Thursday, November 08, 2012

European Social Forum- 10 years on and in the thick of it



November 2002: The first European Social Forum, in Florence
10 years ago social activists across Europe met in Florence, Italy, to oppose neo-liberal policies across Europe, to say no to debt in the global South and to warn that if policies remained in place, Europe would face a crisis in the near future. The European Social Forum was born. Around the same time initiators of the Tax Justice Network were meeting to discuss how to oppose the invidious effects of tax havens and how to bring attention to the corruption and inequality caused when criminals, MNCs and the wealthy are able to live by a different set of rules.
10 years on the European Social Forum is re-convening in Florence (Nov 8th - 11th) to promote solidarity among networks and organisations across Europe. You can follow the conference on twitter #firenze1010.
The Tax Justice Network, founded at a meeting on 9th November 2002, is supporting two slots in the packed programme : ‘Capitalists Mafias and Mafious Capitalism’ organised by Liberia International, where we will cover Corruption Services: the supply side from the Pin Stripe Mafia; and ‘Tax Competition or Just Taxation’ organised by ATTAC Europe, Kairos Europe/ Réseau pour la justice fiscal.
The conference has begun with many calls for working together. Herris from Transform spoke of the Greek experience "Greece is a guinea pig for European neo-liberalism and a fertile ground for fascism, but it is also a laboratory of social resistance and alternative proposals".
Corrina from Blockupy Frankfurt (and many others) called for support for the General strike next week (November 14th) and for Blockupy actions (blocking access to institutions, finance centres etc in acts of civil disobedience) in the coming spring. 
She ended: "Be courageous to fight, be courageous to win"

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