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European Social Forum 2008 Malmö

About 15.000 demonstrators from all over Europe marched in the center of Malmö, Sweeden during the 5th European Social Forum, protesting against capitalism and the destruction of the environment. Süleyman Çelebi, President of DİSK made the one of closing speechs on behalf of Social Forum of Turkey. He invited European social movements to İstanbul for ESF 2010.



 ESF 2008, MALMO


Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters and Comrades,


I greet you all with deep affection on behalf of the Confederation of Progressive Trade UNIONs and Social Forum of Turkey.


We come together here at the European Social Forum 2008 to share and exchange experiences with each other in regard to the struggle against neo-liberalism, wars and discrimination of all sorts. Our global resistance started in the jungles of Mexico, on the streets of Seattle and the struggle continues today in the cities of Europe and poverty-stricken villages of Asia.


We have gained two important things by this struggle; consciousness and hope. Because of this consciousness we are now aware that we have a common enemy even though we fight our wars in different countries. And we have seen that this is a global and enduring attack against the class. That is why our struggle too must be global and enduring.


With the hope that the Social From has raised, we learned to say “NO”. The Social Forums have given us the hope that we can change the world.


There is a long list of problems for the workers and oppressed. Poverty, de-UNIONisation, insecure jobs and flexible working regulations, privatisations, outsourcing, deprivation of social rightsR30; We experience all these problems all over the world and these are the policies designed by the same institutions; the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation


The Social Forums are the beginning of a new international movement. The Social Forums are a global rebellion and challenge. There is only one power which can stop trans-national companies and governments working under the command of these companies. This power is US; a united international movement which dares to challenge this order.


There is no end to capitalist wars and no limit to exploitation. Here is Iraq! Here is AfghanistanR30; Here is PalestineR30;  Here is the CaucasusR30; Just a few days of an imperialist war there left  thousands of deaths and homeless behind. Not only in the Middle East and Caucasus but also in South America, the whole continent of Africa, and Far East we have to put an end to this vicious circle of wars and poverty.


Essential public services are being privatised, killing all hopes for a decent life after retirement. Health services are under attack all over the world under the pretext of “restructuring”. What they say is “die! if you can not afford to buy health services”. Millions of people do not have any access to health services and even to safe, clean water.


The Social Forums have been the first spark to ignite the spirit of rebellion. The global justice movement has now become the torch of this struggle. In Malmö, we strengthened the fire of this spirit.


We appreciate the hospitality of our comrades from the European Social Forum (ESF) 2008 Committee. The ESF 2008 has been a milestone, because for the first time, we saw a huge participation from the Eastern Europe. The next Forum will organised in a non-EU country.


As you may know, the next Forum will take place in Istanbul, Turkey. Today, we are here to pay tribute and to carry on the legacy of Carlo Guilliani and we will bring the torch of the struggle to Istanbul after Paris, Florance, London, Athens and Malmö.  We invite everyone to Istanbul, all social movements of Europe, progressive movements, UNIONs, ecologists, feminists…


We invite you to our country where everyday workers lose their lives at shipyards because of occupational accidents.  We invite you to our country where the May Day is celebrated with tear gas. We invite you to our country where farmers fight against the genetically modified organism, against the companies using cyanide to extract gold from the ore, against government plans to build dams.


We invite you to our country where

Political parties, UNIONs, associations are banned

People fight back against isolations in prisons

Students struggle for the right to education

Workers are dismissed only because they joined a UNION

Women struggle to survive under the fear of brutal honour killings

People want peace in Cyprus

People kept the military out of the war in Iraq

We invite you to the country of journalists Hrant Dink, Uğur Mumcu and Musa Anter, and great poet Nazim Hikmet.

And we warmly invite you to our country with a poem by Nazim Hikmet

to live like a tree, alone and free..

And to live like a forest in brotherhood

This invitation is ours”

We are looking forward to seeing you all in Istanbul. Until we meet in Istanbul, all we have to do is to keep on fighting relentlessly