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latest news > news in brief > Tens of thousands march in Senegal to launch World Social Forum

Deutsche Welle

Tens of thousands march in Senegal to launch World Social Forum

8 February 2011

The anti-capitalist alternative to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the World Social Forum, has kicked off in Senegal with tens of thousands marching in the capital Dakar.

Participants in the 11th World Social Forum started the six-day event Sunday with a march in the Senegalese capital Dakar, demanding democracy and better living conditions.

Focusing on the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Bolivian President Evo Morales spoke of a crisis of capitalism in a 35-minute speech, saying that capitalism was "dying in the face of a people’s rebellion."

Although not everybody agreed with Morales’ political message, most participants were united in calling for an end to authoritarian regimes.

Morales is one of the key speakers at the forum

"I am among those who demand the departure of [Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak, so that the blood in the peaceful protests of recent days was not spilled in vain," Asma El Batraoui Han, an Egyptian translator, told the AFP news agency.

"Pressure from the streets is what gets results," trade unionist Mohammed Kabba told AFP.

The annual World Social Forum was founded in 2001 as an alternative to the business-oriented World Economic Forum, which is held annually in the Swiss ski resort Davos.

The forum defines itself as a platform for those "opposed to neoliberalism and a world dominated by capital or any form of imperialism."


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