portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article reporting global

actions & protests

One Pair of Eyes Out of 100,000: Day 1 at the World Social Forum

I am at the Media Center in the WSF right now and the alt.media people have been kicked out for a meeting. So I wrote this out stone age style. No matter. There is a WSF going on and Portland is going to hear about what I have experienced on this, the first real day of the WSF.

Let me start by saying that this feels like a truly global movement. This year's WSF has been held in India to encourage greater participation from Africa and Asia. Taking a quick glance around me I can attest that the strategy succeeded. Trade Unions make up the majority of the organizations but the Indian participants far outweigh any other group. The NESCO grounds are huge, with 5 major indoor presentation halls, 3 exhibition centers filled with mazes of Non Governmental Organization (NGO) stalls. Glossy pictures depicting heart rending scenes of child exploitation, the effects of chemical contamination and the conditions Indian sanitation workers endure line every available space. There are scores of seminar tents all over and 5 food courts with not a Starbucks or Burger King in sight. There is more: two open air stages and the Media Center which manages to meet the needs of journalists and houses the film festival.
read more>>