USSF Synthesis PMA supports BDS, condemns Zionism as racism

The US Social Forum’s People’s Movement Assembly process has produced a PMA 2010 website, with information and resolutions from the over fifty PMAs held at the Forum, as well as the Synthesis PMA, which brought together representatives of all of the Assemblies to create a final statement/resolution to be adopted by the Forum as a whole at its closing PMA on Saturday, June 26, 2010.

This statement contains powerful support for the Palestinian struggle, as well as an important vision of shared struggle against oppression, exploitation, racism and imperialism. Critically, the statement condemns Zionism as racism and endorses Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against apartheid Israel. The full statement is below, with the “International Solidarity and Responsibility” section highlighting Palestine:

People’s Movement Assembly Process

As participants of the United States Social Forum, we are seeking an authentic democratic process through the national People’s Movement Assemblies (PMAs). Responding to a national call, local PMAs were held throughout the US, and fifty People’s Movement Assemblies were convened at the United States Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit, Michigan, in June 2010. These 50 PMAs gathered thousands of participants over three days and were grouped into 13 fronts of struggle for a National People’s Movement Agenda. After all 50 PMAs were held, a representative from each of the fifty People’s Movement Assemblies gathered on June 26, 2010 to engage in a collective process to identify the common themes documented in each PMA and to distill the calls to action made in each of the fifty PMAs. The representative group reflected the content, methodology and calls to action of all fifty People’s Movement Assemblies.

Vision Statement/ Preamble: Therefore

We can build a better world. Working together, we can create a world that respects the human rights of every human being, nurtures creativity and health, promotes unity, solidarity and peace, and uses resources in a way that protects the earth and affirms life.

At this historical moment, there is a growing sense of overwhelming crises. We recognize that the money and other resources that have been swallowed up by militarization must be redirected to solve human needs—to protect the basic human needs of food, shelter, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom from harm, and protection of Mother Earth which nurtures and sustains all life.

We believe that we can create a new economic system that is not based on individual, corporate or private ownership and does not exploit people, the planet, natural resources or living beings but instead is based on principles of collectivity and sustains our communities. We must move aside old systems that have failed and create new ones that serve and are accountable to all peoples and all living beings.

We must link arms with our sisters and brothers globally and commit to a willingness to work together to seek understanding, to coordinate action and to move forward collectively with a sense of urgency to create a more just world. We acknowledge the need to break down barriers. We must integrate our national struggles for the human rights to dignity, welfare, freedom and justice.

Each one of us has to dig deeper to understand each other’s culture and history and to build respectful relationships across difference. Our struggles and our goals are all connected to each other. Our fronts of struggle and our goals are all on the same continuum. We have the desire and energy to create something different that sustains us. As a people, we must rely on each other. We can realize our dreams to treat each other as equals and to build alliances and relationships across our commonalities and differences.

We affirm self-determination and self-reliance. We believe that we can build our collective power through participation in popular political education and organizing collective action. We can each realize the power that resides within each one of us and build collective power by participating in the fronts of struggle recognized through the People’s Movement Assemblies. Let us unite and create a better world for all future living generations. A better world is possible! Another US is near….

Fronts of Struggle / Summary of PMAs

(Note: the Capitalism in Crisis summary will be added to this page as soon as possible.)

To the Left: Building a Movement for Social Justice

Recognizing that Neo-liberal and global capitalism depend on worsening racism, patriarchy, heterosexism, and hegemonic gender norms; We call for INTERSECTIONAL approaches to movement building on all fronts of struggle. By INTERSECTIONAL we mean an intentional inclusion and consideration (by all movement sectors) of bodies that are most often by these oppressive forces.

Intersectional analysis:
-we are suffering from the devastation brought on by the failure of a global neo-liberal order of advanced capitalism dependent worsened by systems of white supremacy and patriarchy, hetero-sexism, normativity,

* An intersectional approach to movement building is critical to any kind of response and leadership by individuals and communities at the front of struggles for transformative change

* We work to eradicate systemic violence in all its forms, including state initiated, inter-personal, on our streets and against the earth.

* We fight the criminalization of those amongst us who are most oppressed (e.g. LGBTQI, immigrant community.

* We will not let SB 1070 stand in Arizona or any copy cat laws like it. We propose a national action on July 29th to defeat SB 1070

* Demand full fair employment for ALL and a just economic recovery

Organizing Workers in the 21st Century

Organizing workers in the 21st century requires a broad and inclusive democratic labor movement that represents and debates the diversity of all kinds of work. 
Fix the broken labor law system to guarantee all workers the right to organize bargain and strike. 
Major government investment in good jobs by taxing Wall Street and wealthy, cutting military budget and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Support the National Day of Action for Jobs and Public Services organized by Jobs with Justice in Fall of 2010.

Stand with our sisters and brothers, and denounce the violent attack on the independent trade union movement in Mexico and their rights and join with them in developing an effective and coordinated tri-national response.
Ecological Justice

We call on our U.S. social movements to recognize that we are in a moment of epic transition on Mother Earth and to unite in a frontline community-led movement for Ecological Justice.

We must foster communities of resistance and resilience that are reclaiming our right to home—sharing our resources in a reflective, responsive relationship to place.

We call for real solutions grounded in root cause remedies, rights, reparations, and participatory democracy.

In order to begin building a movement of movements, we will:
Stand with the people of Detroit against the Covanta Waste

Incinerator and local polluting corporations such as Marathon and DTE.
 Stand with the people of Arizona against SB1070, the militarization of the US borders, and other repressive enforcement measures, on July 29th.
Coordinate actions in solidarity with Gulf Coast residents on August 29th in commemoration of the 5th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina where we will

* Demand federal recognition of sovereignty of United Houma Nation.

* Hold creative actions around the country in protest of BP, Chevron and other dirty fuels industries.

* Demand the protection and restoration of wetlands, rights of return and reconstruction for Gulf Coast residents.

Strategize and mobilize locally across the U.S. to bring our power to bear on the UNFCCC’s COP 16 in Cancun November 29 – December 10.

Indigenous Sovereignty

As older brothers and sisters of this land, we do not want another U.S.; but the return of our Ancestral homelands and the right to self-determination. We want others to understand our unique history as the first recipients of systematic oppression & institutional racism in this hemisphere, to understand the colonization of our homelands and the exploitation of the national resources of Turtle Island. In order to work together, we need non-Indigenous entities to become educated on our history and issues from our perspectives, to RESPECT and HONOR our identity, spirituality, traditional ceremonies and related protocol. We ask that together we work toward the well-being of our communities, our children, future generations, other life forms, the plant and animal nations and Sacred Sites. We want others, to RESPECT and HONOR our expertise in all areas of this land from North to South, and that of Indigenous peoples respectively on other continents. We want to see more representation of Indigenous peoples in the USSF planning process and more Indigenous participation. We want an opening plenary at the next USSF to set the context of our struggles from our perspectives. We will take the lead on our own issues as decision makers and we ask for support on our work in Environmental, Social, and Economic Justice dealing with issues of: energy development (specifically: TARSANDS, coal, uranium, gold, gas & oil, and other extractive industries); green jobs; disparities due to income, environment, and substance abuse; the banning of ethnic studies programs; preservation of Indigenous languages and life-ways; funding for health-care; imposed political borders and immigration issues; food-sovereignty; protection of Sacred Sites and WATER; repatriation; privatization of natural resources & life-forms; commodification & tokenization of Indigenous images & knowledge; continuity of spiritual & healing practices; and the unrestricted access to and use of our traditional medicines and healing practices. We ask you to support us by connecting your work to the local Indigenous communities’ struggles in your area. We call for an annual international day of action between October 11-15 to unite against dirty energy projects and to celebrate our living Indigenous cultures, languages, spiritual practices, sovereignty, and nations. As the caretakers of the land we have a responsibility to honor, love, and give back to our Mother Earth, therefore WE DEMAND that the governments of the U.S. and Canada fully adopt the U.N. Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples without qualifications. We support the existing actions and policies that promote our work by other entities, such as Bolivia’s Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. We will move forward by working together collaboratively, involving Youth and Elders, to heal from external and internalized oppression to restore BALANCE and to build healthy relationships around the world.

Detroit & the Rust Belt

Detroiters are challenging economic institutions to build a society where human needs including air, water, shelter, meaningful work) are recognized as human rights, inviolable by no political body and protected without discrimination.

Person al corporate profits are invested so that people and communities are supported by a thriving commons.

We will work to build solidarity throughout the rust belt with communities impacted by de-industrialization and technological shifts.
Transformative Justice and Healing

Full access to alternative mechanisms, practices and infrastructures that promote:
 Self Determination / Restoration 
Interconnectedness / Mutual Accountability
Supporting / Uplifting struggles Families and Communities

Increased and Strategic Intervention in Systems Benefiting and/or Profiting and/or promoting suffering, isolation, fear and systems that criminalize (including marriage industry, prisons, consequences o trauma and violence), dehumanize, brutalize and kill.

By deepening local and regional work, increasing national impact, working cross sectorally and in solidarity with knowledge transfer between generations.

Endless War/Militarism

We call for a diametrical shift of U.S. tax revenues from war and militarization to meet human needs, here and abroad. This requires recalibrating the moral compass of the nation in ways that prioritize sustainability, justice and equity over power, growth and control of resources. This shift must also include revitalizing our underfunded educational system, creation of green jobs and technology, ensuring decent housing, providing comprehensive health care for all, and addressing our crumbling infrastructure.

In short, we demand that the people’s needs supersede those who selfishly profit from endless wars, interventions, occupations, support for oppressive regimes, such as Israel, and the assault on governments unwilling to buckle to US power. The overarching misdirection of money in support of a military serving as the enforcer of neo-liberal policies in the world is a direct assault on people of color, workers, resources, and our environment. It is unsustainable, immoral, and serves only the interests of the few.

Therefore, we resolve to build a strong, broad, diverse and inclusive peace movement, one embracing broad constituencies, since all are adversely affected by the US historic and unparalleled spending for war and aggression. 
We resolve to promote, participate and build annual united antiwar/peace conferences, such as the United National Antiwar Conference in Albany, NY July 23-25, 2010, where activists will democratically decide upon national and local actions for Fall 2010 and Spring 2011.

We resolve to work tirelessly to break the tentacles of the over 800 US international military and naval bases into peaceful uses so that military budget infrastructure is transformed into self-sustaining, non-polluting economic and cultural purposes.
We support those organizing to educate citizens in both urban and rural areas as to the cost, cause and effect of war, while unwaveringly advocating for a culture of peace and non-violence.

We support local and state planned mobilizations in the coming year, such as the one being organized in Michigan, along with those organizing marches, actions, and workshops between Independence Day and Labor Day 2011.

Displacement, Migration, Immigration

The freedom to move across borders that were set up to colonize and exploit people for profit is a basic element of human dignity. We recognize the right & need for Peoples to migrate and connect across the world to experience other cultures and expand our understanding of life. Displacement is caused by economic forces that give people no choice but to leave their original lands. War, Disaster, Corrupt Governments and economic crisis are the tools that displace communities globally. To fight displacement and support migration globally, there is a need to strengthen relationships & connections among the masses of people across borders. We recognize borders as colonial lines drawn to divide communities and that the act of active solidarity & movement of communities across these borders leads to the undoing of this colonial legacy.

On July 29th we call for a connected international day of action called “A Day without Papers” against SB 1070 in Arizona.

Cross border action against border wall

Solidarity Work Brigades connecting communities and sharing skills to support the right and need of migration for all communities.

Simultaneous People’s Movement Assemblies in Detroit & Gulf Coast to shift the paradigm of how we address depopulation in our respective communities.

Media Justice, Communications, Culture and Technology

As communicators, cultural workers, artists, media makers, technologists…

We believe the power to communicate, and therefore the power to transform society, belongs to everyone.

We call for full access, rights and power to use all forms of media, communications and technology to democratize the distribution and production of information, culture and knowledge.

With an emphasis on reframing core movement goals and identified framing threats, we commit to working together to build meaningful, powerful stories to build a powerful movement for democratic social change, human rights and racial and economic justice.

Further, we commit to work together to deepen our collaboration to realize the goals set forward by each PMA and the PMA process.

Strategies for Building Power / Ensuring [Meeting Human] Needs

Uniting within and across sectors/struggles to take back resources through coordinated actions to claim human rights based in common human needs and led by people who are directly and most affected by their denial.

ACTIONS

October 7th, the Day of Action for Youth, Parents, Educators, and Allies who want education justice and transformation

April 15th, Money for Poor, Not for War, National Tax Day

Month of October, annual International Zero Evictions Campaign (IAI) [but not to interfere with Native days, Oct 11-13]

December 10, 2011 (International Human Rights Day), a National/International Economic Human Rights Day of Action linking the struggle to end poverty and secure the rights to housing, health, quality education, and other economic rights.

International Solidarity and Responsibility

We stand for the dismantling of U.S. imperialism, transnational domination and global apartheid created by the capitalist world system.

We affirm the rights of Mother Earth.

We affirm Indigenous sovereignty and the rights of oppressed, colonized and exploited people and classes in the U.S. and throughout the world to self-determination including the human right to food sovereignty, water, natural resources, housing, education, health care, work and freedom of movement and migration.

We call for the full acknowledgment numeration for women’s caring survival and justice work.

We call for the end to U.S. interventions and occupations in Palestine, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Colombia, etc.

We call for a framework of reparations, restitution for slavery colonization, and genocide.

Action Points: (#3 with 3 of 4 original members conferring, was added at the last moment before the reading of the summary to PMA).

* We call on all organization and social movements to endorse the Cochabamba accords; to engage the International Day of Action for ecological justice.

* We call on all organization and social movements to boycott, divest and sanction the Israeli apartheid state and the institutions the support it.

* We affirm that Zionism is a form of racism that denies Palestinians the right to self-determination.

* We call on all organization and social movement to support the International Day of Action against the U.S. occupation of Haiti and for the return of Jean Bertram Aristide.

* We call for an anti-imperialist convergence in 2011 and 2012.

Democracy and Governance

Democracy cannot exist in the United States until colonial “territories” are eradicated and the control by the wealthy and large corporations is ended. Major electoral reform, decolonization and abolition of corporate personhood and campaign contributions as “Free Speech” is essential for democracy to be a reality in the U.S.

We will create and organize towards a new social contract (or constitution) that guarantees human rights protections, ends colonial practices, a voter bill of rights, eliminates corporate personhood and campaign contributions as “free speech” and a right to direct community participation in making decisions in the allocation and protection of land, resources and services.

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