[WSF-Discuss] /Local Social Forum

Corinna Genschel Corinna.Genschel at linksfraktion.de
Fri Sep 3 08:32:21 UTC 2010


Dear friends
 
thanks for this interesting train of thoughts about local social forums.
There used to be within the WSF structure (but also partially within the European Social Forum structure) a debate and and exchange between local social forums. I remember at least that there were meetings (the last I vave been to has beedn Nairobi), were local social forums convened, exchanged experiences about their work etc.. 
I think one of the most important "features" in relation to WSF/ESF sites was, that people who work in local social forums usually don't go to these international events; that there is not a strong link between these two political arenas - because also there is not "that" space (at least it seemed that way) to think of locxal social forums as relevant to the "international" ones.
I don't remember it very cleary and should check my very old messages, but there was an international local social forum mailing list with the goal to share our work and network the local forums; in Germany we organized also two or three national meetings for (German) local social forums. 
 
It was interesting that some local social forums (like the one in Berlin, which was active from 2003 until 2008 or so) didn't work/function as a scheduled weekend "event", but on a regular basis (with monthly open pleanries etc) - which shifted the borders between space and agent so to say (among other things). Here is a text I wrote about the Berlin Social Forum some years ago, and presented in Durban at the CCS in 2007: http://www.nu.ac.za/ccs/default.asp?11,61,3,1089: You might find some thoughts, experiences, reflections interesting, this is just one local social forum example, it does not exist anymore as such and as I said, local social forums in my experience work very differently from each other. E.g., I remember clearly that "the French" local social forums functioned similar to "event fourms" and were very successful in that, in building alliances (e.g. in the Banlieues), in getting people involved etc.
 
Thus, to finish here: There used to be so much more local social forum stuff happening in "the open", I assume there is a lot of work still done, but it found other venues for exchange etc. But as some of the answers say, there are local social forums happening, did happen etc.
Judith, please let us know about your processes. This is really exciting. 
 
All the best from Berlin
Corinna
________________________________

Von: worldsocialforum-discuss-bounces at openspaceforum.net [mailto:worldsocialforum-discuss-bounces at openspaceforum.net] Im Auftrag von Judith Blau
Gesendet: Freitag, 3. September 2010 08:24
An: Jai Sen
Cc: Jay Gee; Cindy Wiesner; adrienne maree brown; Francine Mestrum; Tom Goldtooth; Michael Leon Guerrero; Chico Whitaker; Tammy Bang Luu; Post WSFDiscuss; William I Copeland
Betreff: Re: [WSF-Discuss] WorldSocialForum-Discuss Digest, Vol 56, Issue 23/Local Social Forum


Greetings, Jai Sen and others, 

And thank you. We are thinking of a small place, where enduring relationships will last and last. Even in a small place, there are (at least in the capitalist capital of the world) homeless people, refugees, gays and lesbians, migrants, people of color and refugees. Now they are segregated, isolated, and marginalized. A forum in a small place would have, I believe, lasting significance because it would bring these groups together, and they would stay together. I edited a volume on the WSF and the USSF with Marina Karides, but I imagine this to be somewhat different. People - by virtue of geography - would form enduring ties and enduring opposition to what keeps them now in a condition of servitude, poverty, misery. 

The problem now is that peoples are divided - capitalists keep it that way. The unhoused do not have contact with migrants. The refugees work two jobs and have no contact with others. And so forth. To imagine a local Social Forum anticipates a larger social forum. But a local SF can lead to demands for participatory democracy, higher taxes for the rich, university accountability, universal housing, universal health care, gender equality in wages, same sex marriage. I can see this is possible starting at the grassroots and in a small place. 

I intend to help mobilize to fundamentally change the conditions that oppress people. When we march on town hall, they will have to listen, to respond, to act. First comes coalition building. 

Judith 

On 9/3/2010 1:13 AM, Jai Sen wrote: 

	Friday, 3 September 2010

	

	Dear Judith, and others, hi

	            It is of course great to know about all this local social forum activity (and that you are so inspired by all this !), so let me add - as you get going on coalition building ! - what I have assumed that you already know about (but I see that no one has so far mentioned) : That in the US itself, you have had a Chicago Social Forum and a Boston Social Forum, at the very least... and moreover, that even in the run-up to the first US Social Forum in Atlanta in 2007, as far as I recall there were several local-ish and regional events or activities that I would think you might like to also become familiar with - and especially given the very particular dynamics of coalition and social forum building that has now been initiated within the US, of intentional inclusion.  And especially where those dynamics were based in part on critiques of and reflections on the Boston Social Forum, at the minimum.  And I'm sure that there were several events on the road from Atlanta to Detroit, too.

	

	            I know / am sure that you're of course aware of Jeff Juris' first essay on these dynamics at and in the run-up to Atlanta, in 2008 ('Spaces of Intentionality : Race, Class, and Horizontality in the United States Social Forum', in Mobilization, Vol 13, no 4, pp 353-371).  In addition, there is the excellent recollection of and reflection on the organising process for Atlanta by three of the key organisers of that Forum (and also of Detroit, as far as I know), also in late 2008 / early 2009 : Michael Leon Guerrero, Tammy Bang Luu, and Cindy Wiesner, 2009 - 'The Road to Atlanta', in Jai Sen and Peter Waterman, eds, 2009 - World Social Forum : Challenging Empires, revised and updated second edition, Montréal : Black Rose Books, pp 315-331.

	

	            Just FYI !  I'm also copying in all these actors in this reply, as well as 3-4 more key organisers at Detroit who I had the privilege of meeting there (Will Copeland - of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, and Member, USSF Detroit Local Organising Committee; Tom Goldtooth - of IEN / the Indigenous Environmental Network; and adrienne maree brown - of the ruckus society and national coordinator, us social forum), just in case any of them would like to come in with some additional information on this question of local fora.

	

	            Jai

	

	Copy : For information, and with the invitation that you come in on this exchange ! : Jeff Juris; Michael Leon Guerrero, Tammy Bang Luu, and Cindy Wiesner; Will Copeland; Tom Goldtooth; and adrienne maree brown

	
	

	On Sep 3 2010, at 1:17 am, Judith Blau wrote:


		Stunning!! I am inspired and motivated, and will now start coalition building. 
		
		On 9/2/2010 12:07 PM, david gabriel wrote: 

			more 40 local social forum in France...
			
			Last information : http://openfsm.net/projects/facili-tation-de-fsl/les-fsl-en-france)
			
			Solidarity,
			
			David Gabriel 
			
			
			2010/8/31 subhash lomte <subhashlomte at gmail.com>
			

				Thanks 

				We are also trying to organise local social forum ,here at Aurangabad in India.

				Details will be sent to you all.

				Regards

				Subhash Lomte / national convenor

				National campaign committee for Rural Workers 


				On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 9:22 PM, Chico Whitaker <chicowf at uol.com.br> wrote:
				

					Effectively, we are preparing a Local Social Forum in São Paulo, Brazil. I will give more details later. Chico Whitaker
					
					
					
					Em 29/08/2010 09:24, Francine Mestrum escreveu: 

					I thing they are preparing one in Brasil, Sao Paulo. Or was it another city?
					Francine
					
					

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					Subject: [WSF-Discuss] Town or city Social Forum?
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					  Friends,
					
					Has there ever been a local Social Forum? May we have one?
					
					Judith Blau
					
					
					
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	______________________________
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	jai.sen at cacim.net
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