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Assessing BRICS-from-above and brics-from-below, 19 April

Speakers: Patrick Bond, Des D'Sa, Megan Lewis, China Ngubane and Bobby Peek
Date: Friday, 19 April 2013
Time: 12:30-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 601, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College

Topic: The 26-27 March summit of Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa leaders in Durban was interpreted rather pessimistically, following elite failure to launch the promised BRICS Bank or to establish a meaningful multilateral reform strategy. Big business was welcomed inside while civil society was shut out. Many of the multi-billion rand mega-projects announced at the time - such as Moscow's nuclear aid to Pretoria (in the wake of Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters) and Chinese loans for the South Durban port/petrochemical expansion and SA's dirty coal exports - are controversial and will be resisted. However, a different agenda emerged at the 'brics-from-below' civil society summit held at UKZN, the Settlers Primary School in Merebank, various other Durban communities which hosted Reality Tours, Diakonia church and the Speaker's Corner at the Convention Centre. Workshops covered diverse topics, such as pollution and climate, violence against women, land/water-grabs and food, extractivism and neoliberal economic policies, geopolitics and world financial crisis, watchdogging the BRICS Bank and linking of social movements. In coming months, the brics-from-below network will continue to generate alternatives in the five countries and their hinterlands. What analyses, strategies, tactics and alliances can we expect - and how do these relate to ordinary people's concerns?

Speakers: Bond directs the Centre for Civil Society where Ngubane coordinates the Dennis Brutus Community Scholars (he is also a University of South Africa politics student); D'Sa chairs the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance; Peek and Lewis are based at groundWork.

For the booklet BRICS in Africa, see,68,3,2892

 Other seminar programmes
 WISER Seminar Series 
 UKZN History Seminar Series 
 The Wolpe Trust 

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