The World Social Forum – Preparation and Opening

The event was outlaid so ambitiously that it had to go completely wrong. The organizers had clearly forgotten that they had to do with the Federal State of Pará with its public administrators and political leaders, who are still unable to look up the word ‘organization’ in the dictionary, let alone find the word.
During the six-day forum (from Jan 27 to Feb. 1), 2400 activities were scheduled, which means that some 200 activities were held simultaneously about topics such as the environment, global warming, poverty, child- and slave labour, exclusion of poor countries, and of course, the destruction of the Amazônia region and alternatives to the capitalist system, which threw the world in an economic and financial crisis (I am sure, that Davos is anxious to have a look at the proposals). But the farmer, he ploughed on, so if everything raised by somebody should be found important, then it might come to something … ever.

The World Social Forum (WSF) is regarded as the largest marketplace on the planet of ideas, with discussions for everyone.
But a month before the international event, the city was still looking for solutions to its problems. Lack of security, traffic chaos and deficiencies in public transport are some of the most serious problems of Belém. And for years it is no different. On top of all this the complaints of the population of the capital of Pará itself.

During the forum, the hotels and pousadas in town were fully booked – even the motels, normally operating as centres for lovers and other sex activities, had their faces adapted to accommodate participants of the event. Another 15 thousand houses were rented, the rent up to BRL 2 thousand (€ 660) for the 5 days of the forum. The hotels did not stay behind and reached the, for Belém, exorbitant price of BRL 900 (€ 300) per day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner.

To house the event and guarantee the safety of the participants the state government invested BRL 143 million (€ 48.5 million), with a third for the purchase of police cars. Ten field hospitals were built on the campus of the Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA = Federal University of Pará) and the Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia (UFRA = Federal Agriculture University of the Amazon), where also an encampment for 30 thousand young visitors was raised. An additional 270 hospital beds were reserved in the public and private hospitals for emergency situations.

During the days of the event about 600 thousand male condoms from the Program for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and AIDS were distributed. (nb, 1 condom per day per participant)

Until Sunday, February 1 (the last day), the organization of the Forum hopes to greet 120 thousand people from 150 countries, including ……… continue reading and see more images