Assessment of the World Social Forum 2016 held in Montreal

15 August 2016

Press Release

For immediate release


World Social Forum 2016

Assessment of the World Social Forum 2016 held in Montreal

Montreal, August 15, 2016 – The World Social Forum (WSF) is very proud of this 12th edition of the WSF, the first to be held in a Northern country. “ The WSF represents the work of a committee that has carried out its activities together during 3 years, ever since May 2013, following the return from a first WSF in Tunisia “, explained Carminda Mac Lorin, a co-coordinator. The event counted 35,000 participants, including 15,000 who were present at the opening march, where 125 countries were represented. Let’s remember that at the first World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre in Brazil in 2001, 20,00 people took part in the event. Therefore, considering such numbers, the organizers are more than satisfied as to the results of a first World Social Forum held in a Northern country.

The World Social Forum would not have been possible without the 1,000 volunteers who gave their time in order to be sure that everything goes as well as possible during the event. We can count more than 15,000 of volunteer work that was done throughout the week.

In total, 1,300 self-managed activities took place, as well as 200 cultural activities and 6 parallel forums ; the World Forum of Free Media, the World Parliamentary Forum, the Forum of First Nations, the Theology and Freedom World Forum, the World Social Forum for a World Free of Civil and Military Nuclear Fission and Hoodstock.

The World Social Forum wishes to also remind everyone of the importance of the involvement of the 26 self-managed committees of the WSF, for example, the Democracy Committee, the committee on social protection and human rights, and the Committee on Education. These different committees were linked to numerous themes and the activities that were held during these committees represented those themes.

There were also 22 assemblies of convergence which led to more than a hundred initiatives like, for example, Estates General on Education and the participation of many during the day of defense of public services. By next week, the WSF will publish on its website the calendar of the different actions of social change that were put forward during the Agora of Initiatives and that can be used as a guide by citizens worldwide by providing them with concrete ideas on how to change the system.

Nonetheless, the World Social Forum regrets that 60% (this is a provisional number, as we are still waiting for more information concerning the subject) of visa demands have been refused by the Canadian government. The WSF Collective is committed to portray all those who were refused to show the government, but also to show civil society, what these participants could have brought to the WSF. “ We also want to use the case of Montreal in order to question the accessibility of countries of the North “, explained Raphaël Canet, the co-coordinator.

Today, the International Council of the World Social Forum met to plan the next edition of the Forum.

World Social Forum

The World Social Forum is the largest gathering of civil society aiming to find solutions to the problems of our time. Created in 2001 in Brazil, the WSF gathers many thousands of participants for more than 1,000 activities (workshops, conferences, artistic performances…) concerning different themes (social development, solidary economy, environment, human rights, democratization…).



Katia Stuart-Gagnon

Responsible of Communications

[email protected]




Mathilde Ouellet

Media Relations

[email protected]



Une mention à tous nos partenaires sans qui le FSM 2016 n’aurait pas été possible ;

A mention for all our partners who made the WSF 2016 possible;

Partenaires du Changement / Partners of Change
Brot für die Welt
Université du Québec à Montréal
Gouvernement du Québec
Tourisme Montréal
Cégep du Vieux Montréal

Partenaires Engagés / Committed Partners
Projet Écosphère
Développement et paix
Ville de Montréal
Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins
Université McGill
Monument National

Partenaires Mobilisés / Mobilized Partners
Société des Arts Technologiques
Maison du développement durable
Syndicat des Métallos
Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ)
Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Uniterra : un programme CECI et EUMC
Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses des postes (STTP)

Partenaires Solidaires / United Partners
Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada (PSAC-AFPC)
Global Health through Education, Training and Service (GHETS)
Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ)
Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE)
Rouleau-Paquin design
Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (SCFP-PSAC)
National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
TUAC Canada
Teamsters Canada
Coopérative l’Empreinte
Marie Montpetit, députée de Crémazie
Fédération nationale des enseignantes et enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN)
Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ)
Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPESEPB)
British Columbia Teacher’s Federation (BCTF)
Syndicat québécois des employées et employés de service, section locale 298 (FTQ) SQEES-298
Congrès du travail du Canada (CTC)
Under Pressure
Montréal, Arts interculturels
Syndicat des chargées et chargés de cours de l’UQAM (SCCUQ)
Syndicat des professeurs et des professeures de l’Université du Québec à Rimouski (SPPUQAR)
Réseau québécois de l’action communautaire autonome (RQ-ACA)