The European Social Forum was going on in London this weekend – effectively an excuse for crusties and filthy pinko liberals to rant on about the perils of globalisation, the illegality of the Iraq war, and how much they hate Bush. Sponsored by The Guardian, it has received practically no coverage in the rest of the mainstream press despite having been attended by 20,000 people from 65 countries (hence pretty much all the links in this post pointing there) – over the three days it was on, there was remarkably little coverage.
In fact, so sparse has been the coverage everywhere other than The Guardian that the National Union of Journalists has apparently issued a press release denouncing this apparent censorship of the views of the participants (although this has yet to appear online at the time of writing). There hasn’t even been much notice taken in the right-wing press which one would have expected to leap on the chance to slag off all these people they disagree with.
The brief summary of events on The Guardian’s website hints why it may have been ignored – the entire event sounds like it was utterly chaotic. Ending yesterday with an anti-war march, it was marred by poor organisation and petty demonstrations – the poor organisation even affecting the demonstrations so that there ended up being demonstrations about the lack of demonstrations. There is a bit more coverage here, which only adds to the vague sense that the whole thing was somewhat pointless.
In short, the entire thing sounds like it was a rather pathetic waste of time and money. It has received no coverage, most of the debates seem to have achieved little in the way of a consensus, and whatever message the delegates were trying to get across has been singularly ignored. What could have been a great opportunity to send a clear message to the powers that be has ended up a farce which will only serve to provide ammunition for the opponents of the attendees to lay scorn and ridicule on the causes the forum was supposed to be promoting.
Good work, chaps…