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Social Justice Activists "Motor in" to Detroit for U.S. Social Forum

June 22, 2010

LANSING, Mich. - They're coming by planes, trains, cars, bikes and on foot. The second-ever U.S. Social Forum officially begins today in Detroit. Some 30,000 people, many of them social activists, will spend the next few days attending workshops, rallies and protests to inspire greater cooperation and improved policies for bringing about social justice in communities across the country.

Minsu Longiaru is coordinating the U.S. Social Forum.

"People who are very powerful, people who have a lot of money, people who are experts: they get together in a room and between themselves they sort of decide the future and what the vision of that future is going to be. The U.S. Social Forum is the complete opposite of that. It involves gathering folks who care about these issues across the country and across the world and together creating a space for action, vision, and change in all forms."

Longiaru says Detroit was chosen because it has a history of social-justice activism and at the same time, it struggles with social injustice. She says the forum is much more than demonstrations and rallies.

"We don't want to be just against something, we want to be for something. And this is a gathering for people to come and learn from Detroiters and really kind of ask ourselves serious the question: 'What is the kind of world that we want and what are the positive actions and social changes that we can do to get us a little bit closer to being there?'"

The theme for the Second U.S. Social Forum is "Another world is possible, another world is necessary, another Detroit is happening". It is being held at Detroit's Cobo Center.

Amy Miller/Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MI