[fse-esf] The USSF : a important step toward the resistance against the crisis.
ericdr.medias at cadtm.org
Wed Jun 23 22:50:28 CEST 2010
*The USSF : a important step toward the resistance against the crisis.*
/Daniel Munevar, Myriam Bourgy/
The second US Social Forum started today in the city of Detroit,
Michigan. For the american social movements, this gathering holds a
special importance as it is the first large scale meeting of the
progressive social movements in the country since the beginning of the
financial crisis in 2008. As such the forum picks up the flags of the
World Social Forum and even takes them one step further. Thus, not only
"Another world is possible" but furthermore "Another America is
necessary". This slogan is the tacit recognition of the key role of the
social struggles in the US for the rest of the social movements around
the globe. Given the central role of the US in the international system
it is clear that a stronger resistance in the country against the
current offensive of capital can have significant repercussions abroad.
To highlight the importance of the social struggle against unfettered
capitalism, the organizers have chosen a city that through the last 2
decades has suffered the effects of neoliberalism: Detroit. Home of the
big three american car companies (Chrysler, GM and Ford), the city has
been closely intertwined with the fortunes of the automobile industry.
As the companies started to outsource their production overseas in the
late eighties, unemployment started to rise and eventually led to a
massive emigration from the city. Today, Detroit holds half of the
population it bolstered 20 years ago, 40% of the houses remain empty and
due to the collapse of the american auto industry, the open unemployment
rate hovers above 30%.
Against this dismal context, peculiar social movements have developed.
The focus of the social struggles in Detorit is concerned on the one
hand with the workers of the auto industry and on the other with the
civil rights movement.
This set of specific characteristics was clearly present at the
demonstration which kick started the US Social Forum. With more than
5000 participants, the rally was a colorful representation of the
variety of struggles in the US and in Detroit. The overarching demands
of the demonstrators were related to unemployment, healthcare, social
rights, Native Americans, global climate change, anti-discrimination and
dismissal of the US involvement in the wars of Iraq, Afghanistan and its
support to the Israeli government. There was also a widespread rejection
of the economic policies implemented by the Obama administration and
specifically it's handling of the economic crisis and the bailouts given
to the financial sector. The workers participating in the demonstration
made it clear that they wont pay for the crisis.
After the demonstration, all of the participants gathered at the COBO
convention center in downtown Detroit. According to the organizers more
than 12000 people have registered to participate in the week long
activities of the US Social Forum. The air was filled with expectation
and excitement about the possibilities that this gathering has for
strengthening of the social movement in the US and the World. The CADTM
team participating in this Forum will make its best to help to
strengthen the movement.
*Eric De Ruest*
Comité pour l'Annulation
de la Dette du Tiers Monde
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