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In Brazil’s WSF Many Still Believe Another World Is Possible

World Social Forum MarchBack to its origins, and back to the future (some hope), the World Social Forum is celebrating its tenth anniversary in Porto Alegre, the capital of Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. This is where the WSF was born. Created as an alternative to the World Economic Forum, the Opening March has traditionally been about as anti-Davos as possible.

Leading the procession of an estimated 10,000 participants and supporters, a group representing African religions, followed by worker union members, reps of political parties, students, environmentalists, Negro movements, the gay (GLBTT) community, supporters of the Palestinian cause and some protesters calling for the impeachment of the governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Yeda Crusius.

“This march is a synthesis of the Forum. The core feeling is one of diversity, of sharing with other movements. This gives us fantastic energy to keep going throughout the year,” explained Calimério Junior, a student member of the Citizen Education Network, an NGO.

Among the many banners and posters, attacks on neo-liberalism, lists of worker grievances and calls for ensuring that national sovereignty is protected when extracting petroleum off the coast of Brazil. 

Carrying an enormous red banner, Laurence Gonçalves, announced that he was a representative of the Marijuana March, participating in favor of “public control of the use of drugs” and changes in legislation inside and outside Brazil.

“Control should be in the hands of the citizens, not like it is now, which is chaotic, people dying without medical assistance,” declared Gonçalves, who was surrounded by a noisy bunch of supporters.

It was hard not to notice a man covered with mud. He explained he was a member of an alternative community called the Peace Village and the mud was “An expression of our  love for Mother Earth.”

One of the marchers was the federal deputy (member of the House of Representatives – Chamber of Deputies – in Brasilia), Luciana Genro (P-Sol-RS). She seemed very pleased that the Forum had returned to Porto Alegre. The thing she most wanted the Forum to achieve, she said, was greater coordination among the many organizations and social movements who were present.

“It’s a great honor to have all these people who believe that another world is possible here in Porto Alegre,” she declared. “Social movements have to unite in their aims even though there are people from different parties involved. Our struggle is for the same goals.”

.The anti-Forum even had an anti-anti-Forum group, punk anarchists (that’s what they call themselves) who brought up the rear end of the march.

They were upset about the financing of – well, everything: social organizations, social movements and so on. Was it possible that  multinationals were paying for part of the Forum?

“The Forum has lost its combative character and independence. Another world is not possible if it is financed by foreign companies,” sentenced a school teacher, Daniela Dias.

ABr

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  • Captain America

    What so many people do not understand . . . .
    The governments will never legalize marijuana because it is a major source of revenue for the lawyers, judges, and police, and because their financiers will not allow them to decriminalize their golden calf.

    In fact, the largest, oldest drug cartel in existence is the CIA. The reason Japan launched the attack on Pearl Harbor was because the U.S. government was in cahoots with the Chinese in an attempt to flood Japan with Chinese heroin, destabilizing their society, and leaving them more vulnerable to Chinese invasion.

    The CIA has been using drugs to destabilize other nations since. This is their modus operandi. They are only one of the many agencies worldwide which are run by the international bankers, and operate under the cover of a government agency, but time and again, they have proven to be above the law. The same bankers who run this operation are the people who finance and equip the notorious drug cartels of Mexico, Central, and South America.

    Their goal is simple. Destabilize the economies of these states, and gain control of the banking systems through loans and nationalization.

    Just imagine the amount of money that could be put to use productively if it wasn’t funneled into the ILLEGAL drug trade. The taxes that could be levied on such money. The jobs that could be created. The health care expenses that would be saved. The amount of law enforcement needed. The legal expenses incurred. For the U.S. alone it would be hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and I’m sure Brazil isn’t far behind.

    Just imagine what the Mexican people could accomplish if their country wasn’t deep into an unwinnable drug war.

    I could go on and on about how much money and how many lives are lost to this horrible policy of criminalizing drugs, but the truth is, the powers that be will never allow it to be changed. The drug war is one of the more successful campaigns they have waged against the governments and citizens of the world, and they will never allow it to die. The lawmakers have no power to fight these people, because they owe their allegiance to the same people who wage war against the citizens. The International Bankers.

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