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World Social Forum 2004: A Report from India

sexta-feira 6 de fevereiro de 2004, por David Adams,

Interview with Al Marder who went to Mumbai representing the Greater New Haven Peace Council in Connecticut

The fourth annual World Social Forum WSF) took place January 16-21 in Mumbai, India. The WSF was established was established as a response for the poor people of the world to the World Economic Forum where the leaders of the riches countries and multi-national companies gather every year. In previous years, the WSF has taken place in Porto Allegre, Brazil.

For this story I interviewed Al Marder who went to Mumbai representing the Greater New Haven Peace Council in Connecticut.

"It was overwhelming. They said that 80,000 people attended. There were huge crowds at the exhibits and at seminars, as well as many demonstrations and cultural events. Whole villages came from India, and you could not help but be impressed by the poverty and realize our responsibility for it. You realized how small the world has become.

"The legacy of Gandhi was everywhere, souvenirs, books, memorabilia, slogans of Gandhi and nonviolence, as well as the Indian spirituality that he shared.

"There were many issues, but one thing was unanimous - the opposition to American imperialism and globalization. I was impressed by the growing movement against American military bases around the world - there are now over 700. I was also impressed by the high level economists who came and talked about the world economic crisis that is being caused by American economic policies and debt. Thousands of people went to their sessions.

"Representing the World Peace Council for the campaign on getting rid of nuclear weapons, I found that there is a new openness of organizations to work together, unlike anything we saw in earlier years.