Approximately 250 folks participated, with most coming from the
Portland area, with solid representation from across OR. Community to
Community, Multi Media Center, and Got Green helped bring a decent
contingent from Seattle. Folks from Indian People’s Action came from
MT, and Hip Hop Congress and Move To Amend brought folks from CA.
The core groups comprising the Organizing Committee:
Community to Community (Bellingham, WA)
GlobalFam (Portland, OR)
International Indian Treaty Council (International)
Jobs With Justice PDX (Portland, OR)
Move to Amend (National)
Multi-Media Center (Northwest/Bay Area, CA.)
Right 2 Survive (Portland, OR)
The Assembly to End Poverty and USSF Poverty Working Group (national)
Reps from these orgs met monthly for almost a year to build towards
this event, then increased to twice per month in the last few months
and weekly during Sept.
Evaluations showed broad and deep appreciation for the Fri evening
concert/cultural opening, as well as for the quality child care and
food (HUGE acknowledgement thanks to the local Food Not Bombs crew).
Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community made opening remarks about
the World Social Forum and the US Social Forum (USSF) to provide
historical and political context.
She was followed by two series of panels representing multiple fronts
of struggle with a representative from each of the 9 People’s Movement
Assemblies (PMA’s) serving as a panelist. The panels were diverse by
age, race and gender, and were very well received. They each did a
fantastic job of answering a series of questions designed to expose
the interconnection between our struggles and the need to build a
broad and deep mass movement across issues, (NOTE: The failure to
record Rosalinda and the panelists was a big mistake).
Participants were very positive about the PMAs themselves. They
expressed appreciation for the high-level of analysis and the
participatory nature of each one. We did create a list of PMA “Action
Opportunities and Demands.” (See below).
However, we did not synthesize the results of each PMA into a truly
comprehensive plan during the final Plenary session. This was because
we tried to do too much in too little time, and more work should have
been done so that all PMA facilitators had a shared vision of what we
were doing and why. Reps from most of the local organizing committee
have committed to continuing to meet on monthly calls to flesh out a
regional “Movement Plan” and to build upon the energy and momentum.
There is also a commitment to mobilize movement forces to participate
in the USSF in San Jose in June of 2015, and we have earmarked $900 to
be used to rent a bus to bring folks.