U.S. Social Forum Announces Next Steps

Plans to Maintain Momentum After Successful Gathering of Thousands
Sunday, July 1, 2007
CONTACT: Karlos Schmeider

(505) 363-4962

ATLANTA – The first ever US Social Forum closed today in an emotional ceremony that focused on “the work ahead.” The widely diverse gathering drew nearly 10,000 advocates representing over 1000 organizations from every state in the U.S., including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico under the banner, “Another World is Possible. Another U.S. is necessary.” 68 countries were represented at the US Social Forum, including 400 international delegates. “This won’t end in Atlanta,” says National Planning Committee member Rubén Solís. “We have the People Movement Assembly and other mechanisms to continue to build on all the great work we started.”

The Peoples Movement Assembly was one of many vehicles for broader participation in the USSF. The Assembly enabled participants to introduce resolutions and ideas for action post the Forum as part of the USSF’s commitment to modeling democratic space.

Another important vehicle for participation in the USSF structure is the many workgroups that emerged over the two years of organizing preceding the Forum. Work groups on issues like immigration rights, workers rights, health and more met, developed programming and strategies for joint work together after the Forum.

“We have the momentum, the goodwill and the ingenuity to make this much more than a gathering,” says Loretta Ross of the Atlanta based Sister Song and a leader of the Women’s Working Group. “We came together as women across a wide range of experiences and issues and really built something together. We will definitely keep this work moving forward.”

Many alliances were also built across issues like with the People’s Freedom Caravan, an effort that brought together indigenous peoples, Latin@s/Chican@a, African Americans and others throughout the south and southwest.

“The People’s Freedom Caravan process really helped to strengthen relationships and helped us better identify our common ground,” says Bineshi Albert. “As indigenous people, it is important that our issues stay visible. This process helped us build with others so that more people understand our story.”

As the Forum closed, participants expressed gratitude for the smooth and virtually hitch free logistics for the event. Says Alice Lovelace, USSF National Lead Organizer, “We worked hard to put the systems in place that would support a peaceful and productive gathering. I am proud of our staff and our work teams that pulled together – and with so little resources – to make this event happen.”

Although the National Planning Committee has not yet made plans for another Forum in the near future, they did announce that it will support the World Social Forum’s Call to Action on January 26, 2008. The global day of action will feature broad mobilizations in every country on nearly every issue.

“The US Social Forum process did not happen in isolation,” says Michael Leon Guerrero of Grassroots Global Justice and National Planning Committee member. “We are committed to being full participants in the World Social Forum process. Participating in the Call to Action is an important way to build global solidarity and become that ‘other U.S.’ that will help make another world possible.”

“For more information on the USSF, see www.ussf2007.org. (external link) For more information on the World Social Forum Call to Action, see http://www.wsf2008.net/ (external link)