Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

World Social Forum
Porto Alegre, Brazil


January 23 - 27, 2003
Photos by Vivian Stockman

The World Social Forum's opening march in Porte Allegre, Brazil, January 23, 2003. About 50,000 people from all over the globe, representing a huge array of issues, united to march in the streets as an affirmation of their collective belief that another world is possible--a world without neo-liberal globalization and its associated imperialism and militarization. All marchers beseeched the United States to withdraw from its threatened invasion of Iraq and instead take all means to work toward peace in the Persian Gulf region and worldwide. 

A Red, White and Blue dragon queues up for the march.

Jews for Peace joined the opening day march. 

One of the highlights of the World Social Forum (WSF) was a joint peace statement written by 3 Israelis and 3 Palestinians. The statement drew wild applase and even tears from about 20,000 World Social Forum participants who heard it read for the first time. 

The declaration called for "peace, justice, and sovereignty for our peoples, an end to the Israeli occupation of the lands occupied in 1967, the creation of an independent Palestinian state side by side with Israel along the lines of 4 June 1967, with Jerusalem as an open city, the capital of each of the two states, an agreed just and fair solution for the Palestinian refugee problem in accordance with U.N. Resolution 194." The statement also denounced violence on both sides of the conflict. 

The message is clear in any language.

Brazil's new leftist president, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva,
addresses 60,000 people at the World Social Forum.

"I wasn't elected because of the support of a TV channel," he declared. "I wasn't elected because of the support of the financial institutions. I wasn't elected because of the support of the big families. And I wasn't elected because of my intelligence or capacity. I was elected because of the level of consciousness of the Brazilian people." 

The opening day march in progress

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