The same week that Steven Colbert pretended to mock Occupy Wall Street’s hand signals, I saw them used at an Occupy Boston General Assembly, and my Social Movements class studied the pitfalls of too much and too little “movement culture” – quite a serendipity! Using the six measures of degrees of movement culture that my […]
The various “Occupy” developments around the country have opened the long-neglected and marginalized question of economic equality, and the power of concentrated income and wealth over the nation’s nominally “democratic” political system. Nothing could be more welcome. At the same time, the historic struggles of various “identity groups” for their place in the sun is […]
Thanks to Occupy Wall Street and its spin-offs, a national conversation has broken out over the purpose of protesting. I understand why defenders of the Occupy encampments say that it’s OK to put forward only general issues; it’s true that just being there spotlights the problems with the economy. But last Sunday’s New York Times […]
The first thing I felt when I arrived at Liberty Park in New York City this past Saturday was the energy. It brought me back to the late ‘60s when I was a graduate student in Wisconsin. Now, in what might become the American Autumn, hundreds of men and women, mostly in their 20s and […]
In 1971, when I was “lead organizer” for what became the All Peoples’ Coalition (APC), I learned a different approach to dealing with some racism I encountered among working-class whites. APC was a federation of some thirty organizations (churches, block clubs, the neighborhood shopping strip’s merchant association, tenant associations, and other groups in Visitacion Valley, […]
A month has gone by since I experienced my first-ever social justice conference, the US Social Forum (USSF) in Detroit, and I’ve been trying to erase my memory of that time ever since. The lack of logistical planning we experienced had a classist effect that seemed antithetical to the forum’s message, and I was left with such a bad taste in my mouth for the progressive left that I will carefully reconsider attending any conference in the future.