What to do when the world’s “most influential” gather in your town

“We need to unite and stop these people from denying us our rights...to tell the leaders that they cannot take decisions about us without consulting us. At the moment, all the big projects are benefiting the few." Desmond D'sa

 

Video: http://bit.ly/2pCPZud

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an internationally recognized Swiss organization that convenes businessmen and government each year. Many announcements and partnerships are made, and the global media covers it all. According to their mission statement, WEF is “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.”

Thousand Currents partner, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), in collaboration with other grassroots NGOs, activists and community members, organized the People’s Economic Forum to protest the political and economic “elitism” of the WEF.

The WEF often sets economic trends, steering world economies, budgets, and investments that impact the Global South in a variety of ways. One critical element often missing from this space: the people that experience these impacts the most on a daily basis.

With their allies, SDCEA organized Durbanites to raise their voices to demand accountability from world leaders in attendance and to fight against state capture, defined as “systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state’s decision-making processes to their own advantage.” They called for more people with wider interests to be at the table and more equitable policies that truly work for the people of South Africa and the material poor all across the African continent.

News coverage of the People’s Economic Forum is below.

Click on photos and red quotes for more.

Video and more info: http://bit.ly/2quuJul

 

We want the people’s economy that talks about protecting the land, giving the land back, protecting the food and giving them water.” Desmond D’sa

 

Desmond D’sa , Thousand Currents partner and South Durban Community Alliance (SDCEA) member, at the forefront of People’s Economic Forum march. Photo: http://bit.ly/2poBiPk

 

Africa is poor because its people are not consulted. Big business [is] benefiting and profiting because our leaders are colluding with them.” Ben Thomas, Ugandan activist

 

The People’s Economic Forum supporters and activists chant and dance as they march through the streets of Durban against corruption and for more inclusive economic policies on the opening day of the World Economic Forum on Africa on May 3, 2017.  AFP PHOTO / ANESH DEBIKY

 

Desmond D’sa speaking with news outlet, SABC, about centering the needs of the material poor. Video: http://bit.ly/2qY6OUm

 

We want the people’s economy that talks about protecting the land, giving the land back, protecting the food and giving them water.” Desmond D’sa

 

Video: http://bit.ly/2pBWGfr

 

The radical transformation is talk about mining, … it’s about relocated people from the land, it’s about destroying our culture and our brains… we want radical transformation within small economy, small people which means no oil, no mining. I mean looking after the land and giving to the people.” Desmond D’Sa

 

Photo: http://bit.ly/2r4cOXY

 

More press coverage from Durban:

WEF “a fraud”: The People’s Economic Forum

#WEFAfrica17: ‘Delegates not welcome’

Protest amid talks at WEF Africa

The People’s Economic Forum has handed over a memorandum to the organisers of the World Economic Forum on Africa

WEF-Africa: a gathering of tyrants, corruption-riddled state firms and banksters

Read more about Thousand Currents’ Grassroots Climate Solution Fund that supports SDCEA’s work.

By Veronica Moreno

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