Authentic organizing: ideas for reviving the grassroots

This essay explores the nitty-gritty dealings of the activist community from the point of view of an on-the-ground organizer.

I have always been political, but I began my organizing and activist work five and a half years ago. While that may not be much compared to some of the people I may criticize, it's still nothing to be taken lightly, especially considering so many people get tired of activism and politics within a year or two after becoming involved. Regardless, I have been around long enough to know many of the things wrong with modern organizing in the United States both on the radical side and the political mainstream. If you don’t want your feelings hurt, then stop reading now. The state of organizing in America today is a state of disconnection, corporatization, arrogance, and dogma, and the way out, as I intend to show, is to break with the old ways and innovate.

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Comments

Our Streets
Jul 4 2015 04:07

Hey, I'm having trouble formatting this. Can someone fix it for me? Some of the chapters aren't showing up on the main page, and they aren't ordered the right way. They should be ordered:

Misdirection or No Direction
Lack of Respect
Money in the Name of Justice
What Organizing Should Look Like
The Way Forward
Works Cited

They are all their own independent chapters, but they still keep getting stuck as a sub-page of one another. It's really frustrating and I don't know if I want people to read my book if it's formatted the wrong way. Can someone please fix it or make it so I can fix it? Because it isn't letting me make the changes I need to. For example, when I want to make a chapter independent of the previous one, it won't let me.

Fnordie
Jul 4 2015 05:23

SDS, ACORN, the flying purple union eaters...and you worked for Amazon? You poor thing.

edit - I've been involved in movement work for about 11 years now, and my experiences have unfortunately been very similar to yours. The good news is, it took you a shorter time than I did to see through all the bullshit of business unions and the community organizing establishment. A lot of the best shopfloor militants I know went through similar periods of seduction/disillusionment with the organizations you mention.

Fnordie
Jul 4 2015 05:25

the "US Social Forum-industrial complex," if you will (lol)

syndicalist
Jul 6 2015 12:52

What am I actually reading? Is from a booklet or something? Perhaps I missed the title or context?

Our Streets
Jul 6 2015 19:05

It's a pamphlet that I wrote about organizing.