CCCE Projects

Northwest Social Forum Project

Which Way for the Northwest Social Forum? A Dialog on Cross-issue Organizing

By Amoshaun Toft, Nancy Van Leuven, W. Lance Bennett, Jonathan Tomhave, Mary Lynn Veden, Chris Wells and Lea Werbel

The Northwest Social Forum (NWSF) was organized over a 1½-year period, leading up to a planned weekend-long event in Seattle, Washington in 2004. The World Social Forum was started in 2001 in Brazil, and local and regional Social Fora have become a significant positive force in global justice organizing by connecting activists and organizers across issues and geography, resulting in several movement coalition and actions. The NWSF would have been the second Social Forum in the U.S., following the Boston Social Forum. Concerns about process emerged 2½ months before the planned event, eventually resulting in the Indigenous Planning Committee's decision to pull-out of the Forum. The Film Planning Committee and Youth Planning Committee followed, and the main Planning Committee decided to cancel the event just 9 days before the event. Both the process and the call to cancel have resulted in a significant amount of criticism, but no formal process was undertaken to evaluate and move forward. The first US Social Forum is planned for June 27th - July 1st, 2007 in Atlanta, and some effort is being made to organize regionally for the Forum in the Northwest. This report has collected and organized online organizing documents, survey results and interviews around 10 main themes that emerged through the process: organization, decision-making, race, conflict, technology, funding, geography, time, cancellation, and thoughts for the future.

As a gathering of opinions by many of those most involved with the Northwest Social Forum this report is intended to foster a learning environment that may help future social movement efforts. This document has been published online, and an opportunity has been provided there for readers to discuss findings and future steps.

Resources

April Planning Retreat

E-Mail and Website

Publications

North American Social Forum Sites
US Social Forum
Boston Social Forum 2004
Southeast Social Forum 2006
Midwest Social Forum 2006
Southwest Ontario Regional Social Forum 2006
Maine Social Forum 2006
Border Social Forum 2007

World Social Forum Sites
World Social Forum
World Social Forum, India 2004
Polycentric WSF 2006 [][]Bamako, Mali and Caracas, Venezuela
World Social Forum, 2006
WSF in Nairobi, 20-25 January, 2007

Social Forum Literature

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Anonymous. (2004a). UNESCO and the World Social Forum: the first three years. International Social Science Journal (NWISSJ), 56(182), 639-641.

Anonymous. (2004b). Winds of global change: southern uprising. The Other Side, 40, 7-8.

Baiocchi, G. (2004). The Party and the multitude: Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) and the challenges of building a just social order in a globalizing context. Journal of World Systems Theory, 10(1), 199–215.

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Bennett, W. L. (2004). Social movements beyond borders: Understanding two eras of transnational activism. In D. d. Porta & S. Tarrow (Eds.), Transnational protest & global activism (pp. 203-226).

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Biagiotti, I. (2004). The World Social Forums: A paradoxical application of participatory doctrine. International Social Science Journal, 56(182), 529-540.

Brown, E., Corva, D., Day, H., Faria, C., Sparke, M., Sparks, T., et al. (2005). The World Social Forum and the lessons for economic geography. Unpublished manuscript, Seattle, WA.

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Daulatzai, A. (2004). A leap of faith: Thoughts on secularistic practices and progressive politics. International Social Science Journal, 56(182), 565-575.

della Porta, D. (2003). Democracy in movement: Organizational dilemma and globalization from below. Paper presented at the Colloque “Les mobilisations altermondialistes” 3-5 décembre.

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della Porta, D. (2004b). Making the polis: Social Forums and democracy in the global justice movement. Unpublished manuscript. http://demos.iue.it/PDFfiles/MakingPolisDDP.pdf

della Porta, D. (2004c). Multiple belongings, tolerant identities, and the construction of “another politics”: Between the European Social Forum and the Global Social Fora. In D. d. Porta & S. Tarrow (Eds.), Transnational protest & global activism (pp. 175-202). Lanham: Rowman & Littlfield Publishers, Inc.

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Dworkin, M., & Young, M. (Writer), & M. Dworkin, M. Young, N. Klein, V. Shiva, K. Danaher, W. Sachs & R. Menchu (Director) (2002). Another World is Possible: Impressions of the World Social Forum. Oley, PA: Bullfrog Films; Moving Images.

Escobar, A. (2004). Beyond the Third World: imperial globality, global coloniality and anti-globalisation social movements. Third World Quarterly, 25(1), 207 - 230.

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Féron, E. (2004). The World Social Forum, a space for free and democratic debate? International Social Science Journal (NWISSJ), 56(182), 641-644.

Fisher, W. F., & Ponniah, T. (Eds.). (2003). Another world is possible: Popular alternatives to globalization at the World Social Forum. Black Point, N.S.: Zed Books; Distributed in the USA exclusively by Palgrave.

Foltz, K., Moodliar, S., & Pramas, J. (2004, April). Bringing the Social Forum to Boston. Z Magazine Online, 17. http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Apr2004/foltz0404.html

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Goodman, J. (2004, Feb-March). Many worlds against one world: The World Social Forum now stands at the centre of the movement for global democracy. Arena Magazine, 8-11.

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Kavada, A. (2005). Exploring the role of the internet in the ‘movement for alternative globalization’: The case of the Paris 2003 European Social Forum. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, 2(1), 72-95.

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Klein, N. (2003, January 30). What happened to the new left? The hijacking of the WSF. Retrieved December 16th, 2004, from http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/wsf/naomiklein.htm

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Sen, J. (2003a). How open? The challenge of dogma: The forum as logo, the forum as religion: Skepticism of the intellect, optimism of the will. Unpublished manuscript. http://www.choike.org/documentos/how_open.pdf

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Whitaker, C. (2006). Towards Kenya in 2007. Retrieved June 12th, 2006, from http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/dinamic.php?pagina=bal_whitaker_2007_in_World_Social_Forum_Secretariat_Office. (2005, March 31st - April 2nd). Report on the World Social Forum International Council meeting, Utrecht, Holland.

Ylä-Anttila, T. (2003). How global public debates enter national contexts: The case of Finnish associations at the World Social Forum. Unpublished manuscript. http://www.afsp.msh-paris.fr/activite/groupe/germm/collgermm03txt/germm03antila.pdf

Youth_Planning_Committee. (2004). Voice, mind, music: Youth planning committee statement. Retrieved June 6, 2005, from http://www.nwsocialforum.org/?q=news/ypcstatement

Zulu, J. J. (2004). Another World is Possible: Reflections On the 2004 Mumbai World Social Forum. The Times of Zambia

 

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