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20 January 2006

They say a better world is possible, but as the sixth World Social Forum approaches the world’s global social justice activists still seem to have a lot of work to do.

For the past few years these Forums have attracted more than 100,000 of the most committed NGOs, activists, students, professors from all over the world. Almost no English is spoken, and there are a myriad of over one thousand events for participants to attend.

South Korean unionists rub shoulders with landless people from Brazil. Children from the slums of Rio mingle with teenage diamond cutters from India. Organisations pool their ideas on economic development and campaigns against privatisation of water. You name it; it’s here.

On this blog, openDemocracy brings you the inside story of the Forum. Our correspondents in Venezuela share with you news, wit, and details, and as best we can updates on what other bloggers are saying too. Thanks to Global Voices and Civiblog for their support.

This year the Forum is split in three. First stop was Mali, next Venezuela, and finally Pakistan in March. What we really want to know is where the Forum is headed politically.

It’s the biggest global left gathering in the world, but when it comes to trying to consolidate the movement there is more tension than harmony. This year, there will be additional controversy over Hugo Chavez, who some adore and others despise. Some Venezuelan activists have even set up an Alternative Social Forum.

Enjoy.

Please contact Solana Larsen [email protected] in Venezuela (or text message to: +1 646 220 1459) for more information.

If you have an urgent press inquiry, you can also try openDemocracy’s office in London +44 207 608 2000, please ask for Becky Hogge [email protected]

We are happy to accept contributions for the blog.

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Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

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Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

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Further speakers to be announced

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