World Social Forum: Monolith tumblers

In early February the Second World Social Forum took place in Porto Alegre (Brazil). After the violent G8 in Genoa, the terrorist attacks in the United States, the war in Afghanistan and the Argentine crisis, this was the first chance for civil society at the world level to hold a democratic debate about the current forms of economic globalisation and effective alternatives to neo-liberalism. Among the 55,000 participants were sixteen Jesuits interested in ethics, religions, environment, external debt and fair trade. ?For some the Forum is just a Babel of the discontented, but for me it?s the antithesis of monolithic thinking,? avows Bernard Lestienne SJ of the Social Research and Action Centre in Brasilia. ?You see hopes converging, people searching for unity, a world civil society gradually emerging. Porto Alegre is not anti-global, on the contrary it seeks an even greater globalisation, but of a different kind.? For Massimo Nevola SJ (Italy) the so-called Seattle People are ?among the most interesting happenings on the planet, contagious enough to infect hundreds of thousands with good ideas about alternative economy and non-violent action.? Porto Alegre also celebrated Rio + 10, ten years since the Earth Summit (see ?Johannesburg?). Documents on Porto Alegre are available at www.forumsocialmundial.org.br [HL20207]