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!

Open Letter To Union Leaders: Act On Climate

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By Staff of Labor Network for Sustainability – Working people, poor people, and frontline communities are most heavily impacted by the effects of climate change. We feel the force of this devastation first and worst—from more powerful hurricanes to wildfires, from rising sea levels to crop-destroying droughts and floods. Our families and communities receive the greatest blow and have the biggest stake in moving as rapidly as possible from a fossil fuel-based society to a sustainable energy society. Global warming represents an existential threat to the world’s people. We must act rapidly to avoid even more devastating climate change. But moving to 100% renewable energy will also impact jobs for many of us. So any transition, to be just, must protect workers and frontline communities impacted by the changes we must make from having to disproportionately bear rather than share the social cost. Organized labor with its allies is the strongest, best-organized force to turn this around. Who will speak for the global majority of working people and poor people if organized labor does not? The Earth is our only home. There is no Planet B. And there are no jobs on a dead planet.

Coalition Of Water Protectors Call For Nestlé Boycott

Flint Water Summit Participants Vow To End Nestlé’s Water Takings

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By Dylan Penner for Council of Canadians. Flint, MI – Sixteen water protector groups along with local residents, Indigenous representatives and activists attended the Water Is Life: Strengthening the Great Lakes Commons in Flint this past weekend. Attendees pledged to challenge Nestlé’s water takings and end the water crises in Flint, Detroit and Indigenous nations. Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians presented the keynote speech on Friday evening to a crowd of more than 200 people at Woodside Church in Flint. “The summit this past weekend was a powerful moment for water justice organizations, Great Lakes residents and Indigenous representatives. We came together to challenge the issues that our governments are failing to address.”

University of New Haven & Saudi Police Make Strange Bedfellows

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By Samayia Taylor for Popular Resistance. In the US, college students are just arriving on their campuses- some for the first time- ready to start the new academic year. They have a wide range of interests and goals, from bringing about the latest medical breakthrough to wanting to change U.S. foreign policy. Some may even want to become President. One thing they all have in common though, is that they have just entered a time in their lives where they will explore, learn, and- most importantly- be able to express themselves. At the same time as millions of American college students begin to express their newfound views, people their age on the other side of the world are forced into silence. In Saudi Arabia, alternative political views are crushed by an oppressive regime that stamps out even the slightest form of dissent. These two seemingly opposite worlds, the United States and Saudi Arabia, have a disturbing new connection.

SCOTUS Is On The Verge Of Decimating Public-Sector Unions

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By Shaun Richman for In These Times – On Thursday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Janus vs. AFSCME, the case that will likely turn the entire public sector labor movement into a “right-to-work” zone. Like a lazy Hollywood remake, the case has all the big money behind it that last year’s Friedrichs v. CTA did, with none of the creativity. In Friedrichs, the plaintiffs argued that interactions between public sector unions and government employers are inherently political. Therefore, the argument went, mandatory agency fees to reimburse the union for the expenses of representation and bargaining were forced political speech, violating employees’ purported First Amendment right to not pay dues. The case ended in a 4-4 deadlock in March 2016, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who had appeared poised to vote against the unions’ interests. Much like Friedrichs, the Janus case has rocketed through the federal courts. The National Right to Work Foundation, which represents the plaintiffs, petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case in early June. All briefs will likely be submitted by mid-January 2018, meaning SCOTUS could hold hearings almost exactly a year to the date that the Court last heard the same arguments. The defendants may argue for procedural delays, which could potentially kick the decision into the following court term in 2018-2019.

#WeChoose Equity In Education Campaign

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By Popular Resistance. Launched just after Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss was appointed in February, 2017, the #WeChoose campaign is fighting for equity in education. They write: “We are not fooled by the ‘illusion of school choice.’ The policies of the last twenty years, driven more by private interests than by concern for our children’s education, are devastating our neighborhoods and our democratic rights. Only by organizing locally and coming together nationally will we build the power we need to change local, state, and federal policy and win back our public schools. School closings are a key issue now because if our communities don’t have schools, we will have little to fight for. But if we only fight against closings, we won’t succeed at building the kind of sustainable school transformation that will carry us forward.

Empire Files: Voices From The Anti-Trump Resistance

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By Abby Martin for The Real News Network – Abby Martin: We’re here at a national gathering in Washington D.C. called the People’s Congress of Resistance. About 1,000 activists, organizers, and community leaders from all over the country have converged here to build the real resistance against the Trump regime. Participants here say, “They are the representatives of the majority,” and they’re not here to simply lobby the U.S. Congress, but they want to replace Congress altogether. Yasmina Mrabet: Sisters and brothers, as the United States Congress works to cut deals with the Trump administration, we have assembled to represent the alternative of steadfast resistance, political independence, and a vision of revolution. According to our registration, as of Thursday night we had resistors from 37 states and 159 different towns and cities. Eugene Puryear: People say to me all the time, “You can’t bring together the undocumented people with the Black workers. It can’t be done. You can’t bring together Harlem with Appalachia. It can’t be done. You can’t bring together people who maybe only speak Spanish and people who only speak English. It can’t be done. There are too many divisions. People are too divided. We’re fighting too much amongst ourselves. There’s no way we can unite.” Honestly, what they mean is that you can never win. My message to those people is look around.

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder, Partners With Orgs To Halt Los Angeles Jail Expansion

JusticeLA organizers during demonstration in front of Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in Los Angeles on Sept. 26, 2017 (Charles H.F. Davis III @hfdavis)

By Kirsten West Savali for The Root – Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Black Lives Matter co-founder, veteran organizer, artist and freedom fighter, has partnered with more than 30 organizations to launch JusticeLA, a human rights and abolitionist coalition organized around the collective goal of halting a proposed $2 billion jail-expansion plan in Los Angeles County. The coalition’s first action took place Tuesday morning with a powerful demonstration in front of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration ahead of the weekly Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting. Though the board’s Sept. 26 agenda included finalizing the county’s 2017-2018 budget, supervisors first approved, in 2015, the expansion plan, which outlines the construction of two new jails, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the coalition, the amount will be more in the ballpark of $3.5 billion once construction is completed and any additional expenses accounted for—$3.5 billion, which coalition members say should be reclaimed, reimagined and reinvested in the oppressed and occupied communities for whom the jails are being created.

East Oakland Community Launches Major New Organizing Initiative

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By Causa Justa. OAKLAND — Six of East Oakland’s most prominent community organizations will convene hundreds of East Oakland residents at a massive Community Assembly on Saturday, September 30. This umbrella organization—known as the East Oakland Congress of Neighborhoods—is being formed because neighborhood residents are fed up with a lack of action on extremely pressing problems in East Oakland including the housing crisis and homelessness, illegal dumping, gun violence, prostitution and many more.

‘Team Internet’ Mobilizing Thousands Of Net Neutrality Activists Across The Country To Meet With Lawmakers

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By Mark Stanley for Demand Progress – Across the country, Team Internet volunteers like Platt are meeting with lawmakers, turning up at rallies, attending mass calls and coordinating with other activists in ways they’ve never before been able to do. “There are so many crucial issues people are engaging in right now, from healthcare to advocating for racial justice. At the end of the day, folks know if their free speech is curtailed because we don’t have strong Net Neutrality protections, organizing on these issues will be extremely difficult,” said Demand Progress Director of Operations and Communications Mark Stanley. “We’re seeing an unprecedented number of activists take time out of their busy lives to meet with lawmakers and their staff on this issue. Net Neutrality is vital for our civil discourse, our democracy and organizing on issues that impact people’s daily lives, and people are willing to fight for it now more than ever,” said Stanley. “Wherever you go, you can feel the energy and enthusiasm for Net Neutrality. Students, doctors, software engineers, lawyers and more are volunteering their time because they want a free and open internet. They’re gathering at lawmakers’ offices, protesting outside of speeches by FCC Chairman Pai, taking part in conference calls to learn more about the connections between Net Neutrality and racial justice, and connecting online and off to plan their next steps,” said Free Press Field Director Mary Alice Crim.

Community Organizing Guides To Help Stop Hate

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By Staff of Rabble – In the last school year, racists attacked Muslim children in schools across Canada. In Red Deer, a school yard spat involving Syrian kids was used by the WCAI and other racist groups to organize rallies against ‘Islamic terror in schools.’ In Halifax, while the regular Chronical Herald staff were locked out, a reporter published an unsubstantiated story about violence by a Muslim child at Chebucto Elementary School, which caused an uproar and was later retracted. In the Peel region, the fight to retain religious accomodation for all faiths became a serious confrontatoin. In the end religious accommodation in schools was retained, however, a Quran was ripped up, a reward was offered for pictures of Muslim children praying (presumably taken without their permission), and racists rallied outside schools, and truly reprehensible things were said. In Calgary, racist graffiti was found on schools. In Quebec, Djemila Benhabib is facing slander charges for likening a Muslim school to militant Islamic training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Discredited, hate mongering, right wing populists like Ann Coulter and Faith Goldy, two recent examples, are becoming more frequent guests on Canadian campuses.

Report: Inaugural People’s Congress Of Resistance

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By Peoples Congress of Resistance. Washington, DC – On Sept. 16-17, the People’s Congress of Resistance movement was inaugurated with a mass convening of grassroots organizers and front line resistors at Howard University. All told, 727 delegates from 38 states and 160 towns and cities came to Washington, D.C., to discuss the People’s Congress of Resistance manifesto “Society for the Many: A Vision for Revolution,” to share organizing experiences to take back home, to express solidarity with each other and to resolve on common projects and actions for the future.

310,567 Signatures Block ‘Right To Work’ In Missouri

After a grassroots effort gathered 310,567 signatures, Missouri was forced to postpone the implementation of right to work till November 2018, when voters will determine its future. Photo: We Are Missouri

By Judy Ancel for Labor Notes – The results astounded everyone who thought they knew the Missouri labor movement: more than 300,000 signatures to repeal “right to work.” Thousands of union members and allies marched through the streets of the state capital August 18 to deliver 163 boxes of petitions signed by 310,567 Missourians. The signers called for a referendum to repeal the right-to-work law passed by the legislature earlier this year. The signatures gathered were more than three times the number needed. Although signatures were needed in only six of the state’s eight Congressional districts, there were enough to qualify from all eight, and they came from all 114 Missouri counties. The state was forced to postpone the August 28 implementation of right to work till November 2018, when voters will determine its future. The petition drive was coordinated by We Are Missouri, a coalition of unions both in and out of the state AFL-CIO. Volunteers from Missouri Jobs with Justice and the Sierra Club stepped up, too. Most of the money for the campaign came from Missouri unions, with contributions as low as $100 and as high as $83,000. Much bigger donations came from labor PACs representing the state AFL-CIO, Teamsters, and Carpenters. As of August 31, the labor side had raised $1.36 million and spent almost half of it.

International Declaration Of Solidarity With Popular Movements Of US In Resistance

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By Staff of Alliance for Global Justice – The People’s Human Rights Observatory (Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos) energetically rejects the interventionist, repressive, fascist, and racist policies of the government of Donald Trump that makes attempts against the sovereignty and dignity of the peoples of the world. 1) In its own territory, this government is threatening and violently attacking African Americans, the undocumented, the indigenous, and popular demonstrations. It is alarming that this would be occurring in the so-called “best democracy in the world”. 2) Moreover, this United States government not only tolerates, but encourages right wing and racist paramilitary or para-police forces, which is clearly evidenced in the events in Charlottesville in the State of Virginia in the US, in which groups from the extreme right, White supremacists, and members of the Ku Klux Klan attacked a multitude of anti-racist and leftist demonstrators, leaving at least one woman dead and 34 wounded. The attacks occurred in the presence of the police, who did nothing to prevent them. Equally, law enforcement agencies and the courts have tolerated armed vigilantes that patrol the border, that violently take possession of public land such as occurred in Ruby Ridge, and that kill young Black persons, such as the murder of Trayvon Martin.

The Cure Worse Than The Disease: Expelling Freeloaders In An Open-Shop State

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By Chris Brooks for New Labor Forum – The United States is likely to be an entirely open- shop country in the near future. Republicans dominate over two-thirds of state legislatures, over half of all governorships, both houses of Congress, the White House, and a majority of seats on the Supreme Court. As the GOP proliferates, so does anti-union legislation. Twenty-eight states have already passed open-shop—so-called “right-to-work”—laws, which allow workers to receive the benefits of unionization without being a union member or paying fees for union representation. Over the next couple of years, the Supreme Court is likely to make right-to-work the law of the land in the public sector and it is possible Congress will pass federal legislation to do the same in the private sector. Right-to-work laws create two interlocking problems for labor unions. First, unions are legally required to represent all workers in a bar- gaining unit that the union has been certified to represent. In open shops, the “duty of fair representation” requires unions to expend resources on nonmembers who are covered by the union contract. This is known as the free-rider problem. Union activists often refer to workers who opt out of paying for the benefits of unionization as “freeloaders.”