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Feroz is an activist within Alternatives Canada. We interviewed him on the occasion of the opening of the Preparatory Meeting for the next World Social Forum to be held in Tunis in 2013. He tells us about the situation of social movements in his country and the articulation of their struggles with the Social Forum.
Can you tell us about the social movements that shake your country at this time?
As you know these days, Quebec and Canada are experiencing intense months, politically speaking, not just with the student movements. Of course the student movement is in the leadership of this social movement but as a slogan used to say in one of the events: "the fight is a student but the movement is popular." We clearly see a convergence of social and environmental struggles: the struggle for climate justice and social justice. March 22, in Montreal, there were 300,000 people in the streets and on April 22, there were still 300,000 people in the streets for climate justice. People go out every night in the streets with their pots: thousands of people in all neighborhoods. And I think this is the first time since 1972 we see a left-right polarization so clear and deep in Quebec society and it seems irreversible.
What are the results?
We do not know yet but what is certain is that something has changed and I gave it a new energy to an extra-parliamentary opposition in the form of a Social Forum. Currently, there are discussions in several cities in Canada to organize a social forum "Canada-Quebec First Nation." This forum will probably take place in 2014 because the next election is in 2015. On this occasion, it is all the extra-parliamentary opposition is preparing to set out the current government of Harper, which is really the right neoliberal reactionary. This movement will not stop, that's all a political process that will continue.
This association with the Social Forum process dates back to 2001. Today, we really have a political opportunity in Quebec, and this is very much in support of the next World Social Forum to be held in Tunis in 2013. Our association with the Forum Maghreb-Mashreq, FMAS, and the e-joussour part of this process there in the same Alternatives and Alternatives International.
What are your expectations from this meeting in Monastir?
We expect two things mainly. Firstly I hope this meeting will allow us to bring home the issues and priorities by to mobilize people in our country to inform them about what happened here in order to better prepare our social forum. Moreover, the meeting of the International Council of the World Social Forum is a very important element. We spent a full day for a political debate. We would like to know where we are, what we think of the global justice movement and contribute to this debate.
Interviewed by e-joussour
Monastir, July 12, 2012