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World Social Forum 2009: A lucky break

29 January 2009 - 7:03pm

While Dave, Ruth and Nadia had a productive and informative day running workshops, networking and sharing information, Graciela got an unexpected phone call which would change her day.

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World Social Forum 2009: Global meltdown

29 January 2009 - 5:45pm

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Dave participated in a meeting called 'a global answer to the financial crisis', which was organised by global and regional networks in Europe and Latin America as well as European trade union networks. The meeting was an attempt to bring together groups working on the financial crisis and to create a convergence of conclusions and concrete proposals for alternative models, with particular emphasis on global public finance. The main speakers were John Christiansen from Tax Justice Network, and representatives from IBON, Philippines and Bank Track in Geneva, UNAM and The World Council of Churches.

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World Social Forum 2009: Building a global campaign on mining

29 January 2009 - 5:13pm

Anglo American and the need for proper corporate accountability.

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World Social Forum 2009: Palestine workshop -- afternoon session

29 January 2009 - 4:34pm

wsf_workshopMost of the participants present for the afternoon session had not been to the morning session, so there would have to be quite a lot of repetition. Also, at least half of those present were students unaffiliated with any organisation or campaign. We therefore decided that it would be more productive to split the meeting, with organisation/campaign representatives discussing Palestine proposals and the WSF process with Stop the Wall in adjacent room and Nadia leading a Q&A on BDS and general session on actions to take on the issue.

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World Social Forum 2009: A hectic end to a great day

28 January 2009 - 5:20pm

We finally made it to the tents and events. We had been hoping to attend a meeting organised by Stop the Wall, the Palestinian Farmers Union and Via Campesina on the displacement of indigenous peasant people. We thought it would be held in the Stateless People's Tent, but instead found the World March for Women setting up their event there. So after a short rest we decided to brave the sun and made our way to the last corner of the site in search of our meeting. Despite the WSF volunteers being incredibly friendly and going out of their way to help, we still could not find the location. About two hours and three bottles of water (each) later, and just as we were going to give up, we saw a small sign by a small building marked 'Prefietura' - the place which no one could find!

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World Social Forum 2009: Break on through to the other side

28 January 2009 - 1:12pm

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After a bit of exploring we took the free shuttle bus to the other university campus where we first registered. We had little idea just how much more walking was in store for us. All the tents and buildings holding events were located on the other side of the campus and we had to walk through the youth camp to get there. As we walked past we had to remind ourselves that on the 'other side' there would be exciting and provocative seminars and meetings we had long been looking forward to.

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World Social Forum 2009: Taking stock of our surroundings

28 January 2009 - 11:45am

We spent a good portion of the morning familiarising ourselves with the rest of the (very big) university site where our workshops would be held the next day. Only then did we begin to truly appreciate the enormity of the site, its proximity to the river and the strength of the sun. As we reached the other side of the site, we saw Jamal Jumaa from the Stop the Wall Coalition, a War on Want partner organisation, reading traditional Palestinian poetry on the stage.

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World Social Forum 2009: Pan-Amazonian Day

28 January 2009 - 10:50am

wsf_-_pan-amazon_dayToday has been designated the day of the Amazonian People and most of the day's events relate to themes around indigenous peoples and the environment. First we watched presentations and cultural activities by various groups that have long been defending their land and cultural heritage from exploitation by extractive companies and governments in Latin America. These included a presentation criticising the growth of biofuels and another on the socio-environmental impact of oil and mining companies.

The day is a celebration of indigenous peoples and as we  walked around observing the various events it felt  strange yet comforting to see the mingling of tribal peoples in traditional dress, body paint and weaponry (there were some very sharp spears around) with other WSFers. These were their ancestral lands and we were welcome.]]>

Blogging from the WSF

27 January 2009 - 5:50pm

War on Want campaigner Nadia Idle wrote a blog from Belém, Brazil, the site of the 2009 World Social Forum. The WSF is the world's largest gathering of social movements and civil society groups promoting global justice and equality.

 

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