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    Living by the Clock of the World: Grace Lee Boggs’ Call for Visionary Organizing Matthew Birkhold April 17, 2012

    In response to a question regarding advice for young activists, 96 year old movement veteran Grace Lee Boggs recently told Hyphen Magazine that activists should turn our backs on protest organizing because it “leads you more and more to defensive operations” and “Do visionary organizing” because it “gives you the opportunity to encourage the creative capacity in people and it’s very fulfilling.” This quote made its way around facebook, twitter, and tumblr, as fans of Grace reposted it like it was common sense while others thought the quote bordered on conservatism.

    To better understand Grace’s call, we need to understand the historical perspective in which it’s rooted.  We also need to understand how visionary organizing differs from protest organizing, how Grace understands revolution, and that the way history develops means that ideas that were progressive or even revolutionary in one era, can become mental roadblocks to progress in another era.

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    Occupy Opportunities for Collective Liberation - Catalyst Project’s Anti-Racist Organizing Strategy Chris Crass December 14, 2011

    Melanie Cervantes - http://dignidadrebelde.comMelanie Cervantes - http://dignidadrebelde.comCatalyst Project, a center for political education and movement building, has compiled a list of resources for anti-racist/collective liberation work to build up the Occupy movement.  The following is an essay from the resource list, sharing key insights from Catalyst's anti-racist organizing strategy and how it relates to the Occupy movement.  The resource list will be sent out widely soon.

    The Occupy movement is one of the most profound organizing opportunities in decades, because of its mass invitation for the 99% to step forward and challenge systemic economic inequality. For white anti-racists, this is a moment when we can engage with, support, and organize hundreds of thousands of white people to deeply connect economic justice to racial and gender justice. 

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    Occupying the Imagination, Cultivating a New Politics Vijay Prashad November 23, 2011

    Melanie Cervantes & Chris Crass-www.dignidadrebelde.comMelanie Cervantes & Chris Crass-www.dignidadrebelde.comMy heart makes my head swim - Franz Fanon, "Black Skin, White Masks"

    Part I: Bare Life

    Reports and rumors filter out of government documents and family distress signals to locate precisely the ongoing devastation of social life in the United States. Unemployment rates linger at perilously high levels, with the effective rate in some cities, such as Detroit, stumbling on with half the population without waged work. Home foreclosures fail to slow-down, and sheriffs and debt-recovery paramilitaries scour the landscape for the delinquents. Personal debt has escalated as ordinary people with uneven means of earning livings turn to banks and to the shady world of personal loan agencies to take them to the other side of starvation. Researchers at the RAND Corporation tell us that absent family support, poverty rates among the elderly will be about double what they are now. In other words, economist Nancy Folbre’s “invisible heart” is trying its best to hold back the noxious effects of the “invisible hand.”

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    So Real it Hurts - Notes on Occupy Wall Street Manissa McCleave Maharawal October 4, 2011

    I first went down to Occupy Wall Street last Sunday, almost a week after it had started. I didn't go down before because I, like many of my other brown friends, was wary of what we had heard or just intuited that it was mostly a young, white male scene. When I asked friends about it they said different things: that it was really white; that it was all people they didn't know; and that they weren't sure what was going on. But after hearing about the arrests and police brutality on Saturday, September 24th and after hearing that thousands of people had turned up for their march I decided I needed to see this thing for myself. 

    So I went down for the first time on Sunday, September 25th with my friend Sam. At first we couldn't even find Occupy Wall Street. We biked over the Brooklyn Bridge around noon on Sunday, dodging the tourists and then the cars on Chambers Street. We ended up at Ground Zero and I felt the deep sense of sadness that that place now gives me: sadness over how, what is now in essence just a construction site, changed the world so much for the worse.

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    Revolutionary Experiments Andrew Willis Garcés July 30, 2011

    OPPOSE AND PROPOSE: LESSONS FROM MOVEMENT FOR A NEW SOCIETY
    BY ANDREW CORNELL

    AK Press, 2011

    From 1971 to 1988, a group comprising several hundred “nonviolent revolutionaries” organized into collectives in cities across the country and put in motion a plan: to take down the US empire, while simultaneously uprooting oppressive behavior in themselves and the world around them. They built many Left community institutions that continue to exist today. They used militant direct action to stop weapons shipments to Pakistan—and helped coordinate an action in which 3,000 people occupied the proposed site of a nuclear plant, inadvertently popularizing a form of decision making and action prep that has become standard for large-scale direct actions. Andrew Cornell’s Oppose and Propose!: Lessons from Movement for a New Society offers us a look into this remarkable grouping.

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    Reclaiming Families: A Framework for the Movement Walidah Imarisha June 27, 2011

    For the last 40 years, the Right in this country has claimed ownership of the role of “protecting family values.” Along with that role came the privilege of shaping and defining what constitutes a family, both in mass culture and according to the law.

    But there is a radical initiative to take back the idea of supporting family and put it in a reproductive justice frame that lifts up the voices and leadership of parents and communities who are the most under threat. It’s called Strong Families.

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    Direct Action & Elections: Wisconsin's Labor Struggle Lee M. Abbott June 20, 2011

    No one could say they'd seen it before. That’s what was so genuinely exhilarating about those first weeks of protests in Madison against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s effort to take away public workers’ right to collectively bargain. People had seen protest, confrontation, and direct action before, but now these were taking shape and combining in ways no one had ever expected. Rallies wouldn’t let up—protestors wouldn’t go home and more returned every day. An open-ended, intense confrontation between the people and the government grew day by day in the State Capitol.     

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    Turning (and Disarming) the Ship Max Elbaum July 1, 2009

    Responding to a questioner saying that there seemed to be little change in Washington policies, President Obama replied: "The ship of state is an ocean liner, it's not a speedboat… if we can move this big battleship a few degrees in a different direction, we may not see all the consequences a week from now or three mont

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    Imagining Ourselves Outside of What We Know Chris Dixon November 1, 2008

     

    “Without new visions we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless, and cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever maneuvers and tactics but a process that can and must transform us.”

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    Childhood lost and found: Ten years gone Francesca Fiorentini September 11, 2011

    It always seemed like an absurd exercise to recount where one was on 9/11. Some way to personalize the moment or get closer to the action. Maybe it’s just a way to make something that has been so filtered and retold, so shadowy yet simultaneously sensationalized, feel real. Sadly, the task of remembering is difficult without images of some patriotic red, white, and blue CNN graphic coming to mind. We have been told how to feel about the event (and those that followed) for so long, we rarely get a moment to do so. I choose to remember the day, and the horrors that have happened since, with this brief recollection of the moment that I became an adult.

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