Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Historical connection of Peoples Movement Assembly and US Social Forum II
National Peoples Movement Assembly
At the 2nd USSF II Detroit, Michigan
The United States Social Forum II ended with and attendance of 18,000 people and with many new developments and advances in movement building making it a very successful forum. 15,000 delegates of social movements registered and participated in the USSF II. The USSF II build on the floor work done at the first ever USSF in Atlanta in 2007.
This convergence of social movements in the United States comes on the heels of having the first ever African American President, a monumental financial crisis, the endless wars of the Middle East and the failed neo-liberal system worldwide. The importance of the USSF II at this historical moment marks a radical departure from gathering to protest what we are against to developing a focused approach to define what we are for.
First we proved that the social movements in the United States have the capacity and will to organized a second social forum and that the first ever US Social Forum in Atlanta was not a fluke, nor a one time possibility.
The consolidation of the social movements in the United States in the first social forum has now become a permanent feature at the second social forum. This means that a qualitative leap resulting in a new paradigm in the role of social movements in making another United States possible, positioned to dismantle the failed neo-liberal state, and creating new organizing models.
As US social movements we realized the strength of the connection between theory and practice and we proved the vision of ‘another world possible’ is real and should be implemented in our daily practice. We also marked the level of maturity, unity and strength of the social movements of the United States. One important development is the establishment of a ‘horizontal’ social movement that integrates sectors across the spectrum, geo-political, diversity, pluralistic and multi-issues strategies resulting in intersectional convergence.
We proved that in order for ‘another United States necessary’ the social movement in the United States needed to make and did make, a ‘paradigm shift’ from that of knowing and protesting what we are against, and to put more energy in constructing the new social construct and community of people as we protest, expose and denounce the existing failed neo-liberal state.
Pivotal to the ‘paradigm shift’ at the USSF II was the Peoples Movement Assembly process starting from the 40 PMA’s that took place leading up to the USSF II, the 54 PMA’s that happened during the USSF II on June 23-25, culminating in the June 26 National Peoples Movement Assembly in Detroit. All together it is estimated that nearly 100 PMA’s took place in this forum organizing process covering about one year and a half. Quantitatively over 6,000 peoples went through the PMA process either before or during the United States Social Forum II.
The National Peoples Movement Assembly was the culmination of the PMA process starting with the Pre-USSF-PMA’s that began the process of ‘articulation’ of the political moment in the United States in relation with the social movements. The organizing emphasis of PMA’s was to pin- point the ‘fronts’ of the social movement struggles at the point of contention of power with the neo-liberal failed state. To capture the ‘political moment’ is the process of self-diagnostic and plotting on the political power map where we are at and where we are going as well as where we have come from.
The pre-USSF PMA’s kicked off the discourse of collectively articulating the fronts of struggle, the problems, the solutions and the strategies for action. The PMA process focus was on action representing a ‘paradigm shift’ with an emancipatary direction in conjunction with the actions happening on an everyday sense. The PMA’s during the USSF allowed for an incorporation of the present political moment, the milieu and political expression of the 15,000 people at the USSF. The national articulation of the present political moment of the US social movements, builds on the pre-USSF PMA’s, the during-USSF PMA’s,and the PMA synthesis assembly culminated in the National Peoples Movement Assembly with hundreds of resolutions, and synthesis statements resuling in a national social movements agenda, action plan and a unified statement of purpose and direction (preamble).
Theoretically, the PMA process flowed from the ‘mobilizing’ pre-USSF PMA’s into the PMA’s during the forum with a ‘synthesis assembly’ where all 54 PMA’s send delegates developed the national plan of action, national agenda of the social movements plus days of action. The synthesis commission brought together the essence of the process in the preamble to the synthesis results of all PMA’s affirmed to action or affirmed in solidarity at the National PMA held on June 26th.
The next step is the after the USSF II plan for the PMA process is convening the delegate representatives of all 54 PMA’s representing the ‘fronts of struggle’ (14) called ‘thematic tracks’ under the open space of the USSF II. The PMA assembly of the fronts of struggle will coordinate and mobilize around the resolutions for actions and the national and international days of struggle identified and affirmed at the national peoples movement assembly.
The first national action to test out this ‘convergence strategy’ was the June 26th action against the incinerator located in Detroit. It was this action that brought people together and together they marched into the National PMA. The next big test is the July 29th international and national day of struggle against the racist law 1070 in Arizona.