US Social Forum 3-year plan

USSF3- 2014 – 2016 PLAN #6 3.8.14

Goals and Priorities
The US Social Forum is guided by the following goals and priorities:
Create a space for social movement analysis, popular and political education, convergence, cohesion, and strategic discussion.
Advance Peoples Movement Assemblies’ agendas for ongoing action directed toward social transformation.
Build stronger relationships, collaboration, and social movements across fronts of struggle for political understanding, strategic direction and a powerful political force.
Deepen our collaboration with global social movements and our practice of international solidarity and joint struggles.
Strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions and social struggle
Model and practice our values and our vision of another world (e.g. celebration, caring, support of identity, cooperation, collectivity, justice, equality, democracy, and sustainability).

Building a new type of Social Forum Centered in Peoples’ Movement Assemblies (PMAs)* and Polycentric** Movement Building Hubs

In the current context, USSF3 is a movement building tool. The process facilitates our movement going from defensive to offensive, to reorganize society to meet human needs and protect the earth, and to connect with global movement forces. It facilitates systemic analysis, visioning the world we need, developing political program and action agendas, and building political cohesion, alignment and independence for collective power from below to win it and hold it. USSF3 will be a social forum of a new type. As a polycentric movement building process, it is rooted in PMAs across a three year time frame and movement schools.*** The locations and fronts of struggle where PMAs take place may become “movement hubs”****that are also hubs within the polycentric social forum process. Thus the polycentric aspect includes multiple hubs across time, as well as across locations simultaneously.

* to **** definitions at end of Plan

3 year plan
2014: PMA Process Anchors USSF3 and Site Selection for Polycentric USSF3
2015: Polycentric USSF3
2016: National People’s Movement Assembly and Movement Strategic Education and Action Plan

December 2013:
NPC selects Philadelphia as first site for USSF3 as part of a polycentric social forum of a new type. Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign and Asian Americans United are anchors.
Discussions begin with the Philadelphia Team and Site Team, including appropriate resource and budget development in relation to the polycentric model

2014: PMA process anchors USSF3 and Site Selection for Polycentric USSF3

Site Selection for Polycentric USSF3 completed
In February the NPC selects Jackson, MS as a site for USSF3 as part of a polycentric social forum of a new type. Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and the Office of the Mayor are anchors.
Discussions will begin with the Jackson Team and Site Team, including appropriate resource and budget development in relation to the polycentric model
Site selection for a third site in the Western US ongoing and anticipated complete by May 2014. Potential third site for USSF3 polycentric social forum identified through Outreach and PMA process (including preliminary conversation with Oakland, CA, the Pacific/ Northwest, Tucson, AZ and sites of Indigenous activism)

PMAs as outreach strategy and educational tool for USSF3
A year of PMAs-locally, regionally, thematically-that bring their analysis, vision, and strategy with day-to-day and medium term programmatic demands, actions, in relation to the national process.
PMAs in process
Southern Movement Assembly, Project South lead organization
Pacific/North West Social Forum & Regional PMA, Community to Community lead organization
Appalachia Regional PMA, DAWG (Direct Action Welfare Group) lead organization (Poverty WG)
3 Move to Amend Thematic PMAs on “A Democratic Constitution” – Oakland, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Move to Amend lead organization
SOA Watch Thematic PMA, Washington, DC, SOA Watch lead organization
Louisville, KY local PMA
Ft. Collins, CO local PMA
Bellingham, WA Farmworker PMA
Poverty Working Group PMAs / World Courts of Women – Midwest region and Southern region, and follow-up from Western region and Northeast region. How might they be integrated into the PMA process in 2014-2015?
Other PMAs to be confirmed
This process includes continuous political and popular education within the PMA and broad social forum process (including NPC educationals)
PMA anchors are identified to hold these processes regionally. Unity built through conference calls, a face to face meeting, and coordination through the PMA Task Force
Brief report and outcomes from PMAs shared with PMA Task Force for USSF3 PMA website and PMA synthesis process moving toward 2015 and 2016
First movement school*** in late Spring/ Summer 2014
Identify throughout the year movement hubs for USSF3 polycentric social forum coming out of PMA process

2015: Polycentric USSF3
Synthesis of 2015 (and earlier) PMAs in preparation for USSF3 – leading toward deeper organizational relationships, political alignment and movement cohesion and governance. (See December 2013 USSF3 Newsletter article on SMA with Project South)
Movement schools in relation to PMAs and USSF3 process, including one movement school in spring before USSF3 and another in Fall/Winter following USSF3
USSF3 polycentric sites live streaming and selected interactive dialogue
Evaluation and assessment of where our movement process is in relation to the developing objective conditions (and subjective readiness) to prepare for the National Peoples Movement Assembly in 2016.

2016: National People’s Movement Assembly and Movement Strategic Education and Action Plan
Based on outcomes of USSF3 and PMA process, preparation for further political alignment and movement cohesion and governance through PMA and political and popular education process.
Movement school early in 2016
National People’s Movement Assembly to chart national movement program and course of action, as well as national movement schools

Benchmarks:
USSF3 first Polycentric Site Selection – December 2013
USSF3 Site Selection complete for Polycentric USSF3 – May 2014
USSF3 Budget determined for overall process (Master Budget), Site Budgets and Operating Budget – January / April 2014
Preparatory Peoples Movement Assemblies for USSF3: Throughout 2014
Consolidating NPC and USSF working groups throughout 2014: Program, Arts & Culture, Outreach &/ PMA, Gender Justice, Language, Comms-Tech, Indigenous, Youth, Disability, Poverty
Production of popular and political education materials and toolkits for organizing and facilitation support, including conference calls – Winter / Spring 2014
First Movement School – Late Spring/ Summer 2014
to convene movement leaders on critical fronts of struggle locally and/or regionally
to go deep into our understanding of the current political moment, and to create a space for strategic and tactical movement analysis for the long haul
to struggle for political clarity, direction, unity and cohesion within the USSF process and larger movement
to discuss the revolutionary process and its relation to our day to day work
to launch Summer 2014 training for movement governance, organizing and facilitation
USSF3 documentation process in place, beginning the synthesis process for USSF3, Summer 2014
Grassroots fundraising in full swing, Summer 2014 through 2016
Full preparation for polycentric sites leading up to USSF3, Fall 2014–early Summer 2015
Movement schools in relation to PMAs and USSF3 process, including one movement school in Spring before USSF3 and another in Fall/Winter following USSF3, 2015
USSF3 polycentric sites live streaming and selected interactive dialogue, Summer 2015
After work: evaluation, continuing political alignment, cohesion leading into the National People’s Movement Assembly in 2016
Movement school early in 2016
National People’s Movement Assembly in 2016

Definitions

* People’s Movement Assembly (PMA) – a gathering of people coordinated by one or more organizations locally, regionally and/or within fronts of struggle as part of the US Social Forum movement building work. The PMA process is the leading edge of the USSF3 process – and is continuous before, during, and after. PMAs are foundational strategically to developing our political consciousness, revolutionary consciousness, to developing political content, and to our efforts to align the multiplicity of our programmatic demands, while charting an increasingly unified and independent political path forward. The methodology of the PMA includes these common elements: 1) political analysis of the current moment and the systemic root causes of our myriad problems, 2) visioning the world we are creating and specifying short-term, medium-term, and long-term programmatic demands to resolve these problems, and 3) putting forward related short, medium, and long-term collective actions, campaigns, and strategic movement agendas to transform society and protect the earth.

** Polycentric social forum
USSF Polycentric sites of convergence:
Poly means many
Centric means centered, towards a center
Sites and hubs mean gathered around a central political focus (think of a spoke) – this is a political center, not a center of power or domination
Centerwomen—a Black feminist term which means being at the center of support. If we draw upon this idea in thinking about USSF3 we can imagine the USSF3 as being the anchor of the several polycentric sites and hubs of convergence (fronts of struggle if that makes sense). Thus a polycentric site (USSF3 site) provides overall convergence, stability, political cohesion to the ongoing movement and PMA process and multiple hubs.

*** Movement hubs – locations or fronts of struggle in which at least two organizations agree to anchor PMAs. That is, to do the before, during, and after work of planning, carrying out, and reporting back to the PMA Task Force and USSF social movement process the ongoing work, especially the analysis, vision, and programmatic demands and actions. Movement hubs become an ongoing part of long term movement infrastructure and movement schools.

**** Movement schools – political education processes that are part of the movement building work of the social forum process and will be held by the Outreach/PMA WG and the Road to USSF3 WG. They will convene movement leaders on critical fronts of struggle locally and/or regionally: go deep into our understanding of the current political moment, and create a space for strategic and tactical movement analysis for the long haul; discuss the revolutionary process and its relation to our day to day work; and hold trainings for movement governance, organizing and facilitation.