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World Social Forum in Nairobi
by t rose
Monday Jan 22nd, 2007 5:47 PM
The 7th Annual World Social Forum meets from January 20 thru January 27, 2007. This year's gathering will emphasize the exploitation of African nations.
Nairobi, Kenya, January 20, 2007 The 7th Annual World Social Forum opened Saturday in Nairobi with a march from Kibera, one of the largest ghettos in Nairobi to the Moi International Sports Center Kararani. Organizers estimate that more than 80,000 marchers participated in a show of solidarity of all African nations against globalization and colonization. More than 150,000 participants are expected to attend the Forum which lasts from Saturday through Friday, January 25th.

The World Social Forum(WSF) was first held in Porto Aligre, Brazil in 2001 as an alternative to the World Economic Forum. Activists, social movements, networks, coalitions and other progressive forces from Asia, Latin America, the Carribbean, North America, Europe and all corners of Africa have converged of Nairobi will participate in making presentations in the areas of science, social policy, the environment and human rights.

The 7th WSF will focus on Africa and its non-stop history of struggle against foreign domination, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Kenneth Kaunda, ex-President of Zambia opened the Forum by emphasizing that all the active forces of the world's societies must join forces "to struggle together against poverty".

The de-colonization of Western Sahara will be one of the topics presented to the Forum. A delegation from Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, waved flags representing the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic(SADR), the government currently in exile in Algerian refugee camps. Western Sahara was a Spanish colony until 1975 when Spain withdrew their occupation forces while simultaneously allowing Morocco to invade and become an occupation force with “administrative” control over Western Sahara. Morocco calls Western Sahara the “provinces” of Morocco despite international law and United Nations resolutions spanning over thirty years.

Since 1975, more than 100,000 Saharwi refugees have lived in camps in the desert of Algeria. They are currently faced with a severe shortage of food as they have many times in the past.