Thousands of social activists will gather at UMass/Boston July 23-25 for the Boston Social Forum. Combining a conference and a cultural festival, including nationally known figures such as Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, the BSF promises Boston a lively, progressive alternative to the Democratic National Convention.
Grassroots International (GRI)—a Boston-based human rights and alternative development organization—is using its global network of contacts to give bring an international perspective to the BSF.
“GRI has actively participated in the World Social Forum process since it began in Brazil in 2001, so we are excited about the opportunity to help bring this “festival of alternatives” to Boston,” says Kevin Murray, Executive Director of GRI. “Given how little discussion of real alternatives will occur at the upcoming DNC, this “un-convention” will offer us all a breath of fresh air.”
GRI’s international guests for the Forum include:
Ruba Eid is a Palestinian woman, a labor activist and member of the Democracy and Worker’s Rights Center in Ramallah. After being raised and educated in Canada, Ruba returned to Palestine in the midst of the current uprising to do her part to build a Palestinian society based on democracy and social justice. Available for interviews between July 22nd and July 26th.
Paul Altidor has worked as the Executive Coordinator of Tempo, a Haitian NGO based in Jeremie that provides training seminars to peasant organizations and supports water and sanitation projects. He has also worked with immigrants and migrant laborers here in the U.S. through the Service Employees International Union, and as a radio host both in Boston (WMBR) and in Haiti. Available for interviews until July 25th.
Paulo de Marck is a leader of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) in the state of Parana, Brazil. The MST is the largest social movement in Latin America. Paulo has played an important role in some of the movement’s most important activities, including a successful campaign against corporate giant Monsanto’s promotion of genetically modified soybeans in Brazil. Available for interviews until August 4th.