Introductions and Check-ins
Rose, Edgar, Jerome, walda, Anna, Spence (David, Colette)
Reports regarding specific fronts of struggle / working groups
Indigenous Peoples Key relationships are being developed with Idle No More, IEN, International Indian Treaty Council, 7th Generation Fund, and there is increasing understanding of the landscape and different relationship. The focus is on building long term relationships that will extend past social forum process. There are INM chapters on the west coast, east coast (Philly). We will be focusing on building direct relationship with people who are close to sites where Social Forum will be located. Clayton is interested in being involved and will connect folks to INM groups closest to the three sites and build things out from there. This will take a while to build up contacts and relationships with these groups.
Youth Jerome is in contact with Tia, one of the organizers of the Youth WG out of Philly. This WG is in motion and having calls.
Culture Working group email report came out a couple of days ago. This WG is in formation, mainly organized by some of Hip Hop Groups. They are trying to have meeting in next week or so.
Language Justice Possible connections: Bryan Parras @ Tejas; Danielle Mahone @ Center for Third World Organizing; Roberto
Outreach efforts over the last month
"Canadian" organizers Edgar connected with Shanee Prassad, from the Peoples Social Forum in Canada, who lives in Vancouver BC. They talked about the possibility of a satellite site. Shanee is really excited and there is a BC Social Forum during same time as US Social Forum. Edgar will figure out the dates and how to move forward. A contingent from the food sovereignty PMA@ the Pacific NW Social Forum will attend the 2016 Assembly of Assemblies. People are particularly interested in 2016 because it is an election year and that is when a farm bill will come out. It would be important to frame this as how to get ready for 2016? There will be a focus on farm workers at the San Hose SF site. Part of 2016 process is expanding involvement in 2015. US Social Forum Dates - June 25-28 - June 24-27 in San Hose
Pacific NW Social Forum (Edgar) Over 200 people were there, people came from Washington, including a group of teenagers. For many people it was their first time at a social forum. Saturday included the opening panel (alternatives to capitalism and how do we get there) and was the main day of PMAs (democracy, hip hop, food sovereignty, indigenous treaties, labor, media, from Gaza to the Americas -deportation, militarization). The PMAs were well attended. The groups then all got together and discussed the current political moment, the world we want to see, the actions people were going to commit to. Good experience, many good connections were made and it was helpful in regards to what we are trying to do. There is an upcoming debrief. (Rose) Groups struggled with making connection between vision and current moment; different political views re: what is behind Palestine and state violence locally and globally. It is important to have an experienced person in mix to help things along. People were enthusiastic about the opening plenaries. The SF had more strengths than weaknesses. Movement schools are the next step to deepen political organizational work. Movement schools help people raise political consciousness beyond electoral politics, especially for folks doing work on the ground, and give them extra tools re: outreach in the community. Edgar had asked about movement school in Pacific NW, the next step is to find out who leadership core is that wants to go deeper in holding political process. Edgar will discuss with others re: timing of movement school (before end of year, beginning of year?) Edgar will connect with Jerome, walda, Rose, or David re: movement schools.
Peoples Climate Action Week (walda) Jerome, walda, Anna, and Spence attended the opening plenary - book launch with Naomi Klein, Clayton, Michael G. (CJA). There were workshops on Saturday as part of climate convergence that were put together by green party, radical elements. There was a day-long big march on Sunday, followed by climate efforts on Monday (wall street). People seem to be understanding that the system is the problem but not what to do about it. There was much critique re: funding of march (very much effort to supporting democratic party). Work is happening on the ground. How should USSF weave into that and take advantage of this moment as part of a movement building process. How much did the march impact communities of color? Leadership of POC and poor peoples was in the demonstration and march, wasn’t in the decisions or ensured long-term, ongoing distribution of that money. Disconnect between forces and those making decisions. Did a Social Forum workshop, but it was out of the way and hard for people to find. Budget ~ $4-5 M.
Gulf Coast PMA This weekend, Oct 10, in Gulfport, MI organized in part by Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, who are also preparing for bigger Katrina 10-year anniversary convergence next year. Walda and Jerome will go to Gulfport. This PMA and Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy are part of Southern Movement Assembly – and Colette (director at Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy) is part of Outreach and PMA WGs. 10-year anniversary of Katrina will need to be part of USSF 3-year plan.
Project South email about the pma website
Jerome has been having conversation with Project South re: PMA website. Project South has decided to re-energize the peoplesmovementassembly.org website – and do that in coordination with the Outreach WG and specifically folks who have been working on developing a new PMA site. It is exciting to be moving forward together. We will continue to move ahead with the PMA site that is being developed and figure out how the sites can work together and become one. Spence brought up one concern: as much integration of the sites (PMA and broader USSF) as possible is ideal. It would be ideal to not have two websites related to the PMA as this might add another element of confusion for people looking for information. If it’s feasible to integrate the sites in the long term, that would help avoid confusion people would experience. Jerome, Spence, and Anna will get together with Project South to discuss information they need, timeline, and other details re: the site(s).
How to support groups before and after they organize a PMA and how to get report backs from them.
There is ongoing need for analysis of the current moment. So that, along with action steps and movement demands, there is developing movement strategy. The current PMA guide needs tweaking. We need to be gather report backs from who have organized PMAs - develop written form, process of having conversations with people - to ensure PMA information is getting collected. The PMA site as vehicle for communicating the reports. A follow-up person needs to be assigned to each PMA that happens, so that someone can connect with them and get report. This will be further discussed at next PMA call. Spence will be working on a video to explain the PMA process.