A continent in transition
The first decade of the 21st century marked a unique period of transformations in the Americas. Ours is a continent in turmoil, where new types of resistances and revolutions get together in the quest for a new society, and at the same time, continue to be deeply-rooted in our traditions, in the sovereign construction of common life projects which leave behind the capitalist exploitation, colonial and imperialist domination, patriarchal and racist violence, wars, destruction of peoples and cultures, and predation of nature.
These are times of historical synthesis, where transformation projects can only be seen from a point of view of multiple dynamics and leaders from the past and the present, who have contributed to build collective experiences in the midst of injustice, and who have been frequently rendered invisible or underestimated. Radical challenges lead us to connect these times with facts which have been ongoing for centuries. This long-term duration can also be detected in the continuous existence, in spite of it all, of economies and cultures from/to peoples and life; it is also present in our intense colonial and imperialist heritage, full of induced conflicts which are revived at convenience from time to time, to affect the will of integration of peoples, transcending times and borders, to show itself strengthened in these times where we rememorize the bicentennial of unconcluded independences.
WSF-ASF: transformations in a decade
During this decade, the WSF-ASF as a space gathering and fostering ideological and movement struggles, has contributed to strengthen Latin American identity as a melting pot of diversities, to articulate advances aligned by a multiplicity of actors with a common destination. In brief, we have come a long way since the neoliberal threat of ALCA and its defeat, the relaunch of FTAs and other neoliberal tools, to reach vision and policy innovations falling under the concept of ‘Buen Vivir’ (good living), food sovereignty and other types of sovereignty -economic, energetic, financial-, UNASUR, ALBA. It has also contributed integrate movements of the North to our continental transformation, a process never seen before.
These changes make their way in the midst of a political acceleration modifying scenarios like never before. Only during the short time separating the third Americas Social Forum from the fourth edition -2008 to 2010-, new coincident facts transform the scenario: the outbreak of the crisis and the announcement of recovery or way out led by the spokesmen of capital –which will not hide its comprehensive, systemic, civilizatory nature-; the end of the “Bush era” with its resulting expectations and early disappointments marked by the continuity of militarist policies to preserve political hegemony in the line of armed neoliberalism; the unexpected coup d’état in Honduras –which generated repudiation all around the world- and the resistance of peoples who search for a true democracy based on a constitutional overhaul, encouraged by Latin American experiences and solidarity throughout the world.
On our way to the IV ASF
Within this framework, the organization of the IV ASF has begun. It will take place in Asuncion, Paraguay, from August 11 to August 15, 2010. From the dynamism of our reality and hand in hand with the protagonists, we anticipate the confluence of a range of issues and topics: the memory and fundamental presence of indigenous peoples of the Southern cone together will peoples coming from around the continent, the peasant force in the definition of new alternatives of life for all of us, escalating remilitarization, the struggles expressing the urgency of other production and life schemes to overcome the extractivist model; our experiences in the crisis and visions on its outputs, the interrelation and conflicts between movements and governments in the construction of change, new proposals coming from the youth, urban cultures, and much more.
Paraguay will host the IV Americas Social Forum, an opportunity to update and deepen common visions and agenda of the struggles led by our continent; opening up to an exchange modifying the little knowledge the world has on the amazing history and reality, already marked by change. The Southern Cone, from its diversity and solidarity between peoples and movements, becomes the headquarters of the preparation for this IV Americas Social Forum. The organization of the IV Forum at its continental level will be ongoing until August 2010, where specific meetings will take place as part of the preparation process, with several initiatives of deliberation, mobilization, solidarity, and resistance that are already registered in the vast calendar of actions of movements and entities which are part of the process, and that will convegre in the collective construction of the programming of the Forum, from its continuities, innovations, and strengthening.
We invite you to be part of the preparation process in the continent and to be in Asuncion in August to present your initiatives, experiences, and transformation proposals.
Another America is possible!
Our America is on its way!