I'm here in the great city of Atlanta for the U.S. Social Forum (USSF), with about 10,000 progressives from around the world who all have something in common: they are bent on changing the world.
The idea behind the USSF is to allow progressives to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and bring renewed insight and inspiration. The organizers hope the USSF will help develop leadership and develop consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world. And by all accounts, the USSF is doing just that.
I'm amazed by all the cool people who came here with a mission to change the status quo. They want to make this a better country and they sure are serious about it. Many of them are also serious about their beards--I havent seen this many since I left Seattle. And even Austin doesnt have as many Che Guevara tshirts.
Beards + Che + nag champa=young people out to challenge the establishment. And boy were they pissed when the Supreme Court ruled that local school districts may not take voluntary steps to overcome racial inequality and unequal educational opportunities. I'll never forget getting ready for a workshop yesterday morning on the rollback of our civil rights and getting the call from Marianne that the Supreme Court basically brought back ‘separate but equal’ in our schools.
But instead of throwing up their hands and saying, "Oh no, woe is me, we've lost, lets go back to our rooms and hide under the covers", these progressives, i.e. future leaders of the country, realized that enough is enough! As one of these young people put it, "We've got take back the courts."
And she sure was right about that. Lets get to work.
Cristobal Joshua Alex