January 22, 2008

As President Arroyo flies to Davos,
Switzerland today to join 27 heads of states and thousands of
business leaders from all over the globe for the annual World
Economic Forum, Filipino activists, labor, farmers' and
environmental groups are, on the other hand, taking part in a
concerted global protest action across various parts of the world
from January 22 – 26, 2008.

Organized by the World Social Forum, an
umbrella and loose network of activists, social movements and
anti-globalization critics, the weeklong protest activities dubbed
"Global Week of Mobilization and Action" aims to project on the
global center- stage the various local, national and global
struggles, resistances and movements against the devastation and
alienation caused by "corporate-driven, neo-liberal globalization".
 The worldwide actions and activities will culminate on January
26, 2008, coinciding with the last day of the Davos meeting, during
which thousands of Filipino activists are set to rally and march
towards the presidential palace on Mendiola Bridge.

Carrying the theme "Another World is
Possible", the World Social Forum has been held annually since 2001
in various cities such as Porto Alegre, Brazil (2001-2003, 2005), in
Mumbai, India (2004), in Bamako (Africa), Karachi (Asia), and Caracas
(Americas) in 2006 and last year in Nairobi, Kenya as a counterpoint
to the World Economic Forum.

The Filipino organizers have chosen the
theme "Another Philippines is Possible; on with the struggle for
jobs and justice, land and freedom" that will serve as the rallying
call for a week packed with a series of mobilizations, forums,
seminars, as well as alternative film screenings and concert.  Most
of these events will be held under makeshift tents in a "People's
Camp" set in an urban poor community at Barangay Bagong Pagasa
(North Triangle), Quezon City on January 25.

"While the world's political and
corporate elites gather in the Alpine winter resort of Davos, we will
on the other hand converge and hold our activities in a depressed
urban poor community to demonstrate the contrast of interests and
agenda between the World Economic Forum and the World Social Forum,"
said U.P. professor and activist Walden Bello.

The organizers also chided President
Gloria Arroyo for flaunting the country's purported economic
performance, including a stronger peso and increasing GNP and GDP
growth rates. "Her single-focused monetarist policy for a strong
peso has been hurting local producer-exporters and overseas Filipino
workers who ironically contribute significantly to the country's
income.  Despite a stronger peso, Filipinos bear the brunt of
spiraling oil prices, increased taxes, and deteriorating government
This week's observance of global protest seeks to highlight
people's resistances and alternatives to the dominant neo-liberal
model of globalization.  "People around the globe are
challenging the current global economic system ruled by corporate
monopolies and finding alternatives to it.  There are examples
in Latin America, Africa as well as in Asia, which prove that we can
build another possible world from the disarray of the global economic
system. This is the only chance for people to regain our humanity and
freedoms," declared Lidy Nacpil of the global anti-debt campaign
Jubilee South.

Don Pangan (cp#09204016965)

Dj Janier (cp#09178016650)