Focus on the Global South

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Linked with A World Without the WTO.

About: Focus on the Global South (Focus) is a non-governmental organisation with twenty staff working in Thailand, the Philippines and India. Focus was established in Bangkok in 1995 and is affiliated with the Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute. (full text).

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Spin and rumors at the G8: The big spin machine could be set in motion. Suddenly (the source turned out to be the German press agency DPA) a horribly mistranslated quote by one of the speakers on stage at the closing manifestation appeared in the media.

Walden Bello, a well-known representative of the critical Southern globalization vision, had words put into his mouth claiming he had called for violent resistance (see Indymedia), to “bring the war into the demonstration because with peaceful means we will accomplish nothing”. This suggested that Bello (and with him the entire organization of the march) was calling for violent resistance. In reality Bello had called attention to the war in Iraq and argued for the protest to include this because “without peace there can be no justice”. Hundreds of media repeated the DPA-version. Media activists immediately got to work publicising this scandal and spreading the true content of Bello’s speech, which lead to an apology by Der Spiegel, but the damage had already been done. (full text).

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