wiki:projects/membership-meeting/2012/reports/international

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International Work

Based on the priorities of the Leadership Committee, built from the 2011 membership meeting, an international and policy report will report on work done on Palestine solidarity, the US Social Forum National Planning Committee, the 2012 Allied Media Conference and the World Social Forum.

Relevant Priorities

  • "Develop and build direct contact relationships with progressive organizations locally and internationally, and raise our visibility in public discussions, debates, and decisions. This is about (1) defining use of and choice of technology as political within our movements, and (2) contributing to debates about the internet including privacy, corporate and government surveillance, data sovereignty, censorship, and access."
  • "May First/People Link will fully claim its role in building an international, alter-globalization movement by continuing our involvement in such movements as the Social Forum, Climate Change and the Palestinian rights. This would/could engage our membership in several ways: organizing delegations of members to summit events and relying on the political experience of our membership to guide our region- and sector-specific work."

Domestic and international organizing has been MFPL's primary approach to outreach. By working or volunteering in organizing contexts, we bring valuable political perspectives in the form of new members to this organization. This year at least a dozen members from the US an abroad joined MFPL as a result of our work in Palestine (July - November 2011), on the USSF NPC (Detroit, January 2012) and the WSF International Council (Diyarbakir, September 2011). By attending key events we have indeed raised issues of progressive internet use while at the same time evolving more clearly our thinking on these topics as well. These events include the People's Movement Assembly "Assembly of Assemblies" (March 2012) and the Allied Media Conference (June 2012).

May First/People Link supported the travel costs of some members to improve participation in our Network Gathering at the AMC. However, no delegations have been formed to attend other summit events in 2011/2012. Depending on the nature of the work and availability, MFPL's staff and director have chosen technologists from our volunteer support team to attend meetings and summits.

Activities

WSF

Participation in the World Social Forum process and International Council has consisted of attendance at one meeting in September 2011 in conjunction with the Mesopotamia Social Forum. Here, MFPL contributed to discussions about the state of the WSF process as well as preparations for the WSF Palestine. MFPL continues to be a key organizer of technology and communications, with the Brazilian, Palestinian and International coordination bodies by hosting and creating the main website (wsfpalestine.net). Mallory Knodel and Stephen Mahood will attend the forum in November 2012, providing technical support and presenting a dialog on "Human Rights and Secure Communications Online." At the present time there are no firm plans to attend the Mashrek/Maghreb WSF in March 2013.

Public Policy

Our goals of national and international policy work include to continue and reinforce our work in the Association of Progressive Communications, which was done when Mallory was hired as the Communications Manager of APC and later in 2012 when Jamie traveled to South Africa for the APC-wide strategic planning meeting. This meeting has paved the way for APC's political direction over the next five years, to which Jamie contributed greatly to the prioritization of "transformative technology."

Working with the APC other peer organizations proved to be invaluable when May First/People Link's servers were seized by the FBI in May. An international call out denouncing the FBI's extreme measures was circulated by APC and subsequently signed by dozens of organizations and individuals around the world.

In national policy, MF/PL participated in a MAG-Net webinar on Free and Open Source Software for movement organizations and progressive, US-based communities.

Palestine

From July to November 2011, outreach to Palestinian organizations in the West Bank was done on-the-ground by Mallory while she was temporarily located there with member organization Stop the Wall. Subsequently, MF/PL gained three key memberships from Palestine: Stop the Wall, General Federation of Trade Unions in Palestine (PGFTU) which is the largest union in the West Bank and Gaza, and the BDS National Committee (BNC) which is a membership organization comprised of hundreds of grassroots and civil society organizations around the world that support the Palestinian call for boycott, sanctions, and divestment against apartheid Israel. We continue to see Palestine solidarity organizations joining to this day.

Additionally, MF/PL has worked since late 2011 on the World Social Forum Free Palestine, to be held in Brazil from November 28 to December 1, 2012 by providing web hosting, technology and communications support. Mallory and Stephen Mahood will be attending the forum to continue supporting the organizers of the forum as well as presenting a workshop on "Secure online communications for Human Rights Defenders."

AMC

MFPL was a leader at the Allied Media Conference this year. Organizing a Network Gathering made MFPL's Mallory, Jamie and Alfredo coordinators of the process. In addition to organzing our event, we supported the AMC process by providing feedback on session proposals and other coordination needed for the program. Mallory traveled to Detroit to attend the coordinators meeting in January. The Network Gathering was "a full day strategy session to take stock of efforts to control and privatize the Internet and to conceptualize the steps we need to take and the tools we need to develop to keep our movements active and our internet open." We brought in key members for a stellar panel as well as gained new technology and media allies at the event.

Assembly of Assemblies

The Peoples Movement Assembly has been growing and testing large-scale grassroots democratic practices in frontline communities across the country since 2006. Over 200 assemblies have happened, and the Assembly of Assemblies represents the launch of a new plan of action to grow social movements at this moment in history. In March 2012, Mallory attended this meeting in Atlanta, Georgia to continue building with movement organizations primarily from the US Social Forum NPC. In addition, Ross and Joseph attended the Southern Movement Assembly in September 2012.

Last modified 7 years ago Last modified on Oct 25, 2012, 1:00:09 AM