2005 World Social Forum-Brazil coverage

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The first day of the World Social Forum wraps up

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has defended himself before over 15 000 activists at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. He interrupted his speech to respond to hecklers by saying "Those of you that aren't from here, don't be afraid. These people that don't want to listen are sons and daughters of the PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores, "Worker's Party") that rebelled. That's typical of youth and one day they are going to mature and we'll be here with open arms to welcome them back". Supporters also drowned out the hecklers by chanting "Lula" the president's name.

The President also used his speech to help launch an ambitious campaign by 1,000 non-governmental organizations to halve world poverty within ten years. "For the first time, the Forum takes upon itself the task of making a priority of an issue such as poverty," Lula said.

Second day

Friday, January 28, 2005

  • Nearly 500 activists from the Campaign Against the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) participated in a meeting to discuss the future of the movement which appeared for the first time in the 2002 WSF. They celebrated the current impasse in the negotiations involving the Free Trade Area of the Americas. João Pedro Stédile, leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and the Vila Campesina movement said that the campaign has been victorious so far.[1]
  • Social movements proposed a mobilization against the poverty and hunger for next September 10. According to Cândido Grzybowski, they planning on mobilizations right around the world. The date, September 10, was chosen because it is near 14 September when there will be a meeting of the United Nations. The date is also the day before the forth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks and they wish to protest against the pecieved unilateralism with which the USA reacted to those attacks. [2]
  • Feminists discussed strategies for the legalization of abortion in Brazil.[3]
  • There was a march called "March Against the Lies and the War of Bush" in protest against the American President George W. Bush. [4]

Third day

Saturday, January 29, 2005

  • The Brazilian writer and former Catholic priest Leornado Boff identified what he termed the "Three Wounds" of Brazilian society: colonialism, the past of slavery and the transformation of the country by great multinational companies.
According to Boff, the Catholic Church does not have the right to talk about dignity because it is seated in the blood of millions. He still defended that the first right is the right to the life and that other freedoms must come later, including the rights of freedom of movement and freedom of thought.
Finally Boff considered three criteria to judge the religious traditions that exist: "All tradition that implies in suffering of any person should be abolished; all religion that violates the human rights must be abandoned; and everything which means the breaking of the land, the water and the environment must be abolished." [6]
  • South America is the absolute priority of the Brazilian external politics according to the special assessor of external politics of the Presidency of the Republic, Marco Aurélio Garcia. (audio) [7]
  • Activists promoted a campaign against Coca-Cola. According to them the Coca-Cola Company is responsible for contamination and crisis of the water supply, unemployment and deaths. [8]
  • Conference with the Brazilian Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil about Free Software.

Fourth day

Sunday, January 30, 2005

  • Professor Laurindo Leal, from School of Communication of the University of São Paulo (USP) defended the control of content in the broadcasting network. He cited the USA, France, Germany, Canada, England as good examples how a broadcasting network model should work. [10]
  • The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, arrived. Chavez said it is impossible to solve the severe problems of poverty in the world in Capitalism. "Neither [by] Statism -- Capitalism of the State -- which would be the same Soviet perversion that was the cause of its destruction. But another Socialism which can put the man and not the machine [of State] at the first plan."
President Chavez also criticized the President of the USA, George W. Bush. He said Bush promises to be the Superman fighting for the justice. "However, we have the red kryptonite", Chavez said. [11]
  • Chavez defended the control over the media by the State. "The children cannot see this violence and the media cannot transmit calls to the terrorism", he added. [12]
  • Chavez met with the Landless Workers' Movement (MST). The Brazilian Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, said that the presence of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, is a homage to the people who try to construct Brazil in a different form.
Miguel Rossetto signed, with Chávez, a protocol of intentions for the interchange and reproduction of native seeds for the Brazilian and Venezuelan agriculturists. The Minister and the President also signed a document that initiates the discussion about the creation of the Latin American School of AgroEcology in Brazil, following the model executed in Venezuela. [13]

Fifth day: The closing of the World Social Forum 2005

Monday, January 31, 2005

  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the WSF is of paramount political importance. He participated of a conference with the Brazilian Minister of the Cities Olívio Dutra, the governor of the Paraná Robert Requião, the President of the CUT labour union Marine Luiz, and the managing director of the monthly periodical Le Monde Diplomatique Ignacio Ramonet. [14]
  • Activists protested against US President George W. Bush.
  • There was a farewell show, with musical presentations and of dance. [15]