Tuesday, March 24th. The storm rages, torrential rain fell on Tunis. The weather seems to be angry, as Tunisians came in numbers to the opening march of the World Social Forum in Tunis. One slogan for walking "Together against #Terrorism." Following the attack of the Bardo Museum, the organising committee of the WSF had changed the route of the opening march on Tuesday March 24th. It started Bab Saadoun to finish at the Bardo Museum.
This March 24th, Tunisian Minister of Culture, Latifa Lakhdar, wanted to reopen the doors of the Bardo museum in tribute to the victims of March 18th. A symbolic opening since the museum was open only to those invited by the Ministry of culture and media. The public will have to wait the next day to once again admire the works that adorn the museum.
In closing the opening march in Bardo, the WSF would give a strong signal to the world. Tunisians rose up against the wave of terrorism that has plagued the region and Europe. "We're sick of these terrorists! Tunisia is a peaceful country! Tunisians are peaceful people," exclaims a woman in the crowd.
Between hope and dismay
Terrorism, radicalisation and departure of young people to the Islamic state are among the topics that will be discussed during the WSF. The economic and social situation causes a portion of some unemployed and youth people to join the ranks of extremist movements. Excluded policemen after the revolution of 2011 have joined the march of the WSF. One of them says: "We were thrown out like dirty. And today we have nothing to live! The Islamic State contacts us for us to hire and train young recruits. This is normal, we have the skills in weapons. But I'd rather die than work for IS. We need the government to help us. It is no longer possible."
Later in the crowd at the entrance of the Bardo, we meet optimistic Tunisian. A man came with his children said: "Believe it! Tunisia needs to succeed in its democratisation project to show to the other countries that it is possible. We can get out of a revolution without falling into religious extremism. "
The World Social Forum, an awareness lever
The World Social Forum is 4 days of debate, discussion and exchange. From 24 to 28 of March, 4336 organisations coming from 150 countries will gather around the WSF. Organisations like Oxfam, Unifor, World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFMIGP), Polaris Institute have responded to the call of FSM.
A real world gathering with a simple goal: to rebuild the world in a spirit of economic and social justice. Here, we discuss and debate on economic solutions against the neoliberal capitalist model. "The direct impact on economic policy is almost zero. However, the indirect impact in a longer term is huge," says Abderrahman Hedhili, general coordinator of the WSF. "The World Social Forum as other social movements creates social dynamics and a balance of power to power," he adds.
Despite the attack on the Bardo, the holding of the event was essential to its organisers. Abderrahman Hedhili is very clear on this point: "No way to cancel! On the contrary. It's a way to show our solidarity with other countries and our desire not to let ourselves be invaded by fear. In addition, all organisations have responded positively to the call. There was no reason to cancel. Our presence and unity is our strength. "
An event that is timely in the Tunisian capital
In a context of democratic transition, the attack of the Bardo's Museum has only strengthened the will of Tunisians to fight for their dignity and their freedom. This is the second time that Tunis hosts the WSF. The first time was in 2013. And in light of recent events that have hit the country, the World Social Forum makes sense now more than ever. The one of "freedom , dignity and social justice for a better world ."