Monday, 2 February 2009

Our friends in the South

The latest issue of Red Pepper is just out and carries my article about social movements in the global South ('Our friends in the South', Red Pepper Feb/Mar 09). It was written partly to accompany an event which is happening in London on 28 February, 6 Billion Ways. The event is a kind of Social Forum lite, with speakers including Social Forum stalwarts like Trevor Ngwane (from South Africa's Anti-privatisation Forum) and Susan George. There's a huge range of discussions and workshops for a single day event, especially one which is free. Its organised by some of the more radical and social movement-orientated UK NGOs, and you can register for it here.

The article meanwhile surveys just a few of the coalitions of social movements in non-rich world in order to make a tentative argument that social movements have a better critique of the global system than many of the charities that are our primary connections to the 'developing world'. They also have better solutions too, like food sovereignty. In dealing with the fallout from the financial crisis as activists, we need better connections with such social movements.

The article is not available online yet, and its a bit long to post here. Besides, I should probably encourage people to buy Red Pepper, which also has some other interesting stuff, including analysis of the youth revolt in Greece and some very quickly turned around coverage of Palestine issues after the assault on Gaza. There's also an excellent piece by Sue Branford about the Landless Workers' Movement in Brazil as an accompanying article to mine.

If anyone gets round to reading it, I'd welcome comments on it here.

UPDATE: My article has now been put up online: Our friends in the South

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