Jumpstart Ford organizer Mike Hudema has just returned from Caracas, Veneuzuela where he attended the World Social Forum. We’re re-posting his diary here for your reading pleasure.
Last week I traveled to Caracus, Venezuela for the World Social Forum (WSF).
The WSF “is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action.” In layman’s terms the WSF is a place to begin thinking and implementing strategies to build another world.
Part of that ‘other world’ is one that is free from fossil fuels. Free from a dependence on oil that is causing increased asthma rates, destroying our environment, putting people out of work, endangering our national security and warming our planet.
At WSF I met with indigenous groups from around the world and heard first-hand their stories of the crippling and destructive effects of oil. In the coming weeks we are going to be profiling some of their stories so you can hear what the true cost of our addiction.
On the lighter side, I wanted to share with you all that there truly is a passion and desire coming from every sector of the globe for change. A desire to build sustainable communities and transportation systems and a desire to get out of our oil society and to build one that is based on a mutual respect for people and the planet. Just one small glimpse of that world appeared in a group of Columbians that biked for 11 days over the mountains to come to Caracas. Once there they joined with the Caracas metropolitan police department to hold a critical mass (a group bike ride of hundreds of cyclists down the middle of the streets) in one of the most car laden cities in the world.
I’ve seen the beginnings of a new world of ideas here in Caracas. We’re looking for your ideas as well. Know how to get the U.S. off oil? Toss ‘em our way: firstname.lastname@example.org.