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A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM:

By Walden Bello (848 words)

Jan 23 2003 (IPS) - The World Social Forum (WSF), to be held January 23-28 for the third year in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has become the prime organisational expression of a surging movement against corporate-driven globalisation and, this year, US plans to launch a war on Iraq, writes Walden Bello, professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South.

This year’s meeting will be the culmination of an exciting year-long global process, including Porto Alegre-style social forums in a number of cities, including Buenos Aires and Caracas, and regional social forums: the European Social Forum in Florence, Italy, on November 6-9, 2002, and the recently- concluded Asian Social Forum (ASF) in Hyderabad, India.

Since Seattle, the anti-corporate globalisation movement has attained critical mass globally, in the sense that its ability to mass forces at significant junctures, such as the December 1999 Seattle WTO ministerial and the July 2001 Genoa meeting of the Group of Eight, enabled it to effect international developments and acquire a high ideological and political profile globally.

Not surprisingly, many of those at the WSF will be coming with one question uppermost in their mind: What can the victory of Lula and the PT teach us about coming to power in our countries? And this year’s WSF will be, in many ways, a celebration of a movement that, by achieving a remarkable measure of political unity amidst diversity, has changed the face of Brazilian politics.

(*) Walden Bello is professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South.

 
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A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM

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BANGKOK, Dec 31 2002 (IPS) - The World Social Forum (WSF), to be held January 23-28 for the third year in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has become the prime organisational expression of a surging movement against corporate-driven globalisation and, this year, US plans to launch a war on Iraq, writes Walden Bello, professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines and executive director of the Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South. This year\’s meeting will be the culmination of an exciting year-long global process, including Porto Alegre-style social forums in a number of cities, including Buenos Aires and Caracas, and regional social forums: the European Social Forum in Florence, Italy, on November 6-9, 2002, and the recently- concluded Asian Social Forum (ASF) in Hyderabad, India. Since Seattle, the anti-corporate globalisation movement has attained critical mass globally, in the sense that its ability to mass forces at significant junctures, such as the December 1999 Seattle WTO ministerial and the July 2001 Genoa meeting of the Group of Eight, enabled it to effect international developments and acquire a high ideological and political profile globally. Not surprisingly, many of those at the WSF will be coming with one question uppermost in their mind: What can the victory of Lula and the PT teach us about coming to power in our countries? And this year\’s WSF will be, in many ways, a celebration of a movement that, by achieving a remarkable measure of political unity amidst diversity, has changed the face of Brazilian politics.
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