Alternatives at the 2003 World Social Forum

Because Alternatives... is more than just a newspaper!

Saturday 1 February 2003, by ALTERNATIVES

For the third consecutive year, Alternatives attended the World Social Forum (WSF) held in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from the 23rd to the 28th of January.

Embodying a popular response to the World Economic Forum (the summit reserved for business circles and international political leaders, who convene each year in Davos, Switzerland), the WSF attracted 15 000 participants during its first assembly in 2001, while in February 2002 the number of activists exceeded 60 000. This year the number of participants has reached 100 000.

Similarly to past years, the activists present at the WSF have protested against the organisation of the World Economic Forum and proposed a range of alternative sessions on economic and social issues. This year, the main themes and activities discussed by civil society representatives around the globe centred on the construction of a democratic world order, the struggle against militarisation and the promotion of peace.

With the help of its fifteen delegates, Alternatives participated in the organisation of several aspects of the WSF: the Youth Camp, a range of workshops, communications activities, media coverage, marches, and social and cultural activities.

It is also important to note that through its financial and logistical support, Alternatives provided twenty of its partners from Africa and Asia the opportunity to attend the WSF in Brazil. The WSF’s International Committee, however, concluded that next year’s event will be hosted by India!

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