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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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    From the Arab Revolutions to the Occupy Uprisings, the Winter of Our Discontent Hena Ashraf December 21, 2011

    A few weeks ago on the train my mind drifted to Mohammed Bouazizi and a great sorrow descended over me. I thought of how his tremendous sacrifice on the 17th of December 2010 was the literal spark that set the fire for uprisings around the world. I thought of how an ordinary Tunisian street vendor profoundly affected the lives of millions of people everywhere with his tragic protest.

    His self-immolation captured the immense anger and frustration that millions experience on a daily basis. By setting himself on fire in front of the local governor's office, Bouazizi showed the world that he could no longer endure the harassment and humiliation he suffered at the hands of corrupt local authorities. His example shows how revolutions start from the ground up, from ordinary people who are fed up of being pushed around. His actions set off revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and throughout the Arab world, as well as in Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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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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    Creating Space for Kids in Our Movements Vikki Law August 11, 2011

    Despite rhetoric about mutual aid and creating new worlds, social justice movements across the US and Canada often neglect the needs of caregivers and children. This has had the effect of excluding crucial organizers and reducing our ability to raise the next generation to be a part of our movements. 

    Over the past six years, I have interviewed more than 20 mothers who explicitly identify as anarchists about the support (or lack thereof) they’ve received from their peers and movements. These mothers varied in terms of age, race, ethnicity, class, partnership status, and sexual identity. Many had been politically active before motherhood. Some found that continued involvement was not possible and that their peers were unwilling to support the challenges they faced as new mothers. Many who have stayed actively involved were able to do so largely because of community support.

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    Revolutionary Experiments Andrew Willis Garcés July 30, 2011


    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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    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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    Labor in a Moment of Crisis Peter Brogan, Andrew Cornell November 1, 2008

    “Crisis” seems to be on everyone’s lips in recent weeks. Though the term evokes both common sense notions and the complex formulations of Marxist economists, perhaps the most useful definition is the one professor and prison abolition activist Ruth Wilson Gilmore provides: crisis is simply the inability of an organization or system to continue achieving acceptable results by continuing to act in the same way it had been.

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    The Responsibility of Radicals Esther Wang July 30, 2011


    University of California Press, 2011

    “What time is it on the clock of the world?” If you’ve seen Grace Lee Boggs speak, you’ve likely heard her raise this question. In her new book co-authored with Scott Kurashige, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, the 95-year-old activist offers some answers—proceeding to lay out in six essays an assessment of what stage we are at in our evolution as a species and her vision for a more human and humane century.

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