Quebec (province of), Study Day of Alternatives: From Quebec 2001 in Porto Alegre in 2002. Resistance to neoliberalism and building alternatives in the world

Saturday, August 25, 2001 - 10:00 - Sunday, August 26, 2001 - 11:30


This year we want to broaden the discussion of resistance and alternatives to neoliberalism in the entire world, making the link between the mobilizations of last spring and those to come, including the World Social Forum (WSF), the highest important gathering of popular movements in the world, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January. Alternatives intends to participate in the organization of the WSF.

Saturday, August 25, 2001


Introduction to the week-end.


Plenary: From Quebec to Porto Alegre: The aftermath of the People's Summit and the challenges of the next Social Forum.

How the success of Quebec represent a qualitative step forward for the popular movement in the Americas, North and South. What were the main conclusions and recommendations of the People's Summit and how the next Social Forum (WSF) in Porto Alegre scheduled next January, will further internationalize the resistance to neoliberalism and construction alternatives.



13 pm

Regional workshops

  • The Alternative in the Americas

FTAA after Quebec. What are the new strategies of promoters of neoliberalism and free trade? Have they learned their lessons from failure of public opinion? How the rich northern countries intend to break the poor South?

The political and social alternatives in the Americas. What is the experience of coalitions of the Left and the MST in Brazil, and that of Zapartistes in Mexico? What can move and what explains the defeats?

Women's movements. How does the Women's March successfully increased the resistance put up by women against the negative effects of neoliberalism? Does the women's movement succeed to challenge the domination of male chauvinist society, including within progressive movements?

  • The Alternatives in Africa

The arc of crises and looting of Africa. How people organize themselves to resist the onslaught of the armies, militias and multinationals who plunder without embarrassment? What explains the silence and indifference of the so-called international community?

The struggle for democracy in Africa. What are the most promising experiences? What are the roles of the urban lower classes, peasants, youth?

The struggle for life and against AIDS in Africa. In many African countries, 25% of the adult population is infected with the AIDS virus. How these communities organize themselves? How do they manage to discredit the multinational pharmaceutical companies?

  • The Alternatives in Asia

Resistance and Alternatives in Asia "post socialist". Fifty years later, plans that call themselves socialist still are appropriated by corrupt and repressive elites. What are the resistances and alternatives advocated by social movements.

Construction of popular alternatives in India. How do popular Indian movements succeed to build local alternatives? A popular movement nationally is it to the agenda? What these movements ahead of leftist organizations.

Militarism and Fascism in South Asia. India and Pakistan are in the hands of elites who use fundamentalism (Hindu or Muslim) while militarizing the region with nuclear weapons. How do these projects fit in the new global geopolitics? What is the status of the peace movement.

  • The Alternatives in Europe

Struggles against neoliberalism in Western Europe. How does the resistance initiated by broad popular European coalitions do manage to block the neoliberal bulldozer? What do they offer and how they differ mainly of social democratic governments?

Against war and “econockill” in Eastern Europe. How do people resist this drift? What new ways to reconstruct peace, democracy. »

  • The Alternatives in the Arab world

The new figures of the Palestinian intifada. How will the new intifada differ from previous uprisings? Is it effects change within Palestinian society?

Struggles for democracy in the Arab world. How do the movements for democracy in Morocco, Egypt, Algeria are bearers of change? How do they reinvent the policy against populist and authoritarian traditions?

Iraq in the geopolitics of imperialism. What is the meaning of the imperialist strategy of the embargo against Iraq, given the fact that Iraq is not a military threat? Where is the movement against the embargo and war.

15:30 pm

Thematic workshops

  • Popular coalitions after the People's Summit and the World March of Women

Popular movements and youth participation. What does the youth movement has new to offer in the social landscape? How come (or not) docking with other social movements?

Unions and grassroots groups. What are the conditions of marriage between unions and grassroots groups, its constraints, its difficulties? Are these alliances stronger or weaker since the People's Summit and the Women's March.

Popular movements in Quebec and Canada. Why do, in Quebec and at the Women's March, attempts to strengthen solidarity between people's movements in Quebec and across Canada have not been very successful? What are the barriers and solutions?

  • Social movements and political struggle

What tools to conduct the political struggle? Do popular movements have to take the political initiative? Does this role rather to be gone? What kind of party do we want? How to fit the political arena? Should we participate in elections?

The day after the election. What is the experience of progressive governments? Does the idea of a new kind of power, popular power, is a realistic utopia?

  • The next offensive against neoliberalism

The fight against the WTO, IMF, National Bank. Everywhere developing struggle, resistance, alternatives to neoliberal governance structures. What are our prospects in the fight against Third World debt? What economic programs put forward?

Against the FTAA, for solidarity in the Americas. How to strengthen our coordination tools across the hemispheres? How to implement the idea of a referendum? What are the next steps?

  • Communications solutions, a tool to fight

Alternative media or alternative media? How to enhance citizen action without falling into propaganda? What to do to lift the shadow of alternative media?

New technology to do what? What progress has the experience of indymedia? Is the Internet a priority tool in the Third World?

  • Take the City

Municipal coalitions to win. What are the gains? The limits? What can we learn?

The power to citizens. Can we change the way of exercising power at the city level? What it means: participative budget?

7:30 p.m.

Additional meetings.

  • Alternatives 101. All you always wanted to know, but you never dared to ask about Alternatives.
  • The International Conference against Racism in Durban. It will be held in Durban in South Africa this fall. How the various issues concern us?
  • Images of Quebec. Gleaned by those differences and those filmakers’team assembled by CMAQ.
  • Porto Alegre 2002: How to participate? What are the technical and logistical requirements to attend the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in January 2002, opened the popular movements of the whole world?
  • Committee Meeting Summary. Rapporteurs of workshops meet the host of the plenary synthesis to prepare the meeting Sunday morning.
  • Meeting of the Board.

Sunday, August 26

9 am

Plenary: the struggle for alternatives.

Synthesis of the previous day, focusing on strategies and tactics to build popular alternatives vis-à-vis neoliberalism.

11:30 pm

The last words

Location: Saint Augustine