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Marching On With Renewed Hope

Posted on 11 February 2011 by admin

By IPS Correspondents

DAKAR, Feb 11 (TerraViva) – It started with a march through the streets of Dakar, grew with calls for a new global era and is ending with a challenge to activists to take the call for global change beyond the World Social Forum into the world. Continue Reading

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‘Link Hands in Practical Actions’

Posted on 11 February 2011 by admin

Nnimmo Bassey

Nnimmo Bassey

Nnimmo Bassey, the executive director of Friends of the Earth, hopes that this year’s World Social Forum will prove more than a talk shop.

“A great space for people to meet, for people to share ideas. Now we have to leave here with concrete ideas to take the struggle to the grassroots and amplify them. And globalise them,” he says.

“The harder we struggle, the quicker we’ll get the solution. We don’t have time to waste.”

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Time to Focus on Job Creation

Posted on 11 February 2011 by admin

Ebrima Sillah interviews KWASI ADU-AMANKWAH, secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation for Africa

The trade unionist says the continent’s workers faced serious problems long before the current world financial crisis and it is time for the continent to focus squarely on job creation.

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‘Africa’s Women and Children Are Main Casualties of Conflicts’

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

By Thandi Winston

DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – One of Africa’s leading daughters and feminists, the Nigerian scholar Amina Mama says militarism is spreading, especially in countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia. She says war and conflict are especially affecting vulnerable women and children. Continue Reading

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Oil Companies Out of Nigeria, Activists Say

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – Nigerian environmental rights groups have been making the case for the expulsion of oil companies from the Niger Delta in the southeastern part of the country.

Gas flare at Rumuekpe, Rivers State. Credit: Israel Aloja / Environmental Rights Action Friends Of The Earth Nigeria

Gas flare at Rumuekpe, Rivers State. Credit: Israel Aloja / Environmental Rights Action Friends Of The Earth Nigeria

Speaking at a meeting organised by a group of Nigerian women’s environmental rights activists, Goodison Jim Dorgu, the Executive Director of the NGO Environmental Health and Safety Network, based in the oil-producing state of Bayelsa, said Nigerian civil society has come to the united conclusion that oil companies responsible for severe environmental degradation should leave without delay.

Other speakers outlined how the oil industry has provoked violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta, with women bearing the burnt of the assaults. Emem Okon, the head of the Women’s Development and Resource Centre in the city of Port Harcourt, alleged that the oil companies’ own security personnel have been involved in attacks on women. She also said the Nigerian army had committed grave violations of human rights.

“In Ogoniland, the government set up the Rivers State Internal Security Task Force, and what these soldiers did was to use women as a weapon of war. A lot of women were raped, a lot of young girls were taken into sexual slavery.”

The head of Friends of the Earth International, Nnimmo Bassey, said environmental justice for the Niger Delta will be a long struggle. “The regime of responsibility has been so well entrenched and there’s the military backing for what the oil companies are doing, the govenment is behind them,” he says.

“There are a lot of restrictions. A lot more work is still going to be done, but one day, when nobody expects it… the people will prevail.”

(END/2011)

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‘We Planned for 3,000, We Ended Up With 20,000 People’

Posted on 09 February 2011 by admin

Thandi Winston interviews CANDIDO GRZYBOWSKI, from the Brazilian Institute for Social Economic Analyses.

Candido Grzybowski. Credit: Marcus Vinni/iBase

Candido Grzybowski. Credit: Marcus Vinni/iBase

Sometimes described as one of the most influential intellectuals in Brazil, Candido Grzybowski is a philosopher and sociologist and has been the director of iBase, the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses since 1990.

“When we started in 2000, started discussions, it was in the main a reaction to the World Economic Forum, the Davos Forum,” Grzybowski says of the origins of the World Social Forum. “The owners of the world, the big companies with some governments and with a discourse of ‘no alternatives,’ globalisation, neo-liberalisation and so on.

“And for us it was a matter of saying, ‘We cannot continue only to say this is not the solution, we must try to build a thing independent of that, and to give an idea of not just an economic idea of the world we live in, of the planet we live in, of the society we live in, but a social idea of the economy, of power, of everything.

“So it was the social forum.”

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Forum Opens With March Through Dakar

Posted on 07 February 2011 by admin

Activists from Senegal were joined by tens of thousands from around as they marched through the Senegalese capital to mark the opening of the World Social Forum.

Ebrima Sillah reports from Dakar.

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World Social Forum Arrives in Dakar

Posted on 05 February 2011 by admin

By Ebrima Sillah

Tens of thousands of activists and campaigners have started arriving in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, to take part in the World Social Forum. Dakar’s traffic jams are always painful, but gridlocked commuters these days can amuse themselves studying the energetic forum participants arriving in grand style: long caravans of vehicles plastered with all kinds of messages and slogans. Continue Reading

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En route to Dakar

Posted on 05 February 2011 by admin

Thandi Winston gauges expectations of World Social Forum participants.

ActionAid Zambia‘s Kotutu Chimuka is attending her first World Social Forum; land rights are uppermost in her mind.

Sipho Theys, from the South Africa-based Action Support Centre believes it’s essential activists leave Dakar with a definite plan of action.

Pumi Mtetwa, who works with the Equality Project in Johannesburg is going to the WSF to build alliances to fight against growing homophobia in Africa.

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The director general of IPS, Mario Lubetkin, says the upcoming World Social Forum should focus on solutions to the world’s socio-economic problems.

Posted on 04 February 2011 by admin

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