Activism vs. Organizing

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Connexions Library

Action Will Be Taken: Left Anti-Intellectualism and Its Discontents
Featherstone, Liza; Henwood, Doug; Parenti, Christian
Marxism's decline isn't just an intellectual concern -- it too has practical effects. If you lack any serious understanding of how capitalism works, then it's easy to delude yourself into thinking tha...
Against Activism
Taylor, Astra
"Activism" stands in contrast to organizing. Organizing aims to bring people together to build and exercise power, informed by a strategic vision for acquiring power and changing society. To be an "ac...
Being an Organizer and Being an Activist is not the Same Thing: Community Organizers are the "Brain" that Injects Strategy into the Heart of a Successful Social Movement
Orellana, Carolina Mascareño
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the role that organizers and activists play in social movements. Both roles have profound differences regarding their goals and the way they face problems withi...
Calling All Radicals: How Grassroots Organizers Can Help Save Our Democracy
Thompson, Gabriel
Thompson argues that we can reclaim our democracy through grassroots organizing.
Connexions Library: Organizing Focus Page
Selected articles from the Connexions Online Library.
FBI harassing fossil fuel activists in the Pacific northwest
Ross, Alexander Reid
A grassroots movement of eco-activists is achieving unprecedented success in challenging fossil fuel developments in the Cascadia region of the US's Pacific northwest, writes Alexander Reid Ross. And ...
From Dictatorship to Democracy
Sharp, Gene
A short, serious introduction to nonviolent struggle, its applications, and strategic thinking. Based on pragmatic arguments, this piece presents nonviolent struggle as a realistic alternative to war ...
Get out there and organise : The excitement of activism has supplanted slowly organized structures working for social and political change
Taylor, Astra
While there has been an explosion of activism over the past couple of decades, the left must better cultivate organizing to make activism more sustainable and effective.
Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals
Smucker, Jonathan
Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy.
"Hegemony How-To": Rethinking Activism and Embracing Power: A review of Hegemony How-To: a Roadmap for Radicals, by Jonathan Smucker
Levine, Bruce
"How many times, I wondered, had I favored a particular action or tactic because I really thought it was likely to change a decision-maker’s position or win over key allies, as opposed to gravitating ...
How (Not) to Challenge Racist Violence
Chomsky, Aviva
As white nationalism and the so-called "alt-Right" have gained prominence in the Trump era, a bipartisan reaction has coalesced to challenge these ideologies. But much of this bipartisan coalition foc...
How the People's Climate March Became a Corporate PR Campaign
Gupta, Arun
I've never been to a protest march that advertised in the New York City subway. That spent $220,000 on posters inviting Wall Street bankers to join a march to save the planet, according to one source....
Nothing Is Ever Won Without Organizing: Remarks to the First Nonviolence Training Session of the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity
Giordano, Al
All organizing begins with the telling of a story. When we listen carefully to somebody’s story, we learn what motivates him, what she is passionate about. Listening is the first skill and duty of a c...
On Activism and Organizing: There is a Distinction
Hayes, Kelly
What's the difference between an organizer, an activist, and someone who is just plain fighting for their life, on a personal level? Often, there is no discernible distinction, as these roles often bl...
Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter - December 20, 2016: Fake News
Diemer, Ulli (ed.)
Serial Publication (Periodical)
"Fake news" is the latest mania to convulse the mainstream media. All at once, we're being subjected to an outbreak of hand-wringing articles and commentary about obscure websites which are supposedly...
Summit Protests Are Obsolete
Giordano, Al
I can understand why a lot of folks went to the G20 protests, sincerely wanting to stand up and be counted against savage global capitalism and its consequences. The problem is, almost nobody who didn...
Traite du Savoir-Vivre for the Occupy Wall Street Generations
Giordano, Al
Once upon a time, twenty thousand people descended on Wall Street, the capitol of capital, occupied it nonviolently, and won exactly what they demanded. This is not a fairy tale. It really happened. T...
A Troublemaker's Handbook: How to Fight Back Where You Work -- And Win!
La Botz, Dan
An organizing manual for workers dealing with both major issues and everyday problems in the workplace.
A Troublemaker's Handbook 2
Slaughter, Jane (ed.)
A manual for workers who want to take control over their lives at work. In hundreds of first-person accounts, workers tell in their own words how they organized and struggled to do that.
What a Way to Run a Railroad: An Analysis of Radical Failure
Landry, Charles; Morley, David; Southwood, Russell; Wright, Patrick
How can the high failure rate of radical projects, in the media and elsewhere, be understood? This book analyses the reasons why many of the key organisations and projects in this sector, which grew u...
What is Organizing?
Moser, Richard
Morgan reviews the history of Organizing in the USA and provides advice to activists on how to organize in an inclusive, constructive, way.
What It Takes to Build a Movement
Rudd, Mark
Activism = self-expression; organizing = movement-building.