Thousands of people took to the streets of Salvador, Brazil in the name of democracy as the 13th edition of the World Social Forum on Tuesday. They marched to the slogan: “To resist is to create. To resist is to transform!” and other mottos representing the diverse groups united for the public demonstration.
Ligia Barreto, a State University of Bahia professor who attended the march, said: “We are here because we believe in our country, so we won't stop going to the streets.” A member of the Countryside Education Forum, she stressed that “We must go to the streets to demand our rights, a better society, equality because education is everybody's right.”
The march began at 3:00 p.m. local time at Dois de Julho Square in the Campo Grande neighborhood and proceeded to Castro Alvez Square.
Rosa Marques, a member of the Black Women's Network of Pernambuco, underscored the importance of participating in the international event. “For us, Black women, it's important to make our presence known in the face of an extremely racist structure, otherwise, this country. The Forum is a space where the vast majority, which (this country) calls a minority... unites with likeminded people to show to the world that inequalities exist and we must organize to overcome them.”
This year's World Social Forum will debate and define new alternatives and strategies to confront neoliberalism, anti-democratic coups and genocides, according to Revista Forum. The conference began on Tuesday, March 13 and runs until Saturday, March 17.
Most of the 1,300 debates will take place at the Federal University of Bahia (Ondina Campus). Other events will take place at Abaete Park in Itapua and Sao Bartolomeu Park at the Suburb Railway. According to organizers, the event will attract 60,000 people from 120 countries. Former South American presidents Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Jose Mujica, are also expected to participate in the event.