Before he came to the World Social Forum in Dakar, Pat Mooney had been in Stuttgart. In the interview with Kontext TV he talks about the dynamics of this movement from the perspective of a Canadian.
Pat Mooney, awardee of the "Right Livelihood Award" and director of the „Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration“ (ETC), Canada.
Fabian Scheidler: Pat Mooney, you’ve been in Stuttgart recently and dealing also with the protests concerning “Stuttgart 21”, the huge project by the German railway authorities. Talk about why you were there and what you’ve been doing in Stuttgart!
Pat Mooney: Well, I was there because Stuttgart had its open fair, its social forum was held. And it’s linking itself up to this social forum in fact. But, I mean, you can’t be in Stuttgart and have not any conversation about “Stuttgart 21”. And the word that I’ve learned in German, one of the few words I know, which is “Oben bleiben”. This idea remaining or staying on top. I just found that amazing. I mean, I’ve been going to Stuttgart since the 1970s and I’ve never seen a more vital civil society than I have seen in Stuttgart. It’s just the range of people, of ages, of backgrounds, of social experiences that seem to share the same strong view that democracy must prevail and that civil government must back off this ridiculous new approach to the railway station. It was very exciting for us. There is several of us who came to Stuttgart before we came on to the Social Forum. And I think all of us went away from it just to hear “Wow, we want to move to Stuttgart. This is a great place.” And, if I can say this, I’m amazed by Germany. I don’t speak German. I go to Germany more than any other country in the world by invitation. Even the United States, as a Canadian. And I go to more places in Germany than anywhere else in the world. I don’t know of any other country, certainly in the OECD-countries, that has got the same dynamism of social movements, of social debate, as Germany has. It’s a way ahead of France, a way ahead of the United Kingdom, a way ahead of the United States. And within that, Stuttgart seems to be at top of that level of dynamic debate these days. So for us, from the rest of the world, it’s really exciting to come to Stuttgart, it’s really exciting to come to Germany and see that kind of debate. It’s a real inspiration to the rest of us.