[Americas] techmeet and HSA

Jamie McClelland jm at mayfirst.org
Thu May 15 19:16:12 EDT 2008


Hi all,

Thanks to everyone for the introductions. I'm truly amazed at the breadth of
experience we have with this relatively small group of people! I'm also very
appreciative of everyone's commitment to May First/People Link and the
project of building our Latin America program.

I have a couple updates.

First, I learned about techmeet
(http://www.techmeet.org/txt/Welcome_to_Techmeet) several months ago and was
reminded about them just last week. They are a small, international group of
leftist techies including folks from both North America and Latin America.
They are having their next online meeting this Sunday - which I plan to
participate in (see details in the link above is anyone else is interested).

In addition - below is my report back from my conversation with Tom Loudon
from ART (Alliance for Responsible Trade: http://www.art-us.org/).

adelante!
Jamie


ABOUT HSA

HSA has a web site:

http://asc-hsa.org/

For a list of members by country:

http://www.asc-hsa.org/node/369

HSA is a network of networks - tries to be connected with one network per
country to develop a common agenda - mostly around issues of trade, debt and
militarization. 

HSA was founded to combat the FTAA - however, because the FTAA was effectively
halted, U.S.efforts for a hemispheric-wide trade agreement have given way to a
new approach of negotiating regional and bilateral agreements. In order to
continue campaigns which have potential for hemispheric participation, the HSA
has been brain storming new campaigns and issues, including:

 * Mining (gold)
 * Migration
 * Health care issues (privatization)

ABOUT ART

Tom cordinates ART (http://www.art-us.org/) which is the US member network to
the HSA.  Right now ART is housed at the Quixote Center. 

US groups are encouraged to participate in the HSA through ART. ART has phone
meetings every other month and combination in person/phone meetings the other
months, with about 20 - 25 participants.  

RELATIONSHIP WITH SOCIAL FORUM

HSA will most likely plan sessions around different issues from a hemispheric
perspective for the social forum of the americas. ART may be involved in
workshops with the HSA and/or with our partner networks from North America.

Mesa global - network that is most on the ground in terms of pulling off the
social forum of the americas. They are the HSA member from Guatemala.  

US Social Forum

ART has begun building ties with groups from GGJ - one of the principle US
Social Forum groups. The networks are quite different. Despite obstacles,
there has been an ongoing discussion of ways to connect, and we will likely
find projects which we can work together on, rather than trying to force a
formal merger of the networks.  

Folks from HSA have been involved in social forum space, are active in the
coordinating committee. They see the work of the HSA to be in addition to and
broader than social forum spaces. The social forums have been effective in
mobilizing new groups of people. By its nature however, the social forums are
not the same kind of permanent agenda provided by the HSA.


-- 
Jamie McClelland
718-303-3204 ext. 101

May First/People Link
Growing networks to build a just world
http://www.mayfirst.org
https://support.mayfirst.org
Members Local 1180, Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO

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