(USSF NPC Transition Team, September 2012)
It will take a huge social movement in the United States with millions of conscious people to ensure victory for the arising social motion in society in the interests of the oppressed, exploited, and dispossessed. Given this, what are the roles, responsibilities, and accountability of the US Social Forum in pushing forward U.S. movement development in relation to global struggles in this urgent moment of deep systemic crisis?
The current moment
The objective situation in the United States and the world is a rapidly deepening and widening crisis of the entire global capitalist system. It’s evidenced by an irreversible economic crisis affecting millions in the U.S. and billions world-wide, producing massive poverty and irreversible ecological and social destruction, and heightening political attack, repression, war, and the threat of fascism the world over.
In 2001 the Patriot Act marked the beginning of this intensified period of domestic repression, linkage to the so-called “war on terrorism,” and the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. More recently the federal government has enacted HR 347 – criminalizing dissent, protest, and activism – and the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), bringing militarism and preventive detention to the domestic front of our neighborhoods. The police state continues to fill the prisons with young African Americans, Latinos, immigrants, and the poor. This increasingly rapid economic and political polarization and motion toward fascism require a powerful movement response.
Movement development is thus an urgent task; and the US Social Forum, in relation to other forces in motion, can be a powerful tool in this process. If we do not act smartly and intentionally to build our movement, the crisis will only worsen – placing humanity and the planet in peril – and the threat of fascism will become a reality.
The urgency of movement building: from spontaneity to consciousness
Resistance is on the rise across continents, sectors, and fronts of struggle. Spontaneous motion in response to the crisis is increasing in the U.S. and globally through mobilizations, campaigns, protests, and occupations. But there is little conscious and strategic movement development within this growing activity. The US Social Forum process can and must add this element and help fill the vacuum by advancing the interests of working class, low-income, and grassroots struggles.
Critical moment – moving the US Social Forum process forward
The essential next step for the US Social Forum process, including the Peoples Movement Assembly, is to move forward with organizing a post-election national convergence in March 2013 as a strategic movement building opportunity.
To accomplish this, we have several immediate tasks:
To organize the NPC to include forces in motion and social movement forces not already part of the US Social Forum process;
To develop a tight timeline and work assignments for organizing the March 2013 Convening;
To hold bi-weekly NPC expanded calls, with NPC organizations that engage and organizations, networks and coalitions that may want to join the NPC and /or the 2013 Convening process;
To hold an NPC expanded face-to-face meeting in early November in Chicago to carry this plan forward.
The US Social Forum process needs to step up and take its place in history. The moment is urgent and the opportunities are great. Join us in organizing the Strategic Movement Convening in March 2013.
Make it happen!