Noted filmmaker Oya Amakisi encourages Honk bands to come to the United States Social Forum (USSF) this spring, especially to enliven the opening procession on Tuesday, June 22. Oya coordinates Art and Culture for the USSF, which will be in Detroit, June 22-26.
USSF organizers have secured special rates on large blocs of hotel rooms and are also arranging a tent city, space in churches, community housing and dormitory rooms at nearby colleges. This information will be posted on the USSF website in January.
Oya also noted that many organizations are planning conferences before or after the USSF events. She’s working on connecting the Honk community with like-minded musicians in the Detroit area.
The USSF is a follow-up to the World Social Forums (WSF) first held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001. The WSF was inspired by public reaction to neo-liberal economic programs created by the WTO, IMF and the World Bank. WSF and USSF endeavor to create “an open meeting space for deepening the reflection, the democratic discussion of ideas, the formulation of proposals, the free exchange of experiences and the articulation of civil society organizations and movements.” WSF forums have since been held in India, Africa, Europe and the US.
USSF coordinators for other interests (e.g. labor or immigrant rights) can be contacted through the USSF website.
US SOCIAL FORUM II • June 22-26, 2010 • Detroit, Michigan, USA
Another World Is Possible! Another US is Necessary!
Detroit Publicity Kick Off June 22, 2009
SUPPORT THE USSF WITH YOUR ONLINE DONATION AT USSF2010.ORG OR MAIL AND WRITE YOUR CHECK/MONEY ORDER TO PROJECTSOUTH/USSF C/O USSF DETROIT, 23 E. ADAMS, 4TH FLOOR, DETROIT, MI 48226
WHAT IS THE US SOCIAL FORUM?
The US Social Forum is a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country, and changes history. We must declare what we want our world to look like and we must start planning the path to get there. The USSF provides spaces to learn from each other’s experiences and struggles, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, build relationships, and align with our international brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.
WHY A 2ND US SOCIAL FORUM?
The gathering in Atlanta in June 2007 had 12,000 people come together in the belief that “Another World Was Possible!” Movement forces from all over the country took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate, organize, teach, debate and otherwise contribute to a growing sense that “Another U.S. Was Necessary!” The USSF made it clear our need for greater convergence among progressives and the left in this country and to begin to articulate our vision for “Another World.”
The purpose of the USSF is to effectively and affirmatively articulate the values and strategies of a growing and vibrant movement for justice in the United States. Those who build towards and participate in the USSF are no longer interested in simply stating what social justice movements “stand-against,” rather we see ourselves as part of new movements that reach beyond national borders, that practice democracy at all levels, and understand that neo-liberalism abroad and here in the US is not the solution. The USSF provides a first major step towards such articulation of what we stand for.
To win nationally, we must win in places like Detroit. The Midwest site of the USSF marks a fierce resistance movement for social, racial, gender, and economic justice. Detroit has the highest unemployment of any major city in the country—23.2% (March 2009)—with nearly one in four Detroiters unable to find work. Michigan has had the highest number of unemployed people in all 50 states for nearly four years. Thousands of living wage jobs have been permanently lost in the automotive industry and related sectors. Some think that it will take at least until 2025 for Michigan to recover from the economic collapse and social dislocation. What is happening in Detroit and in Michigan is happening all across the U.S. Detroit is a harbinger for what we must do in our communities! As grassroots activists and organizers, we work to address the indignities against working families and low-income people, and protect our human right to the basic necessities of life. In Detroit, we can make change happen!
The US Social Forum provides this space—drawing participants from different regions, ethnicities, sectors and ages across the U.S. and its colonies. Community-based organizations, Indigenous nations, immigrants, independent workers organizations, unions, unemployed, youth, children, elders, queers, differently-abled, international allies, academics, and advocacy organizations will be able to come together in Detroit for dialogues, reflection and to define future strategies.
WSF TO USSF–GLOBALIZING THE RESISTANCE
A global movement is rising. The USSF is our opportunity to prepare and meet it! The World Social Forum (WSF) has become an important symbol of global movement convergence and the development of alternatives to the dominant paradigm. Over the past nine years, the WSF has gathered the world’s workers, peasants, youth, women, and oppressed peoples to construct a counter-vision to the economic and political elites of the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland. After gathering 100,000 people in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2005, the International Council (IC) decided that in 2006 there would be regional social forums to culminate in a WSF in 2007. The IC delegated Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) to help shepherd the US Social Forum process, stating that it was strategic to hold a gathering of peoples and movements within the “belly of the beast” that were against the ravages of globalization and neoliberal policies in the US and world wide. GGJ is an alliance that grew out of people-of-color-led grassroots groups who participated in the first WSF. These grassroots leaders initiated a process to create the first USSF National Planning Committee (NPC), and Atlanta was selected as the USSF host city. In early 2009, the NPC selected Detroit as the second host city for 2010. Learn more on WSF: ForumSocialMudial.org.br
CALL TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BUILDING THE ROAD TO DETROIT
We call those who fight for justice to converge and act, and to reflect on the potential of our position and the power of our connections. Although we have built organizations that push forward an integrated, multi-issue, multiracial strategy, we have yet to build our movement on a scale relative to our sisters and brothers in the Global South. The USSF II offers the opportunity to continue to gather and unify these growing forces. We must seize this moment and advance our collective work to build grassroots leadership, develop collective vision, and formulate strategies that keep a strong movement growing. There are many ways to get involved. Your organization can join the NPC, you can join the working groups or start building regional and local committees to ensure a massive and diverse participation in Detroit, June 22-26, 2010. Get more info at < a href=”http://www.ussf2010.org”>USSF2010.org
TELL US YOUR STORIES & SOCIAL FORUM EXPERIENCES ON OUR WIKI
We invite you to tell us why the USSF matters to you, what your experience was like at USSF 2007, and more! Help us show others what the Social Forum is about as we kick-off 2010! Go to Press and Peoples Stories (add yours)