Ricardo Pilares III

Apr 22

Professor Walden Bello was one of my idols in college.  His works opened my mind to reality and I learned that things are not always what they appear to be.  We need people like him to open the minds of our policy-makers and to keep our government from crossing the line Atty. Ricardo Pilares III Second Placer, 2007 Bar...

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Man With A Plan: An interview with one of Asia’s leading critics of globalization

Apr 20

Francis Calpotura caught up with Walden Bello at his office at the University of the Philippines where he is a professor of sociology and public administration. How did you first become involved in the World Social Forum? We are one of the founding groups of the World Social Forum. When the first WSF idea was proposed in 2000, Focus on the Global South was asked to join the process, and we jumped on it. We felt the idea of bringing together a counter to Davos was very important. We had a very different view of where the world should be going. We were for liberation, they were for control. Some see the World Social Forum as part of a series of historical initiatives by countries from the Global South that puts forward an alternative to existing economic and political arrangements, much like the Non-Aligned Movement of the 1950s and liberation movements of the past 50 years. Is this an accurate description of WSF’s roots and inspiration? Yes, I think that the idea of having a site where people who represent a wide variety of movements that have been alienated by capitalist-driven globalization could meet and share ideas, affirm themselves, express solidarity and feel that they are part of a global movement. The solidarity aspect of the WSF is very important. The resistance aspect is important as well. At the WSF, you have movements who are concretely fighting the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO—the WSF becomes the site where the planning for the next moves in the campaign against the WTO, the IMF, and the U.S. war effort takes place. What inspiring alternatives are coming out of these discussions and what are the prospects of these taking root in the global arena? Finally, the alternatives—the thinking and the sharing of ideas—about how we structure economies and states differently at the local, national, and international levels blossom at the WSF. This exchange is critical in advancing our collective vision for a new global economic order. Ideally, there will be a meeting of the minds about a vision of what an alternative economic system looks like. But, of course, this rarely happens. Are there tensions between civil societies from the global...

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How to Support Walden and Akbayan Partylist?

Apr 20

The Philippine parliament needs more representatives from parties like Akbayan! and more people like Walden.  But given the other side’s tremendous advantage in terms of resources and their propensity for cheating and violence in the dirty world of Philippine politics, we need all the support we can get to introduce Walden and his party to the broader public.    Here’s how you can help us build our supporter network:   1)     Join sorties 2)     Join the AKBAYAN team 3)     Join/plan an event 4)     Help disseminate campaign materials 5)     Make a donation     Or if there are other ways by which you wish to help Akbayan's campaign, please let us know.   We can be reached at...

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Isagani Serrano

Apr 16

"If Congress were populated by the likes of Walden probably we would not be in deep shit as we are now."   Isagani Serrano Senior Vice President of...

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About Walden

Apr 15

Walden Bello, senior analyst of Focus on the Global South and professor of sociology at the University of the Philippines, is one of the leading critics of the current model of economic globalisation, combining the roles of intellectual and activist. As a human rights and peace campaigner, academic, environmentalist and journalist, and through a combination of courage as a dissident, with an extraordinary breadth of published output and personal charisma, he has made a major contribution to the international case against corporate-driven globalisation. Bello was born in Manila in the Philippines in 1945. He was studying in Princeton for a sociology Ph.D in 1972 when Ferdinand Marcos took power, and plunged into political activism, collecting his Ph.D, but not returning to the university for another 20 years. Over the next two decades, he became a key figure in the international movement to restore democracy in the Philippines, co-ordinating the Anti-Martial Law Coalition and establishing the Philippines Human Rights Lobby in Washington.   He was arrested repeatedly and finally jailed by the US authorities in 1978 for leading the non-violent takeover of the Philippine consulate in San Francisco. He was released three weeks later after a hunger strike to publicise human rights abuses in his home country. While campaigning on human rights he saw how the World Bank and IMF loans and grants were supporting the Marcos regime in power. To expose their role, he took the risk of breaking into the World Bank headquarters in Washington, and brought out 3,000 pages of confidential documents. These provided the material for his book Development Debacle: the World Bank in the Philippines (1982), which became an underground bestseller in the Philippines and contributed to expanding the citizen's movement that eventually deposed Marcos in 1986.   After the fall of Marcos, Bello joined the NGO Food First in the USA, and began to expand his coverage of the Bretton Woods institutions, in particular studying the 'newly industrialised countries' of Asia. His critique of the Asian economic 'miracle', Dragons in Distress, was written six years before the financial collapse that swept through the region. His recent work has been criticising the financial subjugation of developing countries and promoting alternative models of development that would make countries less dependent...

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