World Social Forum 2009: A fitting end

1 February 2009 - 1:45pm


Sunday is the final day of the forum, a day for the assemblies to convene in order to address the 10 themes of the WSF. They are meant to bring together the statements, plans and calls that have emerged from the forum. This is a difficult process of course, but over the last three days thousands of people had been working into the night to produce common goals. This underlines how the WSF is trying to forge a common vision of what the world might be like, but without squashing or crowding out any views or perspectives. It can tiring and sometimes frustrating, but it's also inspirational.


World Social Forum 2009: Tax justice

31 January 2009 - 6:43pm

In the afternoon we went to a tax justice meeting. Tax is one of War on Want's campaigns and the meeting emphasised the need to keep working on this issue in the UK. London is the world's tax haven and Gordon Brown a key defender of tax havens internationally.


World Social Forum 2009: A viable model

31 January 2009 - 3:59pm

The great thing about the WSF is the experiences you have between the meetings. In many ways you learn more from chance meetings than the main planned events. At lunch we shared our table with a group who runs a solidarity bank in one of Brazilian states. They showed us the special currency they use and explained that people are paid partly in this currency, which local shops and business accept. This system ensures that money stays with the community. This seems a powerful alternative to the current mess our present economic model has caused.


World Social Forum 2009: System failure

31 January 2009 - 1:33pm

That afternoon Dave spoke about the mobilisation against the G20 in London on March 28, which War on want is taking a lead in organising. The session was aimed at getting groups together to push forward an alternative to ‘casino capitalism', a system has taken away jobs and lives all over the world. Unfortunately were hit by the (in)famous technical problems that have plagued the forum from day one and didn't have interpretation. But with help of a few volunteers we carried on.



World Social Forum 2009: Migration and workers' rights

31 January 2009 - 10:34am

This morning it rained and didn't stop. Walking past the damp and muddy youth camp on the way to the first seminar was far more reminiscent of UK festivals than the sunny weather we had expected. We went to a meeting on migration with speakers from unions across the world and groups including SOLIDAR. The focus was mainly South-North migration but it was also noted that most migrants travel from one Southern nation to another.


Keep ethical trading in fashion

31 January 2009 - 12:00am

World Social Forum 2009: A new world order

30 January 2009 - 3:50pm


Dave attended a two-part seminar called ‘Global crises: cross-networking space to discuss alternatives' that aimed to bring together networks working on a range of issues, including gender, trade, water, finance, environment, housing, multination companies and more. It was a hard slog - the meeting lasted six hours and was held in three languages -- but there was a remarkable amount of agreement among the participants and were able to draw up principles for an alternative global economy and society. It was a really interesting meeting, and there seems to be a shared agreement that we need to come up with a coherent vision for the world. Before we can begin the process of building another world we need develop an idea of what it wiil look like and this was one of the first steps towards achieving that.


World Social Forum 2009: Taking on corporate giants

30 January 2009 - 12:35pm

Coca-Cola was one of the most inspiring and motivating of events at the forum. Lots of people turned out and packed a very hot room to hear about the crimes of Coca-Cola in Colombia and India. One of the most impressive achievements of the WSF is its ability to internationalise a campaign. When fighting the crimes of one of the most globalised companies in the world, the ability to link up and build a global campaign to match the reach of Coca-Cola is vital.




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