Tunis: a fearless
World Social Forum

The 14th World Social Forum- an annual global gathering of advocacy groups, local unions, social workers, and NGOs— was inaugurated in Tunis on Tuesday, less than a week after the terrorist attack against the Bardo Museum.


The first day of the forum began with a solidarity march, despite a steady rain in Tunis.

Young women seen under an umbrella, hold a Tunisian flag as they take part in a march held through the pouring rain in Tunis to kick off the 14th World Social Forum. (Chedly Ben Ibrahim/Demotix)
Young people hold a banner which reads “faithful to the bloods of martyrs” as they take part in a march held through the pouring rain in Tunis to kick off the 14th World Social Forum. (Chedly Ben Ibrahim/Demotix)
A young woman covered with a Tunisian flag. (Chedly Ben Ibrahim/Demotix)
A young Tunisian woman shows the peace sign next to a giant Palestinian flag. (Zaid Abbour/Demotix)
Thousands of people marched through the pouring rain from Bab Saadoun Square to the National Bardo Museum in Tunis to kick off the 14th World Social Forum. Demonstrators called for peace, democracy and social justice. Here, women shout slogans and hold flags during a march held through the pouring rain. (Chedly Ben Ibrahim/Demotix)
Translation: At @fsmtunis2015 a global web will be born, on people disappeared during migrations (news link in Italian)

More than 5,000 people participated in the procession, including Tunisians and foreign nationals, marching from Bab Saadoun Square to the Tunisian Parliament building and the Bardo Museum, where 21 people were killed by terrorists last week. Among them, a woman for whom “disappearance during migration” is a very real problem.

An elderly woman, whose son is missing in Italy, takes part in the march against terrorism in Tunisia. (Zaid Abbour./Demotix)
Coming from Italy to Tunis, and depicting the arrival of inaugural march in front of Bardo museum.

The World Social Forum has met every year since 2001, when its Charter of Principles was approved. It is composed of organizations from civil society and claims an effort to offer an alternative to “hegemonic globalization.”

WSF defines itself as a framework for studying, working and sharing experiences on social justice issues. Its pluralistic nature served as an apt response to the attack against the museum on March 18.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, forum participants issued a joint communication confirming that they would still hold the annual conference in Tunis, as an expression of solidarity with the Tunisian people. They also intend to produce a “Bardo Charter Against Terrorism.”

Policemen on a motorcycle secure the march held through the pouring rain in Tunis to kick off the 14th World Social Forum (Chedly Ben Ibrahim/Demotix)

Forum participants use social media to share practical information with attendees, like how to travel via metro while in Tunis:

One attendee, under the Twitter handle @IvanGrozny3, posted tweets covering Kurdish rights discussions at the forum.

Translation: “Kurdish women have a special reason for being involved in combat: not being raped, abused or reduced in slavery” (from speakers at Kurdish delegation crowded meeting)
Demonstrators hold giant banners condemning corruption and a Brazilian flag during a march held through the pouring rain in Tunis to kick off the 14th World Social Forum.(Chedly Ben Ibrahim/Demotix)