While still consulting towards a full response to the report from the Babels, I would like to say the following from the outset. I am a member of the East African Organising Committee. I was privy to the discussions in Bamako, Paris, Nairobi and and Parma. There seems to be a lot of confusion in regards to the real issues that we should be discussing if the WSF2007 is to benefit from the vast experience of the babels group.All we seem to doing is talking at cross purposes and passing the back as if this is the first time that this important element in the WSF movement is providing servises to a WSF event.
A few things to bear in mind and, please, without prejudice:
We in Nairobi are and have not been privy to the agreements btween Dakar( I mean Taoufik and the Babels group).So we did not oblidge ourseves to be part of a fundraising effort aimed at taking care of the organisation's networking and internal mobilisation. That not withstanding, we had already factored into our local budget resources for the air tickets of as many members of the Babels team as resource availability would allow. It is clearly shown in a budgetory projection that we have generously shared with nearly everybody that matters in the WSF family of social movements.We also budgeted for their upkeep and pocket money during the event. We are still committed to this, depending, of course, on our resource mobilisation capacity.
At all the recent meetings, up to and including the most recent in Parma, we shared with vereybody the state of play in regard to resources already mobilised. What we have managed to bring into the kitty is not even a quarter of what the Babels are asking us to avail them of. Where do we get this money if the venue, equipments and running the secretariat are still under-financed! What would we be mobilising and finally bringing the transalators to do in nairobi if there is no Venue and no translation equipments!. Would it not be extremely absurd to have 200 smart Babel intrepretors come to Nairobi to do nothing!. This means that even if it were to be our responsibility to meet the costs of mobilising the network, we still could not have done it as we simply do not have the money as yet.
With the little resources we have here in Nairobi, we are doing what is feasible in mobilising local interpretors and training them in the use of the translation equipments.Having said this, we humbly would want to know the ammount of resource that were put aside for the Babels Network's preparation for the Mumbai,Cracacas,Bamako and Porto Alegre events beyond the cost of their tickets and upkeep during the events? This would help put us in a better picture in order to appreciate our shorcomings.
If Babels is a bona fide member of the IC why has it not become a practice for the IC to deliberate and decide on how best to support Babels as an ongoing partnership rather than leave it to the transient event organisations which, as our experirnce shows, are left on their own to struggle to mobilise resource only to be directed by a hidden hand from a faceless IC as to what to to do and what not to do on the basis of informal deecisions made with people not accountable to the process.
We also would like to know which organ of the Babels sat and agreed on the request that was sent to Nairobi. This will help us know with whom ho have more politte and constructive coversations regarding what should be done to make Nairobi a resounding success. At the moment we seem to be dealing with individuals in babels who are not ready to take responsibility on what comes from the network in the way of demands for Nairobi. Even the mail I an responding to has no name attached to it.
Threats and ultimatums are not the best way to be part of a global effort to create a better world; at least not to entities that are supposed to be part of the facilitation of the coming of another world. Honesty and frankness are good. But they must not be seen to carry with them the dangerous insinuations of condescendence, patronisation and double standard in handling similar challenges.
Finally, let Babels put all its cards on the table and let us find solutions together without grandstanding and passing the back to anybody. Had we seen in in the Porto Alegre and the Mumbai Budgets an elemnet speaking to such costs we would have been the last to let you down on this; because we would have factored itinto our overal budget.
January 2007: Discussions sur le FSM à Nairobi - Discussions on the WSF in Nairobi (Kenya)
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