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Protest Letter on the visas – WSF

Dismantle Corporate Power
 
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To the International Council of the WSF,
To
the WSF Montreal local  Organizing Committee,
To
all organizers, media-makers and activist who are  invested in the integrity of the WSF

 
Dear all,
 
We see with great concern that an unjustified mass refusal of visas to participants from the Global South  is taking place in the preparation of the World Social Forum (9-14  August 2016). The preparation of the Forum has included a political and  collective process, as well as the purchase of travel tickets and a lot  of important costs that the organisations and social movements have  shouldered in order to participate at the WSF. But activists from Latin  America, Africa and Asia, have been refused visas based on unacceptable,  exclusionary and discriminatory argumentation and within the framework  of an outsourced visa application process that privatizes the rights of  the people to freedom of movement and assembly. 
 
As  members of a large number of international, regional and national  movements, networks and organisations, some of which have been part of  the WSF process since its inception, we call on the WSF Montreal local  Organizing Committee and the International Council of the WSF to respond  to this situation without delay by contacting immediately the Canadian  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other pertinent authorities so that the  delegates that are invited to participate in the various activities of  the WSF will receive their visas.

We  ask as well for a letter of protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  and for an emergency meeting with the Ministry to be scheduled in order to request a ministerial directive that will revert the visa denial.
 
We  further suggest the IC to prepare immediately a list of people that are  denied visas to Canada as documentation for the meetings and letters of protest.
 
We  believe that the denial of visas is of extreme gravity and constitutes  an unacceptable violation of the right to movement and to travel. It  consolidates a colonial and racist dynamic that separates between those  than can and those that cannot travel and participate in the debates.  With this it completely undermines the raison d’être of the World Social  Forum. 
 
We  also call to  all organizers, media-makers and activist who are  invested in the integrity of the WSF to take initiatives of protest to  raise pressure on the Canadian government in order to allow speakers and  delegates from the Global South to join the WSF in Montreal. 
 
 
 
We have to stand together to achieve a real “World” Social Forum, not an exclusive space  for people that could get the visa!
 
 
Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity
 
 
 

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