Wednesday morning marked the opening march of the US Social Forum, the gathering of 10,000 people from all corners of the country we traveled across the country to be a part of. The march was festive, and interesting to note so many people converged for a positive experience –almost never do you see people setting their own agenda and taking to the streets, or organizing such a conference, because they choose to. Usually it’s in response to war, to police brutality, to economic summts etc. Usually, the other side sets the agenda, and we act. This time, we set our own agenda and are acting.
The most brilliant part of the march was the fact that people marching were for everything: for disability rights, reproductive rights, free speech, environmental sustainability, safe communities, immigration reform, community media, indigenous and international solidarity. The effect was wholistic –people watching saw that all of our causes are related, that it’s not just issue based, that there’s a larger movement for change at work. We too felt empowered to see the converegence and recognize the multiple levels of consciousness present in this struggle.