New Mexico IMC


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Border Social Forum (Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico) October 13th - 15th
by Border Social Forum Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2006 at 6:54 AM

The social forum is coordinated by the international council and the organizing committee to provide the international social movements a space to deliberate strategize and unite on a broader basis on integration and face global capitalist neo-liberalism and create alternatives and solutions. The mission of the social forum process is to create an open space to provide for the organic integration of the social movements across intersecting lines and boundaries. The integration process of the social forum's self-organized events, panels and workshops builds bridges between organizations, movements, countries and continents strengthening a shared vision on systemic social change.

What is the Social Forum?

The Social forum was first organized in Brazil as a response and alternative to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland organized by the G-8 nations. Here the richest countries share and develop strategies for the globalization of capitalism. Starting in 2001, the World Social Forum was organized in Brazil the first three years, in India and last year it was poli-centered in Mali, Pakistan and Venezuela. In January 2007 the World Social Forum will be held for the first time in the continent of Africa in Kenya.

The social forum is coordinated by the international council and the organizing committee to provide the international social movements a space to deliberate strategize and unite on a broader basis on integration and face global capitalist neo-liberalism and create alternatives and solutions. The mission of the social forum process is to create an open space to provide for the organic integration of the social movements across intersecting lines and boundaries. The integration process of the social forum's self-organized events, panels and workshops builds bridges between organizations, movements, countries and continents strengthening a shared vision on systemic social change.

The concept of an open space creates a dynamics that is pluralistic and provides for an integration that supersedes old structural and political barriers that separate us in the social movements. The open space permits higher levels of organization and unity consistent with the possibilities of making real the slogan “another world is possible.” And as the slogan went in Venezuela at the WSF VI “another world in necessary and with you it is possible.”

What is the Border Social Forum ( Foro Social Fronterizo)

The idea of a Border Social Forum grew out the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela in January 2006. A dozen organizations from Mexico and the US met over the proposal to organize an action to tear down the “Wall of Death” on the US-Mexico border. In the agreements of Caracas, it was agreed by the organizations to hold the first Border Social Forum and the action against the “Wall of Death.” The organizations pulled together a press conference and announced the Border Social Forum for May of 2006 and the action against the wall of death.

The organizing committee for the Border Social Forum was founded in the February 18, meeting in CD Juarez. 30 organizations decided unanimously to go ahead with the organization of the Border Social Forum but changed the date from May 3-5 to October 6-8 and now the date is set for October 13-15, 2006. The organizing committee of the Border Social Forum has been meeting on a monthly basis in CD Juarez.

Goals of the Border Social Forum

- Create a broad space where everyone fits (pluralistic and inclusive). Organize the first Border Social Forum 13-15 de October 2006 with 300-500 delegates.

- Have participating delegations from all of the border states (US-Mexico border)

- Obtain the most broad participation of the grassroots social movements (participation & program)

- The integration of the social movements of the global south and north

- Internationalize the struggles at the US-Mexico border regions

- Pull together an analysis of the present situation on the US-Mexico border (including Latin America & Caribbean).

- Produce a set of agreements that will pull together a border plan of action and solutions to the problems faced.

- Take action against the “Wall of Death” and get the military out of the border.

- Integrate the border plan of action into the World Social Forum in Kenya and the US Social Forum in Atlanta 2007.

What are the thematic tracks for the Border Social Forum?

The organizing committee in its consultation process has designated the following thematic tracks for building the program for the Border Social Forum.

1. Labor & work
2. Indigenous
3. Art & Culture
4. US-Mexico relations
5. Children & senior adults
6. Human Rights (Traversal)
7. Gender (Traversal)
8. Environmental justice
9. Migration
10.Youth (Traversal)
11.Education

Where is it taking place?

The Border Social Forum is taking place in CD Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico just across El Paso, Texas on October 13-15, 2006. The Border Social Forum will take place at the campus of the Autonomous University of CD Juarez (UACJ).

CD Juarez-El Paso, Texas forms a metropolitan bi-national region that plays an important role on the US-Mexico border. The clash between the global north and south happens there, dividing the poor and rich countries. CD Juarez, Chihuahua is site of the killings of hundreds of women workers and the border city with the first maquiladoras (assembly plants) in 1965 and where they are most numerous. El Paso, TX is the city with the central intelligence headquarters for the border and the global south. All of the law enforcement and military troops on the US-Mexico border are coordinated from here. More importantly, El Paso-Juarez are at the geo-political (ground zero) center of the US-Mexico border.

Who is organizing the Border Social Forum?

The organizing Committee of the Border Social Forum is organizing the forum. The organizing committee was founded at the February 18, 2006 meeting in CD Juarez. The Organizing Committee is made up by 25 organizations with the majority from New Mexico, Chihuahua, and Texas. More than 100 organizations have already endorsed the Border Social Forum.

How mush is it going to cost?

The cost for registration will work on a scale basis with Mexico participants paying from $10 pesos to $1,000 pesos according to the possibility to pay. For US participants the scale will be $10 to $100 dollars. This is the cost per person.

Note: organizations taking groups to the BSF will negotiate the scale for registration on a group basis.

The cost for registration is to cover costs associated with the Border Social Forum site and equipment. It is important to note that the Border Social Forum is being financed by the movement, organizations and individuals making it self-financed. Frankly we cannot depend on anyone else to finance the BSF.

How do I register my organization or myself to the Border Social Forum?

All you have to do is fill out the form for registration and send it to Rubén Solís al P.O. Box 830706 San Antonio, TX 78283 or by e mail at grulla@igc.org

How do I pay?

You can make checks or money orders payable to c/o Centro por la Justicia-
Border Social Forum PO BOX 830706 San Antonio, TX 78283

How do I register a workshop, panel or open space event?
Simply fill out the form for workshops, panels or free space and send it to Rubén Solís al P.O. Box 830706 San Antonio, TX 78283 or by email to
grulla@igc.org

Who is going to pay for transport?

Each organization or organizations from each state are responsible for transportation and should raise money to cover the cost. It is important to organize by local committee by city and state to coordinate transportation for the Border Social Forum 13-15 of October 2006.

How will food and housing work?

Each organization will be responsible to obtain housing for their delegation. A list of hotels in the area and prices will be made available for housing and a list of solidarity housing will also be available. The food will also be responsibility of the organizations for its delegation. It is planned to have economical kitchens for low cost food and it will support participating organizations that will put up the kitchens. The organizing committee of the Border Social Forum is working to provide at least one meal a day free to all.

What is the US Social Forum?

The international community asked the social movements in the U.S. to organize the first social forum in the United States. The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJA) organized an initial meeting in Washington DC to consult with grassroots groups and determine if a need existed for a social forum. The response was unanimous yes and the process towards organizing the first US Social forum got underway.

Originally the US Social Forum was planned for June 2006 but was changed to take place on June 27-July 1, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia. The change of date was due to the impacts of Hurricane Katrina and Rita in the South. The US Social Forum is being organized out of ten (10) regions including the colonies in the Pacific and Caribbean. The Southeast region held the Southeast Social Forum in June 2006 and had great successes. The Southwest region of the USSF consists of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. However, the southwest region has to include the US-Mexico border and the greater border bi-national region. The process towards the US Social Forum in 2007 is to hold as many regional gatherings as possible in 2006.

The Border Social Forum has expanded into an international event because of the bi-national character of the US-Mexico border region. The Border Social Forum while building towards the US Social Forum will also bring grassroots movements together to analyze the present border situation, politically, economically and socially. Also, the BSF will focus on the role of the border region in US-Mexico relations and relations with the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

How does the Border Social Forum connect with the US Social Forum and the World Social Forum?

What comes out of the Border Social Forum (Border Plan) will be presented at the US Social 2007 in Atlanta and the World Social Forum in Kenya in 2007. The present juncture politically and organizationally it is possible to construct bridges between the Katrina, Rita (majority African American) and Stan Hurricane victims, and the struggle for migrant rights (majority Latino), the struggle against the War in Iraq and militarization of the US-Mexico border and Indigenous rights for sovereignty. The possibility for this “united front” is formidable.

Rubén Solís
Facilitator
Border Social Forum
PO Box 830706
San Antonio, TX 78283
210 299 2666 (Union)
210 222 1704 (Centro)
Cel: 210 378 5699
grulla@igc.org
http://www.swunion.blogspot.com
Foro Social Fronterizo
Foro Social EEUU: http://www.ussocialforum.org
Foro Social Mundial: http://www.worldsocialforum.org

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