The OWS movement has succeeded in bringing the issues of concentrated wealth, inequality, and the threat that oligarchy poses to democracy to public attention in the United States in a way that the labor movement has been unable to do on its own or even in coalition for decades.
The social conflict in Europe has intensified strongly over the past couple of years, in the wake of the financial crisis. The labour and trade union movement has been on the defensive ever since the neoliberal offensive started around 1980. The balance of power in our societies has thus shifted enormously over the past 30 years – from labour to capital, from democracy to market forces. Time is ripe, therefore, to fight back, to build broad social alliances and to reassess our strategies and tactics.
Contribution made at the ITF Climate Change conference in Mexico 4 August 2010. Asbjørn Wahl, Adviser, Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees.
The processes which started with the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in Brazil in January 2001 injected new energy into the broad left. After twenty years of neo-liberal globalisation, set-backs, pessimism and demobilisation on the left in many countries and areas, the social forums created new enthusiasm, new working methods, new mobilisations and new inspiration for hundreds of thousands of people.
Statement on the political and social consequences of the economic crisis in Europe and the need for trade unions and other social forces to respond. 10. June 2010
Could the trade union movement benefit from measures to tackle climate change? By Asbjørn Wahl, National co-ordinator, Campain for the Welfare State
Contribution by Asbjørn Wahl, national co-ordinator of the Campaign for the Welfare State, at a seminar at the 3rd European Social Forum, London, 15 October 2004.
A Statement of Unity from the OUR WORLD IS NOT FOR SALE Network (2006).
Speech given by Asbjørn Wahl, Campaign for the Welfare State, at the Conference on Globalisation, Oslo, October 13, 2001.