Today is the final day of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Activists closed out the summit with amarch protesting the US-proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Thousands of protestors marched and danced throughthe streets of this southern Brazilian city in a carnival-style parade, waving red flags and banners against thetrade deal. The march was the climax of the five-day World Social Forum, held as a kind of “people’s” counterweightto the World Economic Forum in New York.
At this year’s World Social Forum as many as 40,000 activists have gathered in Porto Alegre, including fisherfolkfrom India, farmers from East Africa, trade unionists from Thailand, and indigenous people from Central America.Strident criticism of the United States dominated the World Social Forum’s Peace Conference, which drew to a closeurging that a democratic mediation mechanism be created to deal with conflicts. Organizers say that the strongturnout at the forum demonstrates the anti-corporate globalization movement has regained some of the momentum it lostafter September 11th.
Here is the second part of a mix of the voices at the forum, sent to us by producers Kris Abrams and Deepa Fernandes.It begins with Noam Chomsky, an Institute Professor at MIT, speaking at a forum several nights ago during the forum.
But first lets hear from one of our producers on the scene at the closing plenary of the World Social Forum.
- Deepa Fernandes, Democracy Now! producer in Porto Alegre.
- Noam Chomsky, professor an Institute Professor at MIT, he is a world renowned linguist, philosopher andpolitical analyst. His latest book is ??Rogue States, The Rule of Force in World Affairs.
- Martin McWan, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights.
- Rick Rowley, independent filmmaker and Democracy Now! cameraperson.
- Leyle, activist at the World Social Forum youth camp.