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The Forum > Article Comments > The World Social Forum - the flip side to the World Economic Forum > Comments

The World Social Forum - the flip side to the World Economic Forum : Comments

By Gerda Roelvink, published 3/3/2005

Gerda Roelvink explains what the World Social Forum has to offer on the political stage.

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I agree, what is the point in having a world forum on anything without allowing equal representation to all countries. Assistance has to be provided by the wealthy countries to allow participation by third world countries. They do have ideas as to how they can help themselves, lets listen. Pippin
Posted by Pippin, Thursday, 3 March 2005 12:58:16 PM
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From Gerda's description don't expect to hear much about the World Social Forum anytime soon. Like typical crazies they're much too busy arguing amongst themselves over semantics to actually get anything done. I can just imagine the speaker warbling on in Spanish about social justice, the evils of racism, the end of poverty, the need for co-operation, but the audience was too busy bashing up the English speakers to hear! Very tolerant, very co-operative and enlightened! I hope Gerda wasn't running around apologising to all and sundry for being an english speaking Australian. (Maybe she had to for fear of being extinguished!)

Seems to me that these type of people have looked at the question of poverty and decided that if you make everyone in the world as poor as each other then the problem doesn't exist.
Posted by bozzie, Thursday, 3 March 2005 6:41:19 PM
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It seems to me that the World Social Forum should stop to be the flipside of the World Economic Forum, and therefore should not be held simultaneously with the World Economic Forum.

Why is it used,by many,as a platform for protest?
Posted by obiwan, Friday, 4 March 2005 10:45:51 AM
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BOZZIE u heard it here first.. from ME <- your talking sense.. for a change :)

Now..to the article, ANY such 'world anything' will inevitably be HIJACKED by various politicized 'versions' of socialism, by language gropus, culture groups, and after all that, it will be irrelevant anyway, because of one reason. RELIGION. I'm not referring to 'we Godbotherers' the Christians, I'm referring to that 'other' crowd, the 1.9 BILLION Muslims who absolutely, totally, fanatically and non compromisingly believe that the ONLY basis for social order is the Islamic one. http://www.islamicweb.com/begin/results.htm 22% of world population

Then, there is my mob, nominally we are 33% of the world. Then there are the HINDUS 15% hmmmm..... in fact, the 'non' religous mob, i.e. secular humanists, marxists,agnostics etc, are the massive 14% now.. I'm wondering, in 'which' world do these 'World Social Forum' people
actually live in ? or what do they think the world is ? do they actually consider themselves RELEVANT ? Even taking just Christianity and Islam together, u have over 50% of the world.

The three prime characteristics of this article are 1/ Ignorance and 2/ Naivity. 3/ Ideological neo colonialism and arrogance.

The ideological-centrism of the loony left, and the fantasy that they are relevant to the real world, never ceases to amaze me. (just as my Biblio-centrist views probably amaze Kenny etc :) but the diff is, we are 'right' but most of all humble :) ok ok.. u can have a giggle at that one.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Friday, 4 March 2005 2:58:27 PM
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Another victim industry symposium from the sounds of it. Yawn!
Posted by robertomelbourne1@bigpond.com, Saturday, 5 March 2005 11:29:21 PM
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I moved from Australia to Porto Alegre in 1998, so I have seen the mixed effects of the World Social Forums that have been held here. Gerda Roelvink is quite correct when she suggests that the only thing all these visitors have in common is their refusal.

The positive side. Porto Alegre is normally a bit of a ghost town in summer as a good part of the population migrates to the beach. The swarms that come for the Forum (mostly from within Latin America) make the town a far more interesting place to be. Even better, this latest Forum was held near the centre of town, because the organisers were not prepared to pay the true cost of cleaning and repairs at the university campus where the earlier ones were held. The centre is usually a place you would think twice about visiting after dark, but suddenly it was teeming with tourists and adequately policed, giving us locals the chance to experience our own city in a far better way than is normally possible. So, thanks Gerda.

On the down side, it was a little disturbing to see the number of people who suddenly found it chic to wear Hamas t-shirts, I would prefer not to see public buildings awash with Trotskyite graffiti declaring support for Iraqi suicide bombers, and yes, there was increased hostility towards English-speakers even ones who live here.

And finally: the amusing side. Like the irony of an anti-capitalist festival that is defended by business groups because it provide a few weeks of excellent summer takings for hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes. Like the fact that the sale of Coca Cola was forbidden in the Youth Camp, ensuring neat profits for the smugglers who made the short walk to the shop and brought back illicit supplies. Like watching the opening parade and seeing thousands of people handing out thousands of pamphlets, most of which ended up on the ground. But I guess that was all planned to keep the trash-picker co-operatives in business, right? So maybe another world is possible after all.
Posted by Ian, Tuesday, 8 March 2005 12:53:57 AM
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