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Grassroots

Will The Revolution Be Funded?

In April 2022, grassroots organization Mijente unveiled a political framework in which it advocated for a threefold strategy of working within, without, and against the state to achieve its political goals. This framing was inspired by a movement group in Chile, the Movimiento de Pobladores en Lucha. We propose a similar path: building strategic alignment across groups working within, without, and against philanthropy. We aim to share the historical and present-day value of diverse approaches to fundraising that include but are in no way limited to philanthropic investment. Moreover, we seek to show how aligning work within, without, and against philanthropy can catalyze power building on the Left.

Taking Bottom-Up Action Changes The Balance Of Power

Consider two different ways a union can take action to solve problems. A top-down approach may solve the immediate workplace problem, but it may not change the balance of power. Engaging as many members as possible in a bottom-up approach may accomplish both goals. For example, consider the case at right where a boss unilaterally announces an unpopular new schedule, and how things might play out depending which approach you take, top-down vs. bottom-up. In the first week, the approach on the left might appear more forceful—immediate action is taken! But a request to bargain is an action that the boss knows how to ignore. The longer it drags on, the more disaffected the members become.

Grassroots Organizing In Red States Is At The Heart Of Abolitionist Struggle

In Republican-controlled regions across the country, people are engaged in abolitionist organizing: Even though conditions vary, people are organizing for freedom virtually everywhere. This is nothing new. The South, for example, has been a site for abolitionist organizing for centuries, and it continues to be one, despite the attacks on long-settled civil rights being organized by Republican supermajorities in statehouses. Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson is the first Black woman to codirect the Highlander Research and Education Center, a century-old nexus for abolitionist and labor organizing in Tennessee and beyond. She is also a cofounder of the Movement for Black Lives.

‘It’s All Top-Down’: Activists Hammer BRICS On Human Rights, Environment

Speakers at civil society’s BRICS-from-below dialogues, which preceded a protest march against wars, human rights violations, inequality and climate change, highlighted problematic methods of governance that suppress working-class people. From India violating human rights in Kashmir and Russia invading Ukraine, to China funding fossil fuel projects across Africa, the BRICS bloc leaves activists with much to be desired. They suggest that the bloc upholds the current world order instead of creating a new citizen-friendly world order. Makhadzi Tshivuwa is an heir to the land where the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (MMSEZ) is being developed.

Why Grassroots Activists Are Turning To The Wonky World Of Monetary Policy To Fight For Economic Justice

Ohio - How many people would like to cut the cost of local mass transit improvements in half, divert local tax dollars from big bank use to supporting low-income housing at home, see one-time federal relief packages for struggling families continue? All that and much more becomes possible without costing taxpayers a dime, if we choose a more efficient and democratic system for handling money than our current one, which systematically benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. To learn how, we’ll need to explore a different “plumbing system” for handling our money supply. In a groundbreaking move in this direction, a League of Women Voters group has been doing exactly that, calling us to consider how something we take for granted — the money supply — can be reinvented in a way that promotes democracy, justice and the planet.

Teaching Solidarity: Education In Grassroots US Social Movements

Tenaya Lafore was kind enough to allow us to excerpt this section of her doctoral dissertation, the entirety of which will be of interest to anyone interested in the intersection of education and social movement organizing. This particular section stands out as an example of some issues with non-profit led worker co-op development that we have seen and tried to draw attention to. While the issues faced by the Grassroots Empowerment and Leadership program that Lafore recounts below are different than those at play in non-profits doing worker co-op development, the overall dynamics of the hierarchical "non-profit industrial complex" extend beyond any particular movement or campaign.

The Amazon Labor Union Victory – Lessons For All Of Labor

In one of the most remarkable labor organizing victories in decades, the Amazon workers in Staten Island voted to unionize with the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU). This is the first organizing victory for any union at any of Amazon’s 110 warehouses across the USA, the nation’s second largest employer with over a million employees. This was a real bottom-up organizing effort potentially highlighting an effective way forward for the rest of labor – a victory that gives momentum to workers not only in the other Amazon warehouses but in all industries. It demonstrates how and why rank and file workers are the essential elements of not only a successful organizing drive but critical to a revitalized labor movement based on struggle.

In Memoriam Of Hyun Lee

Hyun was a tireless advocate for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Every generation has its leaders who build powerful movements; she was among the giants of our time. Beginning in 2018, Hyun served as the U.S. National Organizer and then the Campaign Strategist for Women Cross DMZ and our Korea Peace Now! campaign. Her ability to move an organizing and advocacy agenda was instrumental to building the Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network, which consists of more than a dozen chapters across the country. This multi-generational, grassroots, people-powered movement that Hyun helped create is what led to the first Congressional resolution calling for an end to the Korean War with a peace agreement.

Evo Morales And Social Groups Create ‘People’s General Staff’

"The social, union and indigenous organizations decided to form the General Staff of the People for the people as a space to defend the sovereignty and dignity of our democratic and multicultural revolution (...)," Morales announced on Monday after a meeting of leaders, held in Cochabamba in the center of the South American country. In this sense, the former president stressed that the "Estado Mayor" is made up of "national organizations affiliated and not affiliated to the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB)," including the peasant and indigenous confederations grouped in the Unity Pact, one of the pillars of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS). The founding declaration of the "Estado Mayor" has been disclosed by the media.

Bezos’ Earth Fund Is An Unnatural Disaster

Now is the time for undeniably powerful grassroots leadership. If we’ve learned anything this year from the brilliant, brave, bold, and beautiful Black, Brown, Indigenous and other frontline communities and workers fighting inequitable impacts of pandemics, pollution, poverty, climate disaster and emboldened racism, it’s that real change happens at the grassroots.  Yet, in a year when frontline leadership is clearly critical, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (through his newly launched Earth Fund) has doubled down on philanthropy’s inequitable modus operandi by funneling hundreds of millions into outdated, ineffective, top-down strategies that attempt to erase the frontlines.

Leadership Begins At The Bottom

Let’s be clear. A title does not make you a leader. Look at Capitol Hill. Leadership begins in your home. You are the executive, manager, administrator, foot soldier, all wrapped up in one. No President of the United States is responsible for a booming economy. The people are. People make businesses, employ people, produce products and services, and in turn support communities. This ripple effectuates the nation. The President is the ambassador of the nation, and is the moral and ethical leader therein. The true change makers are the boots on the ground that makes the nation work.

Symbiosis: A New North American Grassroots Political Network

On January 7, Symbiosis released a launch statement announcing the Congress in Detroit from September 18-22 of this year., initially signed by 14 organizations. “Over the course of the past year,” it stated, “our organizations have been strengthening our relationships with one another, learning from each other, generating shared resources, and honing a common vision of how to create together the genuinely democratic world that we need.” Beyond the shared vision of radical democracy and egalitarianism, what unites these groups is a common political strategy, of building institutions of popular power from below to challenge and replace the governing institutions of capitalist society. This approach is known as “dual power.”

New North American Political Network Emerges From The Grassroots

Symbiosis, an expanding network of revolutionary organizers and local initiatives, is assembling a confederation of democratic community institutions across North America. This project has been gathering support over the past year and will be launched at a continental congress in Detroit from September 18-22 of this year. The emerging network consists of diverse groups and member organizations, from Cooperation Jackson in Mississippi to Olympia Assembly in Washington, who are participating out of a recognition of the need to carry the movement for radical democracy beyond the local level.

The Palestinian People Are As Unified As Hamas And Fatah Are Obsolete

JERUSALEM, PALESTINE – Among the myths that cover the reality in Palestine is the one that says Palestinians have no leadership, no unified message, and that the Hamas-Fatah divide represents the entire political reality in Palestine. There is also a myth that claims that the Palestinians of 1948, who carry Israeli citizenship, are somehow not connected to the larger Palestinian issue. Over a ten-day journey in Palestine, it becomes crystal clear that these claims are unfounded. There is, in fact, a solid, grassroots leadership in Palestine. From Al-Jalil in the north to the Naqab in the south, and from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, Palestinians on the ground are well aware that the Hamas-Fatah politics have little to do with them.

Grassroots Organizing Leads To Success In Oakland

By Staff of Public Banking Institution - Last Tuesday ,Oakland City Council approved the $100,000 feasibility study for the Public Bank of Oakland, putting that city on track to create its own Public Bank. The city of Berkeley promised $25,000 toward the cost of the study and the city of Richmond and County of Alameda are likely to contribute as well, along with several private donors, making this a multi-city and community investment. This large step toward Oakland becoming independent of Wall Street — and toward our PBI goal of five public banks by 2020 — was taken thanks to tireless work by grassroots organization Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland, led by Susan Harman. Harman reminded the City Council before the vote, "We have slain all the dragons you've asked us to kill. Support the study now." Their advocacy work brought the support of Oakland Council members Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan as well as Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arrequin. The approved study is scheduled to take ten weeks.
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