United States Social Forum 2010, Detroit, Michigan: Another world is possible! We’re making it happen!

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Page 3 U.S. Social Forum Opening Day March.
18,000 participated in the U.S. Social Forum

PHOTO/Daymon J. Hartley

By Jerome Scott and Walda Katz-Fishman, members of the National Planning Committee of the US Social Forum

The US Social Forum 2010 is a significant step in the US movement building process and bottom-up struggle toward social and economic transformation. 18,000 organizers, activists, revolutionaries, and movement builders converged in Detroit, June 22-26 to declare another world is possible, another US is necessary, and another Detroit is happening. We represented over 2,000 organizations from all fronts of struggle, including grassroots, poor people, organized labor, women, and more. Powerful and united in our diversity, we were majority people of color, low-income and working class, and women, and represented many oppressed nationalities, races, ethnicities, genders, and faiths. Youth were central to the social forum process, as was the queer community, and those differently-abled. We caravanned, biked, and walked to Detroit from the Mississippi Delta, from the Southwest, from Washington, DC, from Chicago, and towns and cities across the country. International delegates hailed from our North American neighbors Canada and Mexico, from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Palestine and the Middle East, and Europe.

Starting with the opening march down Woodward Avenue to Cobo Hall to the closing National Peoples Movement Assembly, we shared struggles and dialogued; expressed our cultural creativity in art, dance, music, song, spoken word, theatre and film. We grappled with the political path forward in over 1,000 workshops and 50 Peoples Movement Assemblies (PMAs). The social forum gathered as the world is slipping into chaos. The global market economy is in turmoil; society is falling apart; the environment and nature are being destroyed; and our communities and peoples are criminalized and under siege. But our resilience rises and our movement advances, pushed forward by the deepening world economic crisis. Nowhere is this more tangible and visible than in Detroit, the epicenter of these systemic crises.

These objective conditions and the PMA process of coalescing fronts of struggle are what lead us toward the future. The response and motion across many fronts of struggle energized and informed the PMAs and the plans of action brought forward. We made some history.

The question many of us came with is: “Where are we as a movement in terms of our consciousness, vision, and strategy?” What the USSF 2010 tells us is that the movement is conscious of the system of global capitalism as the root cause of our problems. Our demands are for our basic needs to be met, the planet to be protected, self-determination and the cessation of all oppressions and wars against our peoples. We will build our power through participation in popular and political education and collective action.

At the same time, articulating a concrete vision of society without capitalism as we move into the future is still a struggle. Even more of a struggle is the concept of political independence from the ruling class and a winning strategy for our movement.

Within the social forum and PMA processes, the task of the movement is to consolidate the fronts of struggle. This will require building to a critical mass of people to have the political education and discussions necessary, and point the way forward along the strategic line of march toward revolution.

Lines are beginning to be drawn over whether the corporations, the government, and the drive for maximum profits or the needs of humanity and mother earth will prevail. History is on our side.

The US Social Forum 2010 marked a historic moment in the struggle toward a new society – that is cooperative, egalitarian, and collectively organized to meet all human needs and a planet safe for future generations. Onward to victory! For more information: USSF 2010: www.ussf2010.org PMA process and documents: http://pma2010.org/national-pma