This summer, downtown Montreal hosted the 13th annual World Social Forum. Social movements, advocacy campaigns and NGOs from around the world met over six days for a flurry of panels, networking, teach-ins and solidarity-building events.
In the lead-up to the event, hundreds of attendees from other countries were denied visas by the Canadian government, leading to lower-than-anticipated attendance at the Forum. The 2016 WSF failed to meet its anticipated participation level of 50,000 attendees. The Forum was also widely ignored by Canada's mainstream media, leaving most Canadians in the dark about the nation's role in hosting a major global event.
In spite of these issues, many believe that the forum can be considered a success.
- Entry visa denials cast shadow over World Social Forum
- World Social Forum in Montreal gets mixed reviews
To explain why, Ruby Irene Pratka, a Montreal-based journalist specializing in migration and cultural communities, reports on what she observed while covering the forum for Ricochet.