Portland, Oregon: Dozens of social, economic and climate justice organizers from across the Pacific Northwest have been meeting for the past 16 months to bring the Pacific Northwest Social Forum to Portland, Oregon, September, 26th-28th, 2014. The three-day event will feature music; a fundraiser/solidarity action for a computer center in Burundi, Africa; and assemblies and panels on topics including Indigenous Treaty Rights, Climate Justice, Housing and Homelessness and Democracy. The overall goal of the event is to create a Pacific Northwest People’s Plan for Social, Economic and Climate Justice with strategy and actions for the next two years. The event will conclude with a direct action on Sunday that is also the kick-off to the implementation of the Pacific Northwest People’s Plan for Justice.
The Pacific Northwest Social Forum is one of many events taking place across the country in 2014 that are connected to and building toward larger gatherings in 2015 for the US Social Forum. The US Social Forum (USSF) is a national and international movement building process that is connected and accountable to the World Social Forum. After gathering 100,000 people in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2005, the International Council of the World Social Forum decided the following year there would be regional social forums. The USSF is one of these regional forums, stating that it was strategic to hold a gathering of peoples and movements within the “belly of the beast” that were against the ravages of globalization and neoliberal policies in the US and worldwide. The USSF is not a conference rather it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is a next most important step in the struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history.
“We hope to gather as many folks from the Pacific Northwest as we can from all walks of life,” reported Shamako Noble, National Coordinator with the USSF and organizer for the event. “We have buses coming from the North, South and East to the Forum, with reps from Hip Hop Congress, Move to Amend, Montana based Indian Peoples Action, and (folks from North), and groups from Seattle like the Multi-Media Center. This is shaping up to be a historic event, a game changer in working together to reclaim our region in a way that makes sense for the people and the planet. We’re excited to come together for this motion forward.”
Alyssa Macy, an organizer with the International Indian Treaty Council has been mobilizing Indigenous Peoples to participate in the forum. She stated, “This is an excellent opportunity to educate those individuals and organizations working for a most just society on Treaty Rights here in the Northwest and our shared responsibility in ensuring that the US honors them. Our struggles are related and it is only together that we can realize the society we envision.”
Registration is now open for this historic event at www.pnwsf.org and offers a sliding scale of $10-$100 with the opportunity to do 2-hours of barter work in exchange for registration.