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The United States Social Forum is an ongoing series of gatherings of social justice activists in the United States which grew out of the World Social Forum process, bringing together activists, organizers, people of color, working people, poor people, and indigenous people from across the United States. The goal of the gathering is to build unity around common goals of social justice, to build ties between organizations present at the event, and to help build a broader social justice movement. Planning for the first event was spearheaded by the organization Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide with dozens of other organizations from around the United States involved in the process. The US Social Forum defines itself as "a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history."

National Planning Committee

After the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, the US Social Forum National Planning Committee was created by the WSF's International Council designating the alliance "Grassroots Global Justice" as the core group. The National Planning Committee includes over 45 groups, who oversee the fiscal and political responsibilities of the US Social Forum.http://www.ussf2010.org/npc The National Planning Committee for the US Social Forum includes a number of big labor rights and social justice organizations, including the AFL-CIO, Amnesty International USA, AFSCME, Center for Third World Organizing, Indigenous Environmental Network, Jubilee USA, Sociologists Without Borders, and a host of other organizations.

Activities of the US Social Forum

*Self-Organized Workshops *People's Movement Assemblies *Plenaries *Work Projects & Work Brigades *Detroit Expanded (DEX) *USSF Village & Canopies *Arts & Culture - Performances, Exhibitions, Film Festival *Children's Social forum & Youth Camp *International Participation *Direct Action *Open Spaces *Tours *Grassroots Fundraising

2007 US Social Forum

The first US Social Forum took place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on June 27 - July 1, 2007. Planning for the forum began in 2005. . Free access a
Reclaim the Media
/ref> In June 2006, the Southeast Social Forum took place in Durham, North Carolina. One of the main priorities of the Southeast Social Forum was to plan for and build momentum for the US Social Forum. On June 27, the opening march began at the Georgia State Capitol and ended at the Atlanta Civic Center. Organizers estimated the crowd to be at 15,000 but had hoped that at least 10,000 people would attend. The goal of the first US Social Forum was to assist in building a movement that will end harmful US practices against all people
Direct link to audio file
/ref> by helping coordinate local activists into a nationwide movement.
Direct link to audio file
/ref> The National Domestic Workers Alliance was formed as a result of the event, a group working toward a Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights in various states. Activist librarians from the Progressive Librarians Guild and Radical Reference collected materials that were sent to th
Labadie Collection
at the University of Michigan.

2010 US Social Forum

The 2010 US Social Forum took place in Detroit, Michigan from the June 22–26 in the Northwest Goldberg area. More than 20,000 people attended. Detroit was chosen in part because of its activism in community building resulting from the lack of support from the Federal government of the United States. Organizers hoped that half of the 15,000 participants they had predicted would be from the Midwest. Organizers planned on supporting and beautifying the neighborhood. Thousands of bicycles used during the forum were to be donated to the residents afterward. Some attendees bought vacant homes that were donated to a local organization after the Forum. The Detroit Liberation Library was created from hundreds of books collected from USSF participants from all over the country and later offered throughout the city. Supporters of the Forum were encouraged to create Peoples Movement Assemblies in their own communities. Activists at the gathering participated in more than 1,000 self-organized workshops. One of the most well attended events was a conversation between Grace Lee Boggs and Immanuel Wallerstein. Thousands of Social Forum participants marched to occupy Chase Bank Detroit headquarters, resulting in a national Chase Bank official speaking with church leaders in Detroit about foreclosures. Progressive religious groups played a larger role in the 2010 US Social Forum than at the 2007 event.

People's Movement Assemblies

People's Movement Assemblies (PMA's) are informally organized groups of activists to coordinate and come up with solutions to various social problems. At the 2010 US Social Forum, over 200 organizations participated in 52 PMA's with 4 people to a group. In all, 45 resolutions for action were confirmed at the US Social Forum adding to another 24 created before the forum., including among many others an endorsement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in support of the Palestinian struggle.

Sources

{{reflist "PLG – ¡Presenté! Report from the United States Social Forum." ''Progressive Librarian'' 30. Winter 2007/2008, pp.79–102.

See also

* World Social Forum * European Social Forum * Southern Africa Social Forum * Boston Social Forum * Midwest Social Forum * Southeast Social Forum * World Economic Forum

External links


US Social Forum
Official site
2010 US Social Forum

2007 US Social Forum

2014 US Social Forum

Media from the 2007 US Social Forum

Grace Lee Boggs on the 2010 US Social Forum
- video report by ''Democracy Now!'' Category:Social forums