The fourth World Social Forum was held in Mumbai in January 2004. Moving it from Porto Alegre to a different continent in which the social forum movement was less developed and much more disparate, and notably to the specific political situation in India, was a real challenge - successfully met.
There has been a broad pluralistic meeting of international radical anti-capitalist organizations from different ideological origins for the first time taking advantage of the opportunity offered by the meeting of the WSF.
January 20, 2004, an international meeting of radical, anti-capitalist, political parties took place in Mumbai, India, at the invitation of 18 parties from Asia-Pacific and Europe. The first aim of this meeting was to help organizations from different continents to get in touch, to have an initial exchange of views about what each organization expects from a process of international cooperation, to expand and deepen the existing links without any attempt to formalize them, and to begin to discuss common actions.
General elections in the Philippines are scheduled for May 10, 2004.
The days that passed between the massacre in Madrid on March 11, 2004 and the parliamentary elections of March 14, were particularly moving and tense, but they demonstrated the existence of a critical and active citizenship capable of resisting government propaganda, disinformation and fear.
Heat waves, droughts and floods have focused attention on climate change caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases. Governments try to reassure us that, whether the Kyoto Protocol is ratified or not, adequate measures will continue to be taken and the problem will be brought under control. The reality is, alas, much more worrying.
The results of the Greek parliamentary elections on March 7, 2004 were very clear: except in Achaia (Patras), the periphery of Athens and Crete (55% in Hiraklion), PASOK (the Socialist Party) suffered a clear defeat. Its share of the vote fell from 44% in 2000 to 40.5%, and the right wing New Democracy Party won a relative majority in most regions. The decline was sharper in the urban centres than in the countryside, where PASOK lost around 1.5% of its vote. In the cities, it lost around 4.8% around the Athens region, 3% in Piraeus, 4.8% in Thessalonica.
If something has changed in recent years inside the Greek left, this is due above all to the international movement against globalization. A crucial reference point for the movement in Greece was the mobilization in Genoa, which had very strong repercussions throughout the country - all the more so in that it followed the general strike of spring 2001 in defence of pensions. The main effect of these actions was the foundation and activity of the Greek Social Forum (GSF).