Challenges of a Multi-Pronged Agenda: Autumn Convergence Workshop Report
We had a lively discussion that reached no conclusions, but generated a bunch of thoughts about next steps:
We need one-movement language. We really are all one movement, but what do we call it?
It’s all too nebulous unless in some way we bring together particular underlying values. Non-violence—is that an underlying value in all or our work? Is it that every person’s life has value? We need common themes around which we can collaborate and do outreach. We should create a short list of what people in different movements want.
Do we know what the cross-cutting connections are? How about corporate power? Restoring democracy? Is the fundamental problem one of power, and shifting power? We need to articulate these connections.
We need a systematic process of strategizing, bringing in lots of people. We need to bring concrete proposals to debate and discuss.
We need to make it clear that we are here to work with others, to say to people “we aren’t your enemies.”
We need to move US foreign policy away from its current stances on global issues, which still contain the detritus of the cold war. Two specific issues are: climate refugees, and the military’s huge carbon footprint—both have major social-justice and anti-militarism dimensions. We have already seen climate refugees following Hurricane Katrina. We need to delegitimize the military.
We need to get organizations together to talk further, including those that sponsored the Convergence. Create a new initiative, sort of like Budget for All.
Given the climate crisis timeline, it seems as if every organization should have a two-fold goal: Their particular cause plus averting climate disaster.
Maybe focus on children and their rights to a livable world. This is something that most people could agree on and it embraces al of our causes.