Chico Whitaker
   
 
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2011-12-01 - Inverted tale – from the end to the beginning
 

People of the “Occupy Wall Street" movement – who created the expression "we are 99%, you are 1%"- invited the Canadian-North-American writer Naomi Klein to speak to them, some weeks ago. Not surprisingly, her support was clear: "we have to see this beautiful moment as the most important thing in the world". Remembering the first major meeting of that kind she had participated, the "movement of movements" that blocked the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999, she said that her favorite poster, in the Occupy Wall Street camp, was the one saying "I care about you": "you feed on each other, you warm up each other, you share information freely and provide medical assistance, meditation classes and training in militancy”. For her, all those who were there, in the "horizontality" of an "open space", "meeting each other", following the “nonviolence" option, wanted a "a better world".

Reading her speech I was expecting – but I was frustrated - that she would refer also to the World Social Forum, of which second edition, in 2002, she had participated. In fact, the Forum Charter of Principles assumes, in the struggle to overcome neoliberalism and to build a globalization at the service of human beings and not of the capital, the same perspective of the "indignants" that are camping around the world: the Forum is defined as an "open space", in which the basic rule is the respect for diversity and the horizontality in its organization, adopting also the non-violence option for political action. As in the camps, it does not have "leaders" or "spokespersons", and in it there is no place for " struggles for power " nor for "final" statements intending to systematize, from top to bottom, positions that would be adopted by all. Its  characterization as an specific space for civil society resulted from the same findings of the “indignants” about the limits of the parties as the only way to participate in politics, as well as about the distance that today separates the different types of leaders – of governments, trade unions or parties – of the base of the society. In its events people try to build, in practice, a new political culture, founded on mutual learning and collective reflection, which stimulates cooperation and not competition among its participants, with decisions taken by consensus and not by vote that withdraw or exclude minorities. Making it possible to discover convergences that allow building, in the political fight, an union deeper than simple tactical alliances.

   
 
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