Peoples’ Social Forum Will Challenge Status Quo

Toronto, ON – Thousands of activists and scholars from coast to coast will be gathering in Ottawa-Gatineau from August 20 to 24 for the Peoples’ Social Forum. The four-day gathering – the first in Canada’s history – will bring together representatives from labour, First Nations, environmental and peace organizations, and various communities and activists from across Canada to share information and strategize towards a new course for the county.

The first World Social Forum took place in Brazil in 2001 as an alternative to the World Economic Forum where political and business leaders meet to discuss economic issues.

“The World Social Forum created a space for activists to share knowledge and put forward alternative ideas that would transform society and eliminate inequality. In Latin America, Social Forums have strengthened social movements across the continent that are challenging the capitalist model and have led to the re-founding of nations based on the principles of equality, reciprocity, harmony and solidarity – Raul Burbano, (Organizer of Peoples’ Social Forum in Canada)

This year will mark the first time that Canada will hold a country-wide Social Forum.

“The Peoples Social Forum represents a watershed moment for social justice movements. In bringing thousands of activists together, the Forum will provide a crucial space for developing new solidarities, for re-energizing our movements and for clarifying our visions of a better society.” – David McNally (Professor of Political Science, York University)

The Forum will be hosted at the University of Ottawa and will feature over 500 workshops and many prominent representatives of civil society, including author and journalist Naomi Klein, activist Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, many Indigenous chiefs and representatives from Canadian unions.

The Peoples’ Social Forum will also be a festive one, with various exhibits, alternative media fair, film screenings, a mass critical protest, a Pow Wow, art, street performances and concerts.