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Notes for March 27, 2010

Website Training=

ICT is made up folks in the room and folks outside of the room - Mallory, Jamie and Alfredo; Mark Likbmun, Mark Dilley, Sylvia Orduno, (missed a few names)

They passed out a hand-out for us to review.

We paused in order to take in the main issues folks are having related to Tech/ICT:

- clarify process to access the database - 90% of the room operates/organizes online, creates a disconnect, and some age issues - how to make ussf email traffic less - accessibility issues (voice command folks getting kicked off) - unhealthy level of work and frustration to/at the ICT - too many sites or they are hidden - pressure on the office to field folks questions - technology (lack of access, use value, education) - upload email form - creation of multiple accounts for many sites - human relationships - it's a relational thing. don't come back like human error all the time. - increased level of questions: ...too many obstacles ...too many details, need to simplify - nothing shows its been accepted - adding children/childcare needs to the registration page - staff/volunteers - need to input registrations w/o getting bumped off site - need consistent translations on the site - cultural/registration: blank page comes up, review submissions - clarity on calendar and how to use it - organizing aspect

ICT then responded that there are challenges from their side as well. That the NPC and OC are not necessarily solidified bodies, they give contradicting requests. Sometimes individuals give contradictory requests...for instance: "the forms need to be simple, and we need more fields of information!" can we do that?

Outreach presentation: As of today, 2273 individuals registered, 609 organizations. Detroit (as of March 25), 51 Detroit orgs, and 45 orgs in Michigan Total $64,063

DLOC: we've had several more people coming to dloc mtgs but still working out a new organizing strategy. we need more people to get involved!

Native: Heather already connected to many groups before Atlanta. Historically, difficult there (ATL) politically--making priority for Indigenous participation and higlight their issues Has been especially important to not have to fight to particiapte and have issues included. But it is the case that Indigenous folks are not registered, involved--part have no funds to get here. What is the hook for Indigenous people. People still ask, "Why should I participate in USSF? Why should I spend the money to get to Detroit and spend time away from the community?" We don't have the numbers and probably won't until 2-3 weeks out, but only if the funding comes. May be able to help w/ some programming but nit at national level. We need funding, placeholders in program, and help to bring the performers. For instance, John Trudell has agreed to come with his sidekick--but we need the funding to bring them. We're talking with some of the casino folks but they're not really political--has always been a challenge.

Also based in Canada so add'l challenges. Can 't get to outreach retreats, is daunting to figure out how to connect. See's stuf on website but there isn't a strong connetion--not a criticsm, but what she's facing. The costs of travel are high for Heather as she is in a remote community (1500 to get here). Everything depends on money - we will get there.

We came to share with folks how to engage Native folks in the USSF. We need to remember that it's not just about having folks. We also want to know how it is we intersect with others.


(by Jardyn)

Goal is 3000 people. We feel that's very attainable. Through caravans that are happening - connecting through the map [big map on the wall]. Want to let folks know how you can connect with folks with folks in your region - there's a lot of isolation. Want to give folks resources to move/build together.

Chicago is really moving, so we took stuff from their packet. One strategy is to tell folks who are using online resources to print it. We do info sessions. Another focus is deep south. Registration is a big piece we need to touch on.

Of the 3000 folks, 500 we're thinking will come on the caravan. In ABQ we laid out that youth = 13-24, not 25. We've noted that the outreach is hitting youth workers but not necessarily youth. Also need to reach more folks in Detroit - some are coming on the calls but need more folks there.

Need to make sure people don't see the calls as the work, but that the work is still needed.

Also need to figure out more personal ways to reach out to folks! Come talk to us!!

Field Organizers:

Different constituencies --> youth and indigenous have been touched on. Some others are gender justice and queer liberation. Gender justice met face to face in NY 3 wks ago. Working on intersection of sectors that do gender justice, planning workshops, and planning a PMA during the Forum. Next piece is a Queer Liberation Committee: We've had 3 calls, are building our political identity, and doing intentional relationship building with LGBTQI communities in Detroit. We also want to know how to share information and identity with the Gender Justice. If you have questions about GJ talk to Rose, Mayowa and Nora. For Queer Liberation talk to Akudo or Cindy.

B- organizing in the Midwest. B and Akudo are keeping track of who is in motion.

The Midwest has been historically disconnected. It's rural, and there's stigma around the Social Forum. Because of the composition of the Chicago and Midwest social forums, grassroots groups didn't want to go to Atlanta.

The groups who are being proactive tend to be activist, academic, young and white. Question of how to make connections with these barriers. Right now, they're working on making that happen. Cincinnati, Gary, Cleveland, other cities (?) are all building.

Trying to build the movement in the Midwest. Organizers need connections!

Northwest and Plains - need work to push forward.

Fragmentation of communities is a challenge in the Northeast, South, and Southeast. How to connect places like Boston with strong organizing to places like Western Ma. etc.

Outreach efforts are targeted at building up to and after Detroit.

Caravans - southwest, youth caravan, northeast/midatlantic caravans are helping connect people. Caravans will be converging along the way, as well as in Toledo Ohio on the morning of Tuesday the 22nd.

Question to the group: if the forum were in one week, who would be coming? What would it look like.

Concerns: its harvest season, hard to get away for farm workers

hard to travel for people without documents, hard to get away from work

the PMA's are getting a lot of attention, national organizations are getting in touch and activating national networks.

folks from Hawaii and Alaska not really in motion. Central coast and central valley not in motion.Climate justice and EJ world could be more activated, getting indigenous organizers involved.

Gender Justice and Poor People's Working groups collaborating on a court at the forum.

ways to connect with the outreach efforts:

1. - go there and enter info 2. go to the map and write down where organizing is happening

Right now, we need grassroots organizing, to own this process and fund this process. thats' why registration is so important.

10K out of the 15K people need money to get here. Low-income folks from Florida are doing fish frys, holding fundraisers to get here. Right now, everyone needs money to get to Detroit.

The infrastructure exists, but the organizers need to figure out how to get people to Detroit.

Right now, we could reach 10.000 people. do not feel confident that we can reach 20.000 people (if the forum was in a week).

Proposal: to have a new goal that gets reevaluated every 2 weeks, and at the face to face meeting in Detroit. Outreach is proposing 15,000 as new goal in terms of numbers.

There are large delegations that came to Atlanta and aren't registered now - need to get them registered. Local organizers will contact 90 organizations that are in Michigan that should be in motion. Organizations that are registered don't have their whole delegations registered - get in touch with them.

Proposal: lift the 1 workshop limit so that people can register more than one workshop--we'll need to determine if that's 2, 3, or 4 workshops

Proposal: create political hooks to engage people. (climate justice, fighting against tar sands, etc.) creating assemblies so that people can come to organize at and after the USSF. More hooks based on what we can accomplish programmatically.

Tomorrow we'll talk about where to put our resources for outreach.

14 staff people, but the DLOC has been struggling--we may have to determine how to shift around people


Lewis. In this USSF, we have great timing for the integration of our movements with international movements. We have neoliberalism on steroids, an expendable working class.

Set objective of 50 representatives from social movements around the world here. Latin america will be focus, as well as people from upcoming world SF in Dakar Senegal.

Goal will be to talk about struggles and integrate as well.

We're working to get a group 15 folks from Africa. The work for us is to strengthen those relationships with black communities in Detroit leading up to Senegal next year. We spent some time in here on programming - there's long lists. We're looking at cross-sectoral stuff. We were part of conversations yesterday on the Opening Ceremony --> to have someone at the Intl level talk about the significance of the 10 years.

What we are not suggesting for the plenaries is a panel of international folks sharing their problems, but innovative ways to present issues and solutions.

this time, we are going to have Cuban representation, and we hope that we can get someone from Cuba up on a plenary where they can be featured prominently. we came up with a lot of ideas of things that can happen, and we want to work with folks on this.

different proposals for PMA's, and in some cases there have been proposals of folks who are out there doing solidarity work and that may not be a bad thing. we want to link up with what the realities are.

we have a long list of people that we are prioritizing, and we have a long list of people that we have letters out to already to come here. we do need suggestions. if people are considering hosting international visitors and you haven't done the survey on line, please do that. it gives us a sense of what organizations are looking at in terms of who's coming in.

culture: group from venezuela hopefully coming; good with cultural organizing. there will also be some rappers coming in from cuba with a little bit of luck.

puerto rico: we're looking at upwards of 25 folks coming from there. organization from puerto rico has applied for membership in the NPC--it demonstrates the level of interest. greater level of unity in pr than we've seen in many many years. occupied territory of the united states so we're talking about the same issues.

coming out of the social forum, we need to think about what kind of questions or themes do we need to be looking at going into dakar next year. what are the expectations that we and others have of movements in relationship to the world social forum and the social forum strategies?

we recommend convening a north america social forum that will convene us, canada and latin america.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION PROPOSAL If there is a conflict amongst any members of the NPC, staff or working groups that folks don't feel they can resolve through direct communication, it shall be brought to one of the two national coordinators.

If there is a conflict amongst any members of DLOC or Detroit committees that folks don't feel they can resolve through direct communication, it shall be brought to one of the two local coordinators.

The national or local coordinators will hear both/all sides of an issue and then work on a proposal for next steps that is restorative and fair to both sides.

All parties have a working understanding of the timeline we are on and work to resolve conflicts in a swift and functional way. If there is a conflict with one of the two national coordinators, or two local coordinators, or if the coordinators are not able to resolve a conflict, then a grievance team can be called together to hear the conflict [including members of the C-Team at the national level, or anchors at the local level, and folks skilled in conflict resolution].

The Grievance Team will then develop a proposal that is restorative and fair to both sides, while swift and functional. The party/ies considering the grievance can request up to 4 additional members for the Grievance Team if they feel it is necessary.An official FYI comes to the NPC/OC once a grievance has been filed (at the discretion of the person filing it).

Once conflicts are resolved it is documented on the wiki and all those parties involved agree to move forward in work.

we wanted this to be a model and a foundational piece for how we deal with security at the forum. the model is restorative and transformative. if this foundation feels right to folks, then we want to build upon this at the forum.

how is this feeling for folks? --people should realize that part of this work is about trying to struggle with each other. we won't always agree on the strategy, and the tactic. the goal is to figure out if we actually have clarity on where the difference is. we have to figure out how to create more time to actually struggle with each other.

true. what ends up happening is that we name it and then don't carry it through. what's a grievance for one person? what's a political discussion that needs to happen with the whole group?

right now, our job is crisis management. instead of this, let's make it a resolution space. this is the first step in moving that way.

there's a written way for this to happen, but it's at the discretion of the persons involved, especially if its between people and it's personal. the idea behing this is let's start to formalize this, let's figure out whats group and whats individual, and then let's build our practice around it. let's identify a team of people to help resolve this as well, who can help be a part of this at the forum.


in 2007, we distinguished between functional unity and political unity. there's a lot of that differentiation in this space as well. the question of the political unity is the ongoing work that we need to build a movement together.

being able to put it out there helps us see if its a difference or not. trying to identify whether or not there is struggle or conflict.

part of the question related to this is what is the culture of debate and dialogue that allows us to do that so that we are engaged in this conversation without personalizing it. it needs to walk hand in hand with being principled and being accountable. what are the models that get us to the next level.

one of the commitments that we made was to healthy struggle. too many conversations when it comes up, but there aren't spaces to make this happen.

how much of this is escalating because we're so close to the Forum? there wasn't an ability to look at it in context. part of what we want to do too is recognize that we have a set of things to do. we don't have to agree, we don't have to be aligned. we don't need to blow stuff up. if we can just recognize that we don't have enough period. there's more than there was, but there's still not enough. if we can just recognize that some of this is the larger tension around resources, then we can recognize it and move forward.

also as staff, we want to solicit critical feedback. if we're not doing it well, don't talk to every one else, talk to use so we can actually do whats needed. there are a lot of folks in this process that have a lot of power, our role as staff is to support the process, not to hold all the power.

what is in motion in terms of security at the forum: --we have been meeting on a regular basis with the police department, homeland security, the mayor's office. there are two kinds of security that we need to approach: 1. what's happening when we're out on the streets and out in the marches, cobo hall, hart plaza 2. whats the internal security approach?

we have begun to work with threat management, a private organization with conflict resolution skills.

folks will receive wristbands identifying them as so

key concerns: -we're not invested in any one coming in from out of town, breaking windows and protesting and then going home --question: what about the presence of undocumented workers?

major concerns are aligning direct actions with the wishes and desires of local folks, and making sure that we're not leaving extra headaches for folks who live here and will continue to be here after the Forum is over.


-allergies to the material of the bracelet -negotiations between forum security and detroit security -concerns with ICE and protections for folks with varying status -concerns with the amount of work it will take for bracelets -how to respond to security and policing -on-line and media security plan--need to develop -ability to keep bracelets on for folks who are differently abled -we want to talk about positive proactive prevention of violence based on people's gender and gender identity -action specific security concern -there is confusion, etc. between tar sands proposal vs. immigrant rights actions. local anchor groups have not been consulted about that. -there will be training around action security. -certain spaces may not be accessible or may be restricted. looking at setting boundaries with people in a healthy way during the social forum. -we had a discussion about having a statement of statement of direct action support. militancy and differences around that exist. the npc needs to take a stand on this. some of the worst times in the movement is when some folks condemn other folks taking action. what’s our position on diversity of action as the national planning committee? -its important because its tied to a masculine macho way of dealing with conflict. what are the other mechanisms that we put in place that help to deal with this? --what is the presence of ICE at the airports. there are some people that are risking coming here. what is the presence of ICE at the airports. we came up with a statement last time around safety for people who’s status is in question. -security should also be talking about with the health and healing group.



POSTERS in process

- Just Seeds is down to produce a poster that we can sell, and that they would donate the proceeds to the USSF - Designer for Left Turn magazine and David have talked about doing a poster for each of the workshop tracks - Trust or Struggle - Beehive

[made official in the grassroots fundraising work]

T-SHIRTS in process

- put out word to Detroit-based designers to get an official Detroit design - Centro Obrero being put forth from the anchors as printer for that [maybe 3 designs so it would sell faster: detroit designer for one with the idea to have the joe louis fist with workers lifting it up with all the folks who have come before in a march row going around the shirt]

[official shirts and bags are printed at Centro Obrero]

and...Posters, stickers, t-shirts with the image we already have. Sell at the Forum.

what about buttons? - school kids?



- Liberation Ink - based in the Bay and designing a shirt out there. - icons for the tracks :) - Walda and Jerome produced a book about the 2007, which they will donate proceeds above production costs... - emery boards..people love emery boards. they are cheap.


- online early. pre-orders ($5 cheaper) and pick it up at the forum. And make it cheaper to order early. pick it up at the forum [if you don't pick it up, we'll ship it to you]. - ask the NPC orgs and anchors to add a button to their websites to drive folks to the online merchandise place - tie it to outreach by making t-shirts available at pre-order rate - sell at the Fireworks on June 21. we should have all our stuff together in one place as the first thing you see when you get to the fireworks site. - at every registration point, there should be someone there selling t-shirts on site. when you get your bag, you get your shirt. - at the information booths, display the shirts. - orders that come after, we can ship afterwards.


- a site to take in the pledges - Centro Obrero to crunch the budget with Victor - numbers for how much was sold and given away in ATL!! - special t-shirts for volunteers? security? information? [decision on whether they will be printed - is that in the budget]


- look to the WSF principles - how do we negotiate small mom-n-pop, or socially responsible business. where do we draw the line? we want the flexibility to support our communities - address folks who want to give us in-kind donations - we need to recognize that we are children in the process of combatting capitalism, just learning how to do it. we deeply depend on resources and everyone is wanting $$, how do we do this? - what if mcdonalds gives the water barrels and it says mcdonalds? - we task Resource Mobilization's Grassroots Fundraising Committee to define socially responsible businesses and seek in-kind donations there [solar panels, water bottles, water barrels] - let's look at this as an outreach opportunity for small businesses in Detroit. Bring to DLOC and ask folks to move USSF products in their businesses and get the word out to folks. think of this as a vendor opportunity before the forum.


- for printing, there is only the option of sponsoring a page - the timeline: april 5 we will know the basic lay out of the print program, april 20 we will have everything developed outside of the submissions....

$$ Flowing:

- What is the easiest way to get $ straight to the anchors bank account (AND track the person's name so they can get their merchandise).

right now we have paypal where folks go on there and pay us, and each month that comes to us with a percentage reduction. at that point, sha goes in and links the payments to the registration afterwards.

there is no 'shopping cart' function...can ICT provide this in a timely fashion? if not we can use another option.


- we don't have capacity to sell the shirts beforehand so what is a realistic compromise? - create a pledge space for folks to pledge beforehand - those who pledge get a discounted rate. those who buy it AT the forum pay a bit more. this gives us a number of shirts to distribute. - could have volunteers - lower cost means we sell more.

where we're at/what we need:

- we're at beginning stages of this process [next call is supposed to cover. - need more media folks to come on the calls to develop the center - have had some good convos between ICT and comms, are in a better place - we have the historical view of what the center was: there was a professionals section, a computer area, then there was an upstairs spot where folks were programming. had 30 computers last time wired to the same system, all used linux system. hunch this time is that there will be more non-professional folks. - alfredo: determined we should open up a second media server for ussf video. [what does that mean? the server is a souped up computer which holds data and delivers it when needed. to do one for video would mean much more storage for videos, possibly a higher level of performance. would include plenary sessions. - youth told alfredo they want their own section and their own space of computers. - youth rep says they haven't talked about computers - daily newspaper at the forum. at WSF it's called Terra Viva. could start with critical moment framework. could print 5-10k daily. would be a way for everything to hook up. could publish in 2 languages [not translating but just producing in diff languages] fact terra viva might already be planned for this forum. what would the budget be for this? who would staff it? - could talk about controversies from 07 which could be useful


controversy: - press badges. having folks register for press badges and then not be allowed into PMC if they didn't have official badges. - tension between professional and non-professional media in terms of space - tension between ppl with laptops vs without computers. how many stations are we going to set up with power/ethernet vs stations with computers at them - space issue created a controversy with one group - PMC ended up in a back room up 3 stairs in a series of rooms. tech worked to make the best of it, this group didn't respond well and ended up doing trainings in the space, taking over another space, etc.


- has been very collaborative. ICT/Comms have committed not to take over the space. All creating the principles. - no press passes. everyone's media, everyone has a story to tell. - talked about having a space set aside for youth so they don't get pushed aside, trumped. - we will have a separate live room for interviews and press briefings. - Free Speech wants to cover the whole thing. If Democracy Now wants to do it what do we do? [they broadcast early] - emergency folks come on.


- 100 computers from Chicago - 50 from Aspiration/Ruckus - we have a crew from SF that does mesh networking...keeps us from having server crashes. - hotels, WCCC, etc. - 100 people on the writers network list. hope at least 25 of them come.


- in Atl we were running around last minute for surge protectors etc. Need to double check that we have - internet connectivity has free wireless access which could get slammed. in ATL we got 4 DSL lines. - will need tables and chairs in the space - storage space and a work space before the ussf. from early june. need to store computers possibly as early as a few weeks. may need to rent a van to take computers between spaces. - to assess what software needs to be on the computers [final cut? media editing software? Image, Audio, Video Editing. the image and audio stuff that's free and open source is really good, folks are using it already. the video editing software thats free and open source is not so great yet. folks who bring their own computers will likely have their own software. folks who are coming and wanting to try for the first time. [opinion - have a couple with final cut pro on it] - to shape the radical reference and aspirations trainings [with a youth rep] - the online PMC - where is that going to live? [in 2007 the blog fed to the front page and that jacked up how many folks were blogging. could intercept it with twitter, fb, etc.]


- are we going to put out major $ for software we don't politically believe in. [youth could have that as a part of their process] - will we have wireless access in every ussf space? goal is YES. limitation is a) electrical outlets, b) points where we have internet access coming in? is there a way to connect at hart plaza...are we allowed to? same for hush house, etc.


- how can we have folks donate equipment and funds to support this thru different funding networks


- need an appeal letter for PMC by Wednesday - test run of mesh network [at cobo, at ussf village space] - talk to Terra Viva to see if they are planning to print at USSF [see critical moment framework, have a way that blogs are feeding into a central space] - see if we can get a tickertape that shows the titles of new pieces going up. - recruit more people for the PMC - map OUR media. reach out to the documentation and eval group. - reach out to local media. - ussf media....