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Third European Social Forum

Thursday 9 December 2004

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The 3rd Social Forum took place this year from 15th to 17th October in London. It underlined once again the vitality of the global justice movement and its strengthened links with the trade-union movement.

FI rally at the ESF

More than 25,000 people from 70 countries, hundreds of interesting discussion forums, a demonstrations of tens of thousands, an Assembly of Social Movements which called for a central demonstration on 19th March 2005, against war, racism and the neoliberal Europe, against privatization, against the Bolkenstein proposals and attacks on work time, for a Europe of human rights and for solidarity between the people - these are some of the successes of the London Forum.

There were weaknesses as well. No real women’s assembly, which had been a big success in Paris-St Denis last year, marginalization of the unemployed and casualized workers, under-estimation of the importance of the fight against the neoliberal European Constitution. But for an ESF held in the heart of the neoliberal laboratory it was an encouraging success.

Among the various plenaries, seminars and working groups which took place at the third European Social Forum in London in October 2004, that on “strategies for social transformation” attracted the interest of many delegates. Organized by the British reviews Socialist Resistance and Red Pepper, the Transnational Institute of Amsterdam and the two networks of reviews, Project K and Transform, this session benefited from the presence of John Holloway (known particularly for his book Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today), Hilary Wainwright (author of Reclaim the State, Adventures in Popular Democracy), Phil Hearse (an editor of Socialist Resistance and regular collaborator of International Viewpoint) and Fausto Bertinotti (leader of the Party of Communist Refoundation of Italy). We reproduce here a report of the discussion from Jaime Pastor and a transcript of the speech given by Phil Hearse.