Thursday, June 22, 2006

Article in this week's North Bay Bohemian

Dani, Champion of the World
Forum-mania overtakes local mother!

Saturday, June 24, at the New College, 99 Sixth St., Santa Rosa. 4pm to 8pm. $20, sliding scale.

Since 2001, the World Social Forum (WSF) has met annually in January, right around the time that the World Economic Forum (WEF) rolls into Davos, Switzerland. What's the difference between the two forums? It depends whom you ask, but here's a start: Angelina Jolie and Bono made the pages of People magazine for appearing in Davos last year. The WSF, on the other hand, brings in speakers less accustomed to the paparazzi's flashbulbs, like Noam Chomsky.

While the WEF has invited Amnesty International, Oxfam and other high-profile do-gooders to discuss global economic and social dilemmas with big-time politicians and executives, the meeting has come under fire for prioritizing profit margins rather than human problems, and for being Western-centric. Citing that "another world is possible," the WSF emerged to come up with alternatives to neoliberalism. It, too, has come under fire: the right criticizes it for being too left-leaning, and many on the left accuse it for being all deliberation and no decision.

Regardless of these issues, Santa Rosa activist and founding member of the Mama Collective, Dani Burlison-Craft, is holding a fundraiser to attend this January's WSF in Nairobi with her two daughters. Her press materials state charmingly, if satirically, "One girl can save the world. Um, with a little help, please?"

Why should we help fund someone else's vacation to Kenya? "It seems to me that as Americans are huge contributors to international and national issues around war, poverty, consumption of resources and the growing gap between the economic conditions in the global south and western society, that Americans should be at the forefront of the growing global sustainability movement," says Burlison-Craft.

Fair enough, especially since the party, sponsored by the Sonoma County Peace and Justice Center, should be a hoot, with music by the Spindles and singer-songwriter John Courage as well as belly dancing, a political puppet show, face painting, a silent auction, vegetarian food and drinks.

If only another world really were possible (sigh). Attend the Dani Saves the World fundraiser on Saturday, June 24, at the New College. (Brett Ascarelli)

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