The 1st ever US Social Forum kicked off in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Before the Social Forum began. RAN’s grassroots organizing team organized a youth action camp that was phenomenal. 25 or so RAN/RYSE activists joined staff for 4 days of workshops on strategy, anti-oppression and RAN campaigns in general. A community developed through the camp that has led to solidarity amongst the activists.
On Wednesday, the Social Forum began with a multi-racial multi-generational multi-issue multi-many other things loud colorful mass rally and march from the Georgia state capital building weaving through the corporate-owned (Coke, Delta, Home Depot, Georgia Pacific) streets of downtown Atlanta stopping at socially relevant historic points along the way (lots of civil rights history here).
In the march thousands representing labor, housing, immigrant rights, peace, various environmental and many more issues took the streets. It’s fitting that the social forum is occurring in Atlanta. Despite the corporate landscape, the city has a strong civil rights history and marching with immigrant rights, labor and civil rights activists reminds one of that history.
On Thursday, over 800 scheduled workshops and events began discussing every possible issue imaginable. While smaller than the World Social Forums, this forum congeals various movements in the US.