World Social Movements:
From Local Actions to Global Discussions
This week’s readings took us through diverse paradigms of social resistance and how these social movements transformed into distinct platforms for the local, national and international discussions of social issues, which involves social justice, equity and equality and environmental justice.
The World Social Forum (WSF) is an international forum that was established to challenge the current paradigm of development, globalization, and economic development, which seeks to develop an alternative paradigm of development, social justice, economic development and social change. The WSF is considered by many as an “opened space” that is diverse and representatives of organizations and social movements that seek to explore an alternative world; that is, a world which captures the aspirations of human security from big governments and corporate elites transform them to local people and grassroots movements. It is a forum stakeholders from all around the world meet annually to discuss issues that reflect their respective localities and peoples and how they can work together to forge a space for another world. One of the goals of the WSF is to challenge the existing paradigm of neoliberalism and globalization. Members who attend the WSF have to agree on decisions that are made and the forum communicates such decision via various instruments listing the organizations and institutions that made them and does not make any final decision on how they should be implemented.
On the other hand, La Via Campesina is an international social movement that was established in 1993, which assist coordinate organizations of rural and peasant farmers in developing countries in an effort to seek social justice, food sovereignty, and the advocacy of family-based, local farms as well as seeks to promote sustainable agricultural production through the process. Martinez-Torres and Rosset provided a historical and evolutionary perspective of the La Via Campesina an organization that first coined the term “food sovereignty” that is drawing perspective that all communities and people have the legitimate right to produce food on their territory and thus define their own food systems, methods of production as oppose to the dominant paradigm of food production by multinational organizations and institutions whose interest is for profiteering against the poor. La Via Campesina has gained national and international recognition for its position and interest in assisting marginalized family-farm communities regain their status by creating awareness and networks with other social groups.
I personally think another world is possible. I believe that a world in which the multinational or transnational corporations have no control over what we eat is possible. However, in order to have this world we must deconstruct our current ways of life and consumption patterns and trends most especially for those of us in westernize countries. We should take local actions that collectively can make global changes. I believe that a world that contains more alternatives is possible and this is a world that we should all strive for by supporting local systems social movements.