Just getting to the World Social Forum one knows that another world is possible. On the plane from Atlanta most passengers - if not all - were heading to the WSF. This led to a different kind of plane ride. Without even mentioning reading material - Mother Jones and a Venezuela Primer instead of Time and Dr. Phil - people on the plane were just different - they were in better moods, interested instead of agressive, talking instead of blackberrying, and of course many many nalgene bottles. Two hour delay ? No problem. Smiles all around... There are worse things. We all looked at each other secure in the knowledge that even though we didn’t know each other we knew who we all were.
There is great power in being surrounded by like-minded people. I think it’s why most people attend the WSF. Sure there is the networking, the panels, the workshops - and, yes, a lot of parties - but the sheer volume of activity is dizzying and impossible to digest - so what’s left ? A feeling, an intangible sense that is affirming, energizing, and transcedent.
It’s raining, and I’m hungry, hot, and tired - and my buddy Alex won’t stop talking to me - but today, Day 0, hope abounds. It may be ephemeral - but right now it’s a great thing.