subscribe: Posts | Comments


The process of change has two fundamental strategies. One is dismantling structures of oppression while the second is creating structures of liberation. If we don’t have something to replace what we take down, we will lose the confidence of those we are trying to wake up. This process of waking up and engaging in consciously liberating action is when we feel most alive and inspired and connected. Whatever issue is a person’s point of entry, anyone who takes on a struggle and organizes goes through a transformative process in which the world is never the same again. It is the experience of accessing one’s own power and the power of our collective actions. It is the understanding and...

posted on: Nov 25, 2012 | author: organizingforpower

Some Key Organizing Concepts

Create Crisis – it is the edge where change is possible, where opportunities emerge for our interests to become theirs. Escalation – start within the experience of your supporters and opponents, take steps increasing in intensity and moving outside the experience of your opponent. Take a step at a time and see the impact. Once you are out of the box you cannot go back Compression – Organize all your escalating activities toward a point of compression, where things become so pressurized the crisis erupts internally and the process of change is underway. Credible Threat – we don’t always have to do what we say if our opponent knows we can do what we say. Telegraphing – let...

posted on: Aug 4, 2009 | author: organizingforpower

Getting People Involved

Developing a Rap The skill to develop and deliver a rap will serve you well in any organizing work that you do – whether it is a one-on-one, a house visit, a tabling effort or a petition drive.  It is not hard but requires that you take some time to be clear about the goals of the effort and the subsequent conversations. There are six basic steps: Introduction  – who are you and why are you talking?  – Establish credibility and trust Asking Questions – engage quickly, what do you want to know? How do you want to draw out what they think and feel about?   Ultimately everyone likes to talk and be listened to. Listen   – to...

posted on: May 14, 2009 | author: organizingforpower


Leadership is not good or bad, it is how you use it! Community and labor organizing models place a high value on leadership and leadership development. They know that leaders are critical for moving people into action. At the same time there are many movements that unfortunately know that to be public as a leader can mean death. Some grassroots direct action movements– horizontal movements – say we are all leaders. Leadership is the ability to inspire, motivate, energize, engage and move people into action, to move people to accessing their own power to make a change. Leaders can do this because they are respected. To be respected you must be respectful. Leaders serve as a source of...

posted on: May 14, 2009 | author: organizingforpower

Organizing Resources

General Organizing Checklist of Basic Principles of Democratic Organizing, from the Association for Union Democracy Direct Democracy & Consensus The Roles & Responsibilities of Community Organizers Activist Skills & Experience Questionnaire, This chart lists 175 skills and 98 experiences typical of seasoned activists. It can be used for self-assessment, goal setting, or progress evaluation, from the Vernal Project 20 Rules of Activism Elements of Organizational/Movement Culture How to Suppress Political Dissent in 10 Easy Steps Fire It Up! A Youth Action Manual Rising Tide North America Resource Packet, tons of games, information, resources, and ideas for trainers and organizers Rainforest Action Network activist resources Training Agendas Community Skills Workshop Notes – conflict resolution, nonviolent communication, stages of group...

posted on: May 14, 2009 | author: organizingforpower


In this section: Power & Liberation Creating Liberation Exercises on Power Anti-Oppression Resources “Where there is fear – there is power” Starhawk Fear is “expectation with alarm” Fear is a normal, instinctive response to a perceived threat Fear is largely based on pondering a possible future or the what-if’s of the past, whereas the power to make change is in the present. Fear is often a little voice inside you head that wants you to avoid things that are uncomfortable – confrontation, speaking in public etc. That little voice can create monsters in your imaginations Fear has a physiological base. There are chemicals in our head that stimulate three primary fear reactions – crying, freezing or aggressive response....

posted on: May 13, 2009 | author: organizingforpower