A New World is Possible

Por Mike Rhodes 27/01/2005 às 17:24

First report from the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre Brazil by Indymedia reporter Mike Rhodes

A New World is Possible
By Mike Rhodes
January 27, 2005

Porto Alegre, Brazil - The World Social Forum (WSF) got underway yesterday with a huge march in downtown Porto Alegre. This year, the WSF has attracted over 100,000 political, social, and cultural activists from all over the world to discuss and strategize about alternatives to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and corporate domination of the worlds economy. The WSF is a manifestation of the anti-globalization movement bringing people from all over the world together for one long weekend of work and play.

Yesterday's march was something between an international version of Woodstock and the biggest peace march you have ever attended. It was a festival as well as a political march with groups as diverse as the landless workers movement in Brazil, a contingent of GBLT activists from throughout South America, Korean trade unionists, members of the women's movement, and Greenpeace in attendance.

The forums, which begin today, include workshops on media democracy, human rights, environmental sustainability, economic and social justice, Arts and Culture, peace, and more.. This years theme is A New World is Possible. The forum is being held along the water front of Porto Alegre, taking up much of the open space with temporary structures in the park and filling the warehouse's along the docks with meeting rooms and conference halls.

Speaking today was Lula, the President of Brazil, who came to power in 2002 giving the people here a lot of hope for the future. Lula is a trade unionist and most people consider him a socialist. There is also considerable frustration with Lula and the Worker's Party (PT), because they have not been able to do as much for the poor and working people of Brazil as people had hoped. In addition to large contingents of marchers in support of the PT at yesterday's march, there was a significant presence of political activists criticizing him for his lack of support of the popular movement.

Also participating at the WSF will be speakers such as writer Arundhati Roy, media democracy activist Robert McChesney, and « No Logo » Naomi Klein - speakers familiar to activists in the United States. Their counterparts from throughout the world will be joining them and grassroots activists to discuss and develop a strategy to confront the crisis that the world is faced with today - a U.S. government in the process of building an empire, endless wars of aggression, environmental degradation, human rights abuses, and economic/social injustice.

Participants are now meeting, sharing notes, and discussing how to create this new world that they know is possible.

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