Belém – WSF – 28 January 2009
Par Josée Madéia
First day of the Forum, it’s noonish and we’ve had to abandon the program. Things are indeed not happening exactly when or where they’re planned to. Walking up and down the main street of UFRA. (Universidad Federal Rural da Amazonia). So many people, So much stuff for sale. I’ll put this in writing so that it’s recorded somewhere: I’m going to make a commitment, for when I go to another WSF, to learn the language that will be most used. Listening to the indigenous leaders’ speeches for Pan-Amazonian Day.. hearing about imperialism, capitalism, water, petrol, globalisation and resistencia and i so wish i could understand.
Attended an afternoon session on mining “justiça vos trilhos – seminário internacioal” where people talked about Canada’s Inco being bought by Vale, a Brazilian mining company, and what this means (for the environment, for indigenous groups, for labour, etc.) for the people of brazil, of Canada and of Mozambique.
And the torrential rains come again. This time as we’re leaving UFRA to go back to Ver-o-Peso, back home, adding to the general mob confusion of getting out of the campus maze and gates, slip slopping flip flops, dancing and trudging, men playing guitars in the pouring rain, trying to keep decomposing passports relatively undrenched and keep the group together.
Waiting for the bus it occurs to me that this is the perfect setting for a riot. But there’s no riot, just boisterous conversations, groups strategizing to get on buses. By this time, my body’s exhausted, i’m exhausted… and i’m pretty sure we all are (although some of us still have the energy to have political discussions with Norwegian fellow WSF-ers on the bus). a part of me wishes i had the energy to stay at camp, to dance in the pouring rain in my underwear like the best of them, or to go to one of many cultural performances, but right now, my hammock beckons and my stomach is screaming for sustenance.
A good first day, a good introduction to the madness and joy and disorganization and inspiration of the forum.
Really looking forward to the sessions tomorrow.