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    The Road to Detroit: Youth organizing and the USSF Morrigan Phillips April 1, 2010

    The story of how the United States Social Forum came to be, which was touched on in the previous issue of Left Turn, is one of a global movement come to the US. For nearly a decade the World Social Forum process has brought together many thousands of social movements, activists, and campaigners. Around the globe regional social forums have brought the WSF experience to many thousands more, solidifying grassroots movements and building cross-border solidarity. The WSF and the regional social forums it has inspired have all played an important role in the internationalizing of grassroots social and economic justice movements.

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    USSF 2010 Youth Outreach and Movement: An interview with Lydia Willie-Kellerman and Andre Martin Adele Nieves April 1, 2010

    While work is going on around the country to mobilize young people to come to the United States Social Forum in Detroit this summer, plenty of outreach and organizing among youth is going down in Detroit. Adele Nieves, National Communications Director for the USSF recently interviewed two local Detroit organizers, Lydia Willie-Kellerman, age 23 and Andre Martin, age 28. Both Lydia and Andre are in the thick of building for the USSF.  Giving a picture of what outreach and organizing for the USSF among the youth of Detroit looks like, here’s their interview.

    How’d you both get involved with USSF?

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    Youth Road to Detroit: For Youth by Youth Corina McCarthy-Fadel April 1, 2010

    On September 25, 1957 nine Black students started classes at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, beginning the school’s process of integration. On June 16, 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, thousands of young people gathered in their schools for a student-run demonstration against apartheid. In 1989 hundreds of street youth in Brazil took over the Brazilian National Congress to fight for the passing of laws that favored young people. Throughout history, youth have been at the forefront of social movements. When the 2010 United States Social Forum arrives in Detroit, youth will again rise to the occasion. Youth are already organizing across the country for the USSF, holding community forums and meetings and spreading the word to get more people involved.

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    Gaza Freedom Marchers Demand End to Blockade, Declare Support for BDS Hena Ashraf April 1, 2010

    At the hands of Israel, the Gaza Strip has become the world’s largest open-air prison, trapping 1.5 million Palestinians inside its borders. The Israeli blockade of Gaza began in June 2007, after Hamas defeated US-backed Fatah forces who were attempting to carry out a coup in Gaza. The blockade was an extension of the economic sanctions that began in March 2006 in response to Hamas winning parliamentary elections, and has essentially closed Gaza off to the outside world.

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    The Grassroots Hustle: Fundraising Strategies for the Rest of Us Max Uhlenbeck April 1, 2010

    Raising money. Whether you’re part of a small collective, a local community-based nonprofit or a national network or organization, it’s a skill that we all need, but rarely talk about as we work to build a stronger and more vibrant left culture and movement here in the US. Following the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent economic depression since then, many organizations with small to midrange budgets have had to scale down their organizing activities significantly, sometimes even closing up shop altogether.

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    Police Brutality From the Bay to LA: Justice for Oscar Grant Moves to the City of Angels Erinn Carter and Traci Harris April 1, 2010

    In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Police Officer Johannes Mehserle shot Oscar Grant in the back as he lay face down on the ground in front of a train car filled with people. He died several hours later. Uprisings in Oakland—including the killing of four cops by 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon—led the Alameda County District Attorney’s office to argue that while an impartial jury couldn’t be found in Oakland, one can be found in Los Angeles.

    When Mehserle goes on trial this May, Los Angeles will once again be the central location for a fight involving police brutality against communities of color.

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    Reclaiming Power: On Copenhagen and Climate Justice Doyle Canning April 1, 2010

    The fifteenth Conference of Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen in December 2009 was hotly anticipated as one of the most important meetings in the history of the world. One hundred ninety-two countries gathered in Denmark’s capitol city to hash out the next iteration of climate policy before the 2012 expiration date of the Kyoto Protocol, the primary mechanism for mandating cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and establishing a global carbon market. The tense negotiations inside the Bella Center unfolded amidst a blizzard of hype, media attention, and intense pressure from all corners of civil society. 

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    Turning the Tide: Migrant Rights, Barrio Defense, and New Directions B. Loewe December 1, 2010

    These days people are scared. Whether it’s fear of big government or job loss, immigration raids or foreclosure, socialism or fascism, police violence or terrorist attacks, cap and trade or ecological collapse, one thing we all hold in common is an undeniable sense of insecurity.  Which direction the country goes to resolve these fears is largely up to us. Times of crisis hand us all with the responsibility to answer the question, “How shall we be together as a people?” One of the key sites for resolving that question is the migrant rights movement and the resolution of who is and who is not considered part of the body-politic.

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    How It Would Feel to be Free: A Review of Transformative Organizing Max Uhlenbeck December 1, 2010

    BY ERIC MANN, 2010


    If there is anything we have learned from the political struggles of the 20th-century United States, it has been the great importance of grassroots and mass-based organizing. From the IWW to the CIO, the early Communist Party to the rise of the civil rights movement, the question of how to organize and refine best practices has always remained central.

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