ALBA Receives Support at U.S. Social Forum
Foro social Attendees of the U.S. Social Forum, which took place on June 22-26, approved two resolutions in favor of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of our Americas (ALBA). These resolutions highlight the support of progressive social movements in the U.S. for the alternative models of development that are being implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A delegation from Venezuela made up of eight representatives of indigenous organizations, unions, community-based groups, and ALBA officials attended the Social Forum. The delegation undertook an intense agenda of not only attending different workshops at the forum, but also speaking at them. They discussed a number of issues, including the rights of Mother Earth, the crisis of capitalism, the advances of ALBA and the People’s Trade Agreement (TCP in Spanish), solidarity with Haiti, and the problem of the seven U.S. military bases in Colombia.
“We found a lot of interest in ALBA and the TCP, as well as excitement for the fact that in Latin America there are socio-political changes taking place that for progressive groups in the U.S. are barely a dream,” said the secretary of the Permanent Commission of ALBA-TCP, Amenothep Zambrano, who was part of the Venezuelan delegation to the Social Forum.
“Having attended this event was very important, because in the U.S. there are many progressives with a hunger for more information and direct contacts with the Bolivarian Revolution, the ALBA-TCP and the social movements that are fueling the process of transformation in the region,” added Zambrano.
Important U.S.-based social organizations attended the Social Forum, including the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, an organization that seeks to articulate community-based efforts throughout the U.S., and Michigan Welfare Rights, an organization representing individuals of modest means or on public assistance in the state. Similarly, TransAfrica Forum was in attendance, the largest U.S. organization focusing on social justice and equitable U.S. foreign policy for the African world. Another organization present was the Labor/Community Strategy Center, which was founded in 1989 in Los Angeles and is known for its campaign to provide high-quality and affordable mass transit options to poor communities in the city.
Members of the Alaska Inter-Tribal Council were also in attendance, an organization that represents and defends indigenous communities and their territories, as well as Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, an organization that defends environmental rights and was active in the Conference on Climate Change that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia on April 19-22, 2010. PetroBronx was also present, a collective of 33 organizations that work on education, environment, and cooperatives.
As part of the Social Forum’s agenda, the newest documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Oliver Stone, “South of the Border,” was shown to a packed auditorium in which many attendees stood to watch the first film on the processes of change taking place in Latin America.
The 2010 U.S. Social Forum took place in Detroit, Michigan, a city whose burned and abandoned buildings and population drain of over 50 percent of the city’s inhabitants in the last two decades is a real-life image of the failure of the capitalist system. This is the second Social Forum that takes place in the U.S., and it included more than 1,000 workshops and meetings, as well as the “FSV Progressive Film Festival,” spaces for art and dance, and the “Social Forum for Kids.” More than 1,300 organizations and 15,000 people attended.
Taking as its slogan “From Detroit to Dakar,” (Dakar is the location for the nest World Social Forum, in 2011), this Social Forum produced planning for more than 50 national days of action and more than 100 resolutions approved in plenary sessions on issues ranging from worker rights to the problem of the displaced and global immigration to media justice.
Read the two resolutions that cite ALBA:
Resolución de Apoyo a La Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América y el Tratado de Comercio de los Pueblos (ALBA-TCP)
Resolution Against Free Trade and for ALBA
Press and Communications Office of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S/ July 1, 2010