The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.
Ben Hayes, Praful Bidwai, Susan George, Walden Bello
29 September 2010
Ahead of the Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF) which coincides with the official ASEM8 summit this year in Brussels, four TNI scholar-activists - Susan George, Praful Bidwai, Ben Hayes and Walden Bello - discuss some of the key struggles facing citizens from both regions.
The institutions that are supposed to reproduce daily life are incapable of acting on behalf of the people any more, so we need to produce our own institutional alternatives based on micro-experiments and universal values.
A recent comparison by top foreign policy thinkers in the US reveals the not so pro-democratic thinking that also goes on in Washington, referring to the emancipatory movements of the Arab Spring as a improbable "worst-case scenarios."
The Celtic Tiger might just find its strength and appetite for action in the growth of left leaning electorates and local citizens initiatives. The tailspin of economy caused by austerity policies should be countered by a transparent debt audit.
What we saw in the UK election campaign and the recent coalition deal is the level of opportunism amongst the political parties, and the real absence of politics and ideas on how to deal with major crises in the economy, over climate change and of our political institutions.
Spanish collective Xnet that helped arrest the former Managing Director of the IMF came to Amsterdam to share their skills, tools and strategies with social movements, civil society organisations from all over Europe.