The US Social Forum National Planning Committee and other leaders of grassroots organizations and networks met in Philadelphia to discuss the road to the next US Social Forum. Participants in the meeting made the following recommendations to the USSF National Planning Committee:
- Recognizing that we are moving towards building a national convergence of a US Social Forum of a new type, and that this might take the form of a large-scale convergence in a single city or a decentralized forum held simultaneously in multiple cities, these consensus recommendations will be brought to the NPC for a formal decision.
- • PMAs or other local assemblies will be used to build towards and follow-up national USSF convergence.
- • We will organize some sort of national USSF event/activity/convergence in 2014.
- • Date of a national USSF convergence will be no later than 2015
To help build towards the next US Social Forum, we invite those in solidarity with the World Social Forum to get involved.
Background on the US and World Social Forums--History and Evolution of Thinking about Transformative Global Movement Building
These resources address questions on the agenda of this NPC meeting, including a report and recommendations related to similar concerns being raised in the World Social Forum's International Council.
- World Social Forum Cartography of the Future Thematic Discussion:--This report emerges from ongoing conversations in the WSF that seek to build upon the lessons from the WSF and other social movement convergences over the past decade. It considers the current political moment of crisis and how the WSF process can contribute to building the planetary citizenship needed for transforming the global economic and political order. As the document states, "We are in a planetary dispute for hegemony and our initiative has to be the contribution to create irreversible citizenship movements, with projects and ideas endowed with a mobilizing strength."
- Report of the World Social Forum Future of the WSF Working Group: This document reflects the current state of discussion and dialogue about how to address ongoing tensions in the WSF process over representation, leadership, and building a radically democratic and responsive movement for global transformation.
- Lessons from the US and World Social Forum Process: This analysis compares the practices of the US and European Social Forums to identify lessons about building radically democratic and inclusive spaces of movement-building.
Key Documents of the USSF process The urgency of movement building in the current moment of crisis… On the Road to USSF III
We live day to day in crisis and struggle. For the first time in history we are experiencing a rapidly deepening crisis of global capitalism affecting millions in the United States and billions world-wide – producing austerity policies and massive permanent unemployment and poverty, unimaginable climate, ecological and social destruction, and intensifying political attacks, repression, and the threat of fascism and war everywhere. At the same time, resistance, activism and organizing are on the rise across all continents, sectors, and fronts of struggle.
This moment requires a huge and unified social movement in the U.S. with millions of politically conscious people to ensure victory for the arising social motion in the interests of the oppressed, exploited, and dispossessed – to protect the earth and affirm life. The US Social Forum can play a role in pushing forward strategic US movement development through the dynamic interrelation of local and regional struggles, and the emergence of a national movement in relation to global movements. The US Social Forum process is striving to step up and take its place in history by advancing the interests of working class, low-income, and grassroots struggles. The moment is urgent and the opportunities are great.
To advance our struggle for shared understanding, political unity, and participation on the road to US movement building and USSF III, we invite you to read and discuss the US Social Forum political framing documents in your organizations, networks, and collectives.
The following statements have been developed through US Social Forum Working Groups and discussed and approved by the USSF National Planning Committee. They form the basis of our political unity and help orient our work together.
- NOTE: We still need to add Spanish versions to this page!
- Pittsburgh meeting on coalitions and scholars' roles and relationships to movements :http://pittcoalitionsworkshop.wikispaces.com
Ideas for Discussion