The Road To Detroit

[The American “rust belt” is devastated.  No news there.  What is news is that Detroit, epicenter of the rust belt, both the symbol and the practical effect of corporate rule, will host the second U.S. Social Forum June 22-26.  Please check the web site at the right (under U.S. Social Forum – Chicago) for the Chicago progress toward organizing for this very important confluence of active people.  It is an opportunity to meet and strategize with others who envision a cooperative world.  The national web site for the forum is <http://www.ussf2010.org/>. This post contains an overview article on the USSF and its implications; an invitation to the Feb. 2 meeting in Chicago to find out more about Chicago plans for participating in the USSF; the announcement of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign march from New Orleans, LA to culminate in Detroit for the USSF; Information on the film The Water Front, along with a poetry video on the water devastation; and links to articles in the Peoples Tribune on the economic devastation in Detroit. — Lew Rosenbaum]

1. http://www.lrna.org/2-pt/v19ed6art4.html
The U.S. Social Forum on the Road to Detroit
Twenty thousand movement organizers and activists from diverse organizations and fronts of struggle across the United States, Canada, and the world are expected to converge at the second United States Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit, Michigan, from June 22 to June 26, 2010.
A virtual “ground zero” for the global economic meltdown and social destruction wreaking havoc throughout our communities, Detroit and Michigan are today a battleground around concrete political questions about whom the U.S. government is going to serve. The questions of whether people are going to have housing, water, and schools, and of nationalization of auto and health care, are immediate and real there.
Just like the people of Detroit, Michigan, and the whole United States, participants in the U.S. Social Forum are going to be grappling with the question, “which way forward?” Read more . . .

2.  Chicago USSF Info Session

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Date:  Wed, 2010-02-03 02:00 – 04:00

US Social Forum Info Session
Tuesday, February 2nd
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Access Living
115 W. Chicago Ave.
Organizers and activists across the country are building for the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit June 22-26, 2010.

This is the follow-up to the USSF in Atlanta in 2007, which drew some 15,000 people to hundreds of workshops and meetings on how to organize for progressive social change.

In Chicago, activists and organizations are networking not only to attend the forum, but also to strengthen our own organizing in and around our city. With a deep economic crisis, government budget cuts, and rising unemployment and poverty, we need to come together to support each other?s efforts. We?ll strategize together about how to work for a Chicago that puts peoples needs first?now and beyond the USSF.

This meeting will provide an orientation to the World Social Forum movement for those learning about it for the first time. We?ll work together to fundraise, coordinate travel, and plan events to support the participation of youth, low-income, people of color, workers and neighborhood folk from affected communities. Come to the session to see how we can link up and build a Chicago that works for everyone.

For information about Chicago?s road to Detroit visit:
http://roadtodetroit.blogspot.com/2010/01/chicago-info-session-15.html

3. Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign
“The dispossessed of this nation — the poor, both white and Negro live in a cruelly unjust society. They must organize a revolution against that injustice, not against the lives of persons who are their fellow citizens, but against the structures through which the society is refusing to take means which have been called for, and which are at hand, to lift the load of poverty.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967
The March to Fulfill the Dream launches on April 4, 2010. This significant date is Easter Sunday, as well as the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. We begin in New Orleans, Louisiana and finish our march in Detroit, Michigan on June 20, 2010 for the U.S. Social Forum.

We demand guaranteed healthcare and housing for everyone in the United States.

Rising from the ruins of economic storms, we unite – poor people, homeless people, social workers, activists, artists, musicians, people of faith, students, healthcare workers, lawyers, and more – we rebuild!

Join us. Build the movement to end poverty! click here to go to the march site.

4. The Water Front and Water Warriors are two cinematic approaches to document the severe fresh water crisis that has been facing the Detroit area. This is from the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization web site, which also has links to the the documentary film The Water Front and the poetry video, Water Warriors:

The Detroit area, was a natural venue for the opening of the 6-month tour of The Water Front throughout the Great Lakes region. “With the recent passage of the Great Lakes Compact and the approaching elections, this couldn’t be timelier” said Sam Finkelstein, the tour organizer, as he introduced the film. Residents from the area gathered in Marygrove College, a leader in urban social justice education. “This film shouldn’t just touch you,” said Marian Kramer, who is featured in the film and was at the screening, “it should grab you” – and she gestured as if she was choking. And it did just that, the viewers were grabbed by this film and the subsequent discussions. “How can our water be defined as a product?” asked Lynna Kaucheck of Clean Water Action, as she highlighted the underlying economic and political issues that result in situations such as those we experienced in Highland Park. This screening was a great way to launch this historic tour to over 30 cities!
Sam Finkelstein, Food & Water Watch
September 26, 2008

5.  Links to articles on the Detroit US Social Forum

http://www.peoplestribune.org/PT.2009.10/PT.2009.10.05.html   A Call to Participate

http://www.peoplestribune.org/PT.2010.01/PT.2010.01.06.html  Detroit Fights Utility Shut Offs (Voices from the Rust Belt); and Detroot We Do Mind Dying.

http://www.peoplestribune.org/PT.2010.01/PT.2010.01.06.html#three   Crisis in Funding Michigan Education

http://www.peoplestribune.org/PT.2010.01/PT.2010.01.12.html#four  Voices from Benton Harbor, MI

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