Whether we are engaging in acts of resistance or creating new, alternative institutions, we need to create sustainable, democratic organizations that empower its members while also protecting against disruption. This section provides information and tools for effective organizing, creating democratic decision-making structures, building coalitions with other groups, and more.

Featured Video: The video to the right is the trailer for the new documentary, Beyond Elections. From Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements across the hemisphere, it takes us on a journey across the Americas to answer one of the most important questions of our time: What is Democracy?

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Recent Articles in Organize!

Monthly Rally In Newark Against US War Escalations / Threats #NJSaysNoToWar

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By Staff of NJ Against US War on Syria and in the Middle East – Largely with the local support of the Peoples Organization for Progress, anti-war activists including Newark residents and those from surrounding communities have converged on the Martin Luther King Jr. monument for protests against the various escalations and threats of war by the US administration 3 times since early April. The events have also received strong support from NJ Peace Action and the Green Party of New Jersey. We are now considering a proposal to make this type of activity a monthly event, picking a particular Friday of each month. The proposal is not just to show up for an hour plus protest and then go home but to incorporate into the effort a concerted organizing drive with the goal of connecting to the local pedestrian and vehicle traffic and to integrate the war issues we are raising with the related devastation of the war related economic issues and how the war economy directly and adversely impacts the Newark community. The monthly event should include organizing during the “in between” times and in the hours before each gathering as well as during the gathering to reach out and connect with pedestrians, shop owners, labor organizations, schools, religious institutions, housing and other outlets in the surrounding blocks.

Unsung Black Heroines Launched Modern Domestic Workers Movement

African-American women training as household workers in the 1930s. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

By Premilla Nadasen for Yes! Magazine – In the late 1990s, household workers around the country began to organize to address the exploitation and abuse in their occupation. These domestic workers, immigrant nannies, housecleaners, and elder-care workers from all over the world—the Philippines, Barbados, Brazil, Mexico, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Nepal—used public shaming strategies to draw attention to particularly egregious employers, sued for back pay, developed support groups, organized training and certificate programs, and lobbied for statewide domestic workers’ bills of rights. In building a movement, domestic workers used storytelling to connect workers with one another. Barbara Young, for example, a former nanny and an organizer with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, joined Domestic Workers United in New York City in the early 2000s. Young was in a park one day with the child she cared for when another household worker, Erline Brown, invited her to a DWU meeting in Brooklyn. “People were telling the stories about the work that they were doing, not getting vacation, not getting paid for holidays.,” she explained. “It was the first time I was hearing stories from workers coming together.”

On The Side Of BIW Workers

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By Bruce K. Gagnon for The Times Record – I am pro-union and my first job after the Air Force and college was working as an organizer for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida — organizing fruit pickers. A couple of years ago I was invited by a union member to march with BIW workers who were protesting against General Dynamics’ management efforts to slowly but surely break the union at the shipyard by outsourcing work to non-union shops. I eagerly joined the protest. Over the years I’ve heard directly from scores of BIW workers about their grievances against the company. Not only has GD come to the city of Bath with silver cup in hand (while its top CEO was pulling in multi-million dollar bonuses) asking for more tax breaks, but over the years the corporation has repeatedly gone to the state demanding tax cuts, always threatening to leave Maine. GD has done little to diversify away from all-military production at BIW, whether into commercial shipbuilding, or other major nonmilitary production. So when the military contracts slow down, workers get what amounts to permanent layoffs. GD frequently brings in nonunion middle managers and poorly trained supervisors who don’t know much about the ins and outs of shipbuilding in any given aspect of production, causing delays and inefficiencies for which the unions get blamed.

Justice For Major Tillery

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By Justice for Major Tillery. June 14–Major Tillery, now 66 years old, continues to advocate for all prisoners while fighting for his own his freedom. He filed a federal pro se lawsuit against the Pa Department of Corrections (DOC) because of retaliation against him for demanding medical treatment for Mumia and all prisoners. At SCI Frackville he has succeeded in obtaining services for aging prisoners. Major Tillery filed a pro se Pennsylvania state post-conviction petition in June 2016 to overturn his 1985 conviction. It is based on his actual innocence, with new evidence of police and prosecutorial misconduct. Nine years after a 1976 Philadelphia poolroom shooting of two men, Major Tillery was tried and convicted for murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The surviving victim identified other men as the shooters. There was no evidence against Major, except the testimony of two career jailhouse informants.

Single Payer Not Top Priority Even For Democrats

Single payer protest in NYC by Occupy

By Staff of SIngle Payer Action – “Congressional Democrats and the national Democratic Party don’t actually want to pass Medicare for All because that would be the end of the steady flow of campaign money the party receives from the for-profit health care industries,” Kirkwood says. “This money powers the careers of Party insiders and the political campaigns of their candidates. But, Democratic elected officials need to publicly appear to support HR 676 because it is extremely popular among Democratic voters. Democrats privately tell reformers that they support Medicare for All and, if anyone asks, they say – yes they have co-sponsored HR 676. But, when push comes to shove, they will not vote to pass HR 676 in the Congress. And they have little fear that push ever will come to shove because party leadership will not allow such a vote – as they did not in 2009.” In an open letter to single payer activists, Kirkwood calls for a campaign to recruit and run single payer doctors for Congress. “We should try to recruit physicians or retired physicians to run in both parties and in multiple Congressional districts,” Kirkwood writes. “Asking physicians to stand for election produces several benefits.”

Mobilizing For A Culture Of Nonviolence This Fall

No Nukes, No Wars, No Walls, No Warning

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By Mike Bass for Peace and Planet – A conference making the links between nuclear abolition, social and economic justice and moving the global economy to a path in balance with the planet’s ecosystems. The process that initiated negotiations for a ban on nuclear weapons has raised awareness of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons. But despite growing mobilizations for social and economic justice and moving the global economy to a path in balance with the planet’s ecosystems, in the nuclear-armed states there still are no significant movements for the elimination of nuclear weapons. To build a global movement to abolish nuclear weapons, we must also better understand and raise public awareness of the renewed danger that nuclear weapons could be used in warfare. And if this movement is to garner enough power to be successful, it must make common cause with those working for a world that is more fair, more democratic, and more ecologically sustainable.

Voters Are Fired Up For Single Payer Creating Dilemma For Democrats

Voters are Fired Up for Single Payer Creating Dilemma for Democrats

By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit – On Sunday, June 4, the same day that Our Revolution, a Democratic Party group that arose from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, organized rallies and die-ins to highlight the number of people dying in the United States due to lack of access to health care, the New York Times published an article, “The Single Payer Party? Democrats Shift Left on Health Care“, prominently on the front page and above the fold. The article quotes RoseAnn DeMoro, head of National Nurses United, saying, “There is a cultural shift. Health care is now seen as something everyone deserves. It’s like a national light went off.” Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan was also quoted, saying that rank and file Democrats “are energized in a way I have not witnessed in a long, long time.” Nolan is correct in stating that following the Democrat’s large loss in 2016, the party needs “a more boldly ‘aspirational’ health care platform.” Democratic Party voters have been strong supporters of single payer health care for a long time. Polls have consistently shown that super-majorities of Democratic Party voters want single payer, but Democratic Party candidates keep telling them that they can’t have it.

Third Parties’ Only Hope: A New Anti-Duopoly Occupy

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By Patrick Walker for Nation of Change – Political hacks for the Democratic Party, as well as better-intentioned progressives hoping to reform it from within, frequently argue that under our U.S. political system, third parties simply cannot become viable. While that argument holds for long stretches of U.S. history, it fatally ignores significant exceptions. But what it ignores above all is historical imagination: the insight that no human institution is permanent, and that sufficiently abnormal historical circumstances (best described as revolutionary ones) render a long-entrenched, seemingly unshakable system vulnerable to dramatic, virtually overnight overhaul. Simply extrapolating from a long-enduring status quo has already proven lethal in economics. James Galbraith has convincingly argued this about the unquestioned dogma of endless economic growth in his book The End of Normal. From George W. Bush’s presidency on, economists’ success in predicting the U.S. (and global) economy’s performance has almost directly tracked their rejection of their profession’s orthodox consensus.

 A Lynching On The University Of Maryland Campus

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By Dave Zirin for The Nation – Richard Collins III was about to graduate from Bowie State University on Tuesday. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army. He was airborne certified. He was a son, a friend, and active in his church. To Sean Urbanski, a University of Maryland student, he was black. At around 3 am on Saturday, May 20, Collins waited for an Uber ride along with two friends who were students at UMD at an on-campus bus stop. Urbanski walked up to them, and, according to witnesses, said, “Step left, step left if you know what’s best for you.” Collins simply replied, “No.” He stood his ground. Urbanski then stabbed him in the chest and fled the scene. Collins died at the hospital. Make no mistake about it—this was a lynching, a lynching committed by a UMD student. A lynching 10 minutes from my damn house. Urbanski, as has been widely reported, is a member of a racist Facebook group called “Alt-Reich: Nation.” But that’s also not all he is. He’s a college student who grew up in the leafy suburban environs of Severna Park, Maryland. He hung out at Adele H. Stamp Student Union, studied at McKeldin Library, and wore his Baltimore Ravens gear around campus. He was not an interloper or an outsider. He is a homegrown terrorist who grew out of the soil of this college campus

School Choice Is A Scam In Segregated Neighborhoods

Photo by Marc Monaghan
Wendell Phillips Academy High School is a public school located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.

By Jitu Brown for The Chicago Reporter – Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos seems not to hear the fierce protests of parents, teachers and school officials over school closings and charter expansion in New York, Chicago, Oakland, Detroit and other American cities. How else to explain her continuing tone-deaf comments praising the glories of school choice? In truth, school choice does not exist in most black and brown communities in the United States. That is why her words ring false and her promises sound empty to the people living in those communities. Whatever hope existed that DeVos would learn on the job and inform her boss, President Donald Trump, of the need to respect that history and build on the effectiveness of American public schools while improving them, has been dashed. During her confirmation hearings, DeVos was criticized for her lack of experience with and knowledge of the public education system. Her later words at the Brookings Institution exemplified someone in a position of great power, who just does not get it: “How many of you got here today in an Uber, or Lyft, or another ridesharing service? Did you choose that because it was more convenient than hoping a taxi would drive by?

It’s Time To Reawaken The Spirit Of Occupy For The Starving Millions

Activists from the Occupy Wall Street movement marked the fourth anniversary of their encampment in Zuccotti Park on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. Pictured: Occupy protesters march in New York City, on Sept. 17, 2013. Reuters/Joshua Lott

By Adam Parsons for Intrepid Report – The world is now facing an unprecedented emergency of hunger and famine, with a record number of people requiring life-saving food and medical assistance in 2017. Since the start of this year, the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the second world war has continued to unfold, while the international community has failed to take urgent commensurate action. The extent of human suffering is overwhelming: more than 20 million people are on the brink of starvation, including 1.4 million children—a conservative estimate that is rising by the day. Famine has already been declared in parts of South Sudan, and could soon follow in Somalia, north-east Nigeria and Yemen. In February, the UN launched its biggest ever appeal for humanitarian funding, calling for $4.4 billion by July to avert looming famines in these four conflict-ridden regions. Yet not even $1 billion has been raised so far, leaving little hope that these vital minimum funds will be raised on time. Last week the UN also sought to raise $2.1 billion for the funding shortfall in Yemen alone—described as the single largest hunger crisis in the world, where two thirds of the population are food insecure.

Call For Global Unity On May Day

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By James E. Rabbitt, III. This May Day (Monday, May 1, 2017), workers worldwide are invited to participate in an unprecedented call for global unity demanding that all full-time workers are paid a living wage by means of a May Day General Strike, which transcends borders and all other divides among fellow workers. The success of this event is dependent upon word of mouth and social media to invite others who will collectively stand together in solidarity to end the unjustifiable inhumane suffering and exploitation of underpaid workers everywhere. This act of global unity to improve the quality of life for millions, possibly even billions, of people can be held at every place of employment, with workers determining which type of strike is best suited for their unique workplace (i.e. sick-ins, picketing, good work strikes, etc.).

Young People Want Radical Change—Survey Blows Lid Off Right-Wing And Corporate Economic Propaganda

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By Les Leopold for AlterNet – Most politicians and pundits throw their hands up in despair. They argue there is really nothing we can do about rising inequality because of the powerful impacts of global competition and automation. Those who are falling behind just don’t have the skills needed to prosper in the modern world. Life is unfair. Get used to it. But, these fatalists are dead wrong. There is ample evidence to show that many other nations have far less inequality but are also using the most advanced technologies, and are more open to foreign competition. Furthermore, the mainstream Democrats have convinced themselves, that despite the Sanders surge, most Americans do not support bold policies to reverse runaway inequality. These officials believe that most Americans reject “socialistic” programs. Does a social democratic program appeal to most Americans? We decided to test the mainstream Democratic Party phobias by asking 200 randomly selected 18 to 40 year-olds to evaluate a strong platform aimed at reversing runaway inequality.

Sowing The Seeds Of Berta Caceres, US Tour

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By Beverly Bell for Other Worlds. Two Honduran cultural workers, feminists, and close friends of Berta Cáceres will tour 20 US cities between April 20 and May 23, 2017 to “sow the seeds of Berta.” Singer-songwriter Karla Lara and writer Melissa Cardoza will use music, writing, story, and discussion to grow the international movement for justice and grassroots feminism. Their tour’s goal is not to impart answers, but to spark collective ideas and engagement through creativity and dialogue. ¡Berta Vive! Series-logoThe tour will also promote Cardoza’s book, 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance, recently published in English with translation by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle. Black Lives Matter Network co-creator Alicia Garza says the book “is rooted in a love of freedom that will grip your heart. Cardoza… ensures that, in memory of our sister Berta Cáceres, feminisms are three-dimensional and span multiple experiences.”