Don’t Dis Community Organizers

By: Scott Kurashige

Amid all the hoopla and pressure, Sarah Palin took to the stage of the RNC convention, wowing the GOP delegates and winning over most of the media commentators. Her speech commanded that we stop viewing her as a curiosity, that we take her seriously as a politician and a leader.

And if we are to take the substance of her words seriously, then we need to point out that Palin—echoing an attack on Barack Obama delivered a half-hour prior by Rudy Giuliani—made one of the most idiotic statements of the year.

Palin remarked, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.”Continue reading

Protests against the RNC

Post 1 “On the Bad Side of Town”
By: Starhawk

If they wrote country songs about organizing mobilizations, they might sing something like this:

“It’s just one more earnest meeting…
How do we turn this country ‘round?
In one more dusty warehouse,
On the bad side of town…”

I’m here at the preparations for the protests against the RNC, the Republican National Convention, in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It’s a familiar scene: half a dozen of us early arrivals and locals huddled around a giant map of the downtown area. Twenty seven years ago, when I took my first nonviolence training in preparation for my first nonviolent direct action at Diablo Canyon in central Californai. The thing that most impressed me was the maps.
Continue reading

In the Middle of a Whirlwind

[This is an exciting project of study and reflection on radical practice. Please take some time to read through the articles, if you’re interested. I recommend: Team Colors‘, Introduction to the Project, El Kilombo & Michael Hardt in Conversation, Organizing Encounters and Generating Events, and, finally, smartMeme‘s, Story-Based Strategies for Direct Action Design.]

Will you join us in the middle of a whirlwind?:

Team Colors is a national collective engaged in ‘militant research.’ In May, in partnership with the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, we published “In the Middle of a Whirlwind: 2008 Convention Protests, Movement, and Movements,” a one-off online journal inquiring into the composition and potential for movements in the current period.Continue reading