Quick, pack your bags! Let's go to Brazil! I'm itching to rub shoulders with the amazing activists and thinkers gathered there this week at the World Social Forum, the anti-globalization movement's answer to the World Economic Forum.
Right now in Porto Alegre, Brazil, thousands of people are gathered to respond to the pro-globalization messages emerging from the World Economic Forum meeting in New York. They're not there to protest, to complain, or to carp. They're there to find alternatives.
The event, dubbed the World Social Forum, is a gathering of some of the foremost activists against corporate globalization -- Noam Chomsky and Maude Barlow, Vandana Shiva and Samir Amin among them -- but also brings together many of the very people whose lives and livings are being devastated by the unrelenting advance of global corporate greed: fisherfolk from India, farmers from East Africa, trade unionists from Thailand, indigenous people from Central America. They embrace this daunting task with love and humor and fierce determination, and I think they're bloody brilliant.
One of the WSF's sponsors is ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens). That may sound dull, but let me tell you, they are a clever group of thoughtful doers who have been tracking and helping to organize the anti-globalization movement since 1998. I met up with some of them in Sweden last week.
One of ATTAC's organizers gave me a copy of their newsletter, filled with news and updates on the progress of this vitally important struggle. I now consider it a must-read for anyone who wants to stay current on globalization and the movement to find compassionate alternatives.
If we can't hop on a flight to Brazil right now, at least we can participate virtually. Please have a look at ATTAC (especially its downloadable newsletter) and the remarkable site for the World Social Forum. I am encouraged and inspired to see such brilliance, enthusiasm, humor, and strength of spirit thriving in this movement. We shall prevail!