Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Indigenous Activists at WSF

"We don't see the things as they are; we see them as we are"
-- Anäis Nin

Indigenous people march during the first day of the 2009 World Social Forum near the mouth of the Amazon River in the city of Belem, 1/27/09. The 2009 World Social Forum made up of anti-capitalist groups ran from 1/26 to 1/30 (daylife.org).

The original shamans (rooted in the Buddhist word shraman, "recluse" or homeless wanderer) were intent on spiritual insight, asceticism (fasting, meditation, sense-withdrawal), and emancipation. The spirit of these human yearnings to radically evolve live on throughout the New World.

Many Amazonian tribes (particularly in the rainforests of Brazil) as well as Scandinavian (Sami) and Siberian people, although marginalized and nearly annihilated, retain a deep connection with earth ecosystems and transcendental dimensions beyond this plane.

Zen Buddhist nun marching in solidarity with indigenous participants at the World Social Forum (tatianacardeal).

For example, some of the shamanism in Siberia is due in part to the Buddhism there (as the Tibetan influence expanded beyond the Mongolian Empire). Buddhism has existed in Russia since the 16th century.

A Proutist Indian Saddhu (www.proust.org) at the World Social Forum

The Silk Route opened up the treasures of Asia -- particularly Buddhist India and China -- to the ancient Western world. And that message has gone around the world and back, coming to a head this year at the 2009 World Social Forum, which ended Sunday.

Forum ends in Amazon; capitalism seen dying
Stuart Grudgings (1/1/09)

BELEM, Brazil (Reuters) -- The world's biggest gathering of leftist activists ended on Sunday, after six days of discussions and protests that participants said showed there was an alternative to a crumbling global capitalist system.

The World Social Forum brought about 100,000 activists to the Brazilian Amazon city of Belem ranging from communists railing against U.S. "imperialism" to environmentalists and more moderate socialists.

More than 200,000 people marching at the World Social Forum

Timed to coincide with the Davos meeting of business leaders in Switzerland, this year's Forum attracted a record number of government leaders keen to burnish their leftist credentials in the wake of the global financial crisis.

"People see capitalism as not being able to maintain itself and there's a hope that it can't too," said Shannon Bell, a politics professor at Toronto's York University who attended meetings on "eco-socialism" at the Forum. More>>

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