
Palestinians do not expect any miraculous change in Israeli policy. End of occupation is what they want. We do not expect any miracle from Harper’s Canadian government. We simply want them out. The movement to throw them out is building.
First Forum in Solidarity with Palestine
The first World Social Forum-Free Palestine was held in Porto Alegre, Brazil from November 29 to December 1. Over 3000 people registered and a hundred plus people from 36 countries participated. Seventy delegates from Palestine, the West Bank, Gaza and refugee camps, witnessed and addressed five main panels and 168 self organized workshops, seminars and conferences. It is in Porto Alegre that the first WSF was held in 2001 and it is in 2012 that the first historic forum on Palestine is held in this very city. This is a first forum on Palestine solidarity. For sure it is not the last one.
The next rendezvous is Tunis. World Social Forum will be held in the cradle of the Arab Spring from March 26 to 30, 2013. Within that open space will be a space for Free Palestine for the entire duration of the forum.
It is not simply one forum to another, one meeting to the next. It is building and expanding the solidarity movement for the right to self determination for the Palestinians. It is a movement in the making to achieve its objectives. The Latin American organizations were observing this first forum on Palestine held in Brazil very closely. There are bound to be echoes. There was a need to begin this process in this part of the world where progressive governments are being elected by the people. When a politicized and conscious people raise the issue, the governments have to listen or face the consequences. Already MST, along with many other trade unions and social movements of the region, is planning to launch a movement against arms trade including Brazilian government’s arms treaty with Israel.
An extremely vicious campaign was launched by the Zionist lobby in Porto Alegre to get the event cancelled. The Brazilian government had to address the dual issue of demands from social progressive movements and the Zionist lobby. The result was that the forum took place!