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Tipsheet

Capitalism Haters Hitting the Streets in June

You can call them occupiers, socialists, communists or as TIME magazine likes to say "the protestors," but the bottom line is, they aren't planning on going away anytime soon. There is now a global call for anti-capitalists everywhere to hit the streets in June. Should we place bets now on which countries will experience the most broken windows and burning cars?

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Thousands of critics of capitalism meeting in Brazil called Sunday for a worldwide protest in June to press for concrete steps to tackle the global economic crisis.

The World Social Forum wrapped up a five-day meeting in this southern Brazilian city, urging citizens to "take to the streets on June 5" for the global action, which would be in support of social and environmental justice.

The forum also announced a "peoples' summit" of social movements to be held in parallel with the high-level UN conference on sustainable development scheduled next June 20-22 in Rio.

The Rio+20 summit, the fourth major gathering on sustainable development since 1972, will press world leaders to commit themselves to creating a social and "green economy," with priority being given to eradicating hunger.

But World Social Forum participants, including representatives of the Arab Spring, Spain's "Indignant" movement, Occupy Wall Street, and students from Chile, sharply criticized the concept of "a green economy" that would allow multinational corporations to reap the profit.

"The political and economic elites are the one percent who control the world and we are the one percent seeking to change it. Where are the (other) 98 percent?" said Chico Whitaker, one of the Forum's founders.

"There are many who are happy because each time they get more consumer goods, but many are concerned and unsatisfied. The challenge for us is to speak with them."

"If we do not raise the issue of inequality, we won't solve the problems," said Venezuelan sociologist Edgardo Lander.

"If the system is not capable of redistributing and deal with inequality, we have to do it ourselves," agreed Sam Halvorsen, of the Occupy London movement.

The Forum is an alliance of social movements opposed to the World Economic Forum, the annual gathering of the world's economic and political elites held at the same time in the Swiss resort of Davos.

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