Friday, January 28, 2005

CorpWatch:�Two World Forums, Two Visions

CorpWatch:�Two World Forums, Two Visions: "Two World Forums, Two Visions
by Pratap Chatterjee, Special to CorpWatch
January 27th, 2005

It's a hot summer day in Porto Alegre, Brazil. A small group of children splash and play in the polluted river beneath a towering smokestack. Meanwhile, hundreds of people work feverishly, putting the final touches on scores of temporary structures that will house the fifth World Social Forum (WSF). The buildings range from tiny refreshment stands to giant tents housing elaborate art built out of recycled materials.

Outside, young activists dressed in shorts and tank-tops are beginning to gather at Largo Glenio Peres for a meeting of activist and NGO workers that is expected to attract over 100,000 people. At the opening ceremony, which lasted all night, the international group was entertained by fire dancers, giant Australian-made puppets, an illuminated zeppelin that hovered overhead bearing a slogan calling for an end to poverty. There was also music of the Gilberto Gil, otherwise known as the Brazilian Minister of Culture."

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