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.
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.
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Earth Fund) has doubled down on philanthropy’s inequitable modus operandi by funneling hundreds of millions into outdated, ineffective, top-down strategies that attempt to erase the frontlines.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
By Eleanor Finley for ROAR Magazine - In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, devastating images and memories of the First and Second World Wars flood our minds. Anti-rationalism, racialized violence, scapegoating, misogyny and homophobia have been unleashed from the margins of society and brought into the political mainstream. Meanwhile, humanity itself runs in a life-or-death race against time. The once-unthinkable turmoil of climate change is now becoming reality, and no serious attempts are being undertaken by powerful actors and institutions to holistically and effectively mitigate the catastrophe. As the tenuous and paradoxical era of American republicanism comes to an end, nature’s experiment in such a creative, self-conscious creature as humanity reaches a perilous brink.
By Staff of The Nader Page - Far from the corrosive political circus unfolding in Washington, DC, local citizen groups are improving conditions for the people in their own backyards. Although they receive almost no national media attention, these stalwart citizens work tirelessly to make their country a safer, cleaner and more just place to live. One shining example of such a citizen is Tom “Smitty” Smith of Texas, who has advanced this noble work for the last 31 years. As director of Public Citizen’s Texas office (see citizen.org), Smitty has an uncanny civic personality that has helped win victory after victory for the people of the Lone Star State.
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 Indivisible Aganist rump. NOTE: The information below was written by former Congressional staffers who consider themselves to be progressive. It provides insight into how to pressure your member of Congress, which is valuable. One area where we disagree with the information is that we do believe in putting forward a positive agenda for change. While Democrats are huddling to unify themselves against the Republican agenda, the task of the movement is to be independent of the duopoly parties and unify around a movement or People's Agenda. This means that while we fight harmful policies that come down the road from either duopoly party, we can still build national consensus and push for a popular agenda. -MF Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen
By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams - You might want to head over to Seeds of a Good Anthropocene, a website developed by a team of international researchers to spotlight global initiatives or "seeds" from the grassroots that help pave the path towards a more just, sustainable world. Think the permaculture system developed from Australian researchers and designers Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, or The Leap Manifesto, a call to care "for the Earth and one another," or the Ngäbe-Buglé Struggle to Protect Environmental Resources in Panama.