Magazine article The Nation

Optimism and Antiwar Fervor: A Report from Porto Alegre: Spirits Were High at the Third World Social Forum in Brazil, Even Though Workable Proposals for a New Global Economic System Remained Elusive. (Articles)

Magazine article The Nation

Optimism and Antiwar Fervor: A Report from Porto Alegre: Spirits Were High at the Third World Social Forum in Brazil, Even Though Workable Proposals for a New Global Economic System Remained Elusive. (Articles)

Article excerpt

At roughly the same hour on January 27 that Hans Blix was handing over his weapons inspection report to the United Nations, something like 15,000 people braved the stifling Southern Hemisphere summer heat here to pack the local Gigantinho indoor stadium to the rafters. Unfurling a sea of flags and banners, the crowd sweatily engaged in what had to be one of the most high-spirited peace rallies in recent times--replete with a series of rolling, rollicking audience "waves" ordinarily seen only at sporting events.

Indian novelist Arundhati Roy and MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, sitting in front of a banner reading Bush, Powell, Cheney = Axis of Liars, further amped up the crowd with a back-to-back pair of incendiary speeches thrashing the Bush Administration and in particular its war buildup against Iraq. "The most powerful state in the world has announced its intentions to rule the world by force," Chomsky said. "And while this doctrine is not new, it has never before been expressed with such brazen arrogance." As night began to fall, the charged-up crowd poured out of the stadium and joined an equal number of demonstrators already waiting in the streets, and together they spent another two hours marching and protesting against the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas.

The double-header demonstration--against war and against corporate globalization--was a fitting finale to this year's World Social Forum. The WSF was established in thid pay so much attention to sports. He replied, 'You can tell a lot about a society by the way it plays its games.'" - Jim Szantor, Mount Prospect.

- From Steve Mabley, of Norfolk, England:

"Hi Jack. I was just doing a search on the Internet for my surname and came up with yours. I'm a Mabley in the UK, and there aren't many of us.

"I'm quite interested in your views on the possible war on Iraq, as the perception most people in the UK have is that U. …

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