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[OPIRG-EVENTS] World Social Forum: community discussion (fwd)

			*Educating Ourselves*: 
		  The World Social Forum in Ottawa

Thursday, September 26th, 2002
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. 
Jack Purcell Community Centre- Rm 201
Ottawa, Ontario 

Join the Ottawa Chapter of the New Politics Initiative for a lively
discussion of last year's World Social Forum, led by three local 
participants of last year's forum, including: 

Lynn Bue, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
John Foster, North- South Institute   
Pam Kapoor, National Anti-Poverty Organization 

Food and child care provided (off site). For child care, please contact 
Angela and Nancy *in advanced* at 230-0684 or 521-3400, x427.   

excerpt from site in february 2002: 
"Social forces from around the world are gathering from January 31st to 
February 5th at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Unions and 
NGOs, movements and organizations,
intellectuals and artists, together are building a great alliance to 
create a new society, different
from the dominant logic wherein the free-market and money are considered 
the only measures of worth. This meeting, the second of its kind, is 
intended to offer an alternative to the World
Economic Forum held at the same time in New York - a private summit of 
world leaders usually held in Davos, Switzerland - and is a grassroot 
initiative against globalization. Various
protests are planned in New York against the 30-year-old capitalist club 
while over 50,000 people from the civil society will be debating in Porto 
Alegre about the humane, sustainable
and equitable kind of world the vast majority of people on Earth would 


The New Politics Initiative group is organizing for this Thursday evening.  
See the attached poster in Word or PDF. We are basically looking to learn 
from the panelists more about how Porto Allegre functioned, and from the 
audience (hopefully including yous) about what connections people see to 
the Ottawa scene in order to take it to the local level. We are thinking 
about organizing a larger Ottawa Social Forum for late spring 2003, and 
would like to know what people think about that too.
The New Politics Initiative, or NPI, is an emerging movement of
progressive Canadians looking to build and revitalize the Left in Canada.  
Launched in early 2001 by a small group of individuals from both inside 
and outside the NDP, the NPI has attracted the official endorsement of 
over 1000 people, and has since that time seen the establishment of local 
chapters in at least 8 cities across the country.  This interest confirms 
one of the initial assumptions of the NPI: that many activists and 
progressives in the anti-globalization movement, environmentalists, 
feminists, trade unionists, advocates of participatory democracy, 
opponents of the so-called war on terrorism', and many others active on 
the Left want to have and build a political vehicle - some kind of party.  

In part, this is a movement of those on the left of the NDP that want to 
see change in their party, and a dramatic vote at the November 2001 
Federal NDP Convention indicated that
nearly 40% of the delegates supported (at some level) the ideas or
initiatives proposed by the NPI.  The NPI is also an effort to draw
together activists and individuals who never felt that the NDP spoke for
them, or reflected their political hopes and aspirations.

NPI-Ottawa is a local group of activists and individuals inspired by the
original launch of the NPI, and committed to beginning the difficult
work of linking our various movements into an organization.  Some of us 
have been meeting for more than a year now, and begun to plan local events
that provide opportunities to discuss and debate how social movement 
politics and campaigns can take a more directly political form - but in 
new, more democratic, and less bureaucratic ways.  Our efforts to this 
point have been focused on building toward an innovative "Ottawa Social 
Forum" - an opportunity to bring together activists and organizations of 
different stripes to share experience, exchange information, and hopefully 
talk about linking strategies, building solidarity among our movements, 
and establishing some kind of continuing political organization - a party.

We aim to see such an event put together for May Day, 2003.  We also
invite others with shared interests and enthusiasm to join us.  Amid
difficult current challenges, there is significant opportunity to resist
and to build And if you want to know more about the New Politics 
Initiative in general, there is: http://www.newpolitics.ca/

		"Hope is a passion for the possible."

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