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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What’s happening post-U.S. Social Forum Detroit?


 Another World is Possible
Another U.S. is Necessary
Excerpting, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

Social Forum is not a conference but a space to craft peoples’ solutions to economic and ecological crises ─ a movement-building process.

We must declare what we want our world to look like and start planning the path to get there.

USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sect, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms the United States and changes history.


Update: “A Third U.S. Social Forum?”

Since the U.S. Social Forum Detroit ─ Many attending the Detroit USSF have wondered when the next U.S. Social Forum would take place and Forum organizers are now working on how best to move forward from the successful Detroit experience.

National Planning Committee 

The Social Forum process is a tool for movement-building and National Planning Committee groups are in discussions focused on how best to use this tool. The committee has been considering whether another USSF should be planned and what such a gathering should look like.

People’s Movement Assembly

The People’s Movement Assembly process ─ requiring slow and steady building where grassroots forces are consolidating toward justice, decolonization, and liberation ─ continues to develop around the goal of growing social movements as catalysts for change and building convergence between and among movements.

Multiple groups since the second U.S. Social Forum in 2010 have used the organizing process of the Peoples Movement Assemblies. The PMA process in 2011 and 2012 has directly engaged more than 3,000 people and advanced collaborative organizing efforts on many fronts.
 
PMAs in the South including Youth Assemblies
Preemptive Prosecution PMA and regional assemblies
Formerly Incarcerated PMA (February 2011)
Detroit’s Assemblies (in fall 2010 and early 2011)
PMA Southwest Organizing Tour (2011)
Assembly to End Poverty
National Student Bill of Rights gatherings
Organizing and documentation tour (Fall 2011‘From Wall Street to the South’)
Queer Liberation PMA (January 2012)


USSF to World Social Forum

The U.S. Social Forum continues important connections with the World Social Forum process. National Planning Committee (NPC) members, the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign have been delegates to the International Council and have helped as liaisons between the USSF National Planning Committee and the international groups involved in the World Social Forum.
 
The March 2013 meeting will be a space for U.S. groups to come together to develop statements and positions that will be brought to the 2013 World Social Forum in Tunis, Tunisia (March 23-28). A number of USSF participants also took part in the last WSF through the Detroit to Dakar delegation.


WSF Free Palestine, November-December Brazil gathering

This historic meeting of activist groups from around the world, highly relevant to U.S. movement work, addresses Palestinian needs and concerns which have long been marginalized in inter-state politics. U.S. groups such as the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement are helping show connections between issues such as mass incarceration and racism in U.S. institutions and the militarism and racism seen in policies of states related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

A number of USSF groups are deeply involved as delegates from the U.S. and Canada to the World Social Forum Free Palestine gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on November 28-December 2, 2012.


 U.S. Social Forums going forward

National Planning Committee groups are preparing for another face-to-face meeting to assess the work that has been done to build on the two (Atlanta, Georgia/Detroit, Michigan) U.S. Social Forums.  Issues and reflections to be considered are:

How the work of the U.S. Social Forum relates to current crises threatening people’s livelihoods and the planet

New sources of hope in new actors and movement uprisings around the world

Lessons learned from the USSF process and how to maintain the good work that contributes to movement-building while, at the same time, expanding capacity for reaching more people and supporting more of the important struggles happening in grassroots communities around the United States.


ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE – ANOTHER U.S. IS NECESSARY - U.S. SOCIAL FORUM

The U.S. Social Forum (USSF) is not a conference but a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to economic and ecological crises ─ a movement-building process.

The USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sect, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms the United States and changes history.

We must declare what we want our world to look like and start planning the path to get there.

The USSF provides spaces to learn from each others’ experiences and struggles, to share our analysis of the problems faced by our communities, to build relationships, and to align with our international brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.

 
Organizers of the first United States Social Forum Believe ─

[Domestic reach]

There is a strategic need to unite the struggles of oppressed communities and peoples within the United States (particularly Black, Latino, Asian/ Pacific-Islander and Indigenous communities) to the struggles of oppressed nations of the Third World.

The U.S. Social Forum should place the highest priority on groups that are actually doing grassroots organizing with working class people of color, who are training organizers, building long-term structures of resistance, and who can work well with other groups, seeing their participation in USSF as building the whole ─ not just their part of it.

The U.S. Social Forum must be a place where the voices of those most marginalized and oppressed from Indigenous communities can be heard ─ a place that will recognize Indigenous peoples, their issues and struggles.

The U.S. Social Forum must create space for the full and equal participation of undocumented migrants and their communities.

[International domestic reach]

The U.S. Social Forum should link U.S.-based youth organizers, activists, and cultural workers to the struggles of their brothers and sisters abroad ─ drawing common connections and exploring the deeper meanings of solidarity.

The U.S. Social Forum is important because we must have a clear and unified approach to dealing with social justice issues, and meaningful positions on global issues.

The U.S. Social Forum sends a message to other people’s movements around the world that there is an active movement in the United States opposing U.S. policies at home and abroad.

The U.S. Social Forum will help build national networks that will be better able to collaborate with international networks and movements.

The U.S. Social Forum is more than an event. It is an ongoing process to contribute to strengthening the entire movement, bringing together the various sectors and issues that work for global justice.


Sources and notes

“A Third U.S. Social Forum? What’s been happening since the Detroit USSF,” Updates posted November 13, 2012, http://www.ussf2010.org/node/425

Press Inquiries contact: Adele Nieves, adele@ussf2010.org

NATIONAL WORKING GROUPS

Communications-Media: Reginald (Reg) McGhee reggmc@me.com
Karlos Gauna-Schmieder karlos@centerformediajustice.org

Gender Justice: Jacqui Patterson jpatters1@yahoo.com
Susannah Bartlow
Indigenous People’s
Tom Goldtooth ien@igc.org

Ozawa Bineshi Albert balbert@communitychange.org
Language Access: Maria Poblet maria@comitedevivienda.org
Josue Guillen josue@mayfirst.org
Logistics: Maureen Taylor chuteh7@hotmail.com
Outreach: Tammy Bang Luu tammy@thestrategycenter.org
Ahmina Maxey ahmina@emeac.org
People's Movement Assembly: Stephanie Guilloud stephanie2@projectsouth.org
Ruben Solis grulla@swunion.org

Poverty: Mary Bricker-Jenkins mbricker@temple.edu
Marian Kramer bakerm0060@sbcglobal.net
Program and Culture: Oya Amakisi amakisi@gmail.com
Walda Katz-Fishman wkatzfishman@igc.org
Resource Mobilization: Michael Leon Guerrero michael@ggjalliance.org
Genaro Lopez-Rendon genaro@swunion.org
Priscilla Hung priscilla@grassrootsfundraising.org
Technology: Alfredo Lopez alfredo@mayfirst.org
Youth: Corina McCarthy-Fadel youthussf@gmail.com

USSF STAFF: Detroit Co-Coordinators
William Copeland william@ussf2010.org
Maureen Taylor chuteh7@hotmail.com
National Co-Coordinators: Adrienne Maree Brown adrienne@ussf2010.org
Sylvia Orduño sylvia@ussf2010.org
Bookkeeper-Accountant: Victor Arbulu victor@ussf2010.org
Communications Coordinator
Adele Nieves adele@ussf2010.org
Development Coordinator: Sha Grogan-Brown sha@ussf2010.org
Field Organizers: B. Loewe bloewe@onpointconsortium.org
Akudo Njelonu akudo.ussf2010@gmail.com
Language Access Coordinator: Roberto Tijerina roberto@ussf2010.org
Native Outreach Organizer: Heather Milton-Lightening
Technology Coordinators: (National) Mallory Knodel mallory@ussf2010.org
(Detroit) Tdka Kilimanjaro
Youth Coordinator: Jardyn Lake youthussf@gmail.com

DETROIT LOCAL COMMITTEES:
Communications: Adele Nieves, adele@ussf2010.org
Reginald (Reg) McGhee reggmc@me.com
Faith and Spirituality: Bill Wylie-Kellerman bill@scupe.com
Rev. Charles E. Williams II Cwilliams@im4justice.com 313.303.8002
Disability Justice: Quintin Williams, williams_q50@yahoo.com
Logistics: Tapeka Dixon tapeka1972@yahoo.com
Outreach: Andre Martin, dbundu76@yahoo.com
Program and Culture: Oya Amakisi, amakisi@gmail.com
Senior Citizens: Marian Kramer, bakerm0060@sbcglobal.net
Technology: Lou Novak, lmn@lppals.com
http://www.ussf2010.org/contact


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Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy

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