Another World is Possible, Another US is Necessary

Another World is Possible, Another US is Necessary
By Diana Block and Mary Heinen

From June 22nd-26th, around
15,000 people from all over the US
came together to attend the secondever
US Social Forum, held in Detroit,
Michigan. The economic and social
crisis hit the city severely, impacting
the majority African-American population.
Industry is gutted, hundreds of
thousands of jobs are lost, thousands
of homes are vacant or demolished,
schools have a 70-80% drop-out rate
and the city?s population has decreased
drastically. At the same
time, many CCWP co-sponsored
a workshop,
?Community, Art and
Transformative Justice:
Healing and Resistance
with Women and Transgender
Prisoners,? and
helped plan an Anti-Prison Movement
Assembly which brought together
former prisoners and activists
who work on prison issues around
the country. Below is an article by
former prisoner Mary Heinen of the
Michigan-based Prison Creative Arts
Project about her impressions of the
Social Forum.

Living on the Outside: Refl ections
on the US Social Forum June 2010
By Mary Heinen (aka Glover)

The only time in my life I
marched was out to the yard single
fi le for an emergency count, fi re
drill or unit raid, sometimes freezing
in my pajamas in the middle of
the night ankle deep in snow under
the moonlight. I witnessed a sea of
humanity marching in the streets
for social justice, moving like a
multi-colored ribbon in the sky,
weaving and bobbing to the beat of
Freedom! Peace! Solidarity! Sisterhood!
Brotherhood! JOBS! LIFE!
It was one of the greatest things!

There were over 1,000 workshops
and nearly 50 People?s
Movement Assemblies. A workshop
given by Natalie Holbrook
and Pete Martel from the American
Friends Service Committee in
Ann Arbor, described their work
in Michigan. Another workshop
was held collaboratively by Prison
Creative Arts Project, CCWP,
The National Clearinghouse for
the Defense of Battered Women,
and Transgendered Activists. 150
people assembled and we began
to dialogue and share stories and
experiences. This was one of the
most amazing workshops
of my life. People
came from all over the
US and internationally
to participate and learn.
We offered information,
skill-building, hope and
love for each other and
those we serve.

The picnic for former
prisoners turned out to
be the best ever. Homeless
men who live on the
river helped us set up grills and haul
supplies and we were able to feed
them. Some appeared to be starving.
People came from every direction. We
had speeches, laughed, ate together,
enjoyed the view and the sun, and
welcomed each other home from
coast to coast. Coming together free is
a miraculous experience.