Archive for July 6, 2007

U.S. Social Forum Blogs

I feel so behind.

Anyway…the U.S. Social Forum is a national get-together of folks working to address systemic inequalities, oppression, and broken social/economic institutions. No government or corporate sponsorship has been sought or accepted since “the gubmit” and corporations are notorious for trying to water down proposals or shutdown conversations about things that they deem too controversial. The U.S. Social Forum is also meant to be a place for people from the community, from grassroots organizations, and from “green businesses” to get together as a direct contradiction to the idea that people need elected (or supposedly elected) politicians to speak for them. There is no particular organization that is allowed to dominate the conversations.

This is the first event of its kind in the United States, but it is based on organizing models developed in the global South: Mumbai, India; Porto Alegre, Brazil, and Karibu, Nairobi have been sites of past global social forums.

However, since i was not at the U.S. Social Forum i have no personal reporting to give you. Instead i refer you to the following blogs:

♦ brownfemipower’s Women of Color Blog. Day-by-day updates and some speech summaries by fierce WoC leaders at the Forum.

♦ Un blog bilingüe (de un peruano)

♦ National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights has Migrant Diaries

♦ Third Wave Foundation’s blog

♦ Monthly Review Foundation’s blog has lots of links to participating organizations

Enjoy! I will soon review the last edition of Left Turn magazine, which contains lots of stuff about the USSF.

Censorship at Frameline Film Festival

For those of you outside “the Bay” when this happened (or who don’t live in the area anyway), there was a film approved by the Frameline screening committee called “The Gendercator,” made by a Catherine Crouch, which got pulled after someone began circulating an on-line petition against it.

A summary of Crouch’s film here: www.catherinecrouch.com/mainwebsite_html/filmsDetail.php?pageID=gendercator

It’s pretty clearly transphobic – lumping all transgender people together with gender policing straight people and the State (DUN DUN DUN!). And it ignores the lived circumstances of transgender lives: how not passing can be hazardous to our health, how transgender people who don’t pass or choose not to pass are shunned in many L and G spaces, how the government does not, in fact, encourage or support people who want sex-change surgery and hormones unless one is living in a place like San Francisco.

Still, i am against censorship except under extreme circumstances. Pulling an already approved film sets a bad precedent. Frameline could well censor a film with a story about

… continue reading this entry.