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Puget Sound Solidarity Conference to bring together regional organizers

An effort to bring together local organizers engaged in the struggle against capitalist globalization is underway. On June 23, 2001 activists from the region will converge in Tacoma for the Puget Sound Solidarity Conference.
The past year and a half has seen an upsurge of resistance to the economic order propelled by financial institutions such as the WTO, IMF, and World Bank. In the wake of these national and international mobilizations a new understanding is emerging that the "anti-globalization movement" must also be rooted in local communities.

Recent cuts in public transportation and welfare programs, the militarization of local police forces and the further hardening of the criminal in-justice system, and the struggles of workers—from Boeing, to state employees, to UW teaching assistants, to farm workers—reflect a change in the political landscape: the forces of Structural Adjustment are hitting us here at home.

This reality has been evident to many for a long while, and as this analysis gains momentum many are finding the front lines of the anti-globalization struggle right in their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.

On June 23, organizers from the Puget Sound area will be making their way to the Puget Sound Solidarity Conference at the Tacoma campus of The Evergreen State College. The conference will be a forum, organizers hope, for activists from the region to evaluate their efforts to oppose the corporate economic agenda in local communities. Organizers hope to create an atmosphere in which group discussion will play a critical role in examining what is preventing stronger working relationships in the region. In addition to this goal, organizers hope to begin laying the ground work for a more cohesive regional movement which can continue the ˇ°Battle of Seattleˇ± into the years to come.

More information about the conference is attached to this posting.

You are invited to attend the:

Saturday, June 23rd, 2001 -- 8 AM to 9 PM
At The Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

Sponsored by the Puget Sound Global Action Network (PSGAN)
Cost: $25 per person, and organizations/affinity groups may pay an additional $25 one-year membership fee into PSGAN at the conference.

For conference registration materials contact:
Steve at > unterwegs78@hotmail.com<

What is this conference?
This conference is aimed at bringing together representatives of defined organizations or affinity groups currently involved in organizing in the Puget Sound region. It will provide a forum for participants to share their work, to look at their issues in the context of the larger global struggle, and to link their efforts with the efforts of one another.

Who is invited to come?
This conference aims to link organizations already working to raise and confront issues of injustice in their local communities. The process of planning this conference has been from the ground up&#8212;a highly participatory process. Therefore, we recommend that organizations that wish to attend consider sending two to three members to the Solidarity Conference so that they may continue the work of the conference in the same participatory manner.

Conference goals
Through the process of putting this event together, the conference planners have identified the following goals:
=Each participating group will formally present their work to the larger group.
=Each group will articulate their hopes for PSGAN.
=Each group will identify their next steps toward linking their work with other members of the network.
=Everyone will leave with a binder compiling literature and position papers of participating groups. The binder will also include each group's "next steps" plan.
=Everyone will leave with a calendar of each group's upcoming events and meetings.
=Each person will leave with a contact list of all the conference participants.

Conference planners
Neal Ahern (South Sound Clean Clothes Campaign)
Sarah Broderick (CWA Local 7810, Thurston Lewis Counties Labor Council)
Keith Cotton (South Puget Environmental Education Clearing House)
Chris Hawkins (South Sound Greens)
Lloyd Hohman (Machinists Union, Thurston Lewis Counties Labor Council)
Steve Hughes
David Lavendar (Endicott Farm, Thurston County home rule Charter group)
Vanessa Lee (Citiaction, People's Coaliton for Justice)
Dennis Otterstetter (Labor Education and Research Center)
David Roberts (Thurston Lewis Counties Labor Council; WFSE local 443)
Gail Ross (ILWU Local 23)
Bruce Triggs (Guadalope House - Tacoma Catholic Worker)
Jeanette Wallis
Lucilene Whitesel (Labor Education and Research Center)
Tracy Wiegman (ILWU Local 98)
Armin Zomorodi
*Organizational listings for identification purposes only.

Conference schedule
8:00 - 8:45 Registration
9:00 - 9:15 Welcome, review guidelines for group discussion
9:15 - 10:45 Formal group presentations. Each group will be given the opportunity to present their current work, with a focus on how the issues they are addressing tie into other issues and the larger global struggle.
10:45 - 11 BREAK
11:00 - 12:30 Small, issue oriented discussion groups (i.e. you don't have to be a union member to participate in the labor issues discussion group). Discussion topic: "What is solidarity and how does it relate to our local issues and the larger global struggle?"
Possible group themes:
12:30 - 1:30 LUNCH
1:30 - 2:00 Small groups meet to discuss the question "What are barriers to solidarity?"
2:00 - 3:00 Interactive panel discussion on the same theme. The speakers would talk about a personal experience in their organizing work which created a barrier to solidarity.
3:00 - 4:00 We will create a collective definition of solidarity
4:00 - 4:15 BREAK
4:15 - 5:30 Next steps: Participants will divide themselves according to their organization to create a plan to bridge their work with the work of PSGAN. The focus will be on answering the following questions:
-"What kind of support do we need from PSGAN?"
-"If you want to be in solidarity with our organization DO this and DON'T do this."
-"What steps do we need to take to get our organization to formally support PSGAN."
*These plans will be included in the binders participants will take with tem when they leave.
5:30 - 6:00 Final discussion and evaluation of the conference.
6:00 - 7:00 DINNER
7:00 - 9:00 Social--music, dancing, and merry-making.

phone: phone: (360) 250-2510 (cell