News for Anarchists & Activists:
World Economic Forum Kicks Off in New York
Thu Jan 31, 8:52 AM ET
By Knut Engelmann
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top business, political and religious
leaders sweep into New York on Thursday for the World
Economic Forum's annual meeting, casting a vote of
confidence in a city still reeling from the Sept. 11 attacks
that leveled the World Trade Center.
The five-day gathering, held in a plush hotel just three
miles north of Ground Zero, is the first major meeting of
the world's movers and shakers since the attacks that
sparked a U.S.-led war against terrorism.
Thousands of police and other security forces are guarding
the event, turning parts of Manhattan into a virtual
fortress and causing havoc for ordinary New Yorkers still
trying to get their lives back to normal four months after
the attacks that killed some 3,000 people in New York and
Washington and deeply wounded the city's economy.
Inside the gilded halls of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 1,000
executives from some of the world's most powerful companies
will mingle with heads of state and finance ministers from
around the world to discuss the new challenges for global
capitalism -- and to strike some juicy corporate deals in
An array of religious and cultural leaders, as well as
representatives from some 120 nongovernmental organizations,
also will be on hand to discuss how the Sept. 11 events have
changed the fabric of global politics and society.
The meeting marks the first time that the World Economic
Forum has left Davos, an exclusive vacation spot for the
rich and powerful nestled in the Swiss Alps, in the three
decades since it was founded by German-born academic Klaus
Schwab has portrayed the decision to move the Forum to New
York as a gesture of solidarity with the city. The WEF is
due to move back to Switzerland in 2003, but its venue
thereafter is still up in the air.
As in years past, anti-globalization protesters have vowed
to protest outside the meeting against what they see as
another attempt by the world's elite to decide the fate of
the global economy behind locked doors.
Police, eager to prevent violent street clashes of the kind
that have marred other international meetings in recent
years, have cordoned off several city blocks, wrapping a
tight layer of security around the luxury hotel in midtown
But anti-globalization groups planning demonstrations at the
Forum have accused the police of exaggerating possible
violence by anarchists and others who view the event as
nothing more than a big cocktail party for the elite.
Inside the security perimeter, the talk will be about how
the world of politics and business has changed since Sept.
11, all under the theme of "Leadership in Fragile Times."
Signaling the usually grandiose ambitions of the WEF, the
meeting kicks off on Thursday with sessions on the state of
the world economy, a discussion about global security and a
debate about how to close the gap between rich and poor.
Thursday will also see the first protest rally against the
event, a demonstration outside the Fifth Avenue flagship
store of apparel chain Gap Inc., which the organizers accuse
of using sweatshop labor at some of its production
Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
News for Anarchists & Activists:
"It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
*anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
-- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
_Detective Comics_ #608