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!

Why This Temple Student Is Organizing A March For Black Women: ‘They Matter’

ED HILLE / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
India Fenner, 19, is organizing a march for black women.

By Sofiya Ballin for Philly.com The message is fitting. It was Malcolm who said: “The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Those words replay in Fenner’s head as she plans her first march, “A March for Black Women,” scheduled to take place Friday. Demonstrators will set out at 1 p.m. from City Hall to Cecil B. Moore Avenue to celebrate and highlight the diversity of black women and honor black women who were victims of police brutality. Fenner is spreading word of the march through social media and hopes to have a large turnout of women — and men. The 19-year-old Temple University sophomore and Philadelphia native said it’s to “celebrate black women for who they are and not what the media wants them to be.” “I’ve been to plenty of marches for black men who have been harassed or killed by police,” she said. “But when I went to one for Sandra Bland, it was very small.” In 2015, Bland, a 28-year-old black woman, died in police custody after being arrested during a traffic stop in Texas. Fenner also recalled that in 2016, Korryn Gaines, 23, was shot by police in her Baltimore home with her 5-year-old son close by. But, she said, “nobody was marching.”

Workers May Have Just Killed Missouri’s Right to Work Law

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By Jeff Schuhrke for In These Times. Missouri – In a badly needed victory for organized labor, a coalition of workers’ rights groups in Missouri is poised to halt a devastating new anti-union law from taking effect later this month. The deceptively named “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation—quickly passed and signed into law this February by Missouri’s new Republican governor, Eric Greitens—would prohibit unions in private sector workplaces from automatically collecting dues from the workers they are legally required to represent. Designed to decimate unions by cutting off their financial resources, RTW laws are currently in place in 27 other states. Though the law is set to take effect on August 28, the pro-union We Are Missouri coalition, led by the Missouri AFL-CIO, says it has collected enough signatures from voters to call for a state-wide referendum in November 2018 that could nullify the legislation.

Future Of Low-Wage Worker Movement May Depend On NYC Law

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By Max Zahn for Waging Nonviolence. New York City – Flavia Cabral doesn’t equivocate. She joined the fast food worker movement, she said, for a single reason: to put her daughter through college. Cabral, 53, of the Bronx, earned $7.25 per hour at McDonald’s when she stood alongside coworkers in her first single-day strike four years ago. Over 10 strikes later, she makes $12 per hour, thanks to a statewide minimum wage hike that will gradually elevate her pay to $15 by the end of 2018. Still, her goal remains out of reach. “I don’t have enough savings for my daughter to finish college,” she said. “I want her to graduate.” Cabral’s predicament is emblematic of one facing the Fight for $15: how to move beyond its titular demand to address other barriers that are keeping fast food workers from a middle class life. These obstacles include insufficient hours, non-union workplaces and crippling expenses like housing, health insurance and college education.

FCC Extends Deadline For Net Neutrality Comments

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By Harper Neidig for The Hill – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday agreed to extend a deadline for submitting comments on its proposal to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules. The deadline for responding to the first round of public comments, which closed last month, has been extended from Aug. 16 to Aug. 30. Groups supporting net neutrality filed a motion for an eight-week extension to respond to comments in favor of the repeal effort, submitted largely by the cable and telecom industries. Those industry groups opposed the extension arguing that both sides of this long-running debate have had “multiple opportunities to weigh in on the core issues in play here for over fifteen years across a range of public dockets.” “While it is the policy of the Commission that ‘extensions shall not be routinely granted,’ we find that an extension of the reply comment deadline is appropriate in this case in order to allow interested parties to respond to the record in this proceeding,” Daniel Kahn, the FCC’s chief of the competition policy division, wrote in Friday’s order.

Renter Nation Assemblies 2015

San Francisco housing, photograph by Justin Sullivan for Getty Images.

By Staff of Homes for All – Hundreds gathered and gave direct testimony about the citywide displacement crisis. Grassroots activists also planned strategies and tactics for passing Just Cause Eviction, breaking down by city council district, and they shared a variety of organizing approaches to the displacement crisis through interactive and cultural presentations. Topics included inclusionary development policy, community land trusts and community control of public land, creation of neighborhood stabilization zones, and struggles for local hiring and community benefit standards. The Right to Remain Assembly culminated in a massive citywide action cosponsored by Boston Tenant Coalition, Right to the City Boston, Alternatives for Community & Environment, Boston Workers Alliance, Chinatown Resident Association, Chinese Progressive Association, City Life/Vida Urbana, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Dominican Development Center, Dorchester People for Peace, Fairmount Indigo Community Development Collaborative, Jamaica Plain Progressives, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, New England United for Justice, SEIU 32BJ.

Domestic Workers Movement Is Growing

A domestic workers in Johannesburg, South Africa. Solidarity Center/Jemal Countess/Flickr. Creative Commons.

By Myrtle Witbooi for Open Democracy – So the question is, how did I come from my humble beginnings to where I am now? My life in this field started in 1966, when I became a domestic worker. I was working for a family, in 1967, and I remember I was pregnant and had a baby that same year. I also remember that, during the apartheid times, there was an article in the newspaper about how some employers didn’t allow the friends of domestic workers to visit the property. The question that a came to my mind was what are we? And why are there no rights for us? So I questioned the situation. I wrote a letter and I sent it to the newspaper without thinking. I just wrote my frustration: why are we different? Why are there no laws to protect us? Why are we not seen as people? And then, three days later, a reporter from the newspaper came to the door and was looking for the maid, the servant. This reporter decided that I educated and asked me why I kept my ideas to myself, instead of speaking out. I became a spokesperson for both sides, and that is where I discovered a certain talent I have: I have the ability to speak. So we called a meeting in 1968, here in Salt River (Capetown, South Africa), in a big hall for garment workers.

Teachers At A Crossroads: Time To Heed Dr. King’s Call

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By Craig Gordon for Living In Dialogue – Promoters of so-called school reform frequently exhort educators to “teach with urgency.” This slogan trumpets their supposed determination to immediately achieve educational equity without funding equitable teaching and learning conditions. Two presidential mandates—Bush’s No Child Left Behind and Obama’s Race to the Top—proclaimed this righteous resolve while severely damaging public education. Now President Trump and Education Secretary DeVos plan to accelerate the destruction with more charters and vouchers or tax credits to pay for private schools. The real urgency we face today is to finally address the systemic causes of inequality—in and beyond schools–and other interconnected threats to human survival, as Martin Luther King Jr. implored fifty years ago. With the scientific consensus on climate change and a renewed and growing threat of nuclear war, the urgency is far more evident today. Here is a key question for those of us focused on finally achieving educational justice: What would it take to provide all students with high quality education?

Occupy Sonoma County Holds Climate Change Summit

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By Occupy Sonoma County. On July 31, Occupy Sonoma County hosted a gathering of local climate change activists at the Peace & Justice Center in Santa Rosa. Over 70 people, representing 25 different organizations, attended. Climate change activists are working together in Sonoma County. Every group is also involved in educating the public and empowering people to take action. We ended the evening with a plan to meet again at the Peace & Justice Center on October 30th at 7:00 pm to form action plans and coordinate our efforts. “It was extremely gratifying to see all the climate change groups taking this important step towards coordinating our efforts. Sonoma County climate change activists have their act together! This dynamic group of experienced activists combined with fresh, new energy from the many youth who attended, gives me hope that we can work together to stop climate change,” said Stefana Morales, Occupy activist.

The People's Congress Of Resistance

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By the Convenors of the People’s Congress of Resistance. We are excited to release the Manifesto of the People’s Congress of Resistance! Titled “Society for the Many: A vision for revolution,” the manifesto sets out a bold and clear program for people’s power, emancipation, equality and a society to meet human needs. In the introductory paragraphs, the People’s Congress of Resistance Manifesto explains: “Without a revolutionary vision, change will not take a revolutionary direction. Resistance will remain rudderless, an exercise in activism for its own sake, or it will be co-opted into a vessel for the political elites. A vision for social, economic and political revolution is necessary. We need to know where we want to go. Our vision ties our actions to our goal by showing us what we are mobilizing for. It guides us in coordinating our strategies and tactics. It helps us build collective strength. Our vision tells us how we can win and that we will win.”

African Peasants Highlight Interconnected Struggles At Via Campesina Global Conference

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By Boaventura Monjane for Toward Freedom – (Derio, Basque Country) Peasants across Africa are intensifying their struggles against land grabs and other harmful policies that promote industrial agriculture. At a recent international conference organized by the world’s largest peasants movement, Via Campesina, African peasants had opportunities to share their experiences of struggle and to learn. “It is amazing to see how linked our struggles are”. With a countenance showing enthusiasm and eagerness, Nicolette Cupido could not conceal her emotions. There are two main reasons for her excitement. It was the first time she attended a global conference of peasants’ movements starting July 16 in Derio, in the outskirts of Bilbao, Basque Country. Her movement, the Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (FSC), South Africa, was among the new organizations accepted into membership of Via Campesina. A community organizer and a member of the FSC, Nicolette engages in food production at home and community gardens in Moorreesburg, a village in Western Cape, 120Km away from Cape Town. She grows a variety of vegetables, that is the way she contributes in building food sovereignty. “I plant tomato, unions, beetroot, cabbage and carrots. The struggle for food sovereignty has to be practical, too”, she said. Like Nicolette, about 20 other African peasants representing movements from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Ghana attended the conference.

Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem?

Fifty-one percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 no longer support the system of capitalism. [Illustration: Kseniya_Milner/iStock]

By Jason Hickel And Martin Kirk for Fast Company – In February, college sophomore Trevor Hill stood up during a televised town hall meeting in New York and posed a simple question to Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives. He cited a study by Harvard University showing that 51% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 no longer support the system of capitalism, and asked whether the Democrats could embrace this fast-changing reality and stake out a clearer contrast to right-wing economics. Pelosi was visibly taken aback. “I thank you for your question,” she said, “but I’m sorry to say we’re capitalists, and that’s just the way it is.” The footage went viral. It was powerful because of the clear contrast it set up. Trevor Hill is no hardened left-winger. He’s just your average millennial—bright, informed, curious about the world, and eager to imagine a better one. But Pelosi, a figurehead of establishment politics, refused to–or was just unable to–entertain his challenge to the status quo. It’s not only young voters who feel this way. A YouGov poll in 2015 found that 64% of Britons believe that capitalism is unfair, that it makes inequality worse. Even in the U.S., it’s as high as 55%. In Germany, a solid 77% are skeptical of capitalism.

Don’t Be Fooled By Rosy Renewables Projections

From ecowatch.com

By Wenonah Hauter for Eco Watch – To the casual observer, we are making tremendous progress moving off fossil fuels and developing a clean, renewable energy system. The good news seems to be everywhere: The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, and legislation passed in the California Senate to mandate 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. After Trump announced he was backing out of the Paris climate agreement, communities across the country pledged to meet its goals. The cost of renewable energy is dropping fast, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) “Electric Power Monthly” seems to show that renewables are surpassing nuclear power. All of this might give the impression that, even with the Trump administration aggressively pushing fossil fuels, a renewable energy future is a forgone conclusion. But the reality is that while we certainly have momentum, we still need massive political action, because we still have a long way to go—and not a lot of time left. Beyond the sunny headlines, the numbers speak for themselves, especially when you don’t mix hydroelectric and biogas in renewable energy estimates.

Sen. Sanders Has His Health Priorities Backwards

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By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. We thought that Senator Sanders was on track to introduce and advocate for a national improved Medicare for All bill, but Tuesday he stated publicly at a Planned Parenthood rally that his priorities are to first defeat the Republican health plan, then to improve the Affordable Care Act with a public option or allowing people to buy-in to Medicare, and then we can work for single payer.

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.”