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To: USSF Social Forum Writers' Network From: Jackie Smith Date: March 11, 2010

USSF Writers Memo & Muse March 11, 2010

Dear USSF Writers network,

First, thanks to you all for your hard work in getting the word out about the US Social Forum. As you know, the mainstream media is not very open to telling the stories of the positive ways people in our country are coming together to address the problems our communities are facing. Violence and scandal are seen as the best ways to sell the news. But we need to tell a different story if we want a different world, so you are so important to this effort!

Here are some updates/information and ideas for some stories, and I hope you can take time in the next week or so to get some newsletter pieces, op-eds, blog entries, and magazine articles out there. We need to encourage people to register for the USSF, so please emphasize this in your writing. Send people to this link for basic info and registration details:

Be sure to send links to your work to or post on the wiki space’s “press-people stories” section (link below).

Thanks! Jackie Smith


Why we need to go to Detroit…

Protect Access to Education

As higher education has become more and more important to people’s ability to find meaningful work in our globalized economy, it has become increasingly out of reach. For many years, college tuition has risen much faster than overall inflation. At the same time, elite resistance to public spending has meant drastic cuts in public higher education budgets which have forced most public universities to seek private sources of funding. This has reduced the access and services to citizens most in need of public support.

Last week, after years of resistance to tuition hikes, funding cuts, and other impacts of corporatization, students, parents, faculty, and staff finally broke through the media.

The protests by so many hundreds of thousands were too large, too widespread, and too angry to ignore. Want to learn more? Check out the latest at for regular updates.

Despite Downturn, More Billionaires on Forbes’s Global Rich List

While the rest of us were reeling from the economic crisis, the rich have been raking it in! Forbes magazine just issued its 2010 list of the world’s richest people. While the list shrunk a bit in 2009 because of the crisis, the total number of billionaires on this year's list rose 27% from 793 to 1,011. .

Compare this news with the AFL-CIO’s Executive Pay Watch site:


We’ve created a new space where updates will be made regularly to inform writers about the many ways people are preparing to get to Detroit. The People’s Freedom Caravan, the Bike-it rides to Detroit, the Red Road to Detroit, and Delta to Detroit poor people’s march will help spread the word about the USSF and bring in more folks to the USSF in June.

· Writers—please make a point to check this page for updates and help us get the word out about these exciting actions. The updates our correspondents provide can be a good source of material for a story!

· If you’re part of any of these, please help us by becoming a correspondent.

  • So you think you can't raise enough money to participate. Have you tried all of these ideas?

· Groups around the country are working to raise funds to get to Detroit for the US Social Forum. Here are ideas for ways to raise money to support your trip and to help local groups raise funds for scholarships for youth and low-income people.

1. Ask 10 of your friends to save their spare change for 3 months and donate it to your USSF costs.

2. Ask 30 people if they will support you at $10 each.

3. Plan a party at your home or a local community space, and ask for a $5-$15 donation.

4. Creative Sales: bake a batch of cookies, decorate 20 postcards or write a poetry zine and sell them for $5 each.

5. Did your organization receive grant money this year? If so, ask your program officer about applying for discretionary funds to support your group's travel to Detroit.

6. Not connected to an organization? Join a caravan to Detroit from your area. Check out

7. Share a hotel room with 3 friends.

8. Set aside $15 from each of your paychecks from now until June.

9. Host a yard sale or a car wash.

10. If your birthday is coming up, ask people to donate to your USSF costs instead of giving you gifts.

UPCOMING EVENTS/ Story opportunities

MAY 1- May Day: - speak to the left, the progressives, the workers, consolidate support for USSF

May 9: Mother’s day-- Mother's Day was started in 1870 after the Civil War, as a protest to the carnage of that war, by women who had lost their sons.

MAY 31: Memorial Day - Veterans for Peace & Iraq Vets against the war plug USSF

Please keep inviting creative people and writers you know to join us! We especially hope to recruit some youth to work with us and build their skills at movement media/communications work! Send people to the USSF website ( and urge them to click “Get Involved.”