More than 950 workshops are scheduled, including "The Fight to End Illiteracy," "Legacy of Torture: the War Against the Black Liberation Movement," "Decolonization/Self-Determination for Puerto Rico," "So You Want to Stop a War?" and "Food Sovereignty: Building Sustainable Futures for Farmers Globally."
The workshops, sponsored by groups ranging from the American Friends Service Committee to the National Hip Hop Political Convention to Students for a Democratic Society, will be held throughout the city as well as at the Atlanta Civic Center.
The World Social Forum, which began as an international gathering of "anti-globalization" forces in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, took place most recently in Nairobi, Kenya, last January. In 2006 the World Social Forum was held in Caracas, Venezuela; Bamako, Mali; and Karachi, Pakistan. While smaller regional forums have taken place in the United States over the last several years, this year's event will be the first organized on a national scale in this country.
Forum organizers hosted a June 10 meet and greet event in Atlanta's West End, a historic Black community, to orient people to build the Forum. The West End is one of 15 local communities targeted for publicizing the Forum and where major events will be held.
Jerome Scott of Project South led the meeting. The reason, he said, to host the U.S. Social Forum in the Southeast and Atlanta is the role of the Black struggle in society and the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina on working people, especially African Americans.
Those present at the meet and greet included a dozen students and youth, some of whom have come in from around the country to build the Forum. Four have come from Oberlin College in Ohio; one from Brooklyn, New York; and three from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Buses for the event are coming from Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and elsewhere. A bus caravan from the Southwest plans to stop in New Orleans in solidarity with working people still confronting the effects of Hurricane Katrina. A map on the Forum's web site indicates attendance from nearly every single state in the country, including Alaska and Hawaii. Organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America have registered, as well.
The forum will open with a march on June 27. Plenary sessions will cover "Gulf Coast Reconstruction in the Post-Katrina Era"; "War, Militarism and the Prison Industrial Complex"; "Indigenous Voices: From the Heart of Mother Earth"; "Immigrant and Migrant Rights in a Global Society"; "Liberating Gender and Sexuality: Integrating Gender and Sexual Justice Across Our Movements"; and "Workers' Rights in the Global Economy."
For more information, to register, and to get involved in efforts in your local area to build the event, visit www.ussf2007.org.
Build U.S. Social Forum
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