Showing posts from June, 2010

Revolution: What Was Discussed At The U.S. Social Forum

While my previous post described how I got to the U.S. Social Forum and some of the interesting connections that I made, it didn't address what was discussed in Detroit. However, some very interesting things were said there. I'd be remiss if I were to fail to address some of the ideas that were set forth.

Bear in mind that there were over 1,200 workshops of which I only attended about 5. (Many of the workshops were 4 hours long.) Even so, I picked up on certain themes that were common to many of the groups and individuals that I encountered -- in the workshops, in the halls and at other venues like nearby restaurants. The most common theme was that of revolution. Some people spoke with great anticipation about the revolution that promises to arise (objectively) out of the increased social awareness that people across the country are developing. Some spoke of wanting a more subjective and deliberate effort to force our national government to care for its poorest, most vulnerab…

My Trip To The U.S. Social Forum

I just spent 5 days in Detroit, Michigan at the U.S. Social Forum -- a gathering of about 17,000 activists and advocates for a wide range of social justice issues. While it proved to be quite the productive gathering (from where I stand anyway), getting there wasn't easy for me. The fact of the matter is that these things cost money -- something that I never have much of and, in spite of many people admiring my homeless advocacy, I get very little money for what I do. (I'm obviously not in it for the money, but because I care about the issue.) So, helping the homeless pro bono keeps me as dependent upon the kindness of strangers as those whom I help.

I got involved with the DC Metro Social Forum in March of 2007, just 3 months before the U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta (which I didn't attend). However, I was heavily involved in the planning process for this year's U.S. Social Forum. During the run-up to June 22nd, 2010, members of the DC Metro Social Forum held fundraise…

A Lesson In Direct Action

Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. (Wikipedia)

England has begun to bring closure to the events of January 30th, 1972, also known as "Bloody Sunday". On that day 14 people were killed and 12 wounded by the British military during a non-violent protest. The Saville Inquiry (1998-2010) has concluded that what the soldiers did was "unjustified and unjustifiable". This country had its own "Bloody Sunday" on March 7th, 1965 as police beat 600 peaceful protesters during a march for voting rights for Blacks. Then, on May31st, of this year nine people were killed by Israeli soldiers as the civilians attempted to break through a blockade in order to deliver humanitarian aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip. The fact of the matter is that holding a non-violent demonstration doesn't guarantee that the police and military won…

We Need Your Help (An Update On Take Back The Land DC's Plans

I made some edits to a previous post by removing some sensitive info that might compromise our plans:

As you may know, members of Take Back The Land and ONE DC (organizing Neighborhood Equity) are working together to plan a direct action that will publicize and politicize the need for affordable housing and will hold the local politicians' feet to the fire so as to make them follow through on their December 2008 resolution which declared Washington, DC to be a human rights city. The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared housing to be a human right. Furthermore, many people are being made homeless by the present economic crisis, which makes it imperative that we act now to prevent any more people from becoming homeless and to rehouse those who are living on the streets and in the shelters of the richest nation on earth.

Since our attempts at getting the mayor to follow through on his promises to create a sufficient amount of affordable housing have fai…