Another World is Possible, Another System is Necessary...
In 2015, for the first time in history, our movements for genuine change will gather in three locations for simultaneous Social Forum convergences.
Some of us will gather in
and we invite you to click on those links to visit the pages for those centers.
In its nearly a decade of existence, the US Social Forum (USSF) has been one of this country's largest and most successful movement building processes: a space for people to come together to develop solutions to the economic and ecological crisis and continue building a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history.
To learn more about the US Social Forum, please see our Newsletters.
Why a Third U.S. Social Forum?
The first USSF in Atlanta in June 2007 brought 12,000 people together in the belief that "Another World Was Possible!" Movement forces from all over the country took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate, organize, teach, debate and otherwise contribute to a growing sense that "Another United States Is Necessary!" In 2010, the second USSF drew nearly 20,000 participants to Detroit, where capitalism’s collapse has brought some of the country’s highest rates of unemployment, large-scale abandonment of whole urban communities, and a flourishing of popular movements for racial, gender, and economic justice. These experiences clarified the need for us to come together to resist the downward spiral that accompanies capitalism’s economic cycles. They also gave us hopeful lessons of how to build another world. (Click here to learn more about Detroit)
The purpose of the USSF is to effectively and affirmatively articulate the values and strategies of a growing and vibrant movement for justice in the United States. Those who build towards and participate in the USSF are no longer interested in simply stating what social justice movements “stand-against,” rather we see ourselves as part of new movements that reach beyond national borders, that practice democracy at all levels, and understand that capitalism abroad and here in the United States is not the solution. The USSF is a tool for helping us expand beyond our conventional campaigns and issue silos to build a common struggle for economic, social, and ecological justice.
The current moment
The objective situation in the U.S. 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.
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. 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.
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.
Call to Participate in Building the Road to the third U.S. Social Forum
We call those who fight for justice to converge and act, and to reflect on the potential of our position and the power of our connections. Although we have built organizations that push forward an integrated, multi-issue, multiracial strategy, we have yet to build our movement on a scale relative to our sisters and brothers in the Global South.
The US Social Forum offers the opportunity to continue to gather and unify these growing forces. We must seize this moment and advance our collective work to build grassroots leadership, develop collective vision and formulate strategies that keep a strong movement growing. (Individuals supporting the World Social Forum Charter of Principles and US Social Forum’s political unity statements are invited to participate in any of the USSF working groups. Details of these working groups and contact information can be found here).
Individuals, Organizations and Networks can also organize a People’s Movement Assembly to help build conversations and networks that support the US Social Forum process. PMA's can be organized thematically or geographically. Click here for an organizing kit and more background on the People’s Movement Assembly Process.
Organizations who wish to support the US Social Forum process are invited to consider becoming a US Social Forum Ally or applying to be a full Member of the National Planning Committee.
Consider working with organizers in your area to apply to be considered as a host site for the next US Social Forum. Click here for information on the USSF III Site Selection process.
Click here for the Criteria for NPC membership and ally status.