Guaranteed to cause a massive traffic of Singaporeans down to Batam, the organisers of the International People’s Forum are expecting an attendance of 600 to 900 both locally (Indonesians) and internationally. The forum begins on September 15th to the 17th with a variety of seminars and discussion groups from organisations worldwide. The first day has been reserved for Indonesian non-governmental organisations to air their views. On the 18th, a rally takes place to express protest. In a larger perspective, the forum aims to be a convergence of activities and actions to articulate critiques and assert alternatives to role, policies and operations of global institutions.

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Some of the international organisations convening for the forum are Greenpeace and the African Forum on Debt and Development. Representing issues on migration are the Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) and from poverty-stricken developing nations in South Asia is the South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE).

The concerns raised in the morning seminars touches on the roles, policies and/or operations of the IMF and World Bank. The forum also takes on a lighter note to include cultural activities like film screenings and concerts to signify the arts as one way to protest as well.

The main site of the IPF is Batam, Indonesia which is a 40 minute ferry ride from Singapore. For one to attend this forum and need more details, the organisers do not have the ease of a website for you to do so. Instead, interested readers should drop an email to IPFregister@gmail.com to request for more information.

There is a registration for individuals to take part in the seminars and activities but the deadline is 30th August. However, you may still wish to try your luck. The venue of all IPF related events takes place at Asrama Hajji Centre, JL Engku Putri Batam Centre. A fax number you can reach to is 62-0778 466873.

As much as we would look forward to creating havoc and cause violence at the outdoor protests, it is equally cool to be informed of the concerns raised about practices of the IMF and World Bank. Singaporeans who have heard of the first ever indoor protest in Suntec City, may want to have a taste at an experience we’re all alien too.