Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Many struggles, one movement

Tag Archives: Anticapitalism

Update from the #EndWTO Week of Action in Bali!

By: Edgar Franks, Community to Community Development

Solidarity between different fronts of struggle was apparent at the opening day of the #EndWTO Bali Week of Action.  From the Philippines to Thailand to Korea to Africa, every speaker called out that the current economic and governing systems and the expansion of neoliberal and neocolonial policies are hurting people and endangering the planet.  They called for the end of the WTO, the end of free trade agreements, and the creation of true people’s alternatives in its place.

GGJ delegates with Pablo Salon of Focus on the Global South.

GGJ delegates with Pablo Salon of Focus on the Global South.

The solidarity proposed by the speakers and presenters made it clear that no matter where you are from or what is your fight, the liberation of one group is directly connected to the liberation of another. Allies and networks can be formed with groups and individuals we may have never considered before but because of the current climate and economic crises’ it is crucial to make those links and connections.

I was particularly moved by the testimony of a sex worker from Cambodia who shared her story of how the self-terminating seeds from Monsanto have destabilized the countryside forcing many women to migrate into the cities for survival.  With profound sincerity and clarity she connected the role of multi-national corporations in the destruction of local communities, to the increasing exploitation of women who are pushed into the sex industry for survival.  The margin between survival and disaster becomes smaller and the urgency to create change becomes a matter of life or death.

The grassroots are at the forefront of this movement.  In the end of the day leaders from social movements in the Philippines, Korea, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan, and Taiwan filled the stage to declare the formation of a new hemispheric alliance called Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA).   This alliance has been years in development, since the 2005 protests against the WTO in Hong Kong.

Grassroots leaders from social movements across Asia tie their scarves together at the declaration of the SMAA hemispheric alliance.

Grassroots leaders from social movements across Asia tie their scarves together at the declaration of the SMAA hemispheric alliance.

Social Movements for an Alternative Asia (SMAA) and Gerak Lawan declared the unity and action is what is needed at this moment.  We are living in a historic moment where struggles are confronting unchecked, unregulated free markets all across the globe.  The moment calls for us to build and stand side by side with the people of Asia. The moment call for us to engage participatory process in our communities where we get to decide who and what power really is.  It is up to us to create our own alternatives and to demonstrate that another world is possible.


World Social Forum Interview – Hiba Laameri


Hiba Laameri is a 15-year-old Tunisian girl who attended the World Social Forum. Below is the lightly edited transcript of a short conversation with her after she participated in one of the sessions.

I am 15 years old I am here in the forum because it’s a beautiful opportunity and I might not get it again. It’s in my country – I might not get to travel in the future to go to the forum.

I like to read. Really, I love books. You would always see me carrying a book around, reading it. I read all kinds of literature, I watch a lot of movies and my favorites are documentaries. I don’t know if that’s common at my age but I love documentaries and whenever I hear about some subject I am really curious I want to know more about it. And I see that my peers may not enjoy that, but you have no idea how much I enjoy knowing more.

It’s inspiring to see all these people and it just really inspired me because I’ve always been a person to see what’s wrong and I’ve always thought to myself, “Why wont somebody do something about that?” And these days at the Forum I realized I was somebody. Everyone here, we’re somebody. We should just get together and work, spread awareness of our causes, work together.

I don’t think the revolution in Tunisia is doing so well. We have our freedom, we can speak: an event like this would not have been possible in Ben Ali’s time. But capitalism is still there, imperialism is still there. Nothings changed socially, economically, culturally. Nothing has changed except we have more freedom and Ben Ali’s changed and now he’s been replaced by some other people who are carrying on the same international policies.

Here at the World Social Forum, it’s an anticapitalist movement. I am aware that I cannot expect this country to change on it’s own because we can’t survive as an anticapitalist nation in a capitalist world. You have to all change together. But I’d like to see them start, I’d like to see the beginning of  policy changes. I’d like to see them building for something new, rather than continuing the same thing that is already wrong.

As for the Arab Spring, it’s a good beginning because people are seeing that something is wrong. Maybe they haven’t realized exactly what is wrong but at least some people are trying. And it feels so good to see everyone gathered here and see that they are aware that we need change. I am more hopeful now, from having been here.