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This page is still in draft form, but anyone wanting to contribute to this effort is welcome at the meetings. Email for details. -- TedErnst
[World Social Forum] website (Jan 04 in India)
Draft Here is my (JerryMead?) proposed intro text for our brochure to proceed the WSF Charter of Prinicipals. What do you think. Please post your comments to the list...

When you look around your community what do you see: job loss, a lack of affordable housing, a public education system in crisis, cuts in public transportation, a growing prison industrial complex, privatization of public services, union busting, racism, anti-immigrant bashing, serious attacks on civil liberties, cuts in social services, militarism, environmental degradation, pollution, alienation and other problems? Join those of us who believe that.

Another Chicago is Possible!

A Call for Participation:

Become part of the process of seeking and building alternatives to the struggles in our community & help to develop The Chicago Social Forum.

What is a Social Forum? An open meeting place 'that brings together a wide-variety of people from a wide variety of struggles' for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, and interlinking for effective action! We are inspired by the highly successful World Social Forum, which has been held for three years in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This movement of movements has helped to develop global actions such as the international march against the war on February 15th, 2003 as well as spawning local and regional social forums all over the world.

A Social Forum is an event, a convergence of different communities including labor, students, people of color, women, immigrant's rights groups, community organizations, cultural organizations, artists, activists and many others. Our first Social Forum is currently scheduled to take place the weekend of Jan 31st and February 1st, 2004. We encourage you to help us make this gathering of peoples like no other event in Chicago, drawing together the broadest, most diverse array of communities possible.

But a Social Forum is more than one event. It is also a process. A process of dialogue in which all these various communities can come together and explore common ground and common struggle. Building the event itself is only one part of this ongoing dialogue. As stated in the World Social Forum Charter of Principals The World Social Forum at Porto Alegre was an event localized in time and place. From now on, in the certainty proclaimed at Porto Alegre that "another world is possible", it becomes a permanent process of seeking and building alternatives, which cannot be reduced to the events supporting it. We build the Social Forum in Chicago with that same spirit. Of particular importance to the social forum process is the linking of local struggles with global concerns and creating a space for a plurality of voices in envisioning ways to overcome barriers on both the local and the global level. Your voice is an integral part of the mosaic that makes up the Chicago community and we encourage you to share with us your own perspective.

We hope you will join us not only to build this unique event but also to be part of the process of building a vision of another Chicago.

The remainder of this brochure contains the World Social Forum Charter of Principals established at the First World Social Forum in Brazil in 2001. This document is the basis of what we are trying to build here in Chicago and we highly encourage you to read it.

More information about the World Social Forum and other regional forums can be found at the following websites:

World Social Forum: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/home.asp

Links to Regional Social Forums (the New York Social Forum website is particularly helpful): http://www.northamericansocialforum.org/links.html

To become a member of the Chicago Social Forum listserv, visit the following website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChicagoSocialForum/
Or email JerryMead? at: [redjerry2@yahoo.com]
By phone contact MaryZerkel? at (312) 427-2533

-----Original Message-----
From: MaryZerkel [mailto:praxisafsc@igc.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2003 11:54 AM
To: ChicagoSocialForum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [ChicagoSocialForum] notes from 7/23

Notes from Chicago Social Forum Meeting 7/23

We discussed the charter principles of the World Social Forum (as summarized by Hari) and decided that we agreed with them. We then moved on to a discussion of how to proceed as a group and when to hold various events.

September Event
Sept. 9th Location TBA
Dialogue on the Local/Global Connection
How do global forces affect your local community? How does your work connect to the work of other local communities around the world?

Facilitation: Maristela, Kelsa and Mary will work on framing the dialogue and facilitating it
Convenor: Regina will look into a space at DePaul, if that doesn't work out Jerry will look into a union space
Jerry - Greens, Teamsters, Steelworkers
Marc - Greens, Rainbow/PUSH, Zonta Int'l, World Federalists, Black Voices for Peace
Mary - artists, Access Living, Queer to the Left
Lee- Labor, students
John - housing advocates
Hari - Open University of the Left
Ted - Not in Our Name
Regina - CSAs
Maristela - DePaul students

Next Meeting:
August 6th, 1751 W. Devon at the Chicago Humanists 6:30 p.m.

This meeting will be hosted by Ted at the Chicago Humanists space, where those who have already been involved in the Chicago Social Forum process will come together. In this meeting we will take at look at Open Space Technology and report back on our outreach calls, and hopefully take a look at a draft brochure.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Ernst [mailto:ted@chicagohumanist.org]
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 11:55 PM
To: OS List
Subject: Chicago Social Forum

Recently I heard about the World Social Forums that have been in Porto Alegre Brazil the past few years. I'm not totally clear on the concept yet, but it seems that it simply opening a space for people from all over the world to come together and share their own work and make connections (the idea is to oppose neo-liberalism and support universal human rights, etc). Anyone can propose a workshop, seminar, forum, whatever, during the week-long event and as long as it gets in on time, the organizers set the time and place and each thing happens. I've heard there were 1700 workshops at the last one (100,000 participants total).

Anyway, there's a group that's been organizing for a Chicago Social Forum in some form since January. Until tonight they hadn't picked a date and didn't seem to have even choosen how they (the planning group or whatever) wanted to operate. I suggested we simply pick a date and then convene OST meetings how ever often we think is necessary between now and the event so that we'd be living in CSF space (presumably getting bigger and bigger if people liked the idea) up until the big "event" and then we could simply continue afterwards if we wanted to.

One person in the group talked about experiencing open space and seeing it be VERY powerful when the group in question has passion (or some such word) like his church congregation doing their yearly planning, but how it doesn't work if the group doesn't care enough about the issue and it just falls apart. Pretty good explanation, no? Anyway, I didn't push it and the group was too scared to really go that direction, but they did like the concept of living in the type of environment we're trying to create.

When we came to the end and they were setting up meeting dates and topics they decided to make a big recruiting push for a big early sepember meeting with a theme of connecting local to global (not open space, I'm afraid), but also decided waiting until then for another meeting might prove a momentum-killer. A suggestion was floated to not invite new people, but to have "just us" for the next one. I stepped in at this point to suggest OST again as it doesn't take any planning time and people would get a chance to see how they like it. The group accepted and off we go!

It seems the "big event" will happen in January. I'll keep you posted.


Humanize the Earth! http://www.chicagohumanist.org http://www.tedernst.com

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