Walking home from dinner tonight, we were startled by fireworks celebrating a victory at the baseball game, the heart beat of the day seems so much nearer to you here...the sounds of life are ever present; the beating of the drums that never seem to end, the music always in the distance, the laughter in the streets, it makes the US feel so dulled....so subdued...so lacking in robustness.
Reports say that over 60,000 marched yesterday, demonstrating against War and Imperialism. Many of the very large delegations were from all over South America, hundreds of Cubans were at the front of the march with us, all in red with C’s on their caps. So energetic and thrilled to be part of Another World is Possible, the theme for this WSF. The famous words at the end of Arundhati Roy’s speech at the WSF a few years ago.
They estimate over 100,000 activists from around the world were participating in the over 800 programs listed for today. You could spend hours studying the program (in 4 languages) trying to figure out what you could attend. The issues range from Feminism, War and Peace, Human Rights, Environmental Justice, Culture, labor and workers rights and building a more just world without neoliberalism, capitalism and imperialsim.
Many of the people we have met from around South America and Africa are very curious to see so much participation from the US, seen as the problem, they are impressed with the passion and interest they find in the many groups from the US who have traveled here; Global Exchange, Jobs for Justice, Poor People’s March, American Friends Service Committee and many others. I met friends of my son from Brown University as they ran between meetings.
What is the WSF?
The grassroots alternative to the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. While the WSF is not intended to eliminate the street demonstrations that have confronted the WEF, it does provide an opportunity for grassroots activists to envision and build a new future which is an alternative to the global domination of US imperialism and corporate interests. The regional WSF in Caracas is one of three being held throughout the world. The others are being held in Pakistan and Mali. Gael Murphy, the other co-founder of CODEPINK is at the one in Mali.