- USSF in Atlanta in 2007
Vermont Workers Center made a video about the 2007 USSF, highlighting some of their members' experiences there: http://blip.tv/file/590773/
I wrote an extensive blog reflection on my experience here: http://mindpowercollective.wordpress.com/ideas-and-thoughts/
My main memory is being hit by a pie in the face because I wasn't "radical enough." It was not a nice experience. Medea Benjamin
What a Summer~USSF 2007
I was fortunate enough to have friends living in Georgia and arrive with around nine other people to attend the forum together. I remember being overwhelmed by the amount of workshops and the task of getting to all of them in a timely manner. The opening march was very hot, and it was nice to have people handing out water. The puppets were fabulous! i was shocked to learn that the park which had many of the venders and tents was just days before a place were houseless people normally slept. These folks were arrested and taken to jail in preparation for the forum! Instead of being invited to participate in the event, they were criminalized by the very people who days later would listen to workshops and panels focused on this very struggle! The forum needs to be more accessible and welcome to the people!!
My favorite workshops were part of the gender/sexuality track. Folks from Southerners on New Ground (S.O.N.G.), Sista II Sista, INCITE!, and FIERCE! were on point, their workshops were packed, and there was a real sense of movement in those spaces. Several hundred people wanted to further our discussions around moving beyond the non-profit industrial complex.
Another concern I have is the lack of time we had to meet regionally. We were given such little time for this, that we barely could introduce ourselves before the time was up. I think more structured time needs to be given to regional organizing/networking. When you are in workshops and then the plenaries all day, it's difficult to eat, sleep, and meet outside of that in one day. Also, I think it would be worthwhile to have the opening plenary focus solely on work in Detroit so attendees know what's happening locally.
The way that I shared what went on at the forum was recording workshops, editing them, and giving them away as CD's.
Thanks to all the organizers, past and present!
- Oakland, CA