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This is What a Tea Party Looks Like

By: 
Jim Ride
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

However they felt about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign two years ago, activists on the Left agreed about one thing: any real gains to be made under an Obama presidency would depend on pressure from the grassroots after the voting was over. Unfortunately this consensus did not actually lead to such a mobilization. Major labor unions descended into embarrassing conflicts with each other instead of seriously fighting for labor law reform. Mass movements against war and for immigrant rights lost their ability to put people in the street, and the massive outpouring of democratic hopes that dealt the Republicans their soundest defeat in generations was channeled into little more than fundraising spam emails from DC. The first few months of the disappointing Obama administration could hardly surprise anyone familiar with the words of Frederick Douglass—lacking demand, power conceded very little indeed. 

How It Would Feel to be Free: A Review of Transformative Organizing

By: 
Max Uhlenbeck
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

THE 7 COMPONENTS OF TRANSFORMATIVE ORGANIZING THEORY
BY ERIC MANN

thestrategycenter.org, 2010

TRANSFORMATIVE ORGANIZING: TOWARD LIBERATION OF SELF AND SOCIETY
BY SOCIAL JUSTICE LEADERSHIP

sojustlead.org, 2010

If there is anything we have learned from the political struggles of the 20th-century United States, it has been the great importance of grassroots and mass-based organizing. From the IWW to the CIO, the early Communist Party to the rise of the civil rights movement, the question of how to organize and refine best practices has always remained central.

Truth and Consequences: A Review of "Rethink Afghanistan"

By: 
Eddie Falcon
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

RETHINK AFGHANISTAN
BY ROBERT GREENWALD

Brave New Films, 2009

Rethink Afghanistan is an ambitious six-part documentary by Robert Greenwald, who has previously made films about the Iraq war and other topics. It offers testimonies from officials, NGO-type groups in the US and Afghanistan, and interviews with Afghanis. The film analyzes six topics to try to debunk current myths and rhetoric about the US-led occupation: troops, Pakistan, the cost of war, civilian casualties, Afghan women, and security.

Breaking Barriers to Employment: Criminal Record Reform in Massachusetts

By: 
Aaron Tanaka
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

This summer, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a landmark law reforming the state’s criminal background check system. Aimed at improving acc ess to jobs, housing and other vital services for residents with arrest records, overhauling the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) has been a target for Massachusetts community activists for over a decade. The successful passage of CORI reform marked a notable break from War on Drugs crime policies that have driven the rapid expansion of police and prisons since the early 1970s. Massachusetts’ precedent-setting laws frontline a growing national movement to reverse the systemic economic barriers faced by formerly convicted people. 

Organizing with Love: Lessons from the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Campaign

By: 
Ai-jen Poo
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

Great organizing campaigns are like great love affairs. You begin to see life through a different lens. You change in unexpected ways. You lose sleep, but you also feel boundless energy. You develop new relationships and new interests. Your skin becomes more open to the world around you. Life feels different, and it’s almost like you’ve been reborn. And, most importantly, you begin to feel things that you previously couldn’t have even imagined are possible. 

Lula's Legacy, Brazil's Future

By: 
Sue Branford
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

On 3 October, Brazilians went to the polls to vote for a successor to Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, its first working-class president. With no candidate winning a majority of votes, a runoff election was held on October 31 and Worker’s Party candidate, Dilma Rousseff, claimed victory with Lula’s full backing. Rousseff, A former activist who fought against and was imprisoned by Brazil’s military dictatorship, is the first woman to be elected president of the country.  Another important facet of the Brazilian presidential elections was the candidacy of Marina Silva of the Green Party.

Outsourcing the Blood: Letter from the Drug War in Mexico

By: 
John Gibler
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

Like so many others, Alma Trinidad thought that if you turned up dead, your body destroyed by gunfire and left on the street for the cameras, then surely you were up to no good.  This is one of the two central myths of the drug war: if you are found with a bullet in your head you were dirty and thus guilty of your own murder. The other myth is that governments, police, and armies on both sides of the border are actually trying to stop drug trafficking. 

Lebanon on the Edge...Again!

By: 
Rayan El-Amine
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

The pressure cooker that is Lebanon is once again about to boil over. This time the cause is imminent indictments by a UN-initiated Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), an international court tasked with investigating the assassination of the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The indictments are expected before the end of the year and all signs indicate that Hezbollah members will be named. This is what the US and its Lebanese and Arab allies are hoping for since it will help de-legitimize the popular Shiite resistance group in Lebanon.

One Nation Reflections

By: 
Cameron Barron
Date Published: 
December 1, 2010

On October 2, 2010, about 175,000 people gathered on the Mall in Washington, DC to demonstrate for jobs, education, and justice. Called by a newly-formed coalition called One Nation Working Together, groups mobilized people to come to stand for reordering of priorities within the United States. Led largely by the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, over 300 groups mobilized people to walk, drive, carpool, and fly from all parts of the United States to join voices calling for increased attention to job creation and increased funding for educational programs.