Friday, March 16, 2007

US Social Forum - Atlanta, GA, June 27 - July 1, 2007

Does the thought of YearlyDross dawg you 'til you're blue? Looking to connect with progressives working for real change in this country?

Hope for our future, I'm convinced, lies in this sort of local, grassroots internationalist organizing:

The US Social Forum is more than a conference, more than a networking bonanza, more than a reaction to war and repression. The USSF will provide space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and bring renewed insight and inspiration. It will help develop leadership and develop consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world.

The USSF sends a message to other people’s movements around the world that there is an active movement in the US opposing US Policies at home and abroad.

We must declare what we want our world to look like and begin planning the path to get there. A global movement is rising. The USSF is our opportunity to demonstrate to the world

Another World is Possible!

Ted Glick, of Truthout:
. . . there is an important initiative underway that has the potential to advance a different kind of unity- and alliance-building process across lines of race, culture, issue and geographic region - a process that we desperately need: the United States Social Forum, happening in Atlanta, Georgia, June 27th to July 1st.

Organizing toward this event was initiated by Grassroots Global Justice, an alliance of over 50 grassroots organizations representing people of color and low-income communities in the US. Over the last couple of years, it has been putting the pieces in place to make this major event possible.
. . .

This first national social forum in the US is coming at a particularly auspicious time. Bush, Cheney and the Republicans are on the defensive, struggling to maintain support for their agenda of wars and occupations for oil and empire abroad and, at home, the destruction of basic constitutional rights and cutbacks to education, health care, Social Security and other human needs. Yet there is also widespread, popular dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party and with corporate, big-money domination of both major political parties.

Jerome Scott and Walda Katz-Fishman, leaders of Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide, a key group within the leadership of the US Social Forum process, recently summarized its importance in this way:

"The social forum process was initiated by social movements of oppressed and exploited peoples in the Global South; and no one group in the US 'owns it.'

Second, the social forum is being brought home to the US by grassroots organizations - with people of color and low-income-led organizations in the leadership.

Third, the social forum is a convergence process of all our fronts of struggle; it is multi-issue and multi-sector, and inclusive of all who are struggling for justice, equality and peace

Fourth, the social forum is a space where a broad range of political analysis is welcomed - from progressive to revolutionary.

"This is why the US Social Forum is the place to be this summer if you are a movement builder, if you have a vision of another world, if you want to make it happen!"

Let's make it happen. See you in Atlanta!
I'm sure Murray Bookchin would have approved.

(excerpted from Constellations)


Janet said...

While in Atlanta... march on CNN :)

Forget marching on Washington DC, marchin Washington state. Major stuff going on with regard to the Port of Tacoma and protesters trying to block the military from using it.

Arcturus said...

What's happening in Tacoma is very significant, which of course, is whay we aren't hearing abou tit on CNN. Can't take time away from ANS-syndrome . . .

here's Cynthia McKinney speaking at a March 2 fundraiser for Pacifica Radio station KPFK, in LA:

. . . in order to solve the massive problems this country now has, it can no longer be business as usual for a critical mass of us.

Whether it's the thawing tundra in Siberia or the melting glaciers in Greenland, our contribution to global warming is something that must be dealt with.

Whether it's the massive amounts of money we spend on the war machine or the fact that we still don't know what happened on September 11th, the values and priorities of the American people must be reflected in the public policy we pursue. I do not believe that is the case today and there are specific reasons why.

Just voting isn't enough. Voting is necessary, but it isn't enough to get the kind of change we must now demand. We have to change the structure within which we cast our vote.

We must have a different kind of leadership than is possible now without the kind of change I'm talking about.

This is revolutionary in its impact.

(h/t to Marisacat

ms_xeno said...

McKinney's all right. 8)

While I wouldn't mind seeing her run for office again, her enemies may well live to regret forcing her out. In that vintage Star Wars fashion, she may well end up becoming "more powerful than you can possibly imagine..." ;)

catnip said...

I really like the idea of this social forum - a gathering truly focused on issues instead of politics. I wish them much success!

Arcturus said...

It's possible CM might well be more effective out of office. In radio interviews, I get the sense that the coalition that elected her intends to continue to be a viable, contentious political force - which is just to say again that she didn't simply appear out of thin air

Arcturus said...

msX - I may well be the last person in america who has yet to see star wars - much to my wife's amused dismay

catnip said...

Not so fast! I haven't seen the entire movie either, arcturus (although I am a canuck). I've even had a boxed set here for years that I borrowed from a friend (hi Sharon!) which I've never watched.

As for Star Trek. I did see the one about the whales (#37, I think??). That was enjoyable.

Arcturus said...

well, dayuum, i knew there was a reason I liked ya ;)

the journey itself is home - Basho

ms_xeno said...

I still haven't read any Harry Potter books !!

catnip said...

Neither have I ms xeno. Oh! And I don't have a dvd player yet either.

tipsymcstagger said...

I nearly share your situation insofar as I am married to a trueblue SW fan and, though I'm told I saw the movies as an incredibly wee tot, my only memory of the first three (or 4-6, for the Lucas loyalists) is a fleeting image of someone encased in a sort of vertical golden sarcophagus.

I've also still not seen Titanic, though this is a cultural deficiency, unlike the SW situation, that I have no plans of redressing.

Arcturus said...

I just want to re-iterate that these folks need lots of help. There's a page for volunteers that has lots of suggestions - one needn't go to Atlanta. Word needs to get out - esp. to local groups working in your communities. & of course, $$$ are always needed.

DavidByron said...

An MSOC classic someone comments, which is to say it's the sort of stuff she's said before. And it is. But some things you don't want to be saying again and again and this is one of them: MSOC's ocassional Democrat's suck speach.

Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it

she says. But the whole diary seems like deja vu to me. I would prefer to make these remarks at MLW itself of course, but because of their censorship policy I cannot.

Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it

That's fine. So why are we not learning from history? Why is MSOC herself ignorant of the past issues that been thrashed out on the question of trying to reform party politics or starting third parties, or trying to force politicians to take up positions?

And we wonder why the right wing devalues public education. It is in the interest of the powerful, who wish to retain their power, to churn out generations of badly educated citizens.

So how is MLW helping to reverse that? In general where are the blogs on educating even their own readership?

supersoling said...

Blogs are more or less rant rooms. They're useless as far as activism goes, as the majority of the "left" leaning one's narrow thier message and focus more and more on electing more democrats in a vain and idiotic attempt to force change, as if democrats represent anything other than the MIC and the corporations that lobby and feed them. It's uterly useless.

alohaleezy said...

Hi Super!! How the hell are ya?

DavidByron said...

Blogs *could* be more useful for activism but I don't see that as being their strength. A lot of activism is itself already education. Go a long to a large march for example and a lot of the organisers clearly see the march as an opportunity to educate the masses. Why not cut out the middle man?

the majority of the "left" leaning one's narrow thier message and focus more and more on electing more democrats in a vain and idiotic attempt to force change, as if democrats represent anything other than the MIC


The question of elections and manipulation of parties is something MSOC goes back and forth on a lot. I don't know how many times she's sworn off Democrats and then gone back. But at no point has she ever tried to analyse on what basis a good decision about this could or should be made.

I'm sick of reading the same 101 level analysis again and again. But under the circumstances why would anyone knowledgeable bother to try and kick it up a notch?

DavidByron said...

basically it's been more than six months since Ductape last posted anything anywhere, is that correct? A comment by him on his own site dated 19th September 2006 is the last?

I wonder if I were to drop out of view tomorrow if anyone would even notice. Oh well. Is there any reason to not think the worst at this point?

supersoling said...

MIC...Military Industrial Complex

Hi Leezy :o) I'm okay

DavidByron said...

That never made any sense to me. This is Eisenhower, right? So this expression comes from a guy who was in charge of the whole thing and we're supposed to take it seriously when he sort of shrugs and says *other* people, *bad* people, are taking over the government?

Like he was Martin Luther King or something instead of the guy running the whole show......

What was that whole speech. "Hey suckers, here's how we've been doing it?"

Not exactly. The speech was otherwise full of the same crappy lies as usual. Was Eisenhower the one US president that didn't bomb people? Nope. I don't get it. Why do people use that phrase? It's demeaning. To even have to use the very vocabulary of the oppressor class like crumbs from their table - to describe their own theft.

supersoling said...

What Eisenhower was describing was the U.S. move to a permanent war footing after WWII. The Cold War and the arms race that fueled the R&D and weapons economy. That was something completely new and different to his experience even though the U.S was a fledling imperial power during his rise through the military and into politics. Gunboat diplomacy and all.

DavidByron said...

At the time he made the comment, the president of the last eight years had been himself. If anyone built up the Cold War arms race to that date it would have been him. If anyone made the buildup permanent after WW2 and Korea it would have been him. He's talking about himself here. He wasn't an outsider. BOTH parties asked him to run for them as president. Before he was elected he was the supreme head of NATO.