portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting global

imperialism & war | media criticism

Sheehan cracks corporate media black-out!

Google on World Social Forum and what do you get? Indymedia! -- and other alternative websites! Where are CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. etc.?

Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, did everything possible to make his address to 15,000 participants (of an estimated 50,000 total) something worthy of coverage by U.S. media: "The great people of the United States are our brothers, my salute to them."

Did the New York Times notice? Googling on <"New York Times" Chavez "World Social Forum"> I got just one item from the AP summary section of the NYT website and that was a story on the shill-like "Alternative Social Forum" that appears to have been organized by U.S. interests in order to discredit Chavez and the real WSF.

But other than the reporting on the U.S. shill, what did I get? Until Sheehan got involved, I got just Indymedia, WikiNews and the other "usual suspects"!
You would think that THIS would have been news-worthy in the U.S.A. as soon as it was announced, even before it happened --

"U.S. Activist Cindy Sheehan To Open World Social Forum In Caracas, Venezuela"

FreeRepublic.com, from Globovisión/AFP (Venezuela)

Posted on 01/22/2006 by Kitten Festival

< U.S. antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan will open the World Social Forum in Caracas on Tuesday together with other political and cultural leaders from diverse nations with a mass action, organizers for the event said Sunday.

< Sheehan, mother of a dead soldier in Iraq who achieved notoriety from heading various antiwar actions against the government of George W. Bush, will give a speech at a march that will kick off the World Social Forum en the Venezuelan capital, said dará Edgardo Lander, a member of the organizing committee of the event.>

So I searched Google News today for <Cindy Sheehan "World Social Forum" 2006>

MUCH BETTER! Along with multiple results from Cuba, Venezuela and the People's Weekly World -- Cindy has managed to break the corporate media silence through AP report carried by the Washington Post and other dailies (San Diego Union Tribune and San Jose Mercury News).

The WaPo (AP) report emphasizes the non-event of the "Alternative Social Forum" along with its criticism of Chavez, but could not avoid mentioning Sheehan --

<American peace activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004, demanded an immediate U.S. pullout and criticized Bush for not having captured Osama bin Laden.

<"Most Americans want our troops home by the end of 2006. But that's far too late. Every minute that we wait, more blood is spilled," Sheehan told reporters. "George Bush still continues his evil rhetoric that he is waging a war on terrorism, and he is really waging a war of terrorism against the world."

<Sheehan, a 48-year-old from Berkeley, Calif., said she planned to meet Chavez this week. >

 link to www.washingtonpost.com

BTW: I searched both Google Web and Google News.

The 2006 WSF is being held regionally, continent by continent. So far, there have been (or announced) WSF meets for Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Conspicuous by their absence are North America and Europe (and possibly Australia - although Aussies sometimes consider themselves to be part of Asia).

Excerpt from CommonDreams --

Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by the Inter Press Service

"World Social Forum: The Great Debate in a Land of Change" by Humberto Márquez (Credit: Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias) --

< CARACAS - Some 100,000 social activists from across the Americas and the world will soon be arriving in the Venezuelan capital, where they will condemn war and imperialism, and lend their support -- although not unconditionally -- to the changes introduced in this country by President Hugo Chávez.

< "The great people of the United States are our brothers, my salute to them," Chavez told the 15.000 World Social Forum participants that managed to get inside the Gigantinho Stadium in Porto Alegre to hear him speak.

< The sixth annual World Social Forum (WSF) is being held at several different sites this year, instead of one centralised forum as in the first five editions. In addition to the Americas forum in Caracas Jan. 24-29, the African forum will take place in Bamako, Mali, Jan. 19-23, and the Asian meet will be in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi in March.>

It's amazing what Cindy Sheehan has done. It's like the Mama Bear stories told by seriously scared hunters who have just killed one of Mama's cubs. If those hunters even survive intact, they have to make a quick trip to the nearest laundromat to wash out their underwear.

Is Bush running scared because of the pro-choice activists or the talk of impeachment among a few Democrats in Congress? Hardly, but if he hears the name "Cindy Sheehan" one more time, Bush just might lose it.

And then people wonder -- can one person make a difference?


If you missed it, check out the recent report from the Portland community --