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If the people is not in power there will be no change

28. January 2006

First report from the Social Forum and the Bolivarian Camp in Venezuela
On January 24 the Polycentric World Social Forum of Caracas began. Simultaneously several Bolivarian rank and file organisations like the National Peasant Front Ezequiel Zamora, the Collective Alexis Vive, the Popular Coordination of Caracas, anti-imperialist movements from different countries, among them the Anti-imperialist Camp, are holding an International Bolivarian Camp dedicated to break the chains of imperialism.

The streets of Caracas are full with anti-globalisation activists as we know it from earlier Social Forum mega events. The Forum of Caracas is characterised by the question which position the “social movements” should take in front of the new centre left government in Latin America. Among the galaxy of collectives one can experience a strong enthusiasm for change. The official Forum did not leave any doubt that it is with the Latin American left bloc (Evo Morales in Bolivia, Kirchner in Argentine, Lula in Brazil, Tabarà© Vazquez in Uruguay and Chávez in Venezuela). Despite the enthusiasm this situation could deepen the crisis of identity of the anti-globalisation movement which always proclaimed to be “anti-state” and “anti-party”.

The Venezuelan situation has clearly influenced the dynamics of the Social Forum. Anti-imperialism and the prospective of the “socialism of the 21rst century” are present in all official activities. Nevertheless there are the US peace activists to denounce the war on Iraq and the politics of Bush, while the resistance of the aggressed countries and of the insurgent peoples did not find space in the official events.

This is one of the reasons why the International Bolivarian Camp was organised. With a strong peasant contingent, which disciplined march marked a profound difference to the festival-type climate of the Social Forum, the anti-imperialists irrupted into the anti-globalisation multitude. Based in the school Gabriela Mistral of the “January 23” quarter of Caracas, hosted by the Collective Alexis Vive of the same popular and rebellious quarter, some 700 persons are participating in the gathering dominated by the popular forces of the Bolivarian process in Venezuela. Among them one can find peasant and urban poor militants, Latin American anti-imperialist organisations but also youth attracted from the Social Forum.

The Camp was inaugurated by igniting fires on the rooftops of exposed blocks of the January 23 quarter to record the comrades from the quarter who fell in struggle. The work of the gathering started with seminaries and debates which gave not only space to discuss the problems of the Bolivarian process but also for an exchange with international organisations. There are present human rights organisations from Colombia and delegates from different revolutionary organisations from Latin America, anti-imperialists from Europe and even representatives from the Anti-zionist organisation Abnaa elBalad from Palestine within the Green line. In the centre of attention was to elaborate strategies against the capitalist empire led by the US and to pave the way for the construction of a new socialism of the 21st century. All forms of struggle to reach these goals are being defended as legitimate.

Today, after a peasant demonstration in defence of their lands, it is hoped that the scheduled visit of Che Guevara’s daughter will materialize. The coming days are dedicated to deepen the analysis of the Venezuelan process and the resistance movements in other parts of the world.

The state television as well as various local TV canals covered the anti-imperialist event. With the strong popular, peasant and urban poor participation and profile the message of the Camp to the Social Forum as well as to the anti-imperialist government was clear: either with the organised people towards a new socialist society or to remain with reformism in the chains of the empire.

Anti-imperialist Camp
Caracas, January 27, 2006