People’s Movement Assembly (PMA)


USACYC uses PMAs to guide its internal priorities and campaign initiatives, and also leads them at convenings around the world. USACYC feels strongly that this kind of large group participatory process could be of great use to cooperatives throughout the country as a tool to engage their members in democracy, which is #notjustvoting.

The PMA format is a large group participatory process that comes to us out of World Social Forum (WSF) and related national assembly processes. The WSF was initially motivated by the work of the Zapatistas in the mid 90s to resist the negative impacts of globalization on their land and communities. Ultimately, the first WSF was hosted by Brazil in 2001. The WSF uses participatory and directly democratic meeting models to engage attendees in crafting vision and strategy for shared work. National social forums have been held around the world since 2001. The national social forum held in Kenya in 2007 developed and implemented a formal Movement Assembly model that was replicated elsewhere in the world, including the US In 2007, the US adapted the Kenyan model to create what is now called the Peoples’ Movement Assembly (PMA) for use at the US Social Forum (USSF). The USSF describes itself as “a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples’ solutions to the economic and ecological crisis.”

The intention of a PMA process is to create a clear and shared statement of vision of action or intent. The final statement will be seek to be actionable and able to adopted by or incorporated into our future work.  Some past PMAs have been held by USACYC in Minneapolis (MN, USA), Antalya (Turkey), Quebec City (QB, CAN), Philadelphia (PA, USA), and Calgary (AL, CAN).