The rise of the Social Forum phenomenon has been heartily welcomed, partly so as to unite diverse discourses of anti‐neoliberal and anti‐imperialist resistance under a common banner. There are debates worth flagging, however, that draw our attention to political philosophies (typically binary statist versus anti‐statist disputes), visions of agency (typically networked movements versus parties), and potentials for revolutionary processes to emerge within ‘civil society’. In the spirit of Polanyi, many South Africans and other Africans are working on ‘decommodification’ strategies that range from particular sites of project‐level struggles to national, regional and international advocacy. But we must be conscious, as well, of warnings by Gramsci about the long march through a civil society often co‐opted to support state and neoliberal projects. The merits of African intellectual engagements with radical social movements have been shown in sites such as South African cities, but the African Social Forum awaits further opportunities to welcome allied researchers and academics. As the World Social Forum comes to Africa in 2007, Marcuse’s hope that the constituent movements begin to coalesce around a program is timely. However, this is likely to emanate more from intra‐sectoral networks rather than from multidisciplinary moments such as the WSF itself.