(Source for Chronology: Leite, Jose Correa (2005) The World Social Forum: Strategies of Resistance . Haymarket Books)

1980 | 1989 | 1991 | 1991-92 | 1994 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000
2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005

Chronology of the World Social Forum Protest Cycle


  • Initiation and implementation of neoliberal policies by the governments of Margaret Thatcher (UK) and Ronald Reagan (US)


  • Fall of the Berlin Wall


  • End of the USSR and the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
  • First Gulf War against Iraq


  • Disintegration of Yugoslavia , Balkans War


  • Popular uprising by Zapatista Army for National Liberation in Chiapas , Mexico
  • Genocide in Rwanda leaves 500,000 dead


  • First continental meeting for Humanity and Against Neo-liberalism in Chiapas , Mexico
  • Formation of Jubilee 2000 by Christian and social organizations demanding the cancellation of the external debt


  • First drafts of Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) disseminated
  • First European rally against unemployment and exclusion culminating with approx. fifty thousand people in Amsterdam
  • Formation of Continental Social Alliance (CSA) in Brazil
  • Intercontinental Meeting for Humanity and Against Neoliberalism in Barcelona , Spain . Proposal for People's Global Action presented and the group officially forms in February 1998
  • Asian financial crisis explodes


  • Launch of coordinated campaign against MAI when the Organiation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) officially publicizes the proposal
  • Protests and mobilizations against the annual meeting of the G-8 in Birmingham , England and the Second Ministerial Meeting of the WTO in Geneva , Switzerland
  • Formation of ATTAC in Paris
  • Protests against MAI in different countries. The OECD terminates the agreement, suspending negotiations.


  • The International Meeting ‘Another Davos' in Zurich, Switzerland, parallel to the meeting of the World Economic Forum
  • NATO war in Kosovo
  • Protests in financial centers around the world
  • International meeting ‘Another World is Possible' in Paris organized by ATTAC, Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt (CADTM), and the World Alternatives Forum
  • First Latin American Cry for the excluded using the slogan, ‘For Work, Justice and Life'
  • International meeting for Abolition of Third World Debt and the South-South Summit about the debt in Johannesburg , South Africa
  • November 30: Qualitative Leap in Computer Mediated Protest Movements
  • Thousands of people protest in Seattle against the WTO Millennium Round, disrupting the negotiations on the 2 nd day of the summit
  • The protest became a major media icon and political event proliferating and converging movements across borders and continents making them part of a single protest cycle.
  • The internet list ‘Stop the WTO Round' became an important vehicle to organize people.
  • Indymedia (Independent Media Centre) and the Direct Action Network (the Ruckus Society) along with several others made an unprecedented contribution in mobilizing activists, cultural groups and protest movements across borders.
  • Seattle became the inaugural media event that defines a qualitative leap towards ‘anti-globalization' mass mobilization through computer mediated network technology.
  • Marked a turning point in ‘the ability of nontraditional international actors to mobilize information strategically to help create new issues and categories and to persuade, pressure, and gain leverage' (Keck and Sikkink, 1998: p02)


  • January: Popular and indigenous uprising gin Ecuador
  • Protests in opposition to the World Economic Forum in Davos , Switzerland
  • February: Protests and mobilizations in Bangkok , Thailand , against the tenth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Summit
  • March: Beginning of the World March of Women 2000 ending with a mobilization in front of the United Nations
  • April : Protests and mobilizations in Washington , D.C. in opposition t the International Monetary Fund meeting
  • May: Mobilizations throughout the world on International Labour Day, considered the Fourth Day of Global Action
  • Thousands of people protest in Chiang Mai , Thailand in opposition to the meeting fo the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • June: Alternative summit to the Second Social Development Summit organized by the United Nations in Geneva , Switzerland
  • Demonstrations demanding abolition of Third World Debt held in Okinawa , Japan during the G-8 meeting.
  • July-August : Around 20,000 people protest during the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia , demanding the right to abortion and an end to the death penalty, police brutality, environmental degradation, and the U.S. occupation of Peurto Rico
  • September : Third International Conference of Via Campesina in Banglore , India
  • Protests during the Millennium Meeting of the UN
  • Protests on Melbourne , Australia against the World Economic Forum
  • Fifty Day of Global Action on the occasion of the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank in Prague , Czech Republic . More than 15,000 people participate in the protests, which caused the meeting to end early, demonstrations held in more than forty countries
  • October: Culmination of the World March of Women
  • December: Mobilizations and protests in Nice , France , against the European Union Summit
  • International meeting of Dakar 2000, ‘From Resistance to Alternatives', with aims of annulling the debt and abandoning structural adjustment programmes in the Third World


  • January: First World Social Forum in Porto Alegre , Brazil
  • March: More than 40,000 people demonstrate in Naples , Italy , against the Third Global Forum Fostering Democracy and Development through E-Government
  • April: More than 12,000 demonstrators protest in Buenos Aires against the Free Trade Areas of America (FTAA)
  • June : The Barcelona Social Forum is held in Spain parallel to the World Bank Meeting, which was canceled
  • July: Three days of protest against the G-8 meeting in Genoa , Italy
  • August-September: UN World Conference against Racism, Radical Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban , South Africa
  • September 11: Terrorist attacks against the World Trade Centre and Pentagon
  • September 20 : Government of George Bush (US) declares war on terrorism
  • November: Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the WTO in Doha , Qatar
  • December: Around 25,000 people protest during the Laeken European Summit in Brussels , Belgium , ATTAC among many others participate in the demonostrations
  • The Argentinazo: mass demonstrations break the Argentine government's attempt to enforce a state of siege against food riots, neoliberal De La Rua government is forces from office


  • January: First Pan-Amazon Forum in Belem , Brazil
  • January-February: Second World Social Forum in Porto Alegre , Brazil
  • February: Protests in NY against the WEF of Davos and the IMF
  • June: The Seville Social Forum in opposition to the meeting of the European Union Summit in Seville , Spain
  • August: The Argentina Thematic Social Forum in Buenos Aires , Argentina
  • October: The Campagin against the FTAA and Continental Days of Resistance Rally in Quito , Ecuador
  • November: First European Social Forum in Florence , Italy
  • December: Palestine Thematic Social Forum in Ramallah, Palestine


  • January: Asian Social Forum in Hyderabad , India
  • Second African Social Forum in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia
  • Second Pan-Amazon Social Forum in Belem , Brazil
  • Third World Social Forum in Porto Alegre , Brazil
  • February: International demonstration against war in Iraq , approx 10 million people participate worldwide
  • March: The United States launches attacks against Iraq
  • June: Thematic Social Forum for Democracy and Human Rights and Against War and Narcotrafficking, Cartagena de las Indias , Colombia
  • September: Protests force collapse of World Trade Organization ministerial meeting, Cancun , Mexico
  • October: mass demonstrations, beginning as protests over the privatization and export of Bolivian natural gas, bring down the Bolivian government
  • November: European Social Forum in paris/St. Denis, France


  • January: About 75,000 participants from 117 countries and 4 th World Social Forum held in Mumbai , India
  • February: Pan-Amazon Social Forum held in Ciudad Guayana , Venezuela
  • July: Five thousand attend Boston Social Forum, the largest social forum to date in North America
  • First Social Forum of the Americas held in Quito , Ecuador . More than 20,000 participate in forum
  • August: More than 500,000 march in NY against the ‘Bush Agenda' at the Republican National Convention
  • October: European Social Forum held in London . More than 20,000 from 70 countries attend
  • November: First Social Forum in Chile mobilizes more then 50,000 to protest the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting


  • January: Pan-Amazon Social Forum held in Manaus , Amazonas , Brazil
  • Fifth World Social Forum held in Porto Alegre , Brazil
  • June: Mediterranean Social Forum, held in Barcelona , Spain
  • July: Terrorist attacks on London Transport Network


Leite, Jose Correa (2005) The World Social Forum: Strategies of Resistance . Haymarket Books

Keck, Margaret E. & Kathryn Sikkink (1998) Activists beyond Borders . Cornell University Press

Wikipedia ( )

Copyrights © 2005 Sumaira Sagheer Toor
Masters Dissertation, MA in Global Media and Postnational Communication, School of Oriental and African Studies, London