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European Social Forum Closes with Demonstration and Actions

imc uk | 20.10.2004 08:59 | European Social Forum | Globalisation | Repression

The European Social Forum (ESF) ended on Sunday after hundreds of discussions and meetings, both inside the ESF and in the Autonomous Spaces. The Assembly of the Social Movements issued a Call for various days of action (though at first failed to include the Indymedia Solidarity Statement).

The forum ended with a large demonstration(70-100,000) and a number of autonomous actions (Clowns actions and Pro-capitalist block). The demonstration had a clear anti-war character and attracted many people who did not attend the ESF.

Reports: [1 | 2 | 3], Pictures: [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | new 9 | new 10 | new 11 | new 12] and video [1].

A group of activists from the anti-capitalist block were detained at King's Cross train station in an attempt to prevent them from joining the march [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Global Project][Video Modem | ADSL]. They were eventually allowed to leave and when they finally arrived at Trafalgar Square some tried to get to the stage in what some describe as storming the stage. The police, possibly in cooperation with the organisers, made several arrests including an Indymedia volunteer and member of the ESF organizing body [pics]. The COBAS union condemned the local ESF organisers for this action. Solidarity actions were called and a number of Clowns invaded Charing Cross police station (Video). Those arrested, including a Greek activist, were due in court on Monday [Video].

Meanwhile for four days the IMC center catered for activists and public alike in providing a fully equiped media center and 600 capacity hall for the EFCR, Schnews Conference, parties and other events (IMC call). Indymedia also took to the streets to protest the seizure of the imc servers [pics 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5]. The Wombles also organised 5 Days & Nights of Anti-Authoritarian ideas and action called Beyond ESF, from which a Declaration of Europe’s Precariat came out.

The ESF organisation, and the events during the demonstration, have been the subject of a lot of controversy [In depth: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Previous: 1 | 2 | 3].

A letter condemning [2 | 3] the takeover of the ESF stage in protest against the lack of democracy of the ESF organsing process was published in the Guardian [Pics of action 1 | 2 | Video]. It accuses protesters of interrupting and anti-racist event. A coalition of anti-racism organisations replied condeming the use of the race card to stifle dissent (also IMC Lancaster statement).21st Oct Update: Read latest Guardian Letters | (2), see also Alex Callinicos blames "black Bloc". 23rd Oct: A film of the event has appeared. 27 Oct: Italian Delegation, Some Reflections on the 2004 ESF. Some also resented the lack of coverage of actual ESF events [1 | 2] on Indymedia and the mainstream media [1 | 2]

Don't hate the media - just publish on Indymedia - Upload your reports from the ESF and Autonomous Spaces events to indymedia, or to the events memory reporting database. See: All UK ESF reports | Updated Indymedia ESF Newsblast

[More: ESF daily coverage: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Other languages: German | Dutch | Dutch and French | Català | Castellano 2 3| Hungarian | Portugese | Russian]

70,000 demonstraye against war in london
70,000 demonstraye against war in london


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Hide the following 4 comments

ESF was great and so was Beyond ESF, please stop infighting!

20.10.2004 16:05

Thousands of people took part in a week of inspiring events and heard speakers and debate from across Europe and the world, rounded off by a big, diverse vibrant anti-war protest.

How can we then let ourselves fall back into infighting? I plead to BOTH sides, whether you call yourself horizontal or vertical, or are just unsure like most of us, please stop drowning all the good of the ESF (and the Beyond ESF) in silly Life-Of-Brian fights.

There is too much at stake for all this nonsense!


More Photos from Sunday's march

21.10.2004 11:44

I didn't manage to get my photos uploaded to indymedia, but you can see them here: on the Media, Culture and Communication Rights Network website.

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resist divide-and-rule

25.10.2004 16:38

I agree with 'worried' above, too much in-fighting and divide-and-rule going on, about ESF and also with the Stop the War / union stuff. All at a very bad time. Fallujah is about to be destroyed.

The most effective criticism of anything is to do it yourself, better. Isn't that the whole basis of IndyMedia? Let's stop going round-and-round and start reaching out.


Am I the only one?

26.10.2004 20:25

Am I the only one to laugh with derision at the mainly German 'anarchists' who protested outside the ESF at ally pally? Am I the only one to see them as the other side - ie part of the problem?

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