Over 40 individuals in Bloomington-Normal gathered at the Unitarian-Universalist Church on Sunday to discuss how progressive activists can collaborate locally and build a stronger social movement for justice and democracy.
Sonny Garcia led the event, introducing the theme of building democracy in our community and confronting the anti-democratic force of corporate power in society. Participants heard presentations given by numerous organizations, including the Freegans, Latinos United for Change, Bloomington-Normal Citizens for Peace and Justice, Common Action Free School, MoveOn, and Just BloNo. After the initial presentations, participants presented on more local organizations, reflecting the breadth of progressive organizing taking place in the community.
After the organizational presentations, the audience broke up into small groups and people spoke on the corporate assault on democracy in the United States and how individuals and progressive organizations can better work together to confront that assault. A common theme was that the event itself helped to promote face-to-face networking and that an immediate goal for the community is developing more collaboration between organizations.
Just BloNo videotaped the event and will soon be uploading presentations. There will be another meeting, similar to the one held, in either August or September to build on this initial discussion. As one way to continue the discussion, Just BloNo encourages people to post responses below to this article, suggesting strategies and ideas for strengthening the local democratic movement for peace and justice.