- Development - Governance
Senegal: Presidents rally to change the world at World Social Forum
The rally to change the world has kicked off in Senegal as activists gathered in the capital city of Dakar to communicate the message: "another world is possible."
The World Social Forum event serves as a counterweight to the World Economic Forum and seeks to address issues of food sovereignty, gender rights, education, civic and democratic participation.
The march for world change held in Senegal was led by Bolivian President Evo Morales, an anti-capitalist activist who has long spoken against neo-colonialism.
"The enemies of the people are the neo-liberalism and the neo-colonialism which not only oppress us but also take our natural resources. We are going to raise the people of the world, whether they be workers, intellectuals or youth, against these enemies. In the interest of their countries and their people, they are able to rise up,” President Morales told a crowd of people in Dakar.
Although the rally for world change is expected to draw other well-known socialists, including a former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the movement is not a one-sided rally.
The World Social Forum is not an organization, but "…an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo- liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a society centered on the human person.
"The Dakar held rally offers an open space where individuals "opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking."
Speaking to an assembly at Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University reporters in Dakar, the forum’sAfrica coordinator, Taoufik Abdallah, said: “This forum comes at a time when the world is changing. It is up to us to act. It is up to us to change the world.”
The World Social Forum was the largest gathering to be held on Kenyan soil in terms of social movements in January 2007. It ignited other movements such as the human rights abuses, indigenous people rights, climate change, gay, lesbian and bisexual movements.
The movement for world change began in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre in 2001.