Ideas for the Struggle: required reading for activists in these challenging times

Williams, Steve
Date Written:  2016-08-30
Publisher:  Links
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20311

Arguing why the ideas presented in Marta Harnecker's collection of essays, 'Ideas for the Struggle', are essential and important for present-day activists and organizers.



It is vital that we recognize and celebrate victories like these that a generation of organizers and political activists helped to make real. But the last several years have made clear once again that local fights for justice and accountability are only one small part of a vast, global struggle against the neoliberal onslaught. Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe have taken part in popular uprisings that have shifted the terrain on which we live and struggle. From the Middle East to the streets and squares of Europe to the barrios and favelas of Latin America, everyday people have seized their rightful place on the stage of history. Even inside the imperial center of the United States, people have taken to the streets and inspired others around the world. Most recently, the Movement for Black Lives has unapologetically declared that #BlackLivesMatter. These upsurges have transformed the political landscape and have activated a new generation of political activists.


Ideas for the Struggle, like the best of our movements, breaks out of the narrow confines of national borders and represents a compilation of the best practices and most promising experiments of social movements around the globe. It helps us break out of a dangerous parochialism that can rob us of the wisdom of activists in different communities. The text does not provide deep historical examinations of where and when certain ideas or practices emerged. Instead, Harnecker tries to make Ideas as useful as possible for frontline organizers and activists, systematizing the experiences and lessons of various movements and presenting them as a compelling and coherent set of considerations and recommendations suited to our times. But the breadcrumbs are there for organizers and activists to explore the organizations and movements from which these ideas derive.

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