News Release

A Tale of Two Summits

WALDEN BELLO
JOY CHAVEZ
Bello is the executive director and Chavez is a research associate for Focus on the Global South. Bello said today: “Porto Alegre, site of the World Social Forum [WSF] last year and again this year, has become the byword for the spirit of the burgeoning movement against corporate-driven globalization. Galvanized by the slogan ‘Another world is possible,’ some 70,000 people are expected to flock to this coastal city. The WSF has been established as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum [WEF], in timing as well as in spirit.”
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NJOKI NJOROGE NJEHU
SOREN AMBROSE
Njehu is director and Ambrose is a policy analyst for the 50 Years Is Enough Network. Ambrose said today: “As protesters bring the urgent demand for economic democracy to the streets in Manhattan, those of us in Porto Alegre are digging into the difficult, but necessary and inspiring, work of discussing practical alternatives — economic, social and political — that will win popular support by serving the interests of the people. While the WEF, for the 32nd consecutive year, gathers wealthy corporate executives, high-ranking politicians and celebrities to its closed-door sessions, here at the WSF we are open to all participants and to the multitude of practical ideas for a just and sustainable world.”
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SEYDINA SENGHOR
Senghor is a cofounder of the Jubilee 2000 International Campaign, which is holding an International Peoples’ Tribunal on Debt at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre.
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ERIC LAURSEN
Laursen is an activist with the Another World Is Possible coalition. He said today: “The WEF would have us believe that this is an occasion for high-minded people to come together to solve the world’s problems. In reality, this is a collection of corporate CEOs and elected officials meeting to figure out how to further enrich themselves and disempower communities.”

YVONNE LIU, MIKE CASTLEMAN, HOANG PHAN
Liu, Castleman and Phan are with Students for Global Justice, which has organized a counter-summit to the WEF in Manhattan. Liu said today: “We contacted the WEF and invited them to our summit. They replied that they were too busy and did not invite us to their forum. It’s completely misguided that the police are deployed against the activists who simply wish to exercise their First Amendment rights.”
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BEKA ECONOMOPOULOS
Economopoulos is co-editor of Another World Is Possible: Conversations in a Time of Terror.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167