Submitted by admin on Tue, 01/29/2008 - 16:10.

In the spring of 1995 several organizations issued a call for a National Independent Politics Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the Call to that Summit we said:

"At the top of the social pyramid, the corporate-dominated political parties are pressing the corporate-oriented agenda. But since November’s election (in 1994), new movements of resistance have risen up from below. . . Where will this resistance go politically? Back into yet another effort to reform the Democratic Party? Or into an independent people’s movement and party that speaks and acts for itself, instead of attempting to do so through Democratic politicians beholden to corporate funds? Will the fight back movements of different constituencies and issues link up and work together? . . . We call upon representatives of national, regional and local organizations and campaigns, rooted in the new movements of resistance and the various new/labor/green/third parties, to join together in a broad, urgent conversation about the future of progressive politics. We want to create a culture of resistance to the current two-party system and support and unite independent political initiatives."

220 people, a mix of different races and cultures, from over a hundred organizations, answered that call and attended the first National Independent Politics Summit over two years ago. They set in motion a process that is continuing to this day.

Since our inception we have played central roles in organizing trainings for youth of color, the 9-11 Emergency National Network that joined with other groups to organize a peace and justice demonstration of 80,000 people in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2002, peace demonstrations in the first three months of 2003 as part of United for Peace and Justice, as well as UFPJ's national founding conference, created Democracy 2004 to do organized voter registration and education, issue-oriented popular mobilization and defense of democracy, as well as resources to help in this work and initiated a 2004 Racism Watch project to strengthen an explicitly multi-cultural network of activists who understand the obligation to confront racism whenever and wherever it is part of a candidate’s campaign.
Over the last year we have:

  • served on the National Planning Committee for the US Social Forum on the Outreach and Plenary working groups,
  • organized a national Summit to occur concurrently with the US Social Forum at which well-attended workshops brought substantial content and culture to the forum, attracting over 300 participants,
    conducted community building, organizing and anti-oppression training sessions in different parts of the country;
  • made presentation at conferences to build cross sector alliances and broaden the base for independent politics.