Message from the ICSSI:
Dear friends and supporters of the World Social Forum process:
Recently, we commemorated the tenth anniversary of the 2003 war in Iraq. Sadly, all the protesters who shouted “No blood for oil!” were correct. The regime had to step down but freedom could not be gained for the Iraqi people through war and occupation. Today, the situation is critical in Iraq in both humanitarian and political terms. Iraqi social movements and civil society organizations are part of a wave of popular protest, that has been countered with bloody repression by the government. Courageous activists are everyday risking their lives in the struggle.
These activists need to break out of their isolation and coordinate their initiatives with social movements, in the region and internationally. Equally important, internationals need to hear about the new course that the Iraqi people desire for their country and the campaigns for human rights and democracy they are organizing. Global civil society should stand in solidarity with the Iraqis.
Last March in Tunis, Iraqis launched plans to hold an Iraqi Social Forum; they have started preparations in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities. At the end of September 2013 they plan to hold the first Iraqi Social Forum in Baghdad, and they are calling for international participation.
We are pleased to invite you to be part of the International Solidarity Committee for the Iraqi Social Forum. We are calling for a Skype kick-off meeting on May 22nd , at a time to to be decided by those who are willing to participate. The tasks of the International Solidarity Committee for the Iraqi Social Forum would include:
1. To link the ISF process to the WSF process and global civil society campaigns, in terms of solidarity, coordination of events, and political connections
2. To support participation of internationals in the ISF event and monitor security conditions
3. To advise the ISF committee in the practical organization of the forum, based on experience accumulated in other forum events
4. To try to bring expertise on specific themes and topics, as requested by the local preparatory committee
The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative is ready to offer support in terms of coordination and linkage between the International Solidarity Committee and the Iraqi Preparatory Committee, which is currently composed of the following organizations (see the list below)
We will consult with those who write us to confirm the date and decide the time of our first chat.
Ismaeel, Martina, Johanna, Taif, Terry and Florent
for the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative
English website: http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/
Arabic website: http://www.almubadarairaq.org/
Social network: http://icssi08.ning.com/