QUEBEC SOCIAL FORUM

And if Montreal became the epicentre of the Alter-Globalist movement…

Friday 5 June 2009, by Michel LAMBERT

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Like most of the world, Quebec discovered the Alter-Globalist movement with 1999’s Battle in Seattle. After a lull of a few years, a new kind of activism took hold of the world.

Over here, if the scale of events such as Quebec’s Du Pain et Des Roses march of women against poverty in 1995, the 1997 Plan G occupation of a government building, and 1998’s Opération SalAMI protesting the Multilateral Agreement on Investment opened the door, it was the massive protests of April 2001 that instigated a new cycle of social activism. For the first time, students, social groups, women’s associations, unions, and NGOs led a rising tide of citizens in protest against the neo-liberal globalization that the American proposition of a Free Trade Area of the Americas embodied.
But if the April 2001 summit was the first page of the new chapter, it was also far from being the last. In that same year hundreds of Quebecois mobilized to participate in the world’s many Social Forums. From Porto Alegre to Belém, via Bamako, Caracas, Mumbai, Nairobi, etc…, a network of progressive partners— active nationally, regionally, internationally— was created.

As members of the World Social Forum’s International Council since 2001, Alternatives— and the partners of Alternatives International— also chose to go down this path. Together they have aimed to cultivate partnerships that stretch across the array of issues within international solidarity; their priority has been to establish sustainable societies through North-South COLLECTIVE ACTION.

In Quebec dozens of organizations, likewise wishing to participate in a dynamic event influential enough to expand networks and strengthen social alliances, have launched the 2nd Forum Social Québécois (FSQ), which will kick-off in October 2009. With the strategic objective of building bridges between the social movements here in Quebec and those active around the world, Alternatives International took the opportunity to invite the World Social Forum’s International Council to hold their next meeting in Montreal— right before the FSQ!

From October 6-8, Montreal will play host to the vanguard of the world’s Alter-Globalist movement. Among the subjects on the table will be a North American Social Forum to reinforce the links between the continent’s progressive activists.

And from June 5-7, Montreal’s Sommet Citoyen de Montréal will unite hundreds of like-minded activists for a citizens’ summit at the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

And if Montreal became the epicentre of Alter-Globalist movement… ?!

À propos de Michel LAMBERT

Executive Director

Co-founder of Alternatives, Michel Lambert believes in the importance of uniting groups and organizations of the civil society, here and in the rest of the world, to promote democratic principles, equality and fairness for all.

Prior to being nominated Executive Director in 2007, he established and developed various international solidarity programs at Alternatives, initiated innovative global justice campaigns with civil society groups and trade unions in Quebec and Canada, and directed the Alternatives’ Democratic Republic of Congo branch from 2002 to 2005.

Michel Lambert is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alternatives International Federation, , the Board of the Association québécoise des organisme de coopération internationle (AQOCI) as well as the organization Alliance syndicats et tiers-monde. He was on Executive Council of the Association for the Progress of Communications (APC) between 2008 and 2011 and of Food Secure Canada between 2009-2012.

Michel Lambert also represents Alternatives at the International Council of the World Social Forum and within various coalitions in Quebec and Canada like Pas de démocratie sans voix, Voices/voix and the Réseau québécois de l’intégration continentale - RQIC.

Read Michel Lambert (in French) in our Journal des alternatives, the Huffington Post Quebec, or on Rabble.ca and Tweeter(Bilingual)

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