Thursday, January 27, 2005

world forums

We know two major forums are on. One is in cold wintry Switzerland. The other in the warm Brazilian town of Porto Alegre. After the venture into India last year, the World Social forum has returned home. More than 100,000 people have gathered again. I went last year. Enjoyed the experience. Felt uplifted. Brazil seemed a bit too far and too expensive. However, there are many like me who are observing exactly what happens after this forum.
A consensus is emerging that to make "another world is possible" come true, there has to be much more than plenary speeches and colourful demos. The mainstream media will patronisingly show the pictures but imply that the really important action is in Davos.
Let 's see whether the intellectuals now want to get their hands dirty and look to implementation of the alternative programmes. Will the WSF unite on a couple of issues and campaign on them worldwide? If so, will it be debt and climate change? If so, then the WSF will start to become an alternative force.
And if it can give moral and intellectual support to Chavez in Venezuela and encourage the other center-left Latin american leaders to show more resolve, then a geo-political shift may start to happen.
i have profound doubts because the WSF has not truly engaged in Asia (especially the chinese and Japanese). there has been no follow through in India, despite the change in parties in last year's elections.
We need more politics in the WSF. let us hope that they can consolidate and solidify the Latin American electoral successes and then reach out to Asia. Uncle Sam is bogged down in the Middle East and the dollar is on the way down. Are they listening?

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