by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:
This year the World Social Forum is being held in Montreal, regrouping committed social activists, anti-war collectives and prominent intellectuals.
Most of the participants are unaware that the WSF is funded by corporate foundations including Ford, Rockefeller, Tides, et al. Much of this funding is channelled to the WSF organizers under the helm of the WSF International Council.
This is an issue which has been raised on numerous occasions with progressive organizations and WSF activists: you cannot effectively confront neoliberalism and the New World Order elites and expect them to finance your activities.
The World Social Forum operating under the banner of “Another World is Possible” was founded in 2001 at its inaugural venue of Porto Alegre. Brazil.
From the outset in 2001, the WSF has been upheld as an international umbrella representing grassroots people’s organizations, committed to reversing the tide of globalization. Its stated intent is to challenge corporate capitalism and its dominant neoliberal economic agenda.
The World Social Forum at its inaugural meeting defined itself as a counter-offensive to the World Economic Forum (WEF) of business leaders and politicians which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland. The 2001 Porto Alegre WSF was held simultaneously with that of the WEF in Davos.
While there have been many important accomplishments of the WSF, largely as a result of the commitment of grassroots activists, the core leadership of WSF –rather than effectively confronting the New World Order elites– has (often unwittingly) have served their corporate interests. In this process, co-optation has been achieved through the corporate funding of the WSF.
Among the two major accomplishments are the participation of the WSF in the February 2003 Worldwide protest against the US led war on Iraq. The WSF has also supported progressive movements and governments, particularly in Latin America.
In contrast, at the Tunis 2013 WSF, the final declaration paid lip service to to the US sponsored “Syrian opposition”. Similarly the Al Qaeda affiliated Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which allegedly led the “Arab Spring” against the government of Muammar Gaddafi was tacitly upheld as a revolutionary force. Several workshops on Libya applauded Western military intervention. A session entitled “Libya’s transition to democracy” focused on “whether Libya was better off without Muammar Gaddafi.”
From the outset in 2001, the World Social Forum was funded by governments and corporate foundations, including the Ford Foundation which has ties to US intelligence.
The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Ford, Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Wall Street and Big Oil), etc. with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.
The mechanisms of “manufacturing dissent” require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle co-optation of a small number of key individuals within “progressive organizations”, including anti-war coalitions, environmentalists and the anti-globalization movement. Many leaders of these organizations have in a sense betrayed their grassroots.
The corporations are funding dissent with a view to controlling dissent.
The Ford Foundation (which has links to the CIA) provided funding under its “Strengthening Global Civil Society” program during the first three years of the WSF.
When the WSF was held in Mumbai in 2004, the Indian WSF host committee declined support from the Ford Foundation. This in itself did not modify the WSF’s relationship to the donors. While the Ford Foundation formally withdrew, other foundations positioned themselves.
The WSF (among several sources of funding is supported by a consortium of corporate foundations under the advisory umbrella of Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE).
This organization, which previously went under the name of The Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (FTNG), has played a central role in the funding of successive WSF venues. From the outset in 2001, it had an observer status on the WSF International Council.
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