Right outside of the subway stop in the barrio (neighborhood) called El 23 de Enero, the hillside is covered with brick houses built on land which was initially private property "taken" by the people that now live on it. With the new government, a lot of the "squatters" have been given titles to their land and houses so that now they are the owners and can sell the space, build onto it, or rent it out. Neighborhoods like this cling to the hillsides around the city, in a vast waterfall of tin roofs, orange bricks and cement. Steep alleyways and stairs weave through these areas. Jutting out of the barrios are gigantic rectangular apartment buildings from the 1960s that have laundry hanging out the window and waving in the wind. Hugo Chavez and the new Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela receives most of its support and participants from areas like this.
The World Social Forum is taking place this year in
Toward Freedom has organized a workshop at the forum on the hopes and challenges of independent media. Participants in the panel will be Eva Golinger (Venezuelan journalist, author of "The Chavez Code"), Ben Dupuy (Co-Director, Haiti Progres newspaper), Teresa Valdez, (Cuban journalist), Scott Harris (radio producer, Between the Lines, Toward Freedom Board Member) Ben Dangl (journalist, editor, TowardFreedom.com, UpsideDownWorld.org). April Howard, a Spanish teacher and writer, will work as the translator for the panel. Other people have been invited to the panel as well, we’ll let you know who they when they confirm their participation. Stay tuned for more details about when and where this panel will take places. We hope to see you there. (Email Ben(at)towardfreedom.com for more details). Here’s a description of the event:
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Sasha Abramsky, Barbara Nimri Aziz, Travis Charbeneau, Brian Conley, Elayne Clift, Matt Dineen, John Horvath, Albert Huebner, Ron Chepesiuk, Tod Ensign, Tokunbo Ojo, Roberto Rodriguez, Patisia Gonzales, Milan Vesely, Norman Solomon, Danny Schechter, Rene Wadlow.
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Terry Allen, Dennis Brutus, Ossie Davis (1917-2005), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Greg Guma, Joanne Landy, Robert Nichols, Grace Paley, Martin Sheen, Brian Tokar, Anne Waldeman, Brian Wilson
Nepal is a country which has been living under a so-called ‘state of emergency’ and its extended anti-constitutional aftermath decreed in Nov. 2001 by the corrupt and despotic monarchy, an absolutist regime which is now exercising control directly through the military and police while fighting (with great and indiscriminate, if ineffective, brutality) a Maoist insurgency which has de facto control of almost two-thirds of the country and the support of vast sectors of the rural poor.
Parliament was disbanded in the name of the ‘war on terrorism’ (which is how the fight against the insurgency is described) and now people who simply exercise Constitutional rights are arrested as ‘terrorist sympathizers’. Many who are merely critical –or thought to be critical — of the regime are jailed, tortured, killed in jail or summarily executed on the spot.
Have you wondered what is happening in Venezuela, where the revolutionary president Hugo Chavez is using millions of dollars in oil money to fund social programs?
Have you heard about the World Social Forums that have taken place in Brazil and around the world, whose slogan is "Another World is Possible"?
How about the two together? That is what is going to happen January 24-29 2006 in Caracas, Venezuela, when the World Social Forum gathers there.
I attended the third WSF in Porto Alegre Brazil in 2003, and was thrilled and energized at meeting individuals and groups forging ahead with the creation of a better world.
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