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Revisiting the Goals!

Red Light, Green Light:

Build stronger relationships and collaboration between movements? [Are we creating the conditions?] - we built relationships between people and organizations, but not necessarily movements - all of this is building blocks. all the relationships we built are pieces of the process - coming off the weekend, and with the outreach meeting last night we had comms, we had gender justice, we had indigenous and other folks in there building - conflict is the sign of a healthy relationship. yesterday we got to a place of 'this is driving me crazy but i'm gonna stay in it with you'...i'm going to stay with the contradictions. - our starting to think outside of our own areas on stuff.

Deepen our commitment to international solidarity and common struggle? - we talked about it but we didn't do anything - no commitments, actions steps - it feels like the commitment is strong! - in 2007 we didn't really do anything to ensure that int'l folks participated but thos tim around it's different. - also, given that detroit is an int'l border city, it has add'l significance to include int'l participants.

Strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions, organizing and movement building in Detroit?

- on friday, i was not happy. i feel like we are making progress, but there can be a lot more done. there were honest conversations, we're talking about it.
- this whole process has been one of the most amazing things i have seen in my whole life. we have ppl here in southeastern mi relating to the whole world. looking around, i see transformation happening around the city - amongst folks doing the work here.
- it's been good to have those conversations. there could be more done with local youth. that could be really powerful. young people in detroit are getting tested, would be good to get more of them involved. people won't come out of moral concern, but because they need to.
- its true that a lot of these conversations are happening. i haven't been involved in stuff nationally, and there's a reason folks locally are checking out.
- if we say we're tired, then the question is - who else is tired? it feels like it's not taken seriously. after these meetings we're left with more things to do and less capacity. it feels like it goes over people's heads.
- i wouldn't know a lot of the great people i know now if it wasn't for this process.
- i don't feel like we have gotten to the core...the level of disrespect that we feel on the local level, we have to get to the root of that.
- how many folks from atlanta are here now? how many folks from detroit do we want to see in the next process.
- i am so appreciative of the process and the people in this room. but there needs to be more checking in with folks at the local level, with the organizations, to say how are you doing? MWRO isn't here taking part of this. this is hell to put this together. tho we have support, it's been hard on our organizations. we need you to ask how we are - we know what politics are. we need to really look at how are we supporting the local work. we're working so hard, we need y'all to ask us, how can we help you? locally we had to reach out to ppl in atl to connect with them.
- we should be able to look around the room and see more of our folks - there should be more of us committed that know about the process.
- the working group i am on, the program and culture working group, heard that there were major chunks of work in logistics and we took that on. some of us did hear that. i would challenge the other working groups to lift the parts that they can lift.
- local and national organizing is a dichotomy that isn't real. it's a hard process, period.

DETROIT Conversation:

we want to know now, to surface, the major issues. what do we need to do to really move to a different orientation towards each other and to succeeding in the goal.

diana: some things could be shifted off of local. the 1-800 number doesn't need to come to this office. rocio: one thing that would be helpful is, when you hear proposals from local, to actually listen and not think about all the barriers. i know it's a national process, but it feels like we have to present stuff 5 times. i feel so nervous and like i have to be 100% game on to bring anything to this group. it always feels like we're in trouble. or we have ideas locally that we don't want to bring it up to national - local immigration is doing stuff and has never been invited to be a part of outreach. and honestly i don't even want to, because it means we will constantly be challenged. i don't want to be involved in national things anymore. also - when we ask for local leadership, it feels like 'it's the politically right thing to do', but it feels like let's give someone local the title but still run it however we want to do. [be more open to our local proposals and affirm them and work them with us] ahmina: as a local person, i would like people to acknowledge that there is a local/national dynamic. saying it doesn't make it so. i am not going to trust you just because you say so. staff aren't just national, they're for all of us - i didn't know that. as an outreach working group we got to talk through some things and worked it out. the larger body should do that. also my questions is - why is atlanta hardly ever mentioned? will: want to encourage us to learn from the 2007 social forum. this isn't just erupting now, it's always been there. in the last 3 years we've created a bureacracy called the NPC which didn't exist in the first time around. there's this sense that there's this entity called the npc and the working groups which you need permission to do..? i think the ussf needs to put "hosting the forum" in a central place. it shouldn't be a hidden history of what it means to host. tom: we would like each group of the NPC to give us 1-2 people to work a security shift during the forum. these dynamics and conflicts are happening at the local level too, and happening between different parts of local work. the ussf needs to figure out how to use the event to create infrastructure in the local movement. diana: subscribe to the michigan citizen. ahmina: i'm at my limit. steph: this conversation has been going on for a long time. i have 4 years worth of emotion, anger, frustration and pride about what's been going on with people in this room. we never did and we may never resolve major issues about how 2007 happened, what happened, who made it happen. project south has made a major commitment to be in this room. there is a political commitment to this ussf process to converge political ideologies, sectors, movements. there are differences, different cultures, regional realities. that it's got to be everything for everybody. we have to get clearer about what we're doing so it doesn't have to be everything to everybody. the NPC has had an identity crisis since it came into existence. shifting structure, shifting leadership. we need to really resolve that. there's a clear reason why more southern orgs aren't in the room right now - but there is still a commitment. we have to shift the shape of NPC to fit the job - who needs to be in leadership, what do we need to do and be in charge of, what are we gonna be. we need to come to that after this forum...until then it may just be mutual respect with a desire for trust. maureen: i can remember the first couple of times will called and invited me into this process. ruth and some other folks came. i was misinformed - what i understood was that there was something called the NPC that was looking to grow by bringing on new groups. we have a level of suspicion that comes from years of tricks by folks on us. so we didn't walk - cuz when we walk we all work. the emotions in this room are because we have not stopped doing this work - we picket every thursday, radio show every tuesday, she still has 4 kids, we still taking cases, we haven't stopped doing what we're doing. and doing ussf...the degree of energy it takes to talk to people - not even the enemy but people that you's too much. when you go home the phone rings off the hook - what about this. the team came and told me to take some time off. i said i would take fridays, then i left the list and got my to-dos for friday. i went to the dr and in the office, im asking if i can use the computer with the breathing machine. this is the level of commitment that we have made to this function. it wears us out. the commitment level is very very deep. the feelings we have that we aren't part of the team is when comments come up, like DLOC folks will make some recommendations and national folks start shaking their heads. because we're on the floor, there's no one in the room that's not a field general. we in here every tuesday - meeting starts at 4 pm, everyone shows up early. we're here every tuesday trying to solve problems. the pushback is i am not always sure that there is recognition that we are battle-tested muthascrunchers. there's a big difference between atl and det - you can't roll in here like you know it all, we will stop you at the border. this is organized stuff here. yes - there's a fear about whether folks will come to the forum. we want to be card carrying members of the ussf. the only issue becomes a question of respect. we can't trust nobody - too many stab wounds. it's not that we don't want to trust. we want to fall in love over and over again. we need more conversations here. we expect y'all here and lots of support to get the bodies in.

- oya: when i first got involved i asked a lot of questions. in p+c we have learned and are still learning. i have to raise my challenges, and trust that we are going to move this forward. when i felt detroit wasn't being heard, i raised it then. we have to be direct, and say it right then. we have to trust ourselves to communicate. this is life and death for us, this is how are we going to survive this. lets really talk about how local, national, and international connects. there's not enough money - if we were all paid for our work in this process, that wouldn't justify the work we do. but if we hurt each other's feelings, keep it moving, move on. movement building is family, and you don't always like family, but you don't work away. i am stretched, on so many levels. but i can see beautiful things happening on every level because of this process. i challenge us all to be family. - tapeka: when this first started i didn't drink and i didn't cuss. that's a wrap. we are really overwhelmed. we get emails and phone calls - we don't always get back to you. bug us, it reminds us. i have a to do list, but when someone calls me with their lights off and 5 kids, that takes priority. i forget that i am supposed to send you something. be patient with us. i also wanna say about maureen - maureen has too much to do. if there's something that you need, call tapeka, sylvia, gwen, anne. anybody else. maureen doesn't know how to say no, she will not leave. she has a lot, she's doing too much. sylvia and i have to undermine her :) - makani: real appreciation for the folks here in detroit. from the beginning of the ussf process - so much integrity. and this is the place we wanted the forum to be for so many reasons. i was excited - this was ground zero. i want to appreciate the work, and what it means for the movement. i also want to recognize and acknowledge the folks who have been involved over time. there's a little afro-phobia over time - there has been a struggle that we have never really resolved that happened around alice...there was some cultural stuff - what people are calling disrespect, some of the class stuff has been an issue a long time that we have struggled with. i have to be responsible to say something about what we might do differently. recognize all of us carry stuff. working multi-racially sometimes it makes you want to give up. i know we have ground rules. want to look at things like talking down to folks, making assumptions about folks, that we don't understand how its part of a larger pattern. we need to figure out how we face an engage this stuff - and help us think about how we might work on communication, we may need help that's bigger than what's in the room. - michael: thank you. there's something calming about this conversation. one concrete suggestion is to start off with a listening session to hear what's going on. second, in terms of the whole process - the npc has had an identity crisis since the beginning. not just the npc, every body involved in forums. we're building plan while flying it, trying to fix plane in midflight. the thing about process - we all have to be mindful about the conversation. we can call it bureacracy, or build a democratic process amongst ourselves. the problem is how we create a culture. this process is - how do we build a practice? how do we bring all of these differences of our movement together. if we can create that environment here, it can transform everything that we do. if i am responsible for any of that disrespect, i apologize. i say that for atlanta too. the forum is happening all across the country, and we can feel how things are changing. - jerome: how are y'all doing? everybody alright? this shit is not supposed to be easy. matter of fact, they count on us failing. the schools i went to didn't teach me to be successful. these same problems came to us in atlanta. they didn't give us nothing but we did this. given all these problems...can we do anything about that? when katrina happened i was embarrassed. if we don't come out of this more powerful than we came into it, it's hell. we're working towards the world we gotta do. - rocio: before we say default to trust, we have to ask ourselves if WE are defaulting to trust. we need to know the problems that are coming and shut it down. in a love relationship when the person you love the most hurts you, it hurts the most. - gwyn: i've been in detroit all my life, i have seen some horrible things. the ussf needs to help us change these policies that are killing us - rocio: lastn night guess who was stuck cleaning up. - adrienne: apologies. i came into this because i love detroit. and i want the country to see/be inspired. i had big plans for how much i was going to be able to help systems and i was arrogant...about order and respect...i have become a reactionary. my request: actually be here. schedule yourself to be here for the decisions and the processes. and instead of coming with a to-do, or an offer for help, folks come with a complaint. on every side. building this by walking it, we're not re-walking a path that came before. also, taking responsibility. for what's not working, for who isn't here, for making the decisions...people are sitting around askin me what is the decision who makes it - we do. it's us. i can't take 86 more days of complaints, i want 86 days of clear to-dos, decisions, and moving work forward. - louis: want to re-affirm, don't do this unless you can get some real tangible outcomes, we need clear demands. folks are putting feelings, also need to put something behind it. if there's some shit that's getting on people's nerves, call it out specifically. not to put folks on the spot, but about getting the job done. ppl need to cop to capacity all over, if we need to shift resources, let's do it. - adele: who is NPC? why isn't NPC activated? who in this room is activating them? - sylvia: we have proposals we have come forward with..the t-shirts, i am worried about the finances. MWRO might come down because of this work. folks around the table are stressed out. yes the dloc, the anchors, the core folks that are here now.


- be mindful of who is hosting - can you have 1-2 folks on security from each NPC org - start these meetings with a listening session from detroit - continue to prioritize and commit to creating an infrastructure in the D - NPC identity crisis - resolve the role of NPC - stretching ourselves and resources - 1-800 number can go elsewhere - be mindful of not undermining leadership - pull out more lessons from 07 - for hosts and anchors there is a weight that feels very heavy to produce and perform, expectations of us, with assumptions that we can't handle it. - detroit is trying to help pull this together, while dealing with real conditions on the ground. - when we come face-to-face that we stay the entirety of the time. need to make a commitment to be here, be present, and stay until the end if we want to take on the responsibility of collective decisions. - where can we re-ground ourselves in what we are trying to build. - accountability: who is holding folks accountable to BE here and show up? - how do we manage the $$ part? we have more resources this time than we did in 07, and yet we're struggling. this is not a $-raising body, but how do we hold ourselves acct to the processes we set out. we need to be mindful of the implications when we make changes. - make suggestions and decisions, stop complaining. talking about what we WANT instead of just what we don't want is hard -even in our work.


We want to affirm workinggroups using some resources to generate others. We want to affirm the existing staff through the end of June. We want to affirm the four coordinators through August.

So affirmed.

We will not prioritize reimbursing NPC organizations for the May meeting [we have a number of commitments that won't come until July]

We prioritize:

Caravans - we have $15K for youth. There's 4 that are all or mostly youth. That will access the restricted funds. Indigenous - 7.5 K International - $2K for meeting [addition of $500] {and moving $12,5K for Latin America} Gender Justice - $500 PMA - $1K Program (scheduling brigades) - $750 ?? Outreach - $4K + 3K Poverty - $4K + 3K plus 4K = 10K Communications - $2K from Ford Logistics -

Logistical and Program Infrastructure:

Youth Space supplies
DLOC . work projects
Indigenous....................................... $5K
Interpreters [travel & lodging] .......... $12.5K
PMA - tech, space. (nat'l)...........

Discussion: - we're not talking about more dollars at this time but it might be reallocated. - need to identify what's in-kind - we have a collective responsibility to raise these funds. [we're making a list of in-kind needs] - this really reflects an investment in Detroit, in the forum, in


- Common Council (a collective fund): to accept the funds and distribute them. We will set criteria. Jardyn, heather, Tammy, Jen, Jerome, Adrienne. Affirmed.

- T-Shirt Contract: This is what we need to work with right now. Centro Obrero is starting a printing shop. We're proposing that Centro is the official textile printer of the USSF. T-shirts and bags. This will help us to build a cooperative of workers. We're looking at moving 5000 t-shirts at $15 per. Union made we'll get small to 4X large at $5/per. We're working to negotiate here locally so we don't have shipping costs. 3 ideas for the shirts - a national logo shirt, and a bad-ass detroit version. Ink 3 colors $1819. Emulsion = $150. 400 t-shirts a day, 8 hours a day with 3 people earning $10/hr. we are also arranging for work brigades to come through and help. Will get licenses and permits. Total expenses is $41K. We want the USSF to contract us and pay us up front for these materials. We want to keep the profit, but the USSF would get $21K. So the cost the Forum would be $10K. We're asking that anchors keep the net income - 1/3 goes to Centro Obrero, the rest split between the anchors. This is a deal, and an investment.

Discussion: $15 seems like a lot for a t-shirt. can we negotiate it? // this is a great proposal and we don't have another one, its an investment // we want to give $1 of any t-shirts OVER 5000 back to the ussf fund. // we want to have started by may 1 // opportunities to leverage and get folks to sell these shirts, have folks wear it, get it OUT there. we need that with a front design! // we need a sales team // we need a clear process for future requests // asking ben and jerry's to loan the $$ //

If we get additional monies, where do we want to put it?
-Post USSF expenses: evaluation, staff, print, seed $ for next one, media afterwards
-more to the organizing strategies (assemblies, caravans, organizational travel, materials)
-more language access?
-more money for program and culture (travel, lodging, fees)
-more merchandise
-more housing for volunteers and advance team
-more on communications
-more on disability access
-more on security
only anchors and committee reps can vote. not observers, not staff.
more language access: 6
more logistics stipends: 10
more money for program and culture travel and lodging expenses: 3
post USSF expenses including evaluation, etc. : 2
more to organizing strategies: 10
more merchandise: 1
more on communications: 5
more housing for volunteers and advance team: 1
more on disability access: 1
more on security: 0

currently organizations can only submit one workshop and a PMA. we don't want people to create additional organizations so that they can have another workshop. we propose that organizations submit two workshops.

asks of the NPC:

-update the who's in motion link and site -identify key people, organizations, movements to bring into the process--start the outreach to them -move people to informational calls -get concrete on the numbers (address the gap between what we know is in motion) -fill in the gaps -make your calls : blast the blitz -registrations -raise the funds for the forum

with media a lot of folks have been asking for it. free speech is covering the social forum; please start sending your events to communications so we can do a massive blitz.
talk to labor and get them to register
send out email appeals
register at the $125 level
put a change bucket at the door of your office