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ESF demo in Paris

j-walker | 15.11.2003 23:47 | European Social Forum | Globalisation | Social Struggles

Pictures from today's european social forum march which attracted anywhere between 100-200 00 people depending on who you believe.

san papier
san papier

against the israli aparteid wall
against the israli aparteid wall

There were the usual walking corpses of the old left such at socialist worker and even the french socialist party (formerly in goverment and having imposed a stack of neo-liberal reforms). They need the around 20-30 heavies to guard their section of the march, perhaps in fear of attacks from other sections unhappy at their presence. They obviously know many people think they are not welcome, not so unfortunatly for some sections of the ESF organising committee. In anycase there was more radicality on the streets than you might expect and a fun and lively time was had by many, especially a bloc of aroun 4-500 marching around a massive and very impressive samba band,



Hide the following 5 comments

I wish I could have been there - thanks for these images!

16.11.2003 10:25

This looks to have been a brilliant demo - thanks for posting up these inspiring images.

From what I've read, the European Social Forum was an impressive gathering of activists with all sorts of different ideas, but with a common aim - to build a better world. Another world is truly possible if we all work together with mutual respect.

I would have loved to have been there myself - but hopefully we in Britain will all get a chance to participate in the European Social Forum when it comes here next year.

One thing though that seems to be out of character with the images you posted up - why the point scoring against the Socialist Workers Party? Your comments seem to cheapen the inclusive message that the images you posted convey. I know SWP members and they are knowledgeable and full of ideas. The SWP party members I know played a big part in organising people to get to those massive anti-war demonstrations earlier this year. Let's not alienate other activists with sour point-scoring.

Sally Ombottu

point scoring

16.11.2003 12:33

well i reckon you could get me on articulating my problem with the SWP presence there as being not as sophisticated as it might have been. I must have got frustrated with walking around everywhere and having people try to sell me their newspapers in ten different langauges.
I don't doubt that many swp members to do some good work. my problem is that their ideas and the way they interact with others alienate other activists. This constant broken record speeches but much worse the limits of their ideology. That's why i made the reference to walking corpses, becuase their ideas haven't changed since 1950 and this was most completly demonstrated at the debate between negri and callinicos where callinicos had to revert to making things up by saying things like "negri thinks the working day has decreased" which he never said, he said it has extended.
The swp are running a franchise and can't admit their product is out of date cause it means their whole organisation is based on old ideas that are only partially relevent today.
Hope that is a bit more articulate.


a quote

16.11.2003 12:57

People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth.

-Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution Of Everyday Life.



16.11.2003 19:16

I agree with Sally completely - what's with the cheap shots at SWP? I am proud to be a member of the Socialist Worker's Platform, which plays a vital part in the Scottish Socialist Party as well as internationally, to fight capitalism. I also respect and know that people oppose capitalism and all its hideous effects who come from many different political backgrounds. We will not achieve another world by spending our energy on fighting each other....thank you for your wonderful photos and please put more on your site. The total lack of coverage in british papers is incredible - along with the news that George Bush's 700 special forces want the right to shoot to kill any protesters they think are a potential threat to him when he visits on Weds - our peaceful 'not welcome' demos all over the UK will I'm sure be huge and give Blair and Bush another headache. In solidarity and comradeship, Annie from Edinburgh

Annie McCall

E pluribus unum

16.11.2003 21:02

Now think what you want of the SWP's ideas, they are very enthuosiastic, and I do not beleive that they really scare people away. They might be uttering weird language and the paper sales are irritating, but others have these endless flyers, so what's the deal. But there is something very positive about them and that is their willingness to be part of a greater movement, and to build up something bigger in which their vote is not necessarily decisive. In this way they are able to play a pivotal role in the alterglobalisation movement, especially in the UK.
I think criticism is never wrong, but name-calling is. I can get mad at the remarks of people from the Internationale Socialisten (as they're called in the Netherlands) about music in demonstrations, but that doesn't mean they're bad... I mean there are some anarchists which to me seem to have lost the revolution on the way, and just like to amuse themselves, but that's cool with me, and I think also amusing yourself is an important part of resistance, if done properly.
I would prefer it if the term "corpse" is not used in reference to a "comrade", for they may be slow-witted, but they are stupid nor evil and thus are not zombies or vampires, although maybe a bit like vampires LOL

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