In early November, delegates from the US Social Forum National Planning Committee (NPC) met in Chicago, along with delegates from several local and national groups, such as InterOccupy, WESPAC, Alliance for Economic Democracy, the Chicago Teachers Union, Free Minds Free People, Take Back the Land, Freedom Inc., , who were invited to attend this “extended” planning meeting.
The agenda was to shape plans for the future of the US Social Forum process, and to determine the ways forward toward a third USSF.
Plans were made to hold a national strategy assembly in New Orleans March 8-10, 2013.
This meeting will bring together an expanded group of new and existing NPC delegates along with other leaders of major grassroots constituencies and forces in motion. Delegates will help assess the current political moment, build relationships, and discuss strategies and visions of how to move forward on the Road to 2014. Potential anchor organizations in cities across the US will be asked to submit information to identify potential USSF sites for 2014. In addition, the meeting will help develop a synthesis of lessons from USSF organizing work and the related Peoples Movement Assemblies.
The Peoples Movement Assembly process was initiated at the first USSF in Atlanta and organized communities and groups to prepare for and build momentum towards the 2nd USSF in Detroit. More than 50 PMAs were held in Detroit, and since the 2010 USSF over 200 assemblies have been organized to develop community plans of action, political platforms, and launch collective campaigns on every front.
To advance the US Social Forum goals of ensuring that those who are most impacted by economic globalization lead this struggle, and to expand participation from groups and activists who cannot afford to travel to a national meeting, organizers of the March strategy meeting will be working to develop an “expanded” element to this meeting so that groups in locations around the country can participate in sessions via webcasts. So mark your calendars for March 8-10 and watch for details of how you can bring your group into the conversations happening in New Orleans.
In addition to planning the March meeting, the November NPC meeting also worked to reorganize, build and expand the NPC. Drawing from past lessons and understandings of future needs, we reviewed the criteria and responsibilities for NPC membership and created a task-force to contact existing members who stepped back after USSF 2010, plus reach out to organizations and forces in motion that are interested in USSF social movement building with the NPC. A new category of “Allies” was also created to allow more groups to support the USSF process without the same levels of commitment to participate in planning meetings and to contribute volunteers and resources. Details on how to have your organization considered for NPC membership or ally status will be posted on our new website soon.
The US Social Forum Needs You! Help Build the Road to 2014!
Working groups for communication, outreach, resource mobilization, and other tasks that are key to building the road to an upcoming US Social Forum are coming together. If you’d like to get involved, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your interests. A volunteer will help connect you with the working group that suits your interests.