BAY AREA REPORTBACK FROM THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM (WSF)
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
522 Valencia, 3rd Floor Auditorium* (near 16th and Mission BART)
San Francisco, CA
$5-10 donation requested at the door to help cover costs of event and events at the WSF.
• Hear from representatives of Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, and International Forum on Globalization on their experiences at the World Social Forum, which include coordinating the human banner and the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights panel with Indigenous allies.
• Participate in an open discussion with other Bay Area community members and leaders who attended the WSF.
• See photos by Lou Dematteis, award-winning photojournalist from San Francisco.
From January 26-February 1, 2009 over 100,000 people from all over the world gathered at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Belem, Brazil to revive the call that “Another World is Possible”. For the first time in the Forum’s 7 year history, it took place in the Amazon, which manifested the largest Indigenous delegation in the history of the forum. On the opening day of the Forum, Indigenous people from across Latin America led over 1,700 WSF participants to form a human banner, using their bodies to draw attention to the increasingly precarious situation of the Amazon rainforest. Indigenous leaders, environmentalists and activists joined forces to spell out the messages “SOS AMAZONIA and SALVE A AMAZONIA” (“SOS AMAZON and SAVE THE AMAZON” in Portuguese) around the massive silhouette of an Indigenous warrior taking aim with a bow and arrow. See photo below.
Co-Sponsored by: Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, International Forum on Globalization and Center for Political Education.
For more information contact: Leila Salazar-Lopez, Leila@ran.org or 415-659-0532.
*NOTE: Space is NOT wheelchair accessible.
On the eve of the human banner event, Brazil’s leading Amazonian indigenous organization, COIAB, issued the following statement: “With the permission of our ancestors’ spirits, we indigenous peoples are here with our friends from all corners of the earth. We build this symbol with our bodies as the cry of living beings from this green forest, this planet, for our continuity as humans and diverse creatures. The symbol of the bow and arrow has three meanings: The first, our aim that every man, woman, and child will decide to care for our planet; The second, the position of defending the rights of indigenous peoples, of nature, of the planet, and of our home the Amazon; The third, to send a message to the world so that each of us helps to protect our home, our air, our water, our food. The Datsiparabu ceremony is the purification of our minds, our spirit, our soul, and our hearts. Save the Amazon!”