Marcus Aurelius was a philosopher, a stoic who believed in translating thought into practical action. When he became Emperor of Rome in the second century A.D. he wanted all of Rome to embrace philosophical ethics. Instead, Rome came under attack from many sides, and Emperor Aurelius was forced to give his full attention to making war on his enemies.
The rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri, against the killing of unarmed Afrikan American teenager Michael Brown has inspired me to reflect on the question of the organizing model versus mobilizing or mobilization model in the struggle for Afrikan liberation in North America as well as the broader humanistic fight for liberation from various forms of oppression. Organizing the oppressed for emancipation is the preferred approach to engaging them in the fight for their liberation as opposed to merely mobilizing them.
On August 21-24, 2014, dozens of social movement sectors from across the country will converge on Ottawa to attend the Peoples' Social Forum. At this critical moment in our history, social justice, labour, environmental and Indigenous social movements must answer the question: "Are we ready to do what it takes to stop the Harper government's aggressive neoliberal agenda?"
In recent years, two social movements have shown what we are capable of when we really organize.
The Alberta Convergence for the National People's Social Forum is a grassroots initiative to promote and coordinate Alberta's participation in the People's Social Forum in Ottawa from August 21-24 and beyond.
Attend a day long Alberta Regional Convergence at the University of Alberta in Edmonton to plan the next steps forward, including ideas for workshops, travel to Ottawa and continuing to build a People's Social Forum here in Alberta as well.