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Photos from the World Social Forum in Belem

January 30, 2009, 11:59am

Right now our friend Brian Mier’s at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil (you can find a bit of history about this enormous annual event by clicking onward), which this year is focusing on developing solidarity among all the different indigenous tribes in South and Central America so they can better fight off darklord mega-projects that are destroying their territories. Brian drank some tainted water and we presume he’s sweating and shitting it out as we type these very words, but he did have the wherewithal to forward on some images from a photographer he met there. The only comments Brian could give are: “That mime guy is wearing a paper visor that says, ‘Your Mouth is Fundamental to confront the Fundamentalists’,” “The women in purple are from the World March of Women,” and "I have no freaking idea about that giant cow.” Not entirely helpful, true, but when he stops squirting life-force from his body he'll be checking in again to let us know more about what's going on over there.

The World Social Forum was created in Porto Alegre in 2000 by Brazilian social organisations such as the Landless Workers Movement, along with Socialist Brazilian NGOs, namely Federation of Social and Educational Assistance Bodies (FASE). Orginally created as an alternative to the World Economic Summit, where the elite meet to cheat and cower behind one of the world's largest security apparatus, it grew due to support from local administration and more high-profile international groups like Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens (ATTAC). Now more than 80,000 delegates from more than 4,000 movements and indigenous peoples are gathering under the WSF umbrella in Belem for seminars, workshops, ceremonies, street theater, and good old-fashioned marches and protests.

Photos by Andre Telles