These are the raw notes of the meeting. They will be cleaned up soon for accuracy, grammar and better readability, including highlights of decisions, tasks, etc. Thanks! Sylvia
United States Social Forum NPC Expanded Meeting, Nov. 9 – 11, 2012
Jane Adams Hull House Annex, 800 South Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (Note: Friday evening reception & Saturday afternoon at other locations indicated below)
Friday, Nov. 9th – 8:30am – 6pm (for NPC organizations)
David Cobb Sylvia Orduno Jerome Scott
Monica (Poverty Working Group) Jerome (LRNA) Walda (LRNA) Sylvia (MWRO) Cheri (Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign) George Martin (UPJ) Alfredo (MF/PL) Rose (Gender Justice Working Group) Charity (Easter Michigan Environmental Action Council) Oya (DLOC) Cindy (Grassroots Global Justice) Jackie (Sociologists Wtihout Borders) Stephanie (Project South) Edgar (CSJ/C2C) Ashley (Solidarity Economy Network) David (Move To Amend) Marian (MWRO)
Welcome, introductions, purpose and goals of meeting, agreements, review decision making process & appreciation for Chicago folks for work in past process and hosting NPC Expanded
Meeting purpose & goals:
- To assess how the USSF and PMA process are vehicles for intentional U.S. movement building;
- To develop political clarity around the purpose of the U.S. Social Forum National Planning Committee (NPC) as a part of this process;
- To discuss the current moment, including the election results, and identify key questions for moving forward, including which organizations can and should be involved in this process;
- To establish the November meeting as a bridge meeting for the March 2013 national convening of PMAs (Assembly of Assemblies) and the NPC Expanded toward the goal of planning and brainstorming an agenda for the Spring meeting.
- To decide if there will be a USSF III in 2014;
- To outline political and practical goals and timelines, including fundraising to accomplish these goals and facilitate movement building in the U.S. connected to global movements.
Panelists: Cindy, Jerome and Stephanie, Cheri
1. The political moment in the context of the U.S. election & the ongoing crisis (1 hr) - Panel presentation and Q & A
Cindy, GGJ: November 7th - lots of conversations about the moment and the elections; there are key things available to us now that weren't available last year; 1) strengthen our unity and practice - there is a movement but there are various visions and tactics on how to get there; we need to figure out what our unity in practice looks like so we are much more powerful; 2) lame duck session - what is going to happen? A lot of stuff will be pushed. What are our transformative demands? We have a window - but how do we make sure it pushes for more than on thing. How do we elevate our transformative demands so they actually address root causes. 3) Build a visible left that people can identify with. The political terrain has shifted and there is a hunger more broadly - ex. the progressive left - for more. The elections were critical for us to wage a battle against the misogyny and white supremacy of Romney, Inc. The right is in a process of realignment and regrouping and they will not give up. They still maintain some key positions of power. Disturbing amount of money spent on electoral campaigning. Wall Street Journal has a break down - 6 billion - super PAC spending. No more denial about climate change - climate disaster. Superstorm Sandy and impact on poorest communities. What happens before, during and after the storms, especially in poor communiities and communities of color. This will keep happening. What is our adaptation/mitigation? We are not set up to handle this. There is some amazing community response in NYC - much more responsive than FEMA and the Red Cross. We will now see the corporate influence on the reconstruction. The election was clear in three areas 1) changing demographics - record numbers of Asian voters, Latino voters; will be interesting to see what the Republican party will do given their hatred of people of color, 2) what is the role of government? 3) the issue of women and gender justice.
What does all this mean? Understanding we've been fighting like hell for decades but there is a new terrain with these new political motions.
Obama's speech - immigration, climate change, economy - immediate work. These will not have our perspective unless we take advantage of this openning strategically. This calls for bold changes that asks us to do organizing differently. Ex. Can the labor movement pivot into a different stance? How we do our work will change based in this changing moment. We need to be strategic to figure out what to do now to bring the wisdom and experience we have but to do organizing different.
Stephanie, Project South: Gulf Coast Crisis; Global Financial Crisis; 2011 popular uprisings. These have all shaped the political crisis in last 7 years along with USSF. What are the opportunities now? We can use the elections to assess and analyze what is going wrong, how it is revealed. What does national movement building? How do we connect to international movements. There is a new political clarity that is emerging that is pulling us away from silos and into cross regional and cross front unity. Cross border as well. What direction are we moving in? Public space and public actions - how do we take that up? Ex. What does it mean to have hundreds of schools closing? Failed infrastruction - what is movement infrastructure? How do we coordinate nationally in terms of communication, tech, health, violence, etc. what is our rapid response? The more we can develop this the more we can bring people in. Local governance. We need to resolve this. What does it mean to govern? What does it mean to think of democracy, etc. in terms of resources, in terms of power and decisions that affect ou lives. The South, a 13 state region. We need to look at things regionally. The role of the People's Movement Assemblies. "We all count" - mobilizing folks who are being blocked from voting. People shifted from issue based thinking to our struggles are connected. We can't do this alone and more importantly - we don't want to. There is an upswell in the South that they are feeling. Project South committed to a third convergence and hopes we can build in the regions before that - ex. show up from the South with clarity. Not just come - but to bring something. The more focused movements are coming together.
Cheri, PPEHRC: Why Cheri agreed to run for VP. Was a continuation of her long-term work. We continue to work in a very U.S. way and we don't look at how independent parties get established in other parts of the world. We need to look at this--concrete practices..our liberation depends on us having discussions about fundraising and relationships. Some people really understood diff betw Dems and Reps but there's still a lack of analysis , e.g. 3 hrs after Obama elected he bombed Yemen. People made this an issue of Obama rather than a political party -- 2 billion dollar candidates, Gary Johnson and us (Stein/Honkla). Need for mass education -- if we got serious about mass propaganda plan people can see the immediate diffs. We had a movement way of doing mass comunication. People are frustrated and demoralized with just a fight back strategy -- groups of ppl w/ no longer term plan or why. Majority of Occupy WS folks now treating us like rock stars vs a yr ago -- internal debates about endorsements. GOTV orgs in Philly interfaced with us differently (compared to housing fights before) since I was going to same people they were org'g talking about breaking with Dem Party. Some ppl took Obama $ and passed out our materials. No questions of power, what laws are passed, balllot access, etc -- anybody who wanted to run needed thousands of signatures just to get on ballot. This time felt like I as in terrrorist because asking ppl out loud to break with Dem Party -- ppl ni unity with this were amazing! Many fights on facebook by others in support. Feel have much more clarity and absolutleu convinced that if we don't have these convos we'll never have class unity, class identity. Learned a lot on this campaign by being forced to have discussions with int'l greens on alliance...[what else?]
Jerome, LRNA: There are some things that we really need to spend some brain time on. There is the practice side of building a movement and there is the intellectual side. We need both and we need to reconcile. We don't focus on intellectual enough.
We don't talk about what the movement is specifically that we are trying to build and how do we build it - base, expansion, etc.
Why is it important that we have a conversation about class? We do not spend enough time on this. We need to organize and struggle to ensure political education.
Second, What is the objective side of what we are doing and the context? Most of the time we talk about BUILDING a movement. There is really an objective process of people responding and moving forward and our task is to see where this is happening and add some consciousness to the spontaneous outbreak that is happening all over the country and all over the world.
Third, what does it mean to be international. We are in a global movement. Our world is global. If we are not global we cannot respond the way the ruling class responds to crisis.
Lastly, we need to start going on the offensive. We have to set the agenda for what we're going to do. Right now we respond to the agenda. Ex. economic cliff - half the population already fallen off the cliff. We need to set our own agenda. Is the real demand for jobs the agenda. Or is the demand to restructure the country so that we can all share the very few jobs and live decently together. The first thing we need to do is put some energy in to "what is our agenda?"
The importance of the South. We've talked about this forever. When you look at the elections. The South is the cradle of the reaction in this country. Its the cradle of how they control the rest of us. The most reactionary politicians, etc. Look at the South to see what's happening. The South anchors capitalism at its lowest points and everyone else follow. The South is not only a regional question - it is a national question. The South is also the pocket of resistance - has led the change of the country fundamentally. This allows the rest of the country to mobilize. The South has got to become or continue to be where the USSF builds its base - the representation of the overall resistance to the situation that we find ourselves in.
We need to set our own agenda. We get overwhelmed with the popular language. Good to step back and say "what do we really want to build. What do we need to build?" We need to galvanize and mobilize the entire country that moves it all fundamentally in a different way. We need some overall point of view that points us in the same direction. Ex, modern day Civil Rights Movement. What happened - the question of equality, justice, ending Jim Crow became a rallying cry across the whole nation. There were different agendas - ex. In Detroit we were organizing Black workers. But what made it an effective social movement was what brought all these agendas together and mobilized the country.
We must recognize the detrioration of capitalism at this moment and that this deterioration is fatal to all of us.
Break Out Group Questions:
1. What are the key features of the current political moment and how might we best understand it?
2. How does the result of the recent U.S. election shift the terrain of struggle for forces in motion or not (US and globally)?
3. How does the current political moment, including the recent U.S. election, impact our movement’s ability to resist the intensifying attack and to go on the offensive?
Group Report Backs
- The reality of the economic reality and move fwd: Political Indepence Movement and what that means and how do we move the people
- Analysis Discussion with controlling our own forms of media (media, culture, and reaching the masses)
- Model Movement Building (cooperative living, etc) embedding Social Justice culture into every aspects of our lives, including the PMA process
- Immigrant Struggle (poor, dispossessed, crime, debt, militarization, youth, women)
- Need to figure out how to have these discussions to deepen and broaden our relationship with international social movements, we can learn from each other and model what that will look like.
- We need to stop lying to ourselves and the People and tell the truth.
- We got the battered woman's syndrom and expecting the same people who oppress us to liberate us.
- Put some capacity that will break out of electoral politics, from a corporate two party system to a system that truly reflects the people
- Communications - that there are many orgs that are doing some form of communication work, how do we collectively take the skill and capacity that already exists and channel it to meet the goals of the movement.
- We need the apparatus to talk with our People. We need to go beyond corporate media and create a language that reaches the masses beyond the dominant media.
- Communication strategies are key to moment; including: Education; Alternative Media; online, radio, print. What are our questions and re-frames of the discourse?
- Regional work connecting nationally is essential
- Create infrastructure to support the movment as we grow
- Work as a way to start leading the community
- What do we need to do to set the agenda?
- What are the strategies right now that lead us to be able to set the agenda?
- We need to practice locally to know how to set agendas and bring them together in spaces like the Social Forum
- How do we add everyone to the conversation beyond the Middle Class? The question of jobs is not the end goal - how do we switch the conversation to work and restructuring the country?
- What is the role of the USSF in growing social movement on a national and international level - in terms of training up new organizers, sustaining engagement, education, and creating space for the intellectual development of the movements
- Establish better practices on distribution of labor with respect
- Knowing as we grow in places in the South or anti-poverty work that is where the counter-attacks will happen, how will we prepare for that and how will the Social Forum prepare
- We need to practice setting our own agenda
NOTES: We may move the discussion about Finances into Tomorrow
Goals and intentionality for USSF III.
LUNCH BREAK (45 min)
Reports & updates on social forum process (1.5 hrs)
Steph--PMA’s: WG report, other PMA reports (e.g., Southern Movement Assembly, Assembly to End Poverty, Move to Amend Convergences, other)
- Both in 2011 and 2012 we had a second round of meeting in March as the assemblies of assemblies to name some of the biggest dynamics and trends:
Poverty, immigration, youth.
- There are many groups and orgs setting up their own assembly process. Since 2006, Starting in 2009/2010 there have been over a hundred PMAs across the country.
- Project South playing a different leadership role in the future. In terms of coordinating a national process for the PMA process it plays to our weaknesses instead of our strengths.
- Communications and Media is a challenge that we have not been able to maintain.
- The other weakness it played to was self-selection, people who were not a part of the social forum, but took up the PMAs, but there was a lack of connection. What is the process? Holding that is a question mark.
- Regional coordination, from poverty to southern work, requires anchor orgs to be successful. How do we find groups to carry it fwd? The best case scenario would be to transfer 'binders' worth of people/orgs who can hold the PMA process.
- If there are anchor orgs willing to take that role, we are willing to move fwd.
- Forces in Motion will find the assembly process will grow. Their prior experience in holding PMAs will make it easier to organize and bring people to the meeting in March.
- How do we document what has happened up to now in effective ways.
- The PMA kit was very solid. Giving a big stack to local groups, but it definitely should be updated.
- We need to at least maintain the website and shift media to meet the growth of the PMAs.
- Project South's commitment to building a SE Social Forum of building the regional movement as a part of the USSF.
David--Move to Amend (the U.S. Constitution)
- Move to Amend just started in 2010. Just did 7 Move to Amend convergences. We are looking to connect with other PMA's and looking at overlays between the PMA's.
- We cannot do 7 again it burned us out.
- We are interested in doing 4 of them in 2013.
- Where do the Move to Amend PMA's touch down?
- People are hungry for them, the MTA are doing them. We are looking for doing them as part of the PMA process.
- We are hopeful and excited that these PMA's happened and they with lead to some thematic PMA's. The NPC needs to do its part in supporting the PMA's.
Comments: -- Jerome: We need to have a conversation around what a PMA is. In the international community we have two processes, social movements and PMA. This confusion filters down into our movements.
-- We watched the PMA process develop in the USSF 2010 and we turned it over to Project South, and this created some problems we need to analyze and solve. We need to figure out the problems that the social movement are solving.
-- We have uncoordinated stuff which does not connect back to the Social Forum process. We need more national formations around PMA, they could represent the outreach around these national events. These connections have been nurtured over the past couple years.
Sylvia, Monica, Marian--Poverty Working Group-PMA report back:
- The Assembly to End Poverty (Detroit, Chicago and Madison)
- Participation is sporadic. Trying to have discussions in different cities and snowballing these conversations.
- Sometimes they are only an hour and we felt like we were crunching stuff.
- The PMAs in the South are the best examples of how the PMA process really works, and I don't know how to replicate that in the Midwest. I wish we talked more about what is not working to find ways to make the PMAs more effective.
- There have been several PMAs that were not successful and people are pulling away from the PMA process in their movement building.
- As we move fwd into who will lead, how do we identify the challenges and the strengths that orgs can carry all over the country.
- Occupy called one of their national gatherings Occupy the Social Forum. Maybe it is okay as long as the work is continuing.
- One of the difficult things is follow through. We developed a curriculum. We did a PMA education session in Portland with Social Workers--75 people to address poverty in their community.
- They were also there at NATO and G20, we're just supporting it as much as possible.
- The form may look different than the traditional PMA, but they had resolutions. They are successful nonetheless.
- We did not do one in October because we are already involved in a process that involves PMA work. It ended up taking on the main tools of the PMA to analyze their work on poverty and strategize on how to move forward.
- Develop leadership and work together as collective leaders. Encouraging 'stick and stay' with young women dealing with poverty and housing issues in Detroit.
- It is like pulling teeth to bring these people to the meetings and engage them in this process.
- We have a housing movement in Detroit, Philly, and Portland, which holds the framework to have a larger PMA.
- Marian and Sylvia attended Centro Balducci conference in Italy in September, brought together people from several countries -- envisioning a new world without injustice and violence. Learning from the youth who are seizing the land in Italy from the Italian mafia. They hold this conference every year. Cheri has attended in the past.
Comments: -- The work of Ruben Solis as the architect for much of the work for the PMA process. He transitioned out of SWU.
-- It is better to lay a strong foundation than just having a large quantity of PMAs
-- We need to decide the role of the PMA's with the USSF and what the coordination, leadership and resources are.
- Coordinated a PMA in Detroit - 55-60 ppl. Had presenters-Jerome was one. Idea was to develop political thinking about technology. What do we need to do organizing? How tech is organizing. Where do we deposit the info & thinking that comes out of these PMA's? What do we do with the agendas that are being built - who's role is this?
- We need to document what we are doing. The best practices are often the best kept secrets. We need to share the great work that is happening.
Jackie--Communications, website, etc
- With Mallory working to make a plan to keep the 20,000 people on the listserv in the loop. Every month an e-newsletter has gone out (except one month over the summer).
- Wiki space for this meeting - Jackie created. Everything related to what we are doing is there.
- Did interviews with folks who have been involved in the USSF- ex. interview with Cheri.
- Trying to do this work - need help and guidance. How do we improve what we are doing?
- Praxis is monitoring the PayPal account - no money coming in. We're still paying to keep the PayPal account. We need to get better about what we are asking money for.
- We can make our plans going forward clear soon and build energy.
- We have lots of great communicators around us - we can leverage people and work in the grassroots communities who can nationalize their stories. We also have folks doing stuff we need to write the stuff so we can get it up there. Can the NPC do a communications capacity review and see who is communicating their stuff.
- 2/3 of our NPC orgs probably do e-news and have websites. We are all getting electronic emails from groups that came out of the process on a daily basis.
Comments: -- The movement and crisis are not on hold - but we went on hold a little bit. That is why we did the urgency statement. Once we assert that we have the political will to move forward then this will move forward.
-- Sylvia: Also, the website is dated - we're still directing people to a site that is 2 years old. We need to update. GGJ bought the ussocialforum.org domain name and have it for us. How do we make it more current?
-- The Resource Development Committee needs more clarity on where we are and what we are moving toward to be able to effectively raise funds with foundations and individuals.
Rose--WSF Free Palestine delegation planning: roles and goals
- Things are moving along: There are about 20 people on the delegation.
- Visas have been very difficult to acquire across the country -- technically we are known as a joint collaboration btwn the U.S. and Canada.
- The NPC has has been very supportive -- raised the money for two tickets: Will and Kali.
- Joint struggle in the U.S.: Trans, Political Imprisonment, Anti-Arab, Gender and Resistance, Environmental Justice.
- Not only have U.S. and Canada but people around the world
- It is quite a challenge to work around the reach of Israel
- There has been some tension within the Palestinian Delegation
- Strengthen organizing with understanding the Palestinian Struggle is about
- Build global relationships
- Connecting the struggles in Palestine with the Prison Industrial Complex here
- There are a couple of things that the Obama Admin is planning to utilize that Israel uses against the Palestinians.
- If you cannot attend there will be an expanded WSF Palestine, but want to be in solidarity
- WSF FP calls for world protests around the issues discussed at the Forum: November 28-December 1
- Communications update:
- Bio list will come together of all the folks on the delegation, with contact information, and reportbacks - Building a Wiki space to connect to the delegation
Comments: -- Yes, tThere will be efforts to link Palestine work to movements here
Jen--WSF Tunisia delegation planning: roles and goals
- Was in Tunisia at the last IC Meeting
- WSF will be held in March 2013, potentially at a university
- Prep summit in July focused on bringing folks together from the French-speaking Arab world
- Discussions were held about the Magreb, the Arab spring, migration
- Delegations from Africa, small one from South America, from Europe
- U.S. delegation included Mark Randazzo, GGJ, Jen with PPHERC, and funders through EDGE funders (20 folks)
- Logistics difficult
- Tensions continue to exist among the IC forces related to the WSF Free palestine; alliances with different states; and general tensions
Comments: -- Walda: There has been discussion about the need for an NPC delegation to WSF in the lines of Detroit to Dakar delegation (Nunu and Priority Africa had a call). In addition to a planned GGJ delegation, the USSF should have a delegation to represent U.S. grassroots movements
-- George: Based on working on the Intl Committee, it was pretty closed and as someone who has worked internationally but felt excluded from the table. I will be going to Tunisia and would like to work with the Social Forum, without that experience.
-- Cheri: Just to clarify some history - for many years it was Cheri and Jen at the WSF IC meetings - there was no NPC or GGJ. GGJ started to go to those meetings. For us to get on the IC, it was a struggle because no one wanted U.S. reps on the IC. Relationships have continued, and there were connections made between U.S. movements and the WSF before there was an NPC.
-- Jen: PPHRERC, Mayfirst, and GGJ all are reps on the IC. Have never came to a conclusion about how to develop a collective relationship between the WSF and the USSF - international committee in the past may have been closed - apologies to George. We should have an intl committee that connects to WSF Free Palestine. We should have a collective approach, that will help with funding. 10th anniversary of the Iraq war will be in March, at the same time as the WSF. Honored to speak on behalf of the poor in the U.S. to the Arab delegates at the prep summit to convey joint struggle and joint devastation.
-- Cheri: Jen attends these meetings, and these meetings are complex, tedious, and long. She has played a great role in being there and providing continuity. How do we as a group represent and develop positions? Love GGJ but need a better way to represent.
-- Charity: The IC is a hovercraft of mostly white folks in leadership, and folks who represent global South need to be in leadership. This is a problem - we've got to bring some level of reckoning for this, especially as folks who sit on the IC who are implicated in this. Sitting in these meetings from Detroit in Dakar, the IC is a problem that needs to be dealt with.
<< Facilitator: many questions, many interpretations, and the reportback is not the place to resolve these questions >>
-- George: Learned a lot about the history, this has been helpful.
-- Walda: USSF gets lifted up by international spaces as a process that flipped the script and built a strong process. Viewed as having made a leap and a bottom-up process.
-- Alfredo: It's important to understand what our role has been as the USSF - it has been intentionally led by people of color and we need to share that model and process, humbly with the IC process. It's complicated, but important to lift up.
Pittsburgh exchange with scholar activists & commitments
- Jackie: One thing that makes the USSF important is that we reflect on the political moment and analysis.
-- There needs to be a mechanism to connect students and scholar-activists with this process. -- There are a ton of people in the academy that are interested to plug in but don't know how. And it needs to be with integrity. -- Membership of Sociologists without Borders was not the way - learned. -- The Wiki page is one mechanism to capture the documentation. -- Jerome brought some reflections about how to connect -- creating an international network of academics to communicate how to support the process, intentionally -- link: pittcoalitionsworkshop.wikispaces.com
- Sylvia: We really need to write a report that includes outcomes and accomplishments
-- we paired up and talked about Caravans, new alliances that were formed, -- one idea is to pair up the folks who have done the work with scholars to write it up, they can help with discipline, resources, and support -- Boston Freedom Caravan has written a report and that's a good example -- Highlight that this is an ongoing weakness and a difficult process
- Where is the documentation process - report?
-- We're using the wiki that Jackie set up is the space where we have started outlining the work and dividing it up -- We need to report something to people about the larger narrative, especially in trying to organize something else
- Jackie: One of the things we've got to do better is break down the work and invite folks into the process. We did that at the exchange, and I will be able to recruit scholars to help. We have to create invitations so folks don't get overwhelmed.
NPC function /organizing discussion (1.5hrs)
Review clarity around the purpose of the USSF NPC (i.e., role of PMAs in social forum process, Consulta & previous discussion, etc )
Presenting assessment of the state of the NPC, key debates, assessment of who is currently involved in the NPC and not. And our assessment as to why.
Proposal on recruitment onto the NPC – using the national March 2013 convening as the space to consider new applicants.
NPC criteria (for current and new members) & application process for bringing in new organizations and forces in motion
Reaffirm or change decision-making process.
Discuss possibility of inviting organizations not on the NPC to join in period before March 2013 convening 5. Finances, Budget and Fundraising conversation: (1 hr)
3. Next US Social Forum (2 hrs) Discussion of the NPC, starting with what has been discussed, from January 2012 to now:
Identify USSF successes [build list], e.g., new/stronger alliances and coalitions, cross-sectoral movement building, policy impacts, community development initiatives in Atlanta & Detroit.
Alliances & organizational strength - UFPJ - in 2007 leadership worked the process, in 2010 it was 20 members who were working and connecting with other movements - groups connecting to each other and seeing each other in subsequent spaces - organizations and leadership working together over these years - new generations of leadership developed through the organizing process and are in relationship to each other
Infrastructure - open source technology worked and we made it accessible - development of a movement tech team - 50 techies, and a tech house center and then was immediately modeled at the WSF - practicing logistics at a mass scale in anchor sites is extremely valuable - local work brigades and projects engaged and strengthed community organizations and taught people what was happening in Detroit - Detroit expanded made the space more accessible -Tracing of relationships and history is possible with the resources documenting. -Caravans and building processes were very strong.
Political advances - Space to elevate and evaluate the state of US social movements - So many fronts of struggle have been engaged in the process, how well we took advantage of that participation is another question - People of color and impacted communities led and convened the US Social Forum processes - name that as a success - Occupy core organizers knew about the USSF and had attended, people are hungry for the next one - Political development of the movement - you can track from Atlanta to Detroit / you cannot understand the movement advances of the last seven years in this country without understanding the influence of the USSF, especially as a process led by people of color -Global identity and connections with global movements - connecting our local movements with international groups during this moment of US decline. Important to learn from the lessons and analysis of different parts of the world. - Groups come together, not just individuals, to expand and share analysis. Multi-generational- age and struggle. Honoring the historic struggles and cross-feritilization. Ex. Role and history of Detroit. Grassroots organizing sector emerged stronger - the struggles were there but the networks were stronger.
Political program and methods: - Peoples Movement Assemblies advanced movement strategy - Diversity of assemblies - regional and thematic, issue-based assemblies - difficult to track the successes and amplify how many groups are using the process -Detroit Expanded made the social forum accessible to people around the world through media (Free Speech TV) collaborative effort btw culture and ICT - culture was more than a stage or performances - art and culture permeated the programming, and artists connected and expanded their work together - largest powwow in N. America in Detroit Culture worked with Indigenous Working Group to accomplish that with folks from Canada and US, film festival, extemporaneous cultural performances, art gallery, Creativity Lab, premiered Oliver Stone's film South of the Border and collaborated with GGJ, Work Brigades brought groups from around the United States to understand the grassroots movement in Detroit through building together and it has had a long term effect on our community, strengthened the relationship btw national and international movements through our work.
Comments & Questions: If the USSF is a tool to develop stronger social movement in the US, we need to be engaging all fronts of struggle.
How do we counter-act the 24/7 propaganda bombardment and re-frame the agenda? USSF is an opportunity to filter through that.
What, other than this process, in this country can capture social movement energy at this moment?
Worth documenting - USSF impact and influence on Occupy (there is a piece, Jackie will put it on the wiki)
Exit and entry strategies into communities should be strengthened so that local groups are bigger and better after the Social Forum.
There are a lot of pieces that we don't get right- and international connection is really helpful. Ex. In US can be very nonprofit focused with financial struggles nonprofits have and limit them.
How do we not stick to our own thematic/issue themes. How do we have it be much more about whole movement questions.
How did the NPC relationships deepen/strengthen with Atlanta and not so with Detroit - what is/was the difference?
Ensuring there is deep thinking and cross thinking.
Dealing with controversy effectively - can/must do better.
Who is there - still need evaluation and improvement.
Identifying the key questions in contention about moving forward. Lay out the key questions for discussion.
There was a different in the relationships after 07 than in 10 after the social forum.
the scale of the social forums played a role in the differences btw 07 and 10
We lose some of the meaningful things when trying to reach a
Detroit did not have the same amount of time to organize than in ATL
Detroit had to fight the racism from some of the local groups and the NPC and Detroit had conflicts
Hoping that we work with the new host city and support them early in the planning process. Lack of leadership in the NPC.
The challenges in the WSF are reflected in the USSF
We need to be global and tighten up the work here. We need to challenge the WSF
We made a lot of mistakes, but I hope that the we help the next social forum
The next social forum will look worse, because of the challenges that we face in o
Decades of work that laid the basis. Occupy did not come out of nowhere. Rooting the poverty movement and other movements set the foundation for the OWS.
It is not only multiracial but intergenerational. This process has not discounted our elders.
We have to talk about this police state. Later in time we are going to think of the Cointelpro like it was a picnic
Some of the problems that we had were not just us not getting along. I am sure that they were enhanced.
I want a scholarly analysis of the social forum in 2010.
It was different organizing people on site to help feed 600+ people
We have some kind of idea of how many people came who were broke.
There were a lot of tensions, basic needs that I was dealing with,
OWS emerging into a worker's collective
we could easily build in something that real political education can take place with concrete solutions.
Building in cross polination in the PMAs. PMAs have to work together.
I think that we should get together to make decisions. I want our Movement to actually say what we demand.
We already know the key fronts of struggle.
If we had a space with 25,000 strong that states that they have to be a part of the USSF to be legitimate.
How many people were able to fully participate in the social forums beyond financial limitations
There is a way to look at it that may be helpful
How do we move forward. There is a confusion on how social movements are formed. There is a confusion by progressive movements on how to put these on without understanding the impact that it had on the orgs who helped make it happen.
There is a piece in there that we are trying to connect.
There are very few groups who made that happen. It is not that many.
It is good to undue some of that confusion and end that perception that this is easy
How do we develop, cultivate and build the political vehicle to make this social forum process work
We have done a great job since the social forum to the political will and the responsibility grows
we have begun to have an honest conversation with each other. Ask Cindy who would you like at the talbe.
Our struggle for political clarity plays a role in our lack of unity
We are in fact building a movement of all society that is not a movement.
We need more defining of a political movement that is going to transform society.
I think that the social forum and PMA process are powerful tools.
In terms of being able to bring the diversity of humanity and fronts with some level of responsibility.
Some of us stayed with this process despite the difficulty.
We have to begin to put some flesh onto the process.
Many of the workshops were mini PMAs and plenaries.
It has to be different. I am pushing us to put our stuff out if we have concretes.
Another success of the last forum it was held in the middle of this crisis in a very poor city. It was logistically challenging because of the situation in Detroit.
Economically there were very distinct differences btw ATL and DET.
When we think about the site that these are politcal questions:
Do we pick a city that is logistically easier or a city that is more in alignment with our political
The two things that I want to emphasis:
ATL was the first social forum Most of the powers that be, whether they were funders or people interested in the process just knew that it wasn't going to happen and if it did happen then it would not have an impact
By the time we got to the 2nd social forum we went into a different picture.
People were aware of the impact of the social forum and it was lead by people of color
If you were on the other side and what you would think about that.
I just know that the atmosphere was totally different and that was for political reasons
We need to draw some serious lessons by what happened in Detroit.
We have to acknowledge how broken the infrastructure for the city. It took two months to get space for our tent city.
In ATL in one call we got someone to do it. In Detroit a hundred calls. We had someone to do it and they said that they could not do it.
I would like to do this in another city in Detroit, but we have to understand the obstacles that we faced.
In ATL we were alone in Detroit we were not alone.
Folks in Detroit were dealing with Homeland Security, Police Department... those agencies actually called folk in ATL to get insight on what happened in the process.
Folk from the IC talked about where is the level of political unity to be the organizers of the social forum.
I have a concern that the levels of unity that we all signed on to, but there was a moment from mid last year about saying that there needed to be a higher level of security, people on paper as being on the NPC.
Why would we take out people who were our allies?
Some of the organizations of the unions need to be off, but that does not make sense to me.
For the purpose of a social forum we need to engage labor. Then I began to have concerns. There are so many things that are needed. How do we understand the role of mass formation, building social movements.
What are we trying to do and build. We need to go broader. We want to talk about building a left party, but I think that gets confusing.
Methodology, I will share some examples of things that are happening around the world.
There have been pieces advanced internationally that we should take
We will evolve in leadership to meet the moment.
As deep a level of accessment is necessary, who needs to be at that table. People already involved in the work . Local, regional or thematic. We are going to be there.
The relationship between the local organizing committee and the anchors. Not one of the Detroit local organizers are here and they are not acknowledged and appreciated. People gave a lot of free services and time. We need to build a movement in the city - that is stronger when we leave. There are people that don't talk to each other. We need to acknowledge all the help.
o What kind of national convergence is needed?
o What does the social forum process do as a tool for movement building in the US that other processes do not do?
o What would be the key political and practical goals?
o Who needs to be involved in the leadership and planning?
o What are we changing or evolving in terms of the planning body and process?
o What is the organizing model we will be using to build up the process?
Stephanie (Project South) left the room! Made comments on NPC and Social Forum
The big international unions should not be a part of building radical social movements. They will join us to bring resources, but not necessarily organizing.
The idea of where I hope the NPC goes, but serious revolutionaries are convening this. We can relate to soft left liberal groups, but they are not going to have the right structural critique to build the movement that we want to create
What impacted communities forces in motions that are actually coming out of and coming out with these conversations.
It is not just the Arab Spring. Iceland is a perfect example. They refused to pay the the WB and IMF and put their bankers in prison
I think we should name that the AFL CIO is not at the table, but they may join later.j
Oya: Cindy, I got the same type of impression, we need to be broader, Thank you for your comment .
We are at a point in history where we need to talk about the abstract, we got to go 'here'
We need to take steps A, B, C because we want to get to D
There needs to be a shift. Some of the next steps that we have to take are uncomfortable and scary.
We need to head in a direction, where we are going to have to break with the Democratic party and lead an independent political movement in the forefront.
It is already happening. We can be a part of this process or not. particularly as it relates to the NP industrial complex.
There was a huge amount of discussion in January.
The NPC and the USSF were movement facilitators. Creating motion in the movements. It was to facilitate a motion that would keep it on track until the questions were resolved.
We were really clear that wasn't written up on the website. It is not a criteria for being on the NPC. We are a broad motion. There is no discussion about shrinking the NPC. I was a little in touch with Darryl from Labor Heritage, but at some point that will get back with us.
Just to clarify from my recollection. Those were not issues for me.
The NPC is not going to take the political decision that they need to stop working with the Democratic Party
There is a dialectic difference on the NPC and the Social Forum. Both impact each other.
We have to proceed with very clear questions in mind.
Social Forums are very expensive ventures. Can the movement martial that type of funding. That was foundation funding, it was lead by funders.
May 1st People Link does not use foundation money.
I am not sure that the foundation money is there.
Does the social forum political to bring a lot of people together or bring organizations together.
The social forum has some type of split personalities. These things are becoming more and more difficult to organize. Who talks to these people? Who organizes these people? How will our work respect the work locally.
The role of movements, do movement represent people as human beings or their relationship to the struggle.
That pertains to labor, they may not be very active right now. They are probably worth bringing into the process.
Grassroots organizing, who fall into the vein as organizers. When they are largely led by people of color there are not a lot of resources. These are not large nonprofits. We brought them on to raise the legitimacy and profile of the NPC. It has been the grassroots org that have continued this work.
I don't expect the nationals to come to the table, but the local and regional folk who would be interested in this...
There is a disconnect btw leadership and the people on the ground.
I don't want to negate the contribution of grassroots orgs led by People of Color.
I think of the social forum as a tool to build a REAL social movement to transform this country.
We need to think broader, not smaller.
We need to have our tentacles in every aspect of society.
Can we influence them to play a more positive role than they would usually play, or do we neutralize them so they cannot impact the working class/masses on the same level that they did before.
If we can have some influence, then the greater the diversity then the wider our reach.
There is a difference who we build with and how sits at the table.
if we base it on the people who are mostly widely impacted by people who are impacted by an oppress society.
The gamble we are taking is that others will join this struggle with our mission of putting Impacted Communities in leadership
I think the broader the planning committee, the better it is...
Doesn't mean that the people sitting at the table change our focus from the work that we know needs to be done.
Many movments have been co-opted many many times.
I think we were much narrower in the beginning when were setting our foundation
We have to keep building this base.
Those of us involved in national movements the cross connecting that we are big on does not have the same importance. We need people to do the work. We may look at local affiliates more in terms who are raw and hungry opposed to the national.
The social forums that have political parties in leadership shift the focus of the forum.
It was a moment when were very intentional about who we would allow into the process. but as we began to expand . We need to get resources in here, in order to negotiate. We hit up the Unions. and they did that. We made a political commitment to make that happen
If we look at it. AFL CIO AFSCME etc.
There are people who were paper members. it was important to see certain names on the website so we could reach more of the people that we wanted to attend.
When Eddie Costa was the best rep, but he did not rep the full politics of the AFL CIO.
We can name who were there from beginning to end. There were a small group of us who staffed the forums. I want to be clear, there is the paper verions and who will build this process.
Out of 45 there are 12 here, and 10 out of those in GGJ don't have the capacity to be on the NPC. Let's have a sobering look at the NPC. Who are we talking about. What is the political will. The who and the how are important. There was a resource drain on all of us.
I feel that for us at GGJ from our coordinating committee in an exploration phase. What is the thinking and steps. We don't have the capacity to give my time. Why I am trying to clearly state our ability to participate. We cannot participate on the same level. All of these folks want to know how they are relating to this process in a creative way. Push for clarity.
Our understanding is based on report backs from January.
Reality of what it means to create the social forums and stay in alignment with our principles with no money.
We have not gotten any closure on key questions in this section. we can pull out the political and practical goals.
What are the goals of a USSF in 2013
What would be the real practical and political goals
What is the role of the NPC to make that happen?
There were a lot of discussion on the NPC.
We have some clarity. There is a core of folk who have been holding this. We need to take the next tow
Cheri: Can we refer to the prior decisons to help focus ourselves?
David: Should we do a straw pool to see if we are doing a 2014 UUSF?
Sylvia: We are not ready to answer this question. Instead, how much can we support folks who might attend an NPC Expanded in March. Remember we already said we were doing a USSF in 2014.
Ashley: From my own personal perspective, we should see if we have agreement on what the USSF is/can be. Our movement will be built on our own sweat equity.
Alfredo: We need to make political decisions on pending political questions. We are committed to March 2013, but it isn't clear that we can/should do USSF in 2014.
Rose: Remember that there will be a WSF in Tunisia in March 2013.
Alfredo: Note that WSF just lost its only staffer.
Rose: Given our limited bandwidth, what is actually possible. So where do we go from here....
Cindi: Who will actually spearhead the March 2013 meeting? I thought it was going to be Project South.
Oya: 4 cities expressed interest in hosting March 2013. (Philly, Atlanta, San Antonio, New Orleans). All but San Antonio have said they could do it. ALl have said there were ready to work with other organizations.
Jerome: We should have it in New Orleans. They are the South, and the folks we are wanting toi build with are still struggling. Plus, there are existing orgs ready to help. (Peoples Institute for Survival & Beyond and Project South are ready to go).
Oya: Remember the costs of airfare, as it will be cost.
Cindy: Who here at this table is willing to help?
Jerome: Remember Carlton (Alternate Roots) wants to do it in either ATL or NO
Cheri: Offering Philly b/c we have folks ready to go.
Jerome: Oya please investigate more thoroughly the other possible locales.
We need to decide this before we leave. We need to do some research about Atlanta and San Antonio, and New Orleans.
What is your organizational commitment and capacity going forward
For GGJ we as the alliance cannot give any staff time to helping organize the meeting in March. We are heavily focused on the WSF in Tunisia and our role on the IC. If there were a convening I think it will be difficult considering the timing of the WSF and the Left Forum. We will be present. We are looking at a social forum of another type. A thematic forum. For example around climate justice. A forum with US, Canda, and Mexico.
or being able to have a forum on certain fronts of struggle. 2015 seems more
A good core of our member groups said that they cannot participate the way they did before. There othesrs who are participating.
Gender Justice Working Group and the Poverty Working Group (Rose) I think there is an urgency for the moment. If we have another forum and if it is a theme it should be about poverty, capitalism.
May1st People Link (Alfredo)
May1stPeople Link is on board to help with organzing from ICT support to a high level of technology support. I have a list about 40 member orgs that I want to invite. I will run it by the NPC if I have to. I would like to invite Mexico to attend the convergence. I am open to thepoints of struggle suggestion by Cindy> It will help us define a lot of stuff. It will help us clarify the work around Human Rights. I think 2014 is the time to do it.
United For Peace and Justice (George Martin)
We don't have the capacity to give a staff member. We are commited to the WSF and the work that we are currently doing. We can get some of our larger organizations involved. 2014.
PPERC is totally commited to the Social Forum and willing to do what we have to do to make it happen in 2014. We are dealing with mass foreclosures in Philly. We are working with orgs who have no money. We are working with disabled and the permanetly Unemployed groups that worked with us during my campaign. We are working to break from the Democratic Party. The building of the Greens, to create cooperative ways of survival and living. We are organizing for the world court of women in Philly. I am working with Jacqui and folks from the University of Pittsburgh there.
Really figuring out how to deal with the Nonprofit Industrial Complex and how to do our work without foundational funding. Foundations are dropping everybody. We have a different capacity issue. We are really huge right now. We are trying to get all of these orgs across the country to have a relationship.
I see 8 to 12 orgs that was once 40 orgs and many of them from GGJ. Is there a way a division of labor from those orgs can be settled. GGJ letting us know how their member groups what role they can play repping GGJ or on their own. Their pulling out is impacting the process.
Even the fundraising can be more effective if we had something concrete.
My concern to keep putting off naming when we will have the next social forum will hobble us.
We need to state if we are going to do the thematic forums or other types of forums. Who is going to do it.
If we have this March meeting with the intention of stating that we can have these wonderful convergences, but who is going to take on the work.
Are we going to live on a tier system comprised of folk who will do the work and folk who may join later.
We are trying to make a political assessment based on an organizational problem.
People have always said that we don't have the capacity to make this happen.
I think that from the standpoint of looking at all the urgencies
Not because we have staff, money, capacity
If we meet it with some leadership then we can pull this off.
Something else will fill that vacumn. Either we take the leadership or someone esle will.
Through the assembly we will do everything that we can. I don't know how much we can help in March. We can make sure that anyone who goes will help out. USSF commitment. Yes.
MWRO will support March and 2014. When we planned the first survival summit, we had $10,000 and $9,000 from Jobs With Peace with a $90,000 budget and it happened and helped to usher in a new movement. All of us are going to have to pitch in on all of it. The conditions are ripe. We need to take advantage of it. I will go back and make sure that MWRO will work with us.
MOVE TO AMEND (David)
We have not had enough conversations to speak for the org. But as a cofounding member then we are in. If we don't do the things that we say that we stand for we will become irrelevant. I know exactly what is going to happen over the next 2, 3, 5 and 7 years.
I want to be clear, it is not that I am happy about it, but we have to do 2013.
That is why I can say with conviction and clarity that we will have to work around the Left Forum and the WSF. Yes we are in. I will put time in. We are in for the NPC. I will continue to hold down the resource committee.
I feel that Resourece Dev. is ready to move forward if we had something concredte
DLOC & (Oya)
I am personally ready to do the work in a healthier way. (I will say when I can do something, and when I can't). We should recognize that we are all going to be stretched. I/we have little money, but we have sweat equity. There are folks at DLOC who are ready to roll, some want to be part of it, we need more clarity.
SOLIDARITY ECONOMY NETWORK (ashley)
We will be part of whatever happens re: USSF. We only have one half-time staffer. Personally, I want to be involved in whatever is most efficiently lead by impacted communities and people of color.
Community Community (Edgar) We are committed to 2013 to bring as many volunteers as we can. As for 2014, I want to echo what everyone has said based on the urgency of the moment.
Communications/Sociologists Beyond Borders
If we can get a process in motion I don't think that it matters if it is 2014 or 2015. The idea of thematic or revolving around fronts of struggle
Definitely coming out of the USSF, we have had some PMA's and need to plan some more. We have been building with Chicago. We would like to have a relationship across the region Michigan, Ohio, Illinois- Chicago. We think because of our proximity we can build regional alliances. We are def. dealing with serious grassroots EJ work. We have been looking at the adverse effect on low income communities of color . We are building with several groups in Detroit on what the climate impact is in SE MI. 2013 will not do it we need more lead time for the USSF III. We need more time for people to build the foundation and having conversations. The NPC needs to support the USSF PMA processes, particuarly anything regional and local.
We need to get at the agenda to make the important decisions that we have to make. Tonight we have a reception.
Saturday November 10, 2012
Opening libation statement and ritual George Martin
Lamont Badou (Wespac Foundation & Malcolm X Grassroots) Roger Drew (New York) George (PEACE) Danny (Move to Amend) Chris Wahmhoff (Inter Occupy) Ashley (Solidarity Economy) Jerome (LRNA) Cindy (GGJ) Charity (EMEAC) Muhammed (Palistine Coalition) Jackie (Sociologists without Border) Cheri (Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign) Alfredo ( MF/People Link) Micheal Brunson (Chicago Teachers Union) Walda (LRNA) Silvia (MWRO, Assembly ) Marian (MWRO) Jenn (Assembly to End Poverty) Oya (DLOC & DGCAC) Monica (Assembly to End Poverty) Frank (Washington) Makanie Themba (PRAXIS Project)
Meeting purpose and goals read by Rose
History/Background/Context (Cindy & Jerome)
1) Recap: Cindy-- Reviewed discussions about the challenges of the USSF process, successes/ assessment of USSF contributions to movement-building. Also important is the political context/moment. Assessment is to help determine what should be next.
Conscious effort not to replicate same model; develop and adapt USSF as a tool/vehicle for movement building. Attention to the process of building relationships/trust, not just the hosting of a convergence/forum.
Relating our work to world social forum process; helping connect local and global struggles. Context: crises (multiple); emergent struggles- OWS, anti-austerity protests, Arab Spring; These heighten broader desire to consider ideological debates about what visions/opportunities for transformation. Problem of attack from the right/resistance to change-repression will be important to consider.
Visioning the "road to 2014 [next social forum]"? Trying to be responsive to political moment-- supporting local movements and organizations; not overstretching capacities of movements but contributing to their efforts and strength. Movement-building. What steps/road will help achieve this?
Second question: is what structure is needed to help coordinate our planning and work together. What is needed in terms of criteria for involvement, expectations, and flexibility/ adaptability to allow us to achieve USSF aims?
Third, a mechanism that has developed in the international process-- the social movement assembly/People's Movement Assembly process in the USSF. This responds to the tension in the WSF of the desire to be an open space but also the need and desire of participants to use that space to put forward political agendas and plans of action. USSF we're working on integrating PMA process into our work. History of Detroit PMAs and subsequent work. Question now is how to use PMA process to build movements. Discussions around plans for March Assembly of Assemblies as step towards next USSF
Agreements so far: 1) Urgency of moment-need to act. 2) Intentionality- USSF has been led by working class, low-income, people of color. This is key to our goal of fundamentally transforming society. It also makes the work *much* harder. Need to ensure that this intentionality remains a core element of USSF work. 3) If USSF is to be a movement-building tool, then it needs to be led by people of color/working class people but have tenticles in other segments of the population--need to reach beyond the core leadership groups. 4) March meeting : Date, place TBD 5) USSF-3 : Yes Date,Place, Form TBD
Recap on reports from some of the work that has been done; PMAs, WSF-Free Palestine. Documentation and background reports all available at wiki space: http://wiki.ussf2010.org/wiki/Resources_for_November_2012_NPC_Meeting,_Chicago
Invitation to guests to speak with NPC members on questions/background, etc.
PANEL PRESENTATION-- on the political moment Questions" 1. Please give a brief outline of your specific struggle, identifying both positive & negative lessons 2. How does the result of the recent US election impact this struggle? 3. How does the current political moment, including the recent US election, impact our movements ability to resist the intensifying attack and to go on the offensive?
Chicago Teacher's Union struggle - Michael Bronson, one of four officers of the Chicago Teacher's Union New administration - from a caucus of the CTU (CORE) - which did not exist 3 years ago/group of teachers started as a book club and discussing what was going on in Chicago and in education. Analyzing the shutting down of schools and turning over to charters. That group of teachers decided to fight back because the union at the time was not doing that. They became the tail that wagged the dog. Local school councils put in place in 1988 - good examples of participatory democray. Ran a slate of officers for the Union in July 2010. Won. Began to change the orientation of the union. Was too closely aligned with opponents. Began to restructure union. Put in an organizing dept. Changed pay. Put more emphasis on media and accessibility - visiting schools & contact with members. Ask members what they want - what opinions are and what desires are - use this for decisions.
3-4 basic conflicts they are dealing with. 1) Assault on all things public, including public schools; 2) School reform movement led by Bill Gates and Walton family of Walmart, attempt to take over public schoos - why? because its $3 billion and $3 trillion if you include pensions; 3) Attacks on unions- especially teachers union. Now, 7% of population is unionized. Largest unions are in the public sector. Teachers are the largest of those. They're going after teachers union because of the power of the teachers union. Together these are an assault on democracy.
Inter-Occupy Chris W. (Kalamazoo) Notes diversity of OWS; he offers one voice/perspective. Need for multiple angles/approaches to struggle-- diversity of tactics in movement. Lack of coordination is frustrating at times; but recent response to Sandy has shown potential and local connections.
Detroit/Michigan struggle - Marian Kramer MWRO- Stand up for democracy petition drive; Responding to Michigan governor's attempt to implement Public Act 4, Public Act 72 (precursor). MWRO has fought both; first around the water battles in Detroit. Emergency Financial Manager/ usurps local democratic process. [Film The Water??] Under Public Act 4- Financial manager role is strengthened; ability to fire all public officials; target public sector unions (inccluding teachers), sell assets of city to pay debts, etc. Illusion among people that they still have power; ignorance about implications of this legislation. Cities affected by this legislation are majority African Americans; Independent consultants are determined by state; Student initiative to petition to repeal Public Act 4. 1 year later, board of canvassers (2 Democrats, 2 GOP). Tie meant petition not included on ballot (justification: "wrong font size"). Organizing process radicalized many young people/students. Appeal to state Supreme Court. Detroit court was sympathetic, but sent to whole body (but time constraint). Police refused to arrest protesters at court.
- Public act 4 was on ballot (!) Legislature trying to reverse the ballot initiative that rejected PA 4.
Some union members voted against us. Unions didn't do the education work necessary. Democrats also failed to defend democracy by refusing to support petition/referendum process (cites earlier recall initiative).
- Cheri: What is OWS doing about money?; CTU: Changing service dept. into the organizing dept. Possible lessons here for the nonprofit industrial complex. Can we learn something about how to tackle the problem of the nonprofit world 'service' emphasis to shift it to organizing?
OWS: Some resources left from early grants and gifts; much is in-kind/supplies/space Service->Organizing emphasis in CTU: Caucus in CTU shook up the union. Shifted it in the direction it is supposed to go. We had to take helm to lead it. There was pushback. Still developing our approach, but we needed to fight the business as usual approach in union.
- Mike: Barbara Bennet-from Detroit came to Chicago school district. Any advice?
Notes that all communities with Emergency Manager were primarily African American. Asked where Chicago OWS folks were? [Interoccupy was focal point given the horizontal nature of OWS; Also NPC reached out locally and got no response from OWS locals.]
- Jerome: What were considerations about the political environment/administration and links to Obama in CTU strike? Where to now?
[Mike: Notes that this was a concern; but there is support for opposition to 'arrogance' of Emmanuel's administration-including among police. What's next? First battle-- next one is to resist school closures/charters.]
- For Marian: What's next? How to defend gains?
[Coalition is regrouping to assess next steps. We know governor is planning a response, and we now have a coalition of organizations that are engaged. We're trying to keep the contacts together and ready to move On nonprofits: doors are closing]
Lamar: Status of P.Act 4: [Detroit city council relinquished its authority over financial decisions in response to state pressure]
SOCIAL FORUM OF A NEW TYPE? Cindy: Background on WSF process--
All of what we have done is on the wiki pages. A lot of innovation and work on this porcess. http://wiki.ussf2010.org/wiki/Resources_for_November_2012_NPC_Meeting,_Chicago
The evolution of the SF process in the US and the infrastructure
We need to study this so we can continue to be more and more effective
2001 - first -Puerto Alegre, Brazil 15,000 people in conjuction with the economic forum in Switzerland - this is our counter point - ie Another World Is Possible. We need an alternative, another choice.
Also, socialist experiments, there was a critique in the moment of how these were working. This has been a source of tension from the very beginning - there is an urgency/a crisis and then the question of how we address this. Hypothesis is that when you bring people together they will figure out what to do and self-organize.
There is a long history of the poor people's movements fighting for a seat on the WSF CC and fighting to bring the SF to the US and for recognition of poverty in the US.
WSF happened on an annual basis for a long time - until it was too much to do. Organizers in the US went to these and began to see the militant mass people's movements. The question began to emerge - when USSF? When will you take your government to task for all this shit? There were many local forums happening but they were mostly all white, academic or middle class. And some examples of this going really bad - indigenous people and people of color walking out. There was the notion to do it REALLY different. Charter of Principles says the planning body will be open - but USSF decided (in 2004) that those most impacted would be the leadership of the USSF. This would inform the organizing. There was a lot of criticism of this - but it did meet the goals set forward, Brought together 50 community based organizations (40 of these were big NGO;s). The NPC came out of this.
First Social Forum - date set for South in 2005 - emergency decision to post pone in to 2007.
2006 2 regional forum Border and Juarez (Oct) SE Social Forum (March) Created initiaitive.
2007 - NPC created the Organizing Committee (OC) and Regional Reps (2 per region) and co-chairs of the Working Groups (WG's) = the NPC
USSF Alanta 10,000 people
2008 some criticism of regional work - disbanded. WG structure stayed in place. PMA process and WG took on stronger role.
2010 USSF 20,0000 Detroit (June)
Working Groups (WG) of the USSF - open to anyone who wanted to role up sleeves and work
(see list from chart pack)
USSF 2010 Goals
1) Create a space for SM convergence and strategic discussion 2) Advance SM's agenda for action & transformation 3) Build stronger relationshipos and collaboration between movements 4) Deepen our commitment to international solidarity and common struggles 5) Strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions oganizing and movementg building in Detroit
Social Forum of a New Type
NOW, what are the entry points people have? Clarity on the core of leadership? There are ebbs and flows but there is a core that has taken us through all of this.
Summation document - 34 pages. Organizations responses to questions (called the Consulta) and out of which came the Urgency document.
Now, we need more convergence and cohesion.
Limit of self organized activities - general consensus that we do not want the 2,000 workshops. Maybe there is a cap? How do we support and create coordination - how do we bring it all together or create the space for that?
PMA's (local, regional and thematic) -proposal- has been an integral component of NPC but has also had autonomy. Now we need to decide, what is its role in being the key tool for convergence and creating clarity on the best strategies for the movements. Hope is that people self-organize but what is promoted is the use of PMA's to get this clarity.
PMA's at the Forum as a cross-movement convergence.
There are some pieces that at this moment we need to think about differently. We've been in a struggling stage for 1.5 years and the crisis at such a deep level and the impact.
The WCF IC (International Council)
Has only 5 "commissions" or groups
Methodology - plans program of WSF, particularly with focus on format, methodoloty.
Strategy - Strategic/political analysis, vision, direction, goals of WSFand IC/WSF process.
Expansion - Outreach to strategic regions, sectors and struggle
Communication - primarily virtual communication, internet and expanded (for those not at the Forum to participate)
Resources - Budget, financial, policies, fundraising
March Convergence Preliminary Goals:
a) To convene movement leaders on critical fronts of struggle b) To assess the current political moment and create a space for discussion & debate. c) To launch renewed USSF planning committtee that reflects grassroots movements.
- Cheri: Requests to add to point "A" "convene movement leaders AND ELDERS" to bring our history into the discussion. Left to discussion groups' input.
Background of the March meeting
Jan. 2012 meeting of NPC decided for early 2013 convening of some sort post-election with eye towards a future USSF. PMA Process planned an assembly of assemblies in March 2013, and NPC decided to merge this with a larger USSF gathering to converge movements and provide space to assess state of movements.
We are now going to take time to have some folks work on the March 2013 meeting plan- checking out the above goals and see if they are right - if there are more. We also need another group to work to figure out- what's the road to 2014 - what is the organizing strategy - and revisit - are the 2010 goals still our goals?
Also, what is the infrastructure/body right now that is needed to take us to March. Then, we will need to build toward 2014 and regroup, recruit.
We also need clearer areas of work linked to placement on National Planning Committee. Groups aren't just names on a list, but need to bring their work to the process.
How can we reimagine the form that is going to get work done. Also bringing in new social movements, bringing them in to engage - which may not be the NPC.
2 groups for the rest of the afternoon
1) March Meeting- what are the goals, where, report backs, budget? 2) Road to 2014 - Review goals, what is the mapping process/plan, what is the form/mechanism for us to build this process within that.
Framework: Come with solutions - not only critique. Document on chart pack. Assign one or two reporter outers.
Group #1 Report Out - March Meeting
Location and date recommendations: Two locations connected by technology (no primary location) Philadelphia (anchor= Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign) and New Orleans (anchor = People's Institute for Survival and Beyond PISB)
May First says"we have the technology"!! They have been doing meetings like this with US and Mexico.
Goal: 100-200 people at each site. There will be an "expanded" component of the meeting to expand participation in other local sites.
Who will be on this committee? Oya will Chair - we passed around a paper for folks to sign up.
We need to do Outreach - ex. immigrant communities, Native communities; storm victims.
Budget - we have $10K budgeted for this for now.
1) To convene movement of leaders, including leaders who are elders, on critical fronts of struggle. 2) To assess the current political moment & create a space for discussion & debate. 3) To launch renewed USSF planning committee that reflects grass roots movements. 4) Rebuild and expand the NPC through this process. 5) To connect with and inform the upcoming WSF in Tunisia. 6) To discuss how to facilitate and support regional and thematic PMS's and USSF's.
REPORT BACK from 2 lunch groups:
March 2013 Meeting
Discussion: Why 2 cities? -Link sites of Katrina and Sandy storms and other environmental struggles -Reduce challenges of travel/expenses and expand participation -Reduce carbon footprint of meetings -Expand and develop our technical capabilities for increaseing dialogue and participation
Concern about framing around storms-- East coast will be cleaned up faster than Katrina was. But Philly/NO are good locations; good to increase opportunities for participation by immigrants who have trouble flying.
Philly has large undocumented population; disabled population; there will be some lingering storm impact on poor folks in region. Climate change -urgency
These sites also help us move to different regions to build networks/outreach work
- Need to keep in mind the potential difficulties people in New Orleans will have with connecting Katrina and Sandy. Differences/privilege/racism/etc.
- How will we do the work of building the NPC in 2 sites?** Can we accomplish the organizing work with this format? Can we manage /do we have capacity to run programs in 2 places?
Need clarity on who is participating in this meeting. Is it a cadre meeting? Or general call-out? Are we highilghting issues or building towards next USSF?
Politically: Framing around climate change is important. Raising concerns about inequalities in rebuilding are important.
We need to think hard about the demands of oragnizing the NPC work within this format.
Alfredo: Climate change issue is framed by elite as weather and disaster. For us, the concern is how society is organized to respond to effects of climate change. Working class displaced will be permanently displaced.
Alfredo: Technology piece: Yes, there is cause for concern. We would be trying something new. Many folks we're trying to reach and engage with cannot travel. Resource constraints will make them less able to do this. So we should do this. Are we ready to try it now? MayFirst has organized meetings in multiple sites this way. It works. There is a way to also have webcast via the internet and we can field written questions. So there will be challenges, there are some advantages. Do we want to take up the challenge?
Cheri: Notes the size of the country; we need to expand the conversations. The technology can help us; but it's scary/uncertain for us. But many youth are very comfortable on technology, this might help reach them. Experience with multi-site linked meetings during her campaign was effective.
George: Facilitation challenges, but excitement about this idea. If the two sites bring in more potential contributors to the work of the NPC/USSF this is an important piece.
Sylvia: Need to keep in mind the goals of the meeting. Stay clear on that. Facilitation work is important. Having orientation calls to help new potential/NPC members get up to speed. Other prep work that might help us have effective meetings.
David: The US is not country it's a continent. Organizing on this scale is a challenge. If we do this, we're doubling our workload. But is history demanding this of us? The previous work of MayFirst and USSF has allowed us to think about doing this. This meeting is a 'cadre plus' meeting- expanding participation in the organizing work; but we aslo want to communicate more broadly to movements in US and internationally. You get ready to do something you're not ready to do by doing it. Concerns are valid. But maybe we need to step up and expand what we can do.
Cindy: Given the state of the NPC (reduced participation) and need for some members to step back. This is a critical moment. What's the political leadership that is ready to come together to move the process forward towards 2014. Doing all the logistics and fundraising work is daunting. Political will at this point is low. Who will really do the work? We don't have all the players in the room now.
Oya: New Orleans is definitely serious about hosting.
Makani: Need intentionality about how to achieve goals with this meeting. How we organize it needs to build the USSF work.
[Welcome guest: Rashad Barber- madison WI, Alliance for Economic Democracy; Em Adams -Take back the Land, Madison and national]
Charity: Is there thoughts on not just restructuring but deepening NPC. We need analysis-not just event.
Jen: Feels like 2 events. Technology piece is good; link with climate change is good; But concerns about getting the organizing work done in this format.
Cheri: From experience on campaign, she sees evidence that there could be effective organizing meetings via video conference.
Sylvia: The March meeting should be a culmination of a process of gaining commitment to participate in USSF process. Idea is not 2 meetings: it's one meeting in two locations. Details can be worked out. But we need to maximize meaningful participation. Work leading up to it is just as important as the meeting itself. So the organizing beforehand will be essential. NPC meetings can cost $20K-- we don't have that. Fundraising is hard without a vision of what we're doing.
Marian:Doesn't see NPC meeting in 2 places. Need to choose one place.
Chris: Apathy is biggest challenge. USSF folks know what you're doing. You have a lot to share. Need to communicate knowledge and create invitations to participate.
Tara: Several questions are being thrust together here. There are differnt ways to think about managing the key goals and how they are related/connected to the decision about 2 cities.
Oya: Notes that both cities have anchor groups and larger coalitions.
Cindy: Much work remains on figuring out the NPC work. This requires lots of time/work. Coordinating meetings is lots of work. Do we have capacity to do this? Let's not take on too much so we fail to get clarity.
Rose: Keeping it simple. Is this the time to test? Do we have the person-power/capacity? Adding level of untested complexity at this time of high stakes.
NEW GUESTS Gerald-Anti Eviction Campaign; Tom Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign.
There is a level of political and logistical coordination is a whole level of complexity
Sylvia: We've got enough folk who have done this work for a long period time. It works when we let it work. I have coordinated 5 NPC meetings and worked with Victor. We have a system around it. For me if there was a hang up, it would be to make sure that we had the dialouge in two space and that people feel as if they a part of a flowing conversation.
David: I did not hear any of us say that therefore I am going to put in 5 hours per week to make this happen. I am not suggesting that we heard feedback from our comrades and then bring this back to our collective.
Cheri: I am hearing that there is someone else who can host it and people don't feel comfortable with it being in two places. Then it will be in two places. So I take Philly off the table.
David: I suggest that we take this off the table and Oya and David will create a proposal developed with committee.
Makani:Is that thinking about organzing locally or is it about the regional sweep and the coordination with both cities. There is one thing that happens regionally and the coordination to make it one meeting that builds on the goal.
Walda: I think we should take a vote. I don't think that everyone took a clear position on it.
Cindy: We should poll orgs to see if they are in position to give time to this process.
Cheri: Yes, we are giving someone full time.
Jerome: We are going to spend time reaching out the NPC (current and potential)
Jackie: Yes. If there are two spots and the excitement about the two models.
Alfredo: We will make sure that all the technology is in place and I already know the technologists who will do it.
David: Besides you how many of your comrades will be exicted.
Alfredo: The whole staff and the
Marian: Will help to see if people will get there
Ashley: In any situation I can put in hours.
David: We are trying to determine if we have the people who will step up to do the work to make 2 coordinating cities.
Monica: Yes. Through the Resource Dve.
Makani: We will support people in whatever capacity that they think they can do it. Do folk think that they reach their own resources to anchor the meeting. It is good
Charity: EMEAC and will help to coordinate to bring people. I will see if Ife can contribute some staff time to make it happen.
George: Cannot commit
David: The Move to Amend will contribute to restructuring and strengthening the NPC. There is nothing that has been said to convince me that we are in agreement that we want to have both cities
Rashad: I can logistically put in 10 hours per week. I am not affiliated with NPC to know all the ins and outs
Chris: I would feel very welcome about putting energy into it, but I want to check with IO in Philly to see if they want to contribute. We are putting in a lot of work with Sandy clean up so I need to check about our capacity.
David: Vote about 1 meeting in two places.
Yes Cheri - Edgar Jackie Jeorom Alfredo Makani Oya George- UFPJ
No GGJ MWRO USPCN
Abstain Move to Amend Solidarity Economy
Jerome: I don't feel comfortable moving forward.
Alfredo: We do not have enough support to move forward with this kind of step.
David: If we are down to say that we will do it one place and that will make it work. We did not have enough to make our comrades with the extra complexity to move this forward.
Roger: If you delegate specific tasks, then I will do the work
Cheri: PPERC will pull out and organize folk to come to New Orleans.
Rashad: I can donate more time
Take Back the Land: i will take it back to my organization to see our capacity, but personally I will not be able to contribute until January.
David: We need to confirm the proposed date and the goals. The other thing that we want to affirm that folks are in agreement that we will still video streaming the meeting. We are going to do that first and then we will move forward. New Orleans on March 8-10, 2012.
Ashley: Why are we video streaming.
We have done this before at other NPC meetings to give people who did not come to still participate. This is a way to get people who are vested in this
Ashley: Can we put a caveat on it, so that if anyone has a safety concern about being videotaped.
Alfredo: Are we just streaming or are we seeking online facilitation
George Martin: The people who don't want to participate will have their backs to the camera
We have done this before and there is a consent process. We have a history with this. Maybe we are getting the lingo wrong, we are trying to add a component of that should be a way to open up this meeting to make is accessible to folk who are not there. How that happens and to what extent we can figure that out along the way.
Cheri: If there is a way to make sure that ther are people in the disable community in New Orleans get outreached.
David: Do we have an affirmation? We want to make sure that we create a space for people who have concerned around the goals.
March Convergence Preliminary Goals · · A.To convene movement leaders and elders on critical fronts of struggle · B. To assess the current political moment and create a space for discussion and
· C. To launch renewed USSF Planning Committee that reflects grassroots movements · D. Announce date/location of the USSF for 2014 · E. Rebuild and expand the NPC (strengthening and deepening of the NPC) · F. To connect with and inform the upcoming WSF in Tunisia · G. To discuss how to facilitate and support regional/thematic PMAs
David: Oya and I will work on a proposal to take back to the NPC
Cindy: Rebuild and expand
Sylvia: You can be participate with the work without being a member of the NPC.
Cindy: That is fine, but I think that the vetting process to set the date is too soon. It has taken months of work before. That is my only concern about the process. Will people be vetted and seriously bring in a proposal as to why they should host the next USSF.
Cheri: The ideal was to vet potential spaces for the USSF
Jerome: We should plan to get 3 or 4 cities to come to the meeting with strong proposals as to why they should host the next USSF and then set up a site selection committee.
David: I want to thank David and Marian. We ended this and got a lot more work because we got a lot more work done.
- thank our facilitator, and thanking people who came out, the next piece is that the other working group had a list of things, Our working group was able to look at the goals of this national planning comittee. Ahsley ( and 2 others re wrote these). We are not trying to get unity on this we are just trying to get feed back and brainstorm. These goals are for the planning process and then the event. This is more about being able to see what we have done we'll and what we have not. This is a chance for feedback. This helps come to march with a clear process.
ORIGINAL from website: *Also see What We believe: http://www.ussf2010.org/about
-- Create a space for social movement convergence and strategic discussion. -- Advance social movements agenda for action and transformation. -- Build stronger relationships and collaboration between movements. -- Deepen our commitment to international solidarity and common struggle. -- Strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions, organizing and movement building in Detroit.
Confirmed, [NOTE: working group will work on integrating these ideas into existing What We Believe statement http://www.ussf2010.org/about ]
1: Create a space for social movement, analise convergance and strategic discussion.
2: Advance PMA's agenda for ongoing action
3: build stronger relationships & collaboration across fronts of struggle.
4: Deepen our collaboration to international solidarity
5: Strengthening local capacity, to improve social conditions
6: Deepen social movement on fronts of struggles for political understanding.
7: Uniting soical movements and fronts of struggle into a powerful political force.
8: SF models, practices, values and our vision of another world, ( resources and redistribution)
9: Celebration, caring, and support of identity, making cooperation collectivity.
( Glasses , peacepots shirt black) The idea I've heard and got excited about, is releaved by a group working together in a crisis
Walda- That action absolutly needs to be a a PMA at the end of the social form, our task is to set the big goals. As we grow bringing more to the forum.
for number 2 we will advance the aganda for action, The other question about land distribution is peticular, What values are we trying to focus on. The last things the group mentioned were values we worked Sheri- going back to this topic there are multiple ways to spend resource ( Via flights, or facility etc) Or you give back other ways, with community work, a lot of times things aern't set up like that, we are already behind the times with the things happening in our communities ( co-op models etc etc ) David: 1 of the things I think I hear is that we should be getting sharper with our demands. It's important to build in with more political sharpness then we have had. I would be excited on the methodology to get us there. Alysha: Some part of the the distribution, one of the things we could model are, our reperations, whatever our policies we choose. One one hand how do we do this, on the other there are examples of requests. What are the goals and plans to carry the social forum to the net step M: Stressed need for values of healing and accountability. Things happen in work and things happen in the movememnt, For me it would be very important to know the group is accountable, ( thangs happan all the time) I wonder if it should be a seperate goal to say something about material, emphasised and interests to see power come back to community. CHarity: If the NPC comes with a large scale, we are trumping the communities ability to speak. If things get going change will happen because the public will demand it. M: I agree with you, If there is a way the NPC can bring a lot of resources to the city, we should make sure some stays in the city. clarification , do you mean to the city? M: didn't mean the government (don't know name) This is actually really great, Mentioned "what we believe" from 06.. Explained examples of what was done in detroit and how we'll things worked there. NPC has made some very cool achievments ( etc bikes etc etc) there was alos a healing space and how there was a space created. There are pieces of this that need to be put in the "what we believe" , and then we need to come back to some of these and do the word smithng to get it finalized. sylvia: , Did you get to a meeting about regional, has been brought up but did not land. ashley: The goals are what we use to brainstorm intension and to advance them. and we should right these goals of shift change for our world,SO not just a simple exhcnage but to make a real shift out of materialism. Oya: asking for clarification about social forum being a conference. and clarifying that this is not just a conference Ashley: resource change she mentions is just to see them as clear objective goals. Tara appreciated statments about beliefs. Felt number 8 is the best statment summerizing all the goals in a good fashion. What can we do with this paticular tool and what can we not? and clearly identify limits . ask for NPC members to take this info and give it some clear and polished goals. We need NPC volunteers. 2nded
It would be important to capture and make into a package This discussion and PMA synthesis from 2010 Detroit.
Sheri - you only get to organize what you take, reclaiming these things is a much longer conversation, 2nded to be a very important conversation.
there is a theory that we ( us have things down pat) but it is not a sit in the room kind of thing.
- is there anyway we can have a group of people to hold on to some of the idea's about how to go better.
SHeri- I would never advocate having a meeting in a room away from the struggle,
1st: The goal is when we are ready these are ready
2nd: I believe this is about talking to the road to 2014. so that the social forum is a real example of those views.
for tomorrow a couple of pieces> - still have to talk about the road to 2014, - doing a mapping of what we know is happening - who are the concrete people who should be at this meeting. - some conversation about the structure of the NPC - budget and fundraising - timelining
close out and seeing how everyone is feeling.
what we wanna say is empowring people as an actual political leadership entitiy.
SUNDAY: PART 1 MONICA NOTES INSERT HERE
11.11.2012 Present: Sylvia, Mark (Dilly), Jen Cox, David Cobb, Jerome, Chris/Occupy, Rose, Ashley, Marian, Charity/EMEAC, Walda/LRNA, Oya/DLOC, Jackie/Sociologists Without Borders, Tara/Education Liberation, Makani/Praxis, Cheri/PPEHRC, Alfredo/May First, Rania Shkairat & Muhammad Sankati/US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), George/Peace & Freedom Network, Sylvia handed out and explained reimbursement forms NPC Discussion - Walda: Facilitator Clarity of Purpose – NPC has always held the admin infrastructure of the SF process; and also always held the organizing/outreach of the social forum process. Proposal: The NPC will hold the planning & organizing/outreach/PMA – still held by the national planning committee. A smaller team will hold the day-to-day work, ex. Operations, coordination, communications (internal & external) and accountability (making sure its all happening) – the accountability team the “A” Team (changed during the discussion to the Accountability & Coordination Team – ACT). Timeframe: We will re-evaluate and re-assess this in March. Authority – to approve We reached consensus on this. We still have these work groups: 1) Comms 2) ICTech 3) Resource Development 4) Poverty WG 5) Gender Justice WG 6) Political security 7) Synthesis and evaluation 8) International 9) PMA Now also Road to 2014 and NOLA March 2013 Discussion: Historically, sometimes the A Team worked well and sometimes it didn’t. When did it work well? It worked well when we were clear about division of labor and focus of work. When it has fallen apart was in between social forums – this is when we lose focus. Also, when communication is clear and built into the system (ex. Reports every week or every month) then that has really helped it work well. Capacity was also an issue. When there are individual roles and clarity that really helped. When there is a conflict between individual and group perspective then that was not always resolved well. Folks would sometimes come off the A team rather than resolve happen. OC – people felt their voices were being represented and it was transparent. We were accountable to each other and to our groups. Communications has stayed together well – and even expanded since March with the newsletter and communicating what is going well. We haven’t always coordinated well across teams. We need to ensure some coordination and communications across the work- the A team will likely serve this process. Ex. Someone from the A team will need to be from the comm team. Holding each other accountable. How about calling it the Coordination and Accountability Team – CAT? One of the things we do as an NPC is we make small groups and then reject them because they have too much power. What if we just say – “whoever can do the work?” One thing that can be different is that this group is representatives from all the work groups. Still have the explanation that all NPC groups join one of the work groups.
Communications (ex. Regular reports) help create accountability – is the work happening or not. Who? Should we have all the committees put someone forward? Proposal - ACT will bring a proposal to the current NPC regarding revisiting criteria and application process and calling the question who’s in and who’s out for the NPC moving forward; then recruitment & reorganization. Sylvia brought question of tiers – ex. Members and allies.
PART 2: JACKIE ON NOTES: ACT members: Comms/ Doc. And Eval. – Jackie Smith ICT—Alfredo/Jamie Institutional memory/ at-large Jerome Gender Justice Rose March 2013- Oya + NOLA representative International Solidarity-Jen Road to 2014- Walda/Ashley PMA- Steph/Ruben (need to contact) Political Security*
[*NOTE: Malcolm X Grassroots Movement is applying for NPC membership; Kali no longer with US Human Rights Network. Kali is ready to rep MXGM and work on NPC; He could serve role of political security work group rep. ; This body supports adding MXGM as NPC member and recruiting Kali to ACT]
[NOTE2: GGJ was recognized as a likely member of ACT given its past leadership; Cindy has indicated lack of capacity of GGJ right now. There are 7 other NPC members who are members of GGJ. How to coordinate this representation? Will GGJ members rep. just their own organization or can there be some network coordination with GGJ as a group?]
Charity: ACT Team will carry forward timeline/ criteria/ recommendation of adding “Allies” category
Jerome: ACT Team needs to take up right away: work on staff/point person to facilitate. ACT TEAM WILL MEET THIS WEEK. HUDDLE AFTER THIS MEETING.
NPC Membership Criteria
- Support What we Believe
http://www.ussf2010.org/about (Retrieved September 20, 2010) What We Believe We, the organizers of the first United States Social Forum:
* Believe that 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 in the Third World. * Believe the USSF 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. * Believe the USSF must be a place where the voices of those who are most marginalized and oppressed from Indigenous communities can be heard--a place that will recognize Indigenous peoples, their issues and struggles. * Believe the USSF must create space for the full and equal participation of undocumented migrants and their communities. * Believe the USSF should link US-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. * Believe the USSF is important because we must have a clear and unified approach at dealing with social justice issues, and meaningful positions on global issues. * Believe that a USSF 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. * Believe that the USSF will help build national networks that will be better able to collaborate with international networks and movements. * We believe the USSF 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.
[SYLVIA READ application for NPC groups—questions on capacity and commitment; anticipated levels of engagement
Roles and Responsibilities
- Alignment with WSF Principles
- Shared responsibility for planning and implementing USSF
2-5hrs/week of volunteer time prior to USSF Participate in NPC meetings/calls Participate in at least one active Working Group
- Mobilize own group members
- Outreach to other groups in your networks
- Support and assist with resource mobilization;
Fundraise and recruit volunteers—specific amount/#s requested of each NPC member.
- Provide at least one staff or volunteer per day of USSF to support needs during USSF;
PROPOSED --ALLIES: ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Alignment with WSF Principles
- Inform your own group members and networks about WSF/USSF process
- Encourage members/leaders/ networks to participate in USSF working group(s)
- Support and assist with resource and volunteer mobilization (as feasible)
- Mobilize your members and networks to participate in USSF activities.
DISCUSSION: JEN: Notes that we need to be aware of how ‘impacted’ communities is changing with economy; consider how different groups—i.e., people of color, are connected to the leadership of process.
JEROME: Approaching NPC members will include an ask: how can you be involved? What’s your capacity? What specific tasks can you do?
JEROME: Need to think differently about capacities and priorities and how we can shape people’s priorities and capacities.
CHERI: When we approach groups- we need to think about RECIPROCITY. Groups need to know that they will be supported in their work on NPC. I.E., being able to have your work documented/ highlighted as part of the USSF process, resources to assist participation; Information that is useful to group’s work, etc. WHAT concrete benefits will most impacted groups get from participating?
SYLVIA: Invites feedback from guests on NPC membership discussion Chris: Information-assistance with responding to changing conditions Muhammad: Building/mobilizing base –how can USSF process contribute to grassroots base building work?
Tara: My group can’t be an NPC member. We want to connect with USSF. How do we do that? What does that relationship look like?
Roger: Allied organization expectations is helpful. TELL STORIES OF HOW NPC Organizations benefitted from participation.
GEORGE M.: RECOMMENDATION—conference call on ROAD TO 2014? PROPOSAL to do conference call to inform folks.
RESOURCE MOB. TEAM: $50,000 allocated to next USSF
THIS meeting is under-budget so some $ went back into that pool of funds. Need to flag the need some groups for higher levels of travel support to participate;
$10,000 Allocated for March meeting: 40 reps from 40 orgs at $250/pp
PROPOSAL now to J.S. Noyes-outstanding (for $15,000) Makani-thanks for proposal Jerome and David will be meeting with funders to assess what’s needed to raise resources for March.
(Will @ Marguerite Casey Foundation; other funders will be at this meeting)
Makani: Resource team is multiplier not sole developer of our resources. We need to work with other working groups to do this work. NOTE TO Other members- participating in Resource mob teams gets one access to funders for their groups. We don’t want to subtract/compete with requests from other groups.
ALFREDO: The money we’ve gotten in past won’t be coming for future work. We need to keep in mind the changed environment. We need to adapt our expectations. We need to insert into the agenda of groups we recruit into this process the ideas that we are not going to be able to fund travel as we had in the past. Member groups must support that work; and we need to help them see what they get out of supporting this.
CHERI: Learning from rest of the world. Cheri’s travels showed how people self-organized to attend meetings- no foundation funds. We need to help US groups rethink how to support/resource this work. We also need to make better use of technology in response to this recognition of resource constraints.
MAPPING - WHAT's in MOTION/ What pieces of work that [NOTE TO COMMS WORKING GROUP: THESE SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN NEWSLETTER/CALENDAR]
TARA: Free minds/Free People -Education for Liberation Network-- July/Chicago- Meeting on Ethnic studies. Ed for Lib has calendar Big socialism conference/Haymarket books June 27, 2013. In Chicago.
OYA Midwest Campagin vs. violence 10 groups in coalitions Feb./multi-city.
GEORGE: Feb.15, 2003 10th anniversary of biggest peace march ever.
CHERI: Alt. spring break training-housing/foreclosure- March; Link to work building greens-- World Court of Women vs. Poverty-- Dec. 10 national press conference int'l human rights day.
USPCN: Planning meeting -using PMA format sometime in 2013- September?
DAVID-- M2A: Did 7 thematic assemblies; One coming up in Gainesville, FL-- 5 more in 2013. Jerome, George Friday will be involved. Anyone with anchor group possibility to help support thematic assembly on corp. personhood. Summer 2013- Wisconsin-democracy conference; Media Reform Conferece- funders are here. We need to get USSF analysis in that meeting. Left Forum- March- 18-20 NPC and USSF needs to be part of that.
WALDA: PROPOSED THAT WE DEVELOP COMMS procedure to help communicate activities to all NPC members. COMMS WORK ON THIS!
Chris-Interoccupy- Sept.17 OWS anniversary Philly and Denver occupy groups are most relevant/active/possible partners.
(Will make more effort to communicate USSF to OWS networks)
ROGER: Indigenous 400th anniversary of 'treaty' signing' 2013. WESTPAC
ASHLEY- Jan. 2013-Minneapolis SEN Democracy training (Rose)
MARIAN: Sometime 2013- World Court of Women Midwest
CHARITY: EMEAC Climate Justice Detroit 2013- TBA
CHERI HONKALA: Court date on presidential debates/democracy Jan 7, 2013- we may need to help keep Cheri out of jail.
CLOSING ASSESSMENTS: Optimistic, Clear, Hope, Energized, Appreciative, Better than yesterday; More Clarity & Focus; Grateful; Ready to go!; Positive energy; Glad to meet folks; Brilliant!; Good to see folks again; Looking forward to 2014; Appreciative of the political moment we're in; Motivated and Sober; Hopeful; Kick-Ass!; Need to be sure we keep involving young people; Looking forward to working in a healthier way. Empowered. Building a Movement!