Français   |  

Subscribe to the whole site

Home > English > AI and the WSF > European Social Forum in Athens : a Big Success

European Social Forum in Athens : a Big Success

Tuesday 16 May 2006

4th European Social Forum: its success exceeded even the most optimistic expectations

Greek Social Forum - 8 May 2006

The success of the 4th European Social Forum (Athens 4-7th May) exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. With 100 000 people participating in the rally and with more than 35 000 participants attending the seminars and workshops, the Forum proved both the potential of the Greek movements and the strength of the alterglobal movement. For four days, Athens was the European capital of resistance, for four days, tens of thousands of people have been sending the message: Another world is possible!

Beside the mass participation we should also mention some qualitative characteristics of the 4th ESF:

  1. The participation of activists from Eastern Europe and Turkey was larger than ever (more than 2 000 people), showing that the Forum embraces the whole continent and not just Western Europe.
  1. There has been mass attendance in the seminars and workshops. People came to listen and discuss, not just to browse around.
  1. For the first time in a European Social Forum, trade unions had a significant role as members of the organizing committee [1].
  1. Art and culture had a central place in the Forum, with more than 120 cultural events and with a participation of hundreds of artists.

The greek social forum addresses its warmest greetings:

  • To the thousands of citizens from all over Greece and abroad who filled the streets of Athens and marched with determination despite the throw of tear-gas from the police.
  • To the hundreds of volunteers of the Greek Social Forum, who did their best for the organization of the 4th ESF. To them we owe the success of the event.
  • To the Greek Social Forum’s teams of safeguard that contributed in the successful finishing of the rally as it was originally planned by the organizing committee.

The groups that used the demonstrators as a protection shield between them and the police, showed with their actions that they consider the Forum and its people as enemies. Their behavior during Saturday’s rally is a sample of an extreme authoritarian political behavior.

With the closing of the 4th ESF, we have every reason to be optimistic for the potential of the alterglobal movement as well as for the forthcoming struggles in Greece. All those of us who were present in the events taking place in the 4th ESF, sensed the breath of a forthcoming Spring...

The press office of the Greek Social Forum
Greek Social Forum - Online 8 May 2006

[1Note by ESSF: In the previous Italian and French European Social Forum processes, trade unions already played a very "significant role"