Five Days That Will Shake the World: WILPF Joins U.S. Social Forum

Gillian Gilhool and Mary Zepernick confer at the U.S. Social Forum in 2007

This June, WILPF members will join thousands of activists to make the slogan “Another World is Possible” come to life. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is on the official program and our members Edith Bell and Odile Hugonot Haber are also involved in additional workshops.

This gigantic, grassroots forum will address the key issues WILPFers work on, so it is a good place to make connections, spread WILPF’s name, and have an impact. Members can register at the official U.S. Social Forum website or if you want to use WILPF’s official registration password, contact carol.disarm(at)

There is a space on the registration form to indicate your organizational affiliation; write in WILPF and it will help us coordinate getting together in Detroit.

Hotel & Travel Information for WILPF Members at the US SOCIAL FORUM JUNE 21-27

WILPF Hotel rooms are reserved for arrival June 21, with departure on June 27.

The deadline for hotel registration is June 14.

Advice on planning your arrival:


You’ll find information here about all the workshops WILPF is sponsoring (and some we are collaborating with) at the U.S. Social Forum. We’ve also compiled information on other workshops that may be of special interest to members. Information on the time and place for each workshop will be available later; there will also be a printed program.


WILPF is Going to the U.S. Social Forum – Are You?

 USSF people representing at the May Day Immigration Reform Rally and March in Chicago
USSF people representing at the May Day Immigration Reform Rally and March in Chicago. Another World is Possible// Otro Mundo es Posible

The U.S. Social Forum is part of the vital World Social Forum movement started in Brazil 10 years ago. The Social Forum helps regular citizens explore ways to end wars, promote human rights, economic justice and environmental action. About 50 WILPFers participated actively in the first U.S. Social Forum in Atlanta in 2007. They joined over 17,000 women and men of many races and backgrounds working for peace and justice. WILPFers made important connections, contributed much, and learned even more.

Join us this year, when WILPF will be sponsoring several key workshops (and supporting many others). You can also choose from over 1,000 other workshops, participate in plenary sessions, the People’s Assemblies, cultural and artistic events, and a march of thousands through central Detroit. Members can also help with WILPF tabling or participate in (and help organize) WILPF workshops.

In, addition we are cooperating with workshops supported or organized by many of our WILPF issue committees, including the Cuba and Bolivarian Alliance, Save the Water, and the Middle East committee. We are also collaborating on workshops sponsored by our peace and justice allies.

Register now, online – it’s easy!  Pay by credit card or check as instructed. To register as a WILPF member, write our complete name in the box provided: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom U.S. Section.  If you need help or are registering under another organization contact WILPF member Terry Futvoye-Micus, our Detroit WILPFer and registrar, at

Stay with WILPF members in shared hotel rooms at $22 to $36 a night.

Workshop Notes: Randa Solnick

USSF June 2007: My notes from programs/ workshops I attended

Randa Solick, Santa Cruz WILPF

Welcome program: Recognition we're here on Cherokee land, speaker Cherokee 'auntie': “We believe in multi-generational trauma; what happened to our ancestors gets passed down to us. So we're working to bring back some of the ceremonies, language, values, and working with our young people to bring back our traditional values again, which allowed us not to have police, lawyers, jails - and gave us our sense of well-being.”

DISARMAMENT and the U.S. World Social Forum, June 27-July 1

DISARM: Dismantle the War Economy committee sponsored or co-sponsored five workshops at the USSF and we were generally pleased with the results. In addition, Linda Richards of the DISARM team managed to present a statement on behalf of WILPF to the final plenary, calling for more emphasis on demilitarization in any future Social Forum. Other goals of the forum – economic justice, human rights, universal health care, etc. – cannot be realized while more than half of our tax dollars are going to feed the war machine.

A War Economy or an Economy for Peace?

Sound files from A War Economy or an Economy for Peace?

  • Carol Urner introduces the workshop and a go-around
  • David Meieran on Carnegie Mellon, warfare robotics, and the military-industrial-academic complex
  • Linda Richards on Nuclear testing and uranium mining on the Western Shoshone land.
  • Bruce Gagnon on arms race in space
  • David Meieran on less than lethal weapons development in schools
  • Carol Urner: Who's Profiting? Who's Paying?
  • Jackie Cabasso on connections between Military Industrial Complex and Nuclear Weapons

The lead USSF workshop of the DISARM Committee was A Military Economy or an Economy of Peace?   

Happily staff  and key leadership from POCLAD, National Priorities Project, War Resisters League (WRL), Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, UFPJ, Western States Legal Foundation, Students for a Democratic Society and the new Bite the Bullet War Profiteering Education and Action Network all joined us to share grim information on the war economy, its profiteers and its weapons of death.

During the first hour we concentrated on who profits and who pays in the nuclear weapons industry, in space militarization and bio-weapons research, robotics and conventional weapons programs.  We shared brief descriptions of each program, and asked which corporations (and universities) are promoting and profiting from them. We also talked about who pays, including tax payers (with more than half of our taxes going to the U.S. military.) We discussed cuts in many social services, and the terrible price paid by Native Americans whose lands have been used for 80% of nuclear programs, for bombing ranges, chemical weapons storage, uranium mining and bioweapons testing.

During the second hour we explored non-violent ways to end war profiteering and develop a peace economy.  We shared many ideas for future action and public education. In the process we of course shared WILPF's extensive resources for the task. We also introduced the new Bite the Bullet Network which grew out of the Stop the Merchants of Death conference WRL and WILPF co-sponsored   in Minneapolis last September.

Jody Dodd on KPFA

WILPF membership and outreach co-ordinator Jody Dodd speaking to a Pacifica reporter during the opening march of the US Social Forum.


War, Militarism and the Prison Industrial Complex

Sound files from the War, Militarism and the Prison Industrial Complex plenary:

  • Faleh Abood Umara from the Iraqi Federation of Oil Workers’ Unions
  • Panelist Eli Painted Crow
  • Julian Moya on anti-war organizing in public schools
  • Kai Lumumba Barrow on Imagining a World Without Prisons
  • Yifat Susskind on Hamas, Palestine and US influence on "democracy"
  • Judith LeBlanc of UFPJ

Thursday June 28th

When the U.S. government launched the "War on Terror" and established the Department of Homeland Security, this meant an increased use of military might by the government against all critics of U.S. domination - at home and abroad. Today, the United States continues to flex its murderous, military might all around the globe. Meanwhile, under the guise of security, local, state and federal governments pump more money into building more prisons, detention centers, and border walls, and directing an increasing number of police and agents to the streets to conduct raids and to squash the peoples' opposition. As the U.S. government threatens to invade, bomb and sanction more countries, and as more and more people in the United States are thrown into prison or
subjected to state violence, we have to answer the question of what it will take to stop the U.S. government's war on the peoples of the world.

Gulf Coast Reconstruction in the Post-Katrina Era

Sound files from the Gulf Coast plenary:

Daniel Castellanos on black brown solidarity

On Katrina as a capitalist and racist human rights crisis

Dr. Beverley Wright on the transformation of poor neighborhoods into "green space"

The destruction of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita exposes the historic forces of genocide, slavery, and militarism, as well as widespread exploitation, white supremacy, and sexism. The total devastation demonstrates the environmental crisis facing the world; and highlights local, state and federal governments' abandonment of low-income communities and communities of color, including immigrant communities, and their women, children, elders, and disabled. The ongoing struggle to win the right of return for all displaced people and the right of working people to return to their jobs, including in the public sector and especially in the public schools, points to growing struggles against gentrification and massive privatization - the right to housing, education, health care, to all public services, and the right of workers to collective bargaining in their workplaces. These struggles also point to the need for new strategic alliances among organizations in the African American, Indigenous, immigrant and other communities of color, and among working people, women, and queer communities to make our vision of Gulf Coast reconstruction a reality.


Opening March video of the US Social Forum

Stay tuned for more updates soon including WILPF workshops and audio files of plenaries!

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