WITH A LONG MARCH FROM KASARANI TO UHURU PARK THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM 2007 IS BROUGHT TO AN END
In Uhuru Park meanwhile, a mostly cultural event took place, delighting the audience with African and Middle Eastern music, interpersed with brief political statements with resolutions from the Forum. Among the speakers were Nobel laureate, Prof. Wangari Mathai and brazilian human rights activist Chico Whitaker. Also speaking was U.S. actor Danny Glover.
Only a portion of the resolutions passed during the Forum were read, giving importance to human rights, women, and labor issues. Neither human rights speakers nor the labor presenters, who ended their brief statement with the song "Solidarity Forever" made a connection with migrant workers rights issues. This situation indicates that there is much work to be done in these two sectors of progressive organizing to recognize migrant workers rights issues both as a labor and human rights issue. In general, it was evident that the organizers decided to emphasize cultural presentations on the last the day of the Forum and downplay the political ones.
The official attendee figures the Forum organizers are recognizing are 60,000 people, although for those of us who participated in the Forum it felt smaller than that. My attendance estimate for the closing was between 4 and 6 thousand.
The next World Social Forum will take place in 2009 and the hosting site has not yet been decided. The closing balance for many who participated in the WSF was positive, including the government of Kenya that officially applauded the way that the conference was developed.
The Boston Delegation gets ready to go back home to give a detailed report-back, in particular in the area that took as a focus: transnational unity in the struggle for migrant works rights in the world, and also some of its members will travel to a conference in Los Angeles to start preparations for the great demonstration and strike of May Day 2007 until no worker is illegal in the U.S. and the world.
Submitted by Sergio Reyes