WSF-GEAN "Alternative Boston" Brazilian Benefit Party/Auction, January 17th
At the end of January, progressive forces from around the globe will gather in Belem, Brazil at the 8th World Social Forum. As usual it will be a point for reflection and platform for organizing on many fronts - from Gaza to the Amazon, from DC to Soweto, from the deserts of Rajasthan to the Bolivian highlands, from Athenian streets through Paris' "banlieues" to Oakland on the Pacific coast ... the Forum will embrace a diversity of oppositional forces.
Join members of the Boston Delegation as they discuss their plans for the Social Forum, celebrate MLK day, and support the Global Economic Alternatives Network in an evening of discussion, music, poetry and dancing. The event starts at 6:00 pm and runs late at encuentro 5 in Chinatown. Among the guests are Louise Dunlap, Mel King and historian James Green.
For directions to the event, please see: http://www.encuentro5.org/contact.htm
For more information about the Global Economic Alternatives Network
and its organizer, Pasqualino Colombaro, visit http://www.AltEcon.org
The full event announcement follows:
The Global Economic Alternatives Network (GEAN) and Massachusetts Global
Action (MGA) are cordially inviting you to a World Social Forum (WSF)
"Alternative Boston", Brazilian Benefit Auction/Party.
Date: Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Place: Encuentro5, 33 Harrison Avenue, 5th floor, Chinatown, Boston
6:00 -- Registration
6:30 -- WSF Presentation: Introduction, history,significance.
GEAN, MGA and other activities planned for the WSF.
7:30 -- MLK invocation on Freedom, Peace,Self-determination
and Self-management -- Poetry reading.
8:00 -- Brazilian live rhythms (spontaneous jamming of
volunteer musicians) and dancing.
9:00 -- Live Auction.
10:00 -- More live and taped Brazilian/Latin music/dancing.
Donations/Sign-in table at the door.
Please bring munchies/food and drink to share.
In keeping with the spirit of the Social/Solidarity Economy activities
that the GEAN is networking, organizing and promoting, the success of
this fund raising initiative depends on your active support and
participation. We need your help. Please make every effort to attend and
to publicize the event among your friends and networks.
Here is how you can help:
* By saving the 1/17/09 date into your calendar now and by attending the
* By inviting, publicizing, passing the good word around about the event
among your friends, colleagues, relatives and networks.
* By donating cash to the GEAN project through a secure, tax deductible,
Paypal contribution at this address:
* By sharing your preferred Brazilian tunes.
* By playing an instrument/jamming on Brazilian tunes/songs at the event.
* By teaching Brazilian dancing at the event
* By bringing refreshments and munchies on the 17th.
* By helping set up and clean up on the 17th.
* By thinking up and volunteering to donate/do something not included on
* By staying involved and help build and promote the GEAN in the future.
You can donate samples of your own or someone else's signed work: Books,
paintings, sculptures, pictures, posters, prints, music CD's, artifacts
as well as any superfluous Christmas gifts, items of some value just
crowding your shelves and basement, your own professional time, theme
dialog dates, dance classes, massages, home cooked dinners,
brilliant/practical everyday life ideas/tips, trips, gift certificates
to movies, restaurants, museums, concerts, etc.
Donated items will be auctioned off on the 17th or subsequently online
depending on time availability.
You can let us know of your donation in advance by e-mailing
firstname.lastname@example.org directly or online from our new website:
http://www.altecon.org/home/. Of course the more you have in your heart
to give/do, the better for the GEAN and our collective efforts toward
the WSF and our shared future.
Please let us know ASAP if you plan to make it on the 17th and/or how
you want to help bring about a unique, superb and unforgettable
Brazilian party/fund raising event, "Alternative Boston" style.
Address: 33 Harrison Ave, floor 5, Boston, MA 02111
E5 is convenient to the MBTA lines as well as to the intersection of the
93 and 90 interstate freeways.
Take exit 20B-A toward Purchase St/Surface Rd/Surface Artery S
Take exit 20A toward Purchase St/Surface Rd/Surface Artery S
Slight left at Purchase St/Surface Rd/Surface Artery S
Turn right at Summer St
Turn left at Kingston St
Turn right at Ave de Lafayette
Turn left at Harrison Ave Ext
Continue on Harrison Ave
After 7 PM there is free parking on nearby streets.
For $10 you can also park at the Boston Common Garage or the Beech
From the subway lines:
* Red Line: Downtown Crossing (Chauncy Street Exit)
1. Take Chauncy Street Exit
2. Go right on Chauncy - go 0.3 mi
3. Arrive at 33 Harrison Ave (on right hand side)
* Green Line: Boylston Street Stop (All Lines)
1. Head east from Boylston St - go 0.2 mi
2. Turn right at Harrison Ave - go 0.1 mi
* Silver & Orange Lines: Chinatown Stop
1. Head east from Essex St - go 0.1 mi
2. Turn right at Harrison Ave - go 0.1 mi
As you may know the work of pulling together the GEAN has been ongoing
for the past 9 months. You may remember the educational forums we held
at Encuentro 5 on alternatives relative to the Italian Labor/Political
situation, the US Labor situation, the gathering movement for
alternatives to globalization (http://encuentro5.org/home/) the seminar
on Building the Alternative Solidarity Economy at the ESF in Malmoe,
Sweden, the 2 network building trips through several European countries
in April and October. The upshots of this work can be viewed at
At the same time the GEAN was instrumental in pulling together the
Boston Economic Alternatives Network (BEAN), an initiative for mutual
help and support for individuals/organizations engaged in studying and
creating alternative economic activities in the Greater Boston area.
Now the GEAN is working on organizing three comparative seminars at
the World Social Forum which will take place in Belem, Brazil from
1/27 - 2/1/09. One on best alternative economic practices, one on
their relationship with still standing economic institutions (Unions,
government, corporations, finance) and a Plenary with reports from all
WSF activities on these issues at a time of multiple and convergent
global crises. You can join our OpenFSM team by going to
(http://openfsm.net/projects/altecon/summary) and you can become a
contact or member of the GEAN by going to (http://www.altecon.org/home/).
As you realize none of this happens by itself. This type of
organizing/networking requires time, effort and money. we are in fact
writing to request your active support to participate and pull
together the main WSF-GEAN fundraising event this year, to help defray
GEAN operating expenses and the cost of participation/travel to our WSF
events, for economic alternatives' experts/practitioners who can ill
afford the trip to Belem.
Preparations for the WSF are currently ongoing in Europe also thanks to
the efforts of the Labor and Globalization network and other
Social/Solidarity/Alternative economy networks concerned with the
current crises. The GEAN is establishing synergies with them. Below is
their initial draft statement.
Draft document of the European Cross Networking-WSF preparatory Meeting
on the Global Crisis to be held in Paris on 10 and 11 January, 2009.
The financial crisis now affects the «real economy». The United
States and most of the members of the European Union have entered into
recession, unemployment has increased and emerging countries have
started to be hit. Without a doubt, the poor countries in Africa, Asia
and Latin America will be violently affected and the most fragile, in
the North as well as in the South, might fall into extreme poverty of a
kind unbearable to human beings.
This crisis is not only the result of the cynical behaviour of a small
number of financial operators. The 'financialization' of the economy
finds its origin in a continual decrease of the share of the producted
wealth granted to wage earners: ten points in 25 years in the OECD
countries. The boom of financial profits gained by corporations and of
dividends payed to shareholders, while investments were slacking due to
lack of solvent demand, created the conditions for the financiarization
of the economy.
Deregulation of financial markets, complete freedom of capital
movements and the growth of the number of tax havens, are at the origin
of the crisis. With the absence of real public controls, banking
marketing practices bordering on hoaxes and the implementation of
financial techniques that target maximum profitability in the shortest
possible time, have hastened the current crisis.
The political liability for this state of affairs lies simultaneously
with financial institutions and the national governments which
encouraged the financiarization of their economies. This crisis is
getting connected with other crisis that were pre-existing. The social,
ecological and food crisis are now combining with the financial one to
mark the contours of a fully fledged systemic and global crisis.
Governments have gone about shoring up such breaches in the economy by
socializing the losses of private banks. Trillions of public dollars
have been poured into this attempt worldwide and without any major
political hurdle or condition. At the same time, the positions of the
very same governments are on record as holding that it was supposedly
impossible to fulfill the social needs of ordinary people because of
lack of public resources and while public development aid for southern
countries went drastically reduced.
Even worse, the current crisis doesn't protect from attacks against
social rights: the European Central Bank advocates a freeze on wages
and the General Council of Economic and Financial Affairs pushes for an
increased flexibility of labour and to hold on to the criteria of the
Stability Pact. The economic recovery plan developed by the EU, which
isn't more than the simple addition of the various national plans, will
unlikely address the gravity of the situation. The first meeting of the
G20 hasn't led to any concrete measure at the global scale, and those
countries' governements haven't showed any real willingness for a deep
shift toward a new economic course.
Economic and political choices must be opened to a real democratic
debate. Citizens must be able to exert their right to participate in the
decision making process at all levels. They must not be asked to pay for
a crisis that is not of their own making. It is now necessary to assert
measures which will end the domination of market-oriented finance on the
economy, and measures of social emergency, which will shield ordinary
people from the effects of this crisis. More to the point, we have to
build a new economy based on real distribution of the produced wealth,
centered on the fulfillment of social needs, the lasting reduction of
inequalities and a long-term response to the ecological imperatives.
In the very short term, it is crucial to hold out against official views
and political choices which keep on legitimating the deregulation and
financiarization of the economy. It is also urgent to engage, in Europe
and with our colleagues worldwide, in the joint work of formulating the
alternatives that we will assert vis-a-vis the EU and the G20 governments.
Large social mobilizations have already been initiated in a few
countries like Greece. The next G20 meeting will take place in London in
early April. We, the Europe-based organizations/networks gathered in
Paris, call for broad popular mobilizations around the world and
will carry these demands at the World Social Forum in Belem.
Links to several preparatory documents produced by different
European Attac Network: "The Time has come. Lets shut down the financial
BankTrack Network: On the role and responsibilities of the private banks
in the current crisis
CRBM: "short guide to understand the financial crisis"
Eurodad, CBRM, WEED, Bretton Woods Project: Addressing development´s
black hole: regulatinig capital flight.
SOMO/Myriam van der Stichele: "Strategic mapping of EU influence on
global financial regulation" (document enclosed)
Tax Justice Network website (www.taxjustice.net)