A Latin American perspective

I marched with the white flags of Caritas Internationalis holding a banner that said: Globalise Solidarity. I was touched by the thousands and thousands of banners proclaiming all sorts of causes and shouting all types of protests. Many banners proclaimed: With Bush and Lula another world is not possible. Clearly, people are tired of pacts, adjustments and shady deals. 

The theme that has caught their imagination is that another world is possible. Those who march share this conviction or this dream, but it comes through a variety of organisations, projects and activities, each declaring its cause. Sustainability; the defence of childrens rights; the fight against intolerance or any form of exclusion or discrimination; the search for another economy linked with new forms of solidarity; the defence of the forests and water; and a profound respect for difference these are some of the issues for which the groups are marching. Against this immense, noisy, and colourful multitude it seemed as if two insurmountable walls obstructed the way: neo-liberalism and globalisation. The Por-do-sol, the venue was already filled by the time half the marchers arrived. In the midst of this indescribable and inexplicable atmosphere, before the unstoppable force of these men and women coming from all over the world, I felt an inner conviction and voice: this original movement cannot but be the movement of the Spirit. The Spirit blows and when this happens it renews the face of the earth. I am convinced that the Spirit of God works in this way: in the streets, in an uncontrolled way, beyond the forces of order and security, outside the white sepulchres and outside well-ordered institutions. 

I remembered the words of Kofi Anand when he accepted the Nobel Peace prize on the 10th December 2001: Scientists tell us that the world of nature is so small and inter-dependent that the flutter of a butterflys wings in the Amazon jungle can cause a violent storm in the other hemisphere. This is the butterfly effect. We have come to realise that in the sphere of human activity there is also, for good or bad, a butterfly effect. When a group of women and men gather to dream of another possible world, the rest of the world will experience storms of solidarity and justice. (J.J. Mejia, CPAL).