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If there's one common thread joining the tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum, it's globalization, and deep skepticism about what it can do for the good of mankind. As activists taking part in the forum's opening march Thursday heaped criticism on the International Monetary Fund, Francisco Giuliano was hard-pressed to come up with anything he likes about unfettered U.S.-style capitalism and free trade.(Agencia Brasil photo )...

 

 

 


Frustration about globalization prevails at Brazilian Social Forum

By HAROLD OLMOS
The Associated Press
1/24/03 12:45 AM

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) -- If there's one common thread joining the tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum, it's globalization, and deep skepticism about what it can do for the good of mankind.

As activists taking part in the forum's opening march Thursday heaped criticism on the International Monetary Fund, Francisco Giuliano was hard-pressed to come up with anything he likes about unfettered U.S.-style capitalism and free trade.

"Globalization has come only to decide how the rich will distribute for their own benefit the cake of our countries," Giuliano said. "This is a globalization made by the haves, by the powerful only."

Organizers have predicted a turnout of 100,000 activists in Porto Alegre for the six-day forum, held as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum taking place simultaneously at the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos.

At least 2,000 police are on hand to keep order. Military police captain Joao Carlos Gomes said no major disturbances were expected.

With lectures from globalization critics and more than 1,700 seminars and workshops, the six-day forum seeks to change the perceived ills of capitalism, including foreign debt and unfair global trade that favor rich, industrialized nations and multinational corporations.

Some social forum participants are convinced that the new Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has a genuine chance at improving the lot of millions of impoverished Brazilians -- and may even help the rest of South America's poor.

Silva, a former shoeshine boy who dropped out of school to help support his family, will address the social forum Friday.

The next day he will fly to Davos, where he reportedly will call for rich countries to join his fight to eliminate hunger affecting between 24 million to 44 million of Brazil's 175 million citizens.

During Thursday's opening march for the forum, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people demonstrated in Porto Alegre, many waving red flags and jumping into the air as a coarse voice repeated in Portuguese: "No, no, no. Capitalism no. Long live socialism and the revolution."

Brazilian theater student Camila Catario Fortes said anti-globalization sentiment is increasing because of "negative outcomes of globalization across the world."

Although the concept of opening all countries to free trade and allowing multinational corporations to operate without limits was good, the impact has not been for most of the world's citizens, she said.

"It would have been different had it brought understanding among cultures, it would have been great," she said. "But in practice, it hasn't happened."

Annia Faas, a German writer from Hamburg said globalization was "intrinsically wrong."

"Differences among men are so great. You can barely understand your own neighbor, let alone the world."

For Sergio Gomes, a metalworker from Sao Paulo, Brazil's industrial largest city, globalization "is the new name of colonization."

"It means that industrial countries keep the clean industries, like electronics, and force developing countries to work with industries polluting the environment," he said. "They get the best, we are left the worst."


Globalization Tops Social Forum Agenda 

Frustration About Globalization Prevails at Brazilian Social Forum

The Associated Press

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil Jan. 24

If there's one common thread joining the tens of thousands of participants at the World Social Forum, it's globalization, and deep skepticism about what it can do for the good of mankind.

As activists taking part in the forum's opening march Thursday heaped criticism on the International Monetary Fund, Francisco Giuliano was hard-pressed to come up with anything he likes about unfettered U.S.-style capitalism and free trade.

"Globalization has come only to decide how the rich will distribute for their own benefit the cake of our countries," Giuliano said. "This is a globalization made by the haves, by the powerful only."

Organizers have predicted a turnout of 100,000 activists in Porto Alegre for the six-day forum, held as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum taking place simultaneously at the luxury Swiss ski resort of Davos.

At least 2,000 police are on hand to keep order. Military police captain Joao Carlos Gomes said no major disturbances were expected.

With lectures from globalization critics and more than 1,700 seminars and workshops, the six-day forum seeks to change the perceived ills of capitalism, including foreign debt and unfair global trade that favor rich, industrialized nations and multinational corporations.

Some social forum participants are convinced that the new Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has a genuine chance at improving the lot of millions of impoverished Brazilians and may even help the rest of South America's poor.

Silva, a former shoeshine boy who dropped out of school to help support his family, will address the social forum Friday.

The next day he will fly to Davos, where he reportedly will call for rich countries to join his fight to eliminate hunger affecting between 24 million to 44 million of Brazil's 175 million citizens.

During Thursday's opening march for the forum, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people demonstrated in Porto Alegre, many waving red flags and jumping into the air as a coarse voice repeated in Portuguese: "No, no, no. Capitalism no. Long live socialism and the revolution."

Brazilian theater student Camila Catario Fortes said anti-globalization sentiment is increasing because of "negative outcomes of globalization across the world."

Although the concept of opening all countries to free trade and allowing multinational corporations to operate without limits was good, the impact has not been for most of the world's citizens, she said.

"It would have been different had it brought understanding among cultures, it would have been great," she said. "But in practice, it hasn't happened."

Annia Faas, a German writer from Hamburg said globalization was "intrinsically wrong."

"Differences among men are so great. You can barely understand your own neighbor, let alone the world."

For Sergio Gomes, a metalworker from Sao Paulo, Brazil's industrial largest city, globalization "is the new name of colonization."

"It means that industrial countries keep the clean industries, like electronics, and force developing countries to work with industries polluting the environment," he said. "They get the best, we are left the worst."

 

 


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?


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