Strong Friends of the Earth criticism of WSF in Porto Alegre

Tord Björk | Brazil,Friends of the Earth,WSF | Thursday, January 29th, 2009

On the way to MST anniversary I make a stop in Porto Alegre at a national meeting of Friends of the Earth Brazil who have their headquarter here. This has put some of the FoE Brasil organisers also in key positions in organising WSF when it takes place in Porto  Alegre.

This experience have made FoE Brasil critical towards WSF in the same way as MST and one key person outright oppositional and not even interested in going to Belem in spite of that he is one of the most internationally active in FoE Brasil.

Revisiting FoE Brasil after so many years was fun. The organisation still have a women as president of the old generation. FoE Brasil started 1964 as a womens organisation in Rio Grande do Sul and later developed into an environmental organisation. The president makes apoitn at the meeting that she trusts the young campaginers that does the job nowadays. Issues covers a wide range from Ecological cities to cooperation with MST against plantations. At the begininning there were some diffrent views fo the action taken by female MST activist. Media claimed that they used violence while it actually was civil disobedience including action against property but not violence used against people. As FoE Brasil have non-violence as a principle this caused some tensions. Later when the police arrested violently 800 female landless activists occupying land planned to be used by Stora Enso plantations on the 8 of March 2008 these tensions were replaced with solidarity and today the cooperation is good.

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