World Social Forum in Brazil opens

This video from Brazil says about itself:

World Social Forum 2009 Opening Parade, Belem, Brazil.

Belem, Brazil, Jan 27, 2009

Tens of thousands of Brazilians and social activists from around the world opened the World Social Forum today, marching, chanting, and dancing through the streets amidst a torrential downpour that lasted several hours. There is a renewed significance to the WSF, the worlds largest anti-neoliberalism event, at a time when the neoliberal economic model itself is in extreme crisis amidst ongoing financial institutional failures.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Activists celebrate opening of World Social Forum in Belem

(Wednesday 28 January 2009)

OVER 100,000 socialists, environmentalists and indigenous activists marched through the Amazonian town of Belem on Tuesday for the opening of the World Social Forum.

A carnival atmosphere prevailed at the rally despite heavy rain, with Japanese peace campaigners marching alongside Amazonian indigenous people and Brazilian Communist Party members waving hammer-and-sickle flags.

Social justice campaigners from 150 countries are taking part in the ninth forum and presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will join them on Thursday.

Pres. Evo Morales Stresses Incompetence of Capitalism: here.

How Brazil’s new statute is set to benefit its black citizens: here.

4 thoughts on “World Social Forum in Brazil opens

  1. Apr 26, 2:39 AM EDT

    Ecuador’s Correa favored for re-election

    Associated Press Writer

    GUAYAQUIL, Ecuado — President Rafael Correa, a feisty leftist popular for his social programs, was widely favored to win re-election Sunday. He was even given a shot at becoming the first Ecuador president elected in 30 years without a runoff.

    Sunday’s vote was mandated by the new constitution voters approved in September by a 64 percent vote. It strengthens the president’s hand and makes him eligible to run in 2013 for another consecutive four-year term.

    The 46-year-old Correa, a U.S.- and Belgium-educated economist, has troubled foreign investors with a moratorium on debt payments and tough dealings with oil companies and other multinationals.

    He’s imposed some of the world’s strictest protectionist measures, and critics worry his social spending will empty Ecuador’s treasury as recession digs in this year.

    His main rival, former President Lucio Gutierrez, said Thursday as campaigning closed that Correa has put this Andean nation on the road to ruin.

    “Ecuadoreans have shut down their businesses and they’re going to neighboring countries, and fewer foreign investors will come,” if Correa is re-elected, he said.

    But the charismatic, sharp-tongued Correa has won the lower classes.

    Since taking office in January 2007, he tripled state spending on education and health care, doubled to $30 a monthly payment for single mothers and launched subsidy programs for small farmers and people building their own homes.

    Correa was well over 20 points ahead of Gutierrez in pre-election opinion polls. Banana magnate Alvaro Noboa, whom Correa defeated in a 2006 runoff, was running a distant third.

    To win on Sunday without forcing a runoff, a candidate needed either 50 percent of the vote plus one or at least 40 percent with a 10-point margin over his closest competitor.

    Voters at home and abroad were also choosing a new 124-seat National Assembly – six seats of which will directly represent the Ecuadorean diaspora – as well as governors and mayors.

    The new constitution lowers the voting age to 16 and permits soldiers, police and prison inmates to vote for the first time.

    Ecuador’s oil-based economy grew at about 6 percent last year but petroleum revenues fell 67 percent in the first quarter as last year’s record high prices became a memory.

    They fund 40 percent of the national budget, and Correa’s most controversial move has been to default on interest payments for 32 percent of Ecuador’s $10.1 billion in foreign debt.

    Many economists believe Correa’s fiscal policies will force this nation of 14 million to abandon the dollar as its national currency. And critics complain of the new constitution’s transferring of many budgetary responsibilities to the chief executive.

    The central bank’s authority is also diminished.

    But Ecuadoreans may just prefer a strong executive after so many years of corrupt and inefficient governments.

    They’ve had 10 presidents since 1997, three of them ousted by popular revolts, including Gutierrez, a former army colonel.

    Associated Press writer Jeanneth Valdivieso in Guayaquil contributed to this report.


  2. Pingback: World Social Forum in Brazil | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: World Social Forum in Tunisia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: World Social Forum in Tunis, report | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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