Jan Rehmann - Atlanta Day 1

It was encouraging for me to hear the stories of the Radio Free Georgia folks who succeeded in renting a large old school building for $1 a year for 12 years and then to purchase it at an affordable price. They were able to transform this building into a vibrant community center. What fascinated me the most was the organic connection between local rootedness and global perspectives: they consider themselves as local organizers of the World Social Forum trying to make sure that the poor people themselves become a leading factor in the movement (instead of professional NGOs).

It was a funny experience for me to be unexpectedly pushed as well as drawn into a radio interview together with Hannah Hofheinz. After some hesitations, a lively discussion unfolded as if there were no microphones standing around.

When we left for visiting the shelters, Liz Theoharis and Willi Baptist gave as an ad hoc presentation about the unholy alliance between the shelter system and the day labor system that became a crucial factor during and after the Olympics: when the shelters close early in the morning and everyone has to get out, the vans are already waiting to take the laborers to the pooling places, racially segregated.

Jan Rehmann

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