I haven't "deserted" yet (a very sad choice of language in the jan 21 report), but I have lost hope that I will be sent a ticket to go work at the Forum. It seems unlikely by now that we will be able to do much to resolve the current situation, which goes beyond the problem with the tickets (as seen on these forums).
And I say "we", because I still believe in Babels and still feel part of it, but something drastic will have to be done. I admit I haven't been involved at all in the Babels Forum, which is our only space for open discussion and decision-making. Therefore I share part of the blame for the Caracas disaster.
For one, here's one point we should not avoid: this WSF is way too dependent on the Venezuelan government. Reading the report on the sad state of things, I'm amazed we have been reduced to begging for funds from state bureaucrats. Does this say something about what the WSF has become?
Those of us left behind may take some time then to think about the future. Pointing fingers is probably a futile exercise. Are we going to have that meeting in May about "what we are" and "how we work"? I suggest we start having a discussion here about those two questions.
I would begin by proposing Babels free itself from the WSF and start thinking more broadly about other opportunities to support social movements around the world with our language skills.
And un abrazo en solidaridad to all those having bad nights and too much coffee in Caracas still trying to patch things up. Good luck and stay sane.
Mir Rodríguez, from Panama City
Caracas, Venezuela : enero 24-29, 2006
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