This week several important events are taking place in Tunis.
One is World Social Forum, which has lost long time ago its fame as the world’ unique gathering space for progressive, horizontal, democratic, left social movements; a movement of movements or network of networks. It has become a carnival or fair for well funded and coopted NGOs, or touristic activity for the NGO cadre and hence subjected to criticisms coming from many social movement activists or advocacy groups that are engaging in real struggles on the ground, like ours, from around the world. In the absence of similar space, for the world-gathering of people’s grassroots struggles, two years ago, in 2013 the WSF was organized in Tunis for the first time; since Tunis has become a symbol of the new wave of mass uprisings started in 2011. This year as the second time WSF planned to take place in Tunis, and its opening March was actually today (yesterday 24/3).
In 2013 version of Tunis WSF, some people who involved in 15M uprising and concomitant assemblies in Spain in 2011, Occupy Wall Street uprising in US and Occupy movement’s European and Canadian assembles and networks, initiated a friendly occupation with open spaces and assemblies self-organised within the official WSF and in Tunis city center, with open participation of Tunisian citizens who could not afford to come and buy tickets for the forum, organized in the El Manar university campus. The initiative called Global Square, or OccupyWSF, is taking place this year as well.
And another very important event will be again taking place within the WSF; a new initiative that was emerged very recently and called Internet Social Forum, in order to rethink and liberate the Internet, which is becoming increasingly a monopolized, corporatized, privatized space; or for some like Jullian Assange even worse than that, it became a dark ‘surveillance machine’. One of the events ISF organising is about rethinking the social forum as it is organized via online on the Internet.
Although really wanted I couldn’t be there in Tunis to support and join the work, neither to realize the second version of the OccupyWSF (Global Square), nor the new OccupyInternet initiative. Yet since both ideas are quite similar; since in a way both relate to the actual and virtual open spaces and stress their importance for articulation while re-thinking the social forums and the internet together, I believe there needs to be some form of collaboration between these two initiatives taking place in the same campus but some how disconnected.
Hoping that it would facilitate a networking between the two from a distance, but via Internet, I did propose and planned an virtual event about practice of occupation in a study-circle format, where participants brings in not more then what they already know, put that in a production process. Event will be a prelaunch of Universe.city project as it is described below.
Now I am writing both to the DNU and RethinkUva media-program groups, hoping that having such an activity in the Maagdenhuis and your program would be interesting for UvA staff, activists, and students. So that while it would also be possible to make the third link with the people who are engaged in creation, expansion, and protection of a space for participation in their liberated university campuses.
The event is proposed to comrades preparing the Global Square with the below info:
*Universe.city – a global little school, prelaunch and co-learning circle titled:
‘How to Occupy, produce, open, share, and protect the space-time collectively’
There will be 15 min. presentation and status update, and 45 min. assembly format for peer to peer exchange
*Universe.City is a free and open access platform initiative, empowered by GNUnion and others. It allows cooperative learning for individuals and groups by connecting spaces, people and projects within and without the city(ies). The unconditional empowerment of the disempowered, the excluded, and the oppressed, solidarity and cooperation between and within such is our motto. Adopting Fereire’s pedagogical approach, as well as other transformatory, emancipatory perspectives Universe.city strive for liberating knowledge at the point of production and distribution from alienation, borders, time, and social class domination. Universe.city brings together Free / Libre, Open Source Software (FLOSS) resources for self-learning, such as free access libraries, torrent depositories, ‘How To’, DIY, and ‘DIWO’ guides. We try to combine these with ‘professionally’ designed and delivered online, face to face, one to one, one to many, and many to many courses, or any other type of educative activities; either gratis or provided in a framework of emancipatory cooperative exchange. These can be practical and analytical lectures, study circles, trainings, workshops, strategy sessions, or otherwise. In a way, all activities serve participants, and allow them to contribute to the emergence of a cooperative and solidarity economy at the planetary level, and may even be.. beyond that 😉
Friday 27 March, 13:00-15:00 (CET)
Time zone converter: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html
Mainly Internet yet might be linked to Global Square and space in Tunis, WSF 2015
of which spatial coordinate is: University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis
Twitter: @OccupyWSF, #GlobalSquare
Live stream: Google Hang Out On Air (link will be shared),
Online classroom: BigBlueButton (guidance for joining the classroom will be shared).
In global and networked solidarity