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PM at the U.S. Social Forum

Join PM Press at the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit, June 22-26, 2010. You can hit us up at the PM table for some radical literature and good conversation, or meet some of the authors of your favourite books and hear them speak.

What is the U.S. Social Forum?

The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a
 conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the 
economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our
 struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational,
 diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and
 changes history.

We must declare what we want our world to look like and we 
must start planning the path to get there. The USSF provides spaces to learn 
from each other’s experiences and struggles, share our analysis of the problems 
our communities face, build relationships, and align with our international 
brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.

World Social Forum to USSF - Globalizing the Resistance

A global movement is rising. The USSF is our opportunity to prepare and 
meet it! The World Social Forum (WSF) has become an important symbol of global 
movement convergence and the development of alternatives to the dominant
 paradigm. Over the past nine years, the WSF has gathered the world’s workers, 
peasants, youth, women, and oppressed peoples to construct a counter-vision to
 the economic and political elites of the World Economic Forum held annually in
 Davos, Switzerland.

After gathering 100,000 people in Porto Alegre, Brazil in
 2005, the International Council (IC) decided that in 2006 there would be
 regional social forums to culminate in a WSF in 2007. The IC delegated
 Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) to help shepherd the US Social Forum 
process, 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. GGJ is an 
alliance that grew out of people-of-color-led grassroots groups who
 participated in the first WSF. These grassroots leaders initiated a process to 
create the first USSF National Planning Committee (NPC) and Atlanta was
 selected as the USSF host city. In early 2009, the NPC selected Detroit as the
 second host city for 2010.

Learn more about the World Social Forum and social forums happening around the world.

Who Will Be There?



Big Noise

Richard Rowley and Jacqueline Soohen are members of Big Noise Tactical Media, a New York based radical media group. Their groundbreaking feature films, Zapatista (1998), Black and Gold (1999) and This Is What Democracy Looks Like (2000), have won top honors at hundreds of film festivals from New York, Toronto and Los Angeles to Berlin, Seoul and Bogota. They have also produced television and video reports from the front lines of struggles around the globe. In 1999, as founding members of the Independent Media Center video team, they collaborated in cutting the historic daily satellite feeds from the WTO protests in Seattle. They have reported for national television news programs from Argentina, Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico, Ecuador, Brasil, East Timor, South Africa and Palestine, where they were the only media to break the siege on the Church of the Nativity.

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CASA Collective

Teaching Rebellion / Ensenando Rebeldia: "Once you learn to speak, you don't want to be quiet anymore," an indigenous community radio activist said.  Accompanied by photography and political art, Teaching Rebellion is a compilation of testimonies from longtime organizers, teachers, students, housewives, religious leaders, union members, schoolchildren, indigenous community activists, artists and journalists--and many others who participated in what became the Popular Assembly of the People's of Oaxaca. This is a chance to listen directly to those invested in and affected by what quickly became one of the most important social uprisings of the 21st century.

Acompañada de fotografías y arte político, esta compilación poderosa de testimonios de organizadores, artistas, amas de casa, periodistas, estudiantes, maestros y otros que participaron en la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca provee un vistazo abierto y honesto de las protestas oaxaqueñas del 2006 contra la situación política en el estado mexicano--protestas que se convertirían en una de las revueltas sociales más importantes del siglo XX1.

Buy book | Comprar libro | Read more 


Josh Macphee

Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today is a major collection of contemporary politically and socially engaged printmaking. This full color book showcases print art that uses themes of social justice and global equity to engage community members in political conversation. Based on an art exhibition which has traveled to a dozen cities in North America, Paper Politics features artwork by over 200 international artists; an eclectic collection of work by both activist and non-activist printmakers who have felt the need to respond to the monumental trends and events of our times.

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Carlos Martinez, Jojo Farrell, Michael Fox & Silvia Leindecker

Venezuela Speaks!: For the last decade, Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution” has captured international attention. Poverty, inequality and unemployment have all dropped, while health, education and living standards have seen a commensurate rise. The international mainstream media has focused predominantly on Venezuela’s controversial leader, President Hugo Chavez, who has routinely been in the headlines. But without the active participation of large and diverse sectors of society, Chavez’s moment on the scene would have ended long ago.

Venezuela Speaks!: Voices from the Grassroots is a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela’s social movements. From community media to land reform; cooperatives to communal councils, from the labor movement to the Afro-Venezuelan network, Venezuela Speaks! sheds light on the complex realities within the Bolivarian Revolution. These interviews offer a compelling oral history of Venezuela's democratic revolution, from the bottom up.

Beyond Elections: What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his or her own definition. Across the world, 120 countries now have at least the minimum trappings of democracy---the freedom to vote for all citizens. But for many, this is just the beginning not the end. Following decades of US-backed dictatorships, civil wars and devastating structural adjustment policies in the South, and corporate control, electoral corruption, and fraud in the North, representative politics in the Americas is in crisis. Citizens are now choosing to redefine democracy under their own terms: local, direct, and participatory.

Buy book | Buy DVD | Read more



Re:Imagining Change provides resources, theory, hands-on tools and illuminating case studies for the next generation of innovative change makers. This unique book explores how culture, media, memes, and narrative intertwine with social change strategies, and offers practical methods to amplify progressive causes in the popular culture.

Re:Imagining Change is an inspirational inside look at the trailblazing methodology developed by the non-profit strategy and training organization, smartMeme. Founded in 2002, smartMeme offers tools, training, and strategy support to organizations and movements working for justice, ecological sanity and transformative social change. Re:Imagining Change is a summary of their approach, and a call to innovate our strategies for collectively addressing the escalating social and ecological crisis of the 21st century.

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Movements become apparent as “movements” at times of acceleration and expansion. In these heady moments they have fuzzy boundaries, no membership lists--everybody is too engaged in what’s coming next, in creating the new, looking to the horizon. But movements get blocked, they slow down, they cease to move, or continue to move without considering their actual effects. When this happens, they can stifle new developments, suppress the emergence of new forms of politics; or fail to see other possible directions. Many movements just stop functioning as movements. They become those strange political groups of yesteryear, arguing about history as worlds pass by. Sometimes all it takes to get moving again is a nudge in a new direction... We think now is a good time to ask the question: What is winning? Or: What would--or could--it mean to “win?” 

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The events

Story-based Strategy: How Grassroots Organizers Can Win the Battle of the Story
Event Date:  Thu, 06/24/2010 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Cobo Hall: DO-03D

SmartMeme's training will focus on updating the timeless skills of storytelling and social change strategy for our current context of media-saturation, hyper-branding and 24 hour news cycles. This multi-media, interactive training will provide participants with hands on tools for framing their issues and useful frameworks to integrate messaging and storytelling into their organizing and campaigning. We will explore what it means to apply a "narrative analysis of power" to social change work and approach strategy through the lens of storytelling. We will share some of the story-based strategy approach for linking traditional organizing and movement building efforts with values based messaging, narrative concepts and creative action. This will include discussion of the relationship between meme theory-the study of how ideas spread and replicate-and movement building. Participants will get a chance to share some of their stories and unpack the "control mythologies" at play around the issue they work on. The training will cross issues and organizing experiences, use interactivity, small groups and skilled facilitation to help participants integrate messaging and storytelling into grassroots

Collaborative Investigation (Co-Razonando) in Times of Crisis: Bridging North and South, Activism and Academia.
Event Date:  Thu, 06/24/2010 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm

WSU Manoogian

This workshop is part of a collaborative effort between activist-researchers and researching-activists in the Americas to develop new concepts and practices adequate to the multiple, intersecting crises that characterize our times. We recognize that the inadequacy of old concepts and theories of social change contributes to crisis. While most in the mainstream look to policy experts, scientists and academics for solutions to the ecological, food, energy, economic, and political crises of our day, we believe that social movements are producing the most creative responses. Building on our different experiences within movements as well as international projects of militant or collaborative investigation, we will discuss the importance of spaces and projects to cultivate new conceptual and practical frameworks for pursuing activist work. The panel will combine the diverse experience and approaches of our presenters with collaborative media projects including Turbulence: Ideas for Movement (a critical transnational magazine) and community gardening projects in rural and urban areas (North and South). Following brief presentations the workshop will use small group work to explore other potential sites for collaborative investigation.
campaign work.

Re:Imagining Change Book Release Party
Thurs. 6/24 6-8 pm
Free food & cash bar!

Celebrate smartMeme's Re:Imagining Change @ the Majestic Cafe
4120 Woodward Ave between Mack & Warren, Detroit 48201

Josh MacPhee and Dara Greenwald
Re-animating Social Movement Histories Through Visual Culture
Event Date: Fri, 06/25/2010 - 3:00pm - 5:00pm

WSU Cohn: 224

In this workshop, participants will learn about the importance of culture in social movement history. The presenters (Dara Greenwald and Josh MacPhee) have done extensive archival research to unearth the history of social movement cultures through posters, video, sound, and other materials. This will be a multi-media presentation with case studies of moments in which cultural production played a crucial role in movement development (including Anti-Apartheid, Anti-nuclear, and others). A participatory discussion will follow the presentation about the possible role that culture can/is playing in movements today and the ways learning history can activate and inform present struggles.

New World from Below Collaborative Book Party
Date: Friday, June 25, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
New World from Below Convergence Center
The Spirit of Hope Church, 1519 Martin Luther King Dr.

Participating Authors: Benjamin Holtzman, Cindy Milstein, Jeff Conant, Jordan Flaherty, Josh MacPhee, Justseeds Artists' Cooperative, Seth Tobocman, Team Colors Collective and the Turbulence Collective.

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