View of downtown Belem, Brazil. Belem is the site of the 2009 World Social Forum (WSF).
What’s the WSF all about? From the official WSF site:
“Goals of action …
1. For the construction of a world of peace, justice, ethics and respect for different spiritualities, free of weapons, especially nuclear ones;
2. For the release of the world domain by capital, multinationals corporations, imperialist, patriarchal, colonial and neo-colonial domination and unequal systems of commerce, by canceling the impoverish countries debt;
3. For universal and sustainable access to the common property of mankind and nature, for the preservation of our planet and its resources, particularly water, forests and renewable energy sources;
4. For the democratization and independence of knowledge, culture and communication and for the creation of a system of shared knowledge and acquirement with the dismantling of Intellectual Property Rights;
5. For the dignity, diversity, ensuring the equality of gender, race, ethnicity, generation, sexual orientation and elimination of all forms of discrimination and caste (discrimination based on descent);
6. For ensurance (during the lifetime use of all people) of the economic, social, human, cultural and environmental rights, particularly the rights to food, health, education, housing, employment and decent work, communication and food security and sovereignty;
7. For the construction of a world order based on sovereignty, self-determination and on people’s rights, including minorities and migrants;
8. For the construction of a democratic, emancipator, sustainable and solidary economy, focused on every people and based on ethical and fair trade;
9. For the construction and expansion of truly local, national and global democratic political and economic structures and institutions, with the participation of people in decisions and control of public affairs and resources;
10. For the defense of the environment (amazonic and others ecosystems) as source of life for the planet Earth and for the originary peoples of the world (indigenous, afro-descendent, tribal and riverine), that demand their territories, languages, cultures, identities, environmental justice, spiritually and right to live.”
Also see the WSF charter of principles.
“1. The World Social Forum is an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neoliberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Humankind and between it and the Earth…etc.”
With the recent collapse of the neoliberal model, the World Social Forum obviously takes on added significance.