As you no doubt know, Montréal will host the next World Social Forum from August 9 to 14, 2016.
Québec’s three main union organizations (CSN, CSQ and FTQ) have begun working together to raise the visibility of the WSF and co‑ordinate and mobilize for the event as well as ensuring the contribution of the labour movement and advocacy organizations for unorganized workers in the framework of the WSF.
Programming of activities / union activities / labour struggles
As you know, any organization that wants is invited to submit proposals for activities to be held during the forum. Basically, we want to encourage the co-ordination and convergence of activities on themes related to work and unions to make this experience as useful as possible for us.
So, for example, if you would like to take advantage of your visit to Montréal to establish ties among unions representing workers for the same company, or learn more about certain organizations or more specific realities, we would be more than pleased to take steps to see what is possible.
Although we will be attentive to proposals made through the registration system, we suggest that you let us know if your organizations would like to participate in the forum and what themes you would like to tackle. We can then share the list with all the participating organizations.
We also want to organize an activity with international labour organizations in the form of an introductory briefing session that could take place the evening before the Forum or in the morning of August 9. The objectives would be to have an opportunity to meet each other, provide all the information needed for participating in the forum, agree on a rallying point for the march, present the big issues facing national and international union organizations, and then begin a first debate on the discussion for the assembly planned for August 12.
We have the possibility of organizing a convergence assembly for action as well as a major talk (see the calendar at the end of the document). We will get back to you with proposals concerning these possibilities, but in the meantime you are invited to send us your thoughts.
Note that other organizations and networks are organizing similar processes on issues around education, trade, free trade, health, climate, food security, etc.
The forum will take place in downtown Montréal, on the campuses of the Université du Québec à Montréal, McGill University and the CEGEP du Vieux-Montréal. It will be easy to get around on foot, by bike or on the metro (subway), especially since this is generally the best time of the year in Montréal in terms of weather.
For accommodations, we recommend that you use the WSF service to reserve hotel rooms, given the good rates that they have managed to obtain. There will be a registration form for groups of 10 or more people, and another for individual registrations. https://fsm2016.org/en/participer/hebergement/
We recommend the Holiday Inn Select Montréal Centre Ville or the Hôtel Gouverneur Place Dupuis for their quality-price ratio. Generally speaking, hotels that are downtown or close to a subway station on Montréal Island are the best choices.
There is also a service of solidarity-based accommodation. If some of your delegates are interested in this, let us know and we can send out a call for it in our network.
Unfortunately, there are no plans for funding to help organizations participate in the forum, and the WSF is calling on the networks to encourage solidarity delegations. Organizations that want to co‑ordinate their efforts (since we have many comrades in common!) are invited to get in touch with us so that we can exchange information and work together to ensure that the WSF is as representative as possible.
There is a special registration rate of $20 until March 16, and then $40 after that. You can help make organizing the forum easier by registering as soon as you can. And if you can afford the full $40, you can always register now and add a donation. Registration is done on-line on the forum site: https://fsm2016.org/en/participer/sinscrire/ People who need visas to enter Canada can obtain visa assistance at: https://fsm2016.org/en/participer/soutien-visa/
Call for mobilization to social and citizens’ movements
We have helped prepare the call for mobilization to social and citizens’ movements aimed at sending a positive message to various organizations around the world. We consider that it is urgent for social movements to “put forward political responses that can change the course of history,” and despite the challenges posed by the choice of Montréal, we should take advantage of this WSF to make progress on this. You are invited to sign the call on the web site and share it widely: https://fsm2016.org/en/appel-mobilisation/
Please feel free to contact us for any additional comments or information!
Nathalie Guay (CSN), [email protected] +1 514-598-2098
Luc Allaire (CSQ) [email protected] + 1 514-356-8888
Denise Gagnon (FTQ) [email protected] + 1514-383-8014 / +1 514-713-0358
 Confédération des syndicats nationaux, Centrale des syndicats du Québec et Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec