Categorized | English, WSF 2011

Venue Chaos as UCAD Cancels Reservations

Posted on 07 February 2011 by admin

By Thandi Winston and Ebrima Sillah

The first day of meetings and discussions at the World Social Forum has been marred by chaos over venues for the myriad sessions.

WSF organisers have set up tents to accommodate sessions. Credit: Abdullah Vawda/IPS

WSF organisers have set up tents to accommodate sessions. Credit: Abdullah Vawda/IPS

A source in the WSF’s organising committee told IPS that the Vice Chancellor of Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) cancelled the Forum’s bookings for rooms on the campus. A compromise has secured only 40 of the 200 seminar rooms initially reserved for the WSF, with students holding regular classes in the others.

“We are now frantically trying to pitch tents at the venue, so as to accommodate the seminars,” the source said.

There are close to two thousand sessions planned for this week. WSF participants arriving at the campus this morning found many rooms occupied by students attending their normal lectures.

A Brazilian land rights group promptly set up in the shade of a tree to hold a discussion of land grabs in Brazil and in Africa. Others staged a noisy protest outside the university’s administration bloc.

One of the protesters, Chilean Carolos Morales, said, “Maybe somebody at the university is not happy because even their own students will find out about a lot of issues of neo-capitalism and how they waste state resources on selfish things.”

Groups staging panels and presentations were frantically searching for alternative venues throughout the day, and then trying as best they could to alert people as to where meetings are taking place. Many sessions originally scheduled for today had to be cancelled.

(END/2011)

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Rebeka Says:

    What a shame that the first conferences have to be cancelled

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