After months of lying low, defenders of civil liberties, opponents of the war in Afghanistan, and anti-corporate-globalization activists are determined to come out and be heard by some of the WEF’s most influential business leaders. Here’s how you can join the demonstrations.
Columbia University will host a national student mobilization and counter-summit with workshops about legal and medical training for those new to street protests, WEF history, and the corporate agenda behind globalization. Confirmed speakers include activist Starhawk and Canadian anarchist Jaggi Singh. Registration required. January 31 through February 3, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Barnard College, Women’s Center, 117th Street and Broadway, www.studentsforglobaljustice.org.
THE PUBLIC EYE ON DAVOS
Friends of the Earth U.S. (www.foe.org) and the Berne Declaration (www.evb.ch) are coordinating this international coalition of watchdog organizations, which will monitor the WEF. Speakers (who include Yassine Fall of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, John Passacantando, director of Greenpeace U.S.; Bill Hartung, senior fellow of the World Policy Institute; and Adotei Akwei of Amnesty International) will offer their vision of a more humane and environmentally friendly planet. January 31 through February 3, second-floor auditorium, United Nations Church Center, 777 UN Plaza, 44th Street and First Avenue, 212-539-6747, www.publiceyeondavos.ch and www.davos2001.ch
WORKING FAMILIES ECONOMIC FORUM
Join AFL-CIO’s president, John Sweeney, to look at how globalization and the search for cheap labor affects families. A panel of workers from around the world will discuss their experiences in the global economy. Limited seating. Call for reservations. January 31, 2:30 p.m., New York Central Labor Council, 55 East 59th Street, 212-604-9552, extension 220.
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE
Infuenced by the spirit of community and volunteerism seen directly after 9-11, this broad band of New York leftists wants to present a vision of a world in which crippling debt is canceled, the Bush administration stops fueling terrorism with its war machine, and civil rights and immigrant rights are protected. AWIP will host a rally with performers and speakers and then march to the Waldorf, meeting at the southeast corner of Central Park. February 2, noon, 59th Street and 5th Avenue, www.anotherworldispossible.com.
RECLAIM THE STREETS
Last year the Esperanza Gardens were closed; then, after a long battle, the community center CHARAS/El Bohio was evicted. In protest of the continuing loss of public space, RTS/ NYC is calling for a street carnival, a satire of WEF cocktail-party-going called “Profits Before People! Rebuild NY for Big Business!” Expect “Billionaires for Bloomie,” clowns, samba drums, and tango. February 2, 11:30 a.m., Columbus Circle, www.rtsnyc.org.
This collective of anti-authoritarians, who formed after Quebec’s “Carnival Against Capitalism” at last year’s Free Trade Area of the Americas meetings, say they’re seeking “a joyous, creative resistance to the WEF’s stifling gray culture of corporate conformity.” In place of “capitalist boredom,” they plan to create colorful street charades and engage in civil disobedience. After joining the AWIP march on Saturday, ACCers will partake in spontaneous direct actions throughout the weekend. www.accnyc.org.
The International Action Center formed International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism to protest the bombing of Afghanistan. Now their focus is on declaring a war on poverty, unemployment, and racism. They are holding a permitted demonstration in shouting distance of the Waldorf-Astoria. Gather at nine to welcome the delegates. Rally at 11 with speakers including IAC co-founder Ramsey Clark. February 2, 9 a.m., 50th Street and Park Avenue, www.internationalANSWER.org.
Public Citizen, one of the non-governmental organizations that helped win the battle of Seattle, is gathering environmental and human rights organizations, consumer activists, labor unions, and religious groups in the fight against corporate globalization. They’re planning workshops, town hall meetings, and a public debate between WEF attendees and their opponents. Debate: February 4, 7 p.m. Check www.tradewatch.org for location.
“Law of the Fist: New York Cops Vow to Crush Violent Protest at World Economic Forum” by Richard Esposito