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?
Recent Articles in Organize!
By Sally Adee for New Scientist. WELCOME to the new normal. Even before Donald Trump was elected, the US was already in a “golden age of surveillance“. As Edward Snowden revealed in 2013, the US government’s surveillance powers had expanded dramatically under the Obama administration. Trump has repeatedly signalled that he intends to make much greater use of these capabilities – perhaps inspired by British legislation that has given the UK government unprecedented power to snoop on its citizens. In both cases, such powers were ostensibly introduced to combat terrorism. But there’s very little evidence that greater spying powers actually catch terrorists, many of whom already know how to evade spooks. On the other hand, there is mounting concern among privacy advocates and human rights campaigners that such powers will stifle domestic dissent and enable political witch-hunts.
By Alexander Bolton for The Hill – Donald Trump is ready to take an ax to government spending. Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned. The changes they propose are dramatic. The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.
By Alex Byers and Tony Romm for Politico – President Donald Trump will tap Ajit Pai as his pick to lead the FCC in the new administration, elevating the sitting GOP commissioner to the top spot overseeing the nation’s communications industry, according to four industry sources familiar with the decision. The announcement could come as soon as this afternoon, the sources said. Pai, a Barack Obama nominee who has served as the senior FCC Republican for more than three years, could take the new role immediately and wouldn’t require approval by the Senate because he was already confirmed to serve at the agency. A spokesman for Pai declined to comment and the Trump transition team did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
By Jamie Partridge for The Socialist Worker – “WE WON! The U.S. Postal Service and Staples deal is over!” proclaimed the headline on the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) website. A three-year battle against the outsourcing of living-wage, union postal jobs to the low-wage, nonunion Staples ended January 5 when USPS management informed the APWU that the “approved shipper” program in Staples Office Supply stores will be shut down by the end of February 2017. The union-initiated boycott of Staples was called off. “I never doubted that if we stayed the course, stuck together and kept the activist pressure on, we would win this fight,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein in a statement .
By Elizabeth Schulte for Socialist Worker – AN ANTI-abortion Republican in the White House, the U.S. Supreme Court within one vote of overturning Roe v. Wade, and anti-choice zealots attacking women’s clinics–in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the stakes were high for women’s right to choose abortion. And the battle was taking place in the streets of many U.S. cities, after hundreds of anti-abortion protesters descended on clinic facilities, determined to shut them down. Randall Terry, leader of the extremist anti-choice organization Operation Rescue, claimed the crusade used the peaceful disobedience tactics of the civil rights movement in the interest of “saving unborn children.”
By Seth Kershner for In These Times – Retail is the nation’s largest employer. Since 1980, the number of jobs in retail has reportedly grown nearly 50 percent, from 10.2 to 15.1 million. At the same time, real wages for retail workers have fallen by 11 percent while on-call scheduling, involuntary part-time work and “clopening”—where workers are required to lock up the store late at night and reopen the next morning—have wreaked havoc with workers’ lives. Not surprisingly, the retail sector also has one of the lowest rates of unionization in the economy—around the 5 percent mark under which unions have virtually no influence. It didn’t used to be this way. Retail had 15 percent union density in the 1970s, according to sociologist Peter Ikeler…
By Brody Levesque for NCRM – The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a rules change this past week by a vote of 234 to 193, that would allow Congress the ability to essentially give away federal lands and buildings for free. The new rule, authored by GOP Rep. Robert Bishop of Utah, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, codifies that any legislation to dispose of federal land and natural resources would have a net sum zero cost to taxpayers. As the rule applies only to the House legislative rules, it is not subject to approval by the Senate or a presidential signature and is effective immediately. All Democrats in the House voted against the measure, while only three Republicans joined them in opposing it, USA TODAY reports.
By Ungovernable. We pledge to create a resistance movement that makes Trump unable to govern our oppression; unable to deceive the people, to make the people accept his reign of hatred. We refuse to give hatred a chance to govern, a chance to roll back civil and human rights, a chance to deport millions of people, a chance to create camps and registries for Muslims, a chance to expand the prison industrial complex, a chance to expand its drone wars, or a chance to turn back the gains won by our struggles. We pledge resistance to this renewed attack on our communities. As we resist, we will create new governing institutions, new economic relationships, and new ways of being human. What we will not do is sanction and/or normalize “overt” white supremacy. Let’s start now. Let’s make the so-called inauguration day a day to resist a day to be ungovernable and plan for a new future and new way.
By Amber Jamieson and Jessica Glenza for The Guardian – For the thousands hoping to echo the civil rights and anti-Vietnam rallies at Lincoln Memorial by joining the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration: time to readjust your expectations. The Women’s March won’t be held at the Lincoln Memorial. That’s because the National Park Service, on behalf of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters.
By George Payne of Gandhi Earth Keepers International. Rochester, NY – Denouncing the President-elect is not an act of disunity. Where would the United States be without ordinary citizens speaking up and questioning the policies and decisions of their elected leaders? After-all, we are a nation born out of dissent rather than conformity. I am not willing to extend Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt. He is not my President. He is not my representative. He is not my fellow American. Trump lost my confidence when he mocked the disabled and then lied about his intentions. He lost my allegiance when he threatened to put a political opponent in jail. He lost my trust when he bragged about sexual molestation of women.
By Susan Abulhawa, via Ian Greenhalgh of Veterans Today. North Dakota – At Standing Rock, so much was not what it seemed from the distance of news headlines and reports. Up close, one could see the ideological tension in romanticized groups where some are driven by moral imperatives and others by personal glory. A hidden truth about the rank and file of the U.S. military was also laid bare. There are many untold contradictions behind the drama that unfolded at Standing Rock. Although this remains a people’s struggle against the capitalist interests of a corporate military state, there are moral inconsistencies that bear telling.
By Staff of Black Lives Matter – Join us this Thursday, December 8th at North Charleston City Hall for a People’s Assembly to End Police Brutality, speak out at the North Charleston City Council Meeting and help us continue the fight to reform the Citizen’s Advisory Commission into a body with Power. This board in its current form is a weak body that can only make recommendations and give advice. It does not represent a mechanism that can ensure accountability, legitimacy, and trust. It does nothing to address the abuse of authority in which some officers engage. Furthermore, there is no budget and no oversight power. We want to change that. If interested in participating in this effort email BlackLivesMatterChs@gmail.com for more details and SHARE THE FLYER ATTACHED!
By Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. Lori Kearns is the health policy advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). She’s been making the rounds in recent weeks telling single payer supporters that Senator Sanders will not introduce his single payer bill into the Senate next year. Why not? Because party unity is more important than single payer. Sanders apparently believes that single payer will get in the way of electing a Democratic Senate in 2018. Wouldn’t want to confront Democratic Senate candidates with the deaths of their constituents due to Obamacare, would you? One reason why Sanders soared during the primary was his constant refrain that we need to cover every American with a single payer health care system. This resonated with the American people…
By Tex Dworkin for Care 2 – On January 21st, one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, thousands of women and their allies from around the country are expected to march on Washington, D.C. Here’s why, plus details for those interested in participating. Originally dubbed the “Million Women March on D.C.”, the “Women’s March On Washington” is taking shape as we speak.
Right now is the opportune time for people to say no to plutocracy and demand a people’s agenda. The rejection of the Democrats and the unexpected election of Donald Trump have caused confusion among the elites and have opened political space. The people’s defeat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a victory over the power of transnational corporations, confirms that when a movement of movements works together, we win. People across the country are rising up and will continue to do so. This is critical for social transformation. We encourage you to organize in your communities and to take the streets.We must also be clear in our demands. We are offering an outline for a People’s Agenda.