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Proposal for New York City Social Forum

Anonymous Comrade writes:
"Proposal for New York City Social Forum- Preparatory Conference

The meetings to take place Sat and Sunday January 26th and 27th 2002, and to directly proceed the World Economic Forum meetings being held here in NYC between January 31st and February 5th at the Waldorf Astoria.

We invite all locally based social and economic justice organizations to participate in formulating the procedure for a comprehensive NYC Social Forum- a forum for the communication and exchange of social and economic projects that promote human rights, fight for social justice, and build sustainable and multi-racial networks and structures.

We recognize the time is short to bring all concerned NYC voices to the table in this first effort, so we see this as a sort of "PrepCon" for a later "get together",- hopefully to become a permanent and ongoing body.

The goals of this Social Forum can be as wide ranging as we in NYC choose.

Historically though, a Social Forum is where concerned community members can gather to discuss and formulate alternatives, when necessary, to the "top down" kind of economic and social planning that is continually assaulting our communities from the powerful elites of our city, state, and nation.

We are focusing on this event to coincide with the World Economic Forum for very specific reasons.

The WEF is an unelected body of the worlds richest and most powerful CEO's, political leaders, financial leaders, military leaders, and others who have taken it upon themselves to get together each year and makes plans that shape the future economic conditions not only for themselves, but for the billions of people on the planet who cannot afford the six (five?) figure entrance fees.

This self-selected body is one of the (if not THE) leading forces formalizing the "New World Order" of corporate "Globalization"; neoliberal economics, structural adjustments, privatization, etc. These forces impact everyone in the world- including NYC.

The Policies that we see later formulated in the WTO, IMF, FTAA, etc, are first thought up over cocktails at these meetings.

Among those attending this year will be many from the Bush administration, our new mayor Mr. Bloomberg, and many others that are busy formulating policy that directly affect our communities.

There are a few tentative structure proposals on the table for this first meeting, but we hope for as many interested parties as can to participate in structuring this effort.

Political activists, community organizers, religious leaders,and others all over the world; from Durban South Africa, to Porto Allegre Brazil, to Genoa Italy have seen the need and value for a "Social Forum" in their own cities and communities- do we in New York see the similar need?


Proposals for a structure so far include the idea of one day of speakers that include both local and global organizations involved in similar struggles and campaigns, and then one day of discussions that will begin the formal process of creating what this "Social Forum" will become here in NYC.

All organizations interested in presenting speakers, and participating in the forum are strongly encouraged to come to the planning meetings.

Topics being considered so far: (these are only early proposals- please come to the meeting and bring your own ideas/concerns)

--The Global Local connection: How does "Globalization" and US neo-liberal economic policy affect local communities? What do we, as US citizens, have in common with those in the rest of the world, in relationship to these economic forces?

--What does "security" mean locally? & what is "national security"? What issues relate to "security"?; crime, criminal justice, and prison issues, housing, education, welfare, economic security, and democratic and sustainable protection of the local and global environment.

--Here comes another war: A Police State as well? In what way will the current campaign against "terrorism" effect NYC local communities and does "homeland" security really mean increased threats to people of color and general
"civil liberties"? What will this mean locally? What will it mean to the anti-globalization crowd?

-- Racism and Sexism as "Global Apartheid": Fighting Globalization as we fight racism- Reflecting Durban.
Racism, and xenophobia in re to: immigration, emigration, and the inequities of "global free trade", displacement & gentrification & Global Apartheid as it disproportionately effects women of color.

"Rebuilding" after Sept 11th probably means no
"recession" for the wealthy.

--What are the real priorities of NYC post Sept. 11th? Local and "homeland" security and the threats to civil liberties. What are the "rebuilding" priorities for NYC communities vs. the cities elite planners? What are the possibilities for democratic control of these priorities? Will social services, health care, public transportation be off or on the agenda?

--Debt and Finance; how does debt and access to finance affect developing countries/local communities? individuals? What are the alternatives available for sustainable development, housing, and "loans" locally and globally? What does "de-development" look like locally and globally?

---Regarding the WEF protests coming up,
how meaningful has the anti-globalization / global justice movement been to your local struggle? Is the anti-globe movement identifying economic globalization with white supremacy and racism?
Suggestions for improved coordination, identifications, etc.

Thank you,

NYC Social Forum Working Group

The next meeting of those participating in the organizing of a New York City Social Forum is at 6:30pm, on Friday, Jan 4th, 2002, at the Brecht Forum.

The Brecht Forum is located at 122 West 27th Street, 10
Floor in New York City, between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan.


WEF/Social Forum Web resources:

Where is the World Economic Forum coming from?:



Website for World Social Forum 2002:

World Economic Forum public website:

Actions/conferences against the WEF and Globalization:




http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/free/acti ons.htm


http://www.internationalanswer.org/news.html#updat e-wef"