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The Peace Letter
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Washington Peace Center
Vol. 49, No. 1
BUILDIng STROngER ACTIvISTS, OCCUPIERS & RABBLE-ROUSERS
Reflections from an Occupier
by Ricky Lehner
Occupy. Since last fall this word has taken on a life of its own, representing a new mass social movement. Occupy was my first time participating in activism and for many of us who were in that situation, we faced quite the learning curve. In order to build and sustain a successful movement, we need to take the time to reflect on lessons learned while we're grappling with the million dollar question: Where does OccupyDC go from here? I think the most important lesson we’ve learned thus far is the value of anti-oppression politics. Lacking a critical analysis around ‘isms’ isn’t just poor politics, it weakens the movement. Due perhaps to ignorance and naivety, we didn't create an inclusive space. I believe part of this was because a number of us, due to our recognized and unrecognized privileges, didn’t understand the need for safe spaces. Regardless of how much I can sympathize with people who endure oppression, it wasn’t something that was at the forefront of my mind when I was in meetings or helping to organize actions. A number of people came into OccupyDC set on their own agendas, insisting that we focus on “more immediate problems,” and prioritizing those over anti-oppression work. Anti-oppression work is not just about fighting larger systems, but also creating models of inclusion where marginalized people feel comfortable with speaking up and participating. So when these individuals did speak up about their the world stage in 1999 with the shutting down of the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings in Seattle, WA. One commentator aptly referred to those protests as the Occupy uprising’s “great dress rehearsal.” The shutting down of the WTO, inspired by movements in the global south, led to a similar surge in activism and mass direct action across the world.
Founded in 1963
Working in Solidarity: 10 Years of Struggle
by Rami El-Amine
Who’d have thought that almost 10 years after the launch of the war on terror—a war which has thrived on racism against Arabs and Muslims—mere blocks from where the World Trade Center towers fell, we would see a massive uprising against the rich and powerful in the US -- Occupy Wall Street (OWS)? Moreover, who’d have thought that it would be inspired by the very Arabs and Muslims that the war on terror was meant to dehumanize? The occupation of Zuccotti park was clearly “a Tahrir moment,” as Adbusters put it. And don’t be mistaken, OWS wasn’t the first “Tahrir moment” in the US--that honor goes to the protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attack on public workers’ rights in February 2011. Inspired by Egyptian and Tunisian occupations of their capitals, thousands of Wisconsinites occupied their capitol with signs referring to Walker as the “Mubarak of the Midwest” and to “Wisconsin’s Tahrir Square.” While the core demands of the Arab revolutionaries may differ from those of the protestors in Madison and the Occupy movement, they all are fueled by a common anger at the greed, growing disparities, corruption and lack of democracy that corporations, neoliberalism and capitalism have spread globally. They also all profoundly rely on broad mass action, direct democracy, and social media to counter the state and corporate media. These movements also have a lot in common with the anti-globalization movement that burst onto
But, as Naomi Klein explains, what we’re seeing today is different in some important ways:
“For instance, we chose summits as our targets: the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the G8. Summits are transient by their nature, they only last a week. That made us transient too. We’d appear, grab world headlines, then disappear. And in the frenzy of hyper patriotism and militarism that followed the 9/11 attacks, it was easy to sweep us " Continued on page 8
Continued on page 10
How to Have a good Meeting
Principles for Coalition Building
get Trained and Train Others
he Washington Peace Center provides education, resources and action for those working for positive social change and a world free from oppression. We strengthen the impact of the peace and justice movements by: 1) Fostering greater collaboration among activist groups 2) Bridging the gap between global, national & local issues and communities, and 3) Providing the material support to achieve these goals. Based in Washington, DC, we have been working to achieve peace and social justice since 1963. We envision a world based on respect for people and the planet that is achieved through nonviolence, peace and social justice.
From the Director:
I am proud to welcome you to the latest issue of the Peace Letter, where we delve into how to become a stronger activist, occupier and general rabble-rouser. It’s been an exhilarating year of people getting involved and taking to the streets in ways that hasn’t happened in a long time, and the Peace Center has been very engaged in working with many of the newer activists who have gotten inspired and active. These newer activists are the inspiration for this Peace Letter – this content is derived from what they’ve told us has made a big difference in their political development and what they’ve said they still need. We tried to strike a balance between tangible skillssuch as how to have a great meeting (this page) and how to plan out a campaign (page 10)- and the political analysis that can truly make a one-time action into a piece of movement-building to transform society. Creating this issue has been a wonderful process of getting to talk to activists both new and old(er) about the most essential skills to develop, the most important political analysis to delve into, and how to sustain themselves and their communities through the busy work of trying to change the world. Many of our allies and colleagues talked about the importance of anti-oppression, antiracism and solidarity work, which has been central to the work of the Peace Center for decades now. Please check out our full-length articles on pages 1 and 9 to hear different perspectives and reflections on these essential themes. We hope that this issue can be used as a tool for those new to the movement and a re-charging for those who have long been part of the struggle. We hope this inspires you to learn more, question more, engage more and get out on the streets more – we’ll see you out there!
Director Sonia Silbert on Stilts at rally against US militarization of Latin America
The Peace Letter
The Washington Peace Letter is published biannually to support local, national and international struggles against oppression. It seeks to present analysis of current events, covering information not available in corporate media. Peace Letter items are copyright-free and may be reproduced. Please give us credit and send us a copy if you do use the Peace Letter! Submissions: The Peace Letter welcomes submissions of articles, announcements, letters to the editor and artwork from the progressive community. Contact us at info@ washingtonpeacecenter.org Coordinating Board Members: Pedro Cruz, Robby Diesu, Ese Emerhi, Jay Forth, Katherine Fuchs, Lacy MacAuley, Paul Magno, David Thurston, Marie Soveroski & Jane Zara Staff: Sonia Silbert, Director & Dany Sigwalt, Program Manager, Helga Herz Peacemaker
How to Have a good Meeting:
-Have a clear objective/purpose -Have set roles: facilitator, note taker, time keeper, vibes watcher, etc -Have an agenda that: -sets a time for introductions- don’t assume everyone knows each other; -was planned before the meeting; -has discussion topics in a logical order; -has realistic time limits; - and defines agenda items: announcement, report, discussion, or decision -Start and (if possible) end the meeting with something fun: a game, a song, etc. -Use common language--if jargon comes up, explain it -Use hand signals and make sure everyone in the group knows what they mean -Make sure everyone involved is clear on the decision making process and on ground rules, such as being respectful of others. -Make sure everyone is heard and also feels comfortable about speaking/participating -TAKE NOTES! And distribute them to the group, so those at the meeting can remember what they took responsibility for and those not at the meeting can stay in the loop -Follow through – when decisions are made, make sure they are implemented -Evaluate- what worked? what didn’t? -Don’t let it drag on too long - respect people’s time.
Washington Peace Center 1525 newton St nW Washington, D.C. 20010 Phone: (202) 234-2000 email@example.com www.washingtonpeacecenter.org
Editor: Dany Sigwalt Cover Art & Centerfold: Erin Burns Peace Letter Interns: Ricky Lehner & Lucia He
STEP FORWARD/STEP BACk
The following is an exercise you can facilitate to help fellow activists gain perspective on their positions within a world that feeds on privilege and oppression. This exercise is a good way of communicating difference and highlighting the different levels of privilege that everyone possesses.
Start out by asking that everyone stand in one line facing the facilitator. Explain that participation in this game is voluntary. If there is a question you are not comfortable answering, you can simply stand where you are, or lie. It is not always safe to tell the truth or reveal who we are. Our political culture that determines the distribution of resources is based on the myth that we are all the same. Have participants do this exercise in silence. Read the following scenarios, indicating whether or not people should step forward or step back if the statement applies to their experience.
• If your family owned their own home. • If you or anyone in your immediate family is a doctor, lawyer, minister, teacher, or professional. • If you grew up with people of color or working class people who were maids, servants, gardeners or baby-sitters in your house. • If you studied the history and culture of your ethnic ancestors in elementary and secondary school. • If you have ever written a letter to influence the outcome of a political decision. • If you are a man. • If, as a white person, you ever worked in a job where people of color held more menial jobs, were paid less or otherwise harassed or discriminated against. • If your family had more than fifty books in the house when you were growing up. • If your family told you that you could be or do anything that you choose. • If you were taken to art galleries, museums, or plays by your parents. • If you ever attended a private school or summer camp. • If you grew up expecting that your family would pay for your college. • If you believe that police would help you in an emergency. • If you ever inherited, or expect to inherit, money or property. • If you or one or both of your parents are or were members of unions. • If most of your friends are of the same race as you. • If people with power in your community look like you.
• If either of your parents did not graduate from college. • If you are queer, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender. • If you are Black, Latina/o, Native American, Indian, Asian, Arab, or of Middle Eastern descent. • If you have ever been denied a job or paid less for comparable work or had a less qualified man promoted over you because of your gender. • If you are a survivor of incest, rape, or abuse. • If you were raised by someone other than by both of your parents. • If anyone in your family has had a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. • If you ever felt an opportunity or experience was closed to you because you didn’t know how to speak, dress, or act. • If you have ever been unable to attend an event or gathering because it was not accessible to people with your disability. • If you have ever felt judged or uncomfortable because of the size, height, or shape of your body. • If your family taught you that police were someone to be feared. • If your parents told you that you were beautiful or pretty and therefore what you thought or did wasn’t important. • If, as a child, you were ever hungry or worried that there would not be enough food. • If your family was ever forced to move because they could not afford to pay their bills. • If you or any member of your immediate family has ever been on welfare. • If you or any member of your family has been incarcerated for reasons other than political activism. • If you have ever lived somewhere that didn’t feel safe.
After you have finished reading the list, read the following statement:
“Now imagine that we are all together on a life raft in the middle of the ocean. We have one barrel of water. The first people to touch this wall will decide how that water will be distributed among us.”
Instruct participants to run to the wall from the position where they’ve ended the above exercise. Those who have stepped forward a lot are obviously set up to touch the wall first and therefore access the resources. Take a moment to draw out the analogy that our shared histories have created circumstances where certain people are afforded the privileges that allow only a minority of people to make decisions that impact all of us. Debrief.
Want a quick tool to help your group get the difference between goals, tactics and strategy? Here's a vivid example to help with some definitions!
What is Strategy: blanket tool
Time: 30 minutes or so (depending on the size of the group)
How it's Done:
Place a blanket on the floor. Have the group stand on the blanket (they should be only slightly packed on the blanket). Then, give them the challenge: turn the blanket over (flip it over) without anyone stepping off the blanket. (So no leaving the blanket, leaning on walls, etc.) Some groups may take longer than others, allow the group to take as long as it takes. If the group steps off the blanket, or someone steps on the ground, start over again. It's a very do-able task! After the group completes the task successfully, help the group self-reflect. Since it's a short exercise the debrief may be short, too. But make sure to give some space for an immediate reactions or feelings. Then focus the group on looking at the questions of: "What was the goal? Tactic? Strategy?" In this case, the goal was given by the facilitator – flip the blanket over – the strategy was the method devised to achieve the goal and the tactics were the particular ways the group implemented the strategy. Using any examples from the group's life or in the world, help connect that set of definitions to the larger world. Allow the group to apply those definitions to their own work as needed. This training was developed by Nadine Bloch. Source: Training for Change, www.trainingforchange.com
What it is you’re looking to accomplish/ change. In the realm of social movements, examples of goals might be: getting more affordable housing, gaining affordable healthcare, overturning an unjust law/bill, etc. You must know your goal before deciding your strategy or tactics!
Know Your Rights!
If you are confronted by the police: You never have to speak to police. You ALWAYS have a right to remain silent. You can ALWAY ask if you are being detained. IF police are NOT detaining you you can ALWAYS leave. You should ALWAYS tell police you DO NOT consent to a search. Keep in mind that interfering physically with a police officer will result in charges You should ALWAYS tell police you DO NOT consent to a search. Keep in mind that interfering physically with a search may result in VERY SERIOUS charges. You should ALWAYS remember what witnesses were present during the confrontation
Your plan for accomplishing your goal. Look at the big picture, know who has the power to make the decision, and concentrate the right resources in the right place, at the right time. If your goal is more affordable housing in your neighborhood, an example of strategy is targeting the City Councilmember who is in charge of budget allocation for affordable housing.
The tools and methods you’ll use within your strategy to accomplish your goal. A specific action intending to get a particular result, often as part of a campaign. Examples of tactics for targeting your City Councilmember may include petitions, twitter blasts, picket lines, marches, rallies, sit-ins and blockades.
Direct Action Checklist:
Planning an action? Here's a simple checklist to help with your work!
●Set goals ●Get trainings ●Fundraising ●Research/info gathering ●Scouting ●Create affinity group and assign roles ●Media - establish relationships,press release, twitter hashtag, etc. ●Legal support plan ●Action plan (with a few Plan B’s, just in case) ●Messaging ●Props/gear/costumes ●Outreach for participants and support people
●Transportation - things, people ●Provisions - food, medical, clothes, blankets, etc ●Process/communication (internal) ●Look out/communication (external) ●Legal observer ●Documentation - notes, photos, video ●Public liaising - flyers, banners ●Media - press calls, press release, update ●Social media - tweeting, Facebook, posting photos ●Stage director ●Police liaison
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Legal and jail support - all the way through trial! Collect documentation Report back/debrief/next steps Post press-release with info on action Collect news coverage Write articles/blogs Get gear back - from friends, cops Write about what was learned on how to do the action - any details others need to know ● Update website ● Media - sell them the story, send them photos ● Celebrate!
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Principle s of Coalition Building
From "Working in Solidarity," away completely, at least in North America. Occupy Wall Street, on the other hand, has chosen a fixed target. And you have put no end date on your presence here. This is wise. Only when you stay put can you grow roots. This is crucial. It is a fact of the information age that too many movements spring up like beautiful flowers but quickly die off. It’s because they don’t have roots. And they don’t have long term plans for how they are going to sustain themselves. So when storms come, they get washed away.”
Unfortunately, the same storms that blew the antiglobalization movement off course after the 9/11 attacks could very well do the same to the Occupy movement if it doesn’t put down strong roots against racism, Islamophobia and imperialism. such issues. After the 9/11 attacks happened and push came to shove (and to war), a number of anti-globalization activists employed this argument to prevent the broadening of the planned protests against the IMF and World Bank to include war in Afghanistan. At one of the critical meetings of the Mobilization for Global Justice, the main antiglobalization coalition in DC, they went so far as to threaten to block any inclusion of opposition to the war in the protests planned for the fall meetings of the IMF and WB. In the end, things went their way not simply because they abused the consensus process but because of Islamophobia, which was already rampant because of saber rattling around Iran and the "shia cresent" and the ascendance of Hamas in the Palestinian resistance movement. Add to this the barrage of propaganda about the Taliban's treatment of women, intolerance of other religions, and general bellocity and people became convinced that the Taliban was worse than another US occupation.
Race and Empire in Occupy
If a small group of South Asian activists hadn’t been at OWS the day the General Assembly was to vote on the Declaration, the final Declaration would have denied racial divisions in our society. Similarly, the initial Declaration of Occupy DC had very little to say about oppression. Fortunately, members of the Occupy DC’s People of Color Working Group(POC) and their white allies were able to make important changes, although they were never able to overcome the resistance--led mainly by one member of the declaration committee who had Zionist Politics--to including anything more than a passing mention of imperialism. The arguments employed by Occupy activists against including issues of imperialism in the movement are very similar to those used by some in the anti-globalization movement. They agree that imperialism and occupation are a problem, but fear that more mainstream forces supporting them would be alienated by
March Against WTO in 1999 imperialism should be easier today. In general, Antiwar activists and the left have gotten much better on the issue, organizing against the FBI and police departments’ efforts to spy on and entrap Muslims and in support of American muslims’ efforts to build mosques and Islamic centers (particularly around the Park51 Islamic Center in Manhattan). However, the most significant difference from 10 years ago are the Arab revolutions and uprisings. They have not only helped shatter many of the racist stereotypes of Muslims but created a basis for genuine solidarity between Occupy activists and the Arab revolutionaries that ultimately will be the strongest weapon against war and racism.
Ignoring US imperialism today is more problematic than it was 10 years ago because in addition to the US having widened its Islamophobic “war on terror” to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Iran, it is intervening directly in Libya and indirectly in a number of other Arab countries facing revolutions. Add to this the deep economic crisis internationally, and the fact that the US is an empire in decline and you have an extremely unstable global situation that we ignore at our own peril. At the same time, combatting Islamophobia and
Rami El-Amine is a co-founder of Left Turn Magazine, a father of two, and lives in Washington, DC. In addition to covering issues related to Palestine, Israel, and US imperialism in the Middle East, his writing focuses on islamism and islamophobia.
● Know your audience- Who are you trying to appeal to and why? What challenges will you face in reaching this group? ● Do your research- What has worked in the past to overcome past challenges? ● Research your opponent- What is their core message? What are they saying about you? How can you preempt negative messaging? ● Craft your core message- Is it direct? Is it accessible to different communities? What is the likelihood of being twisted or misunderstood? ● Stay On Topic- Always return to your core message!
Building the Beautiful Struggle: growing our Anti-Racist Movement
The following is a statement from DecolonizeDC, formerly known as the People of Color Working Group that came out of OccupyDC at McPherson Square. Find them at http://decolonizedc. wordpress.com or decolonizedc@ gmail.com
The arrival of the "Occupy" movement in DC has brought us enormous hope over the past several months. It has also brought us heartbreak, frustration, rage and regret. In response, we decided to compile our general feelings about elements we’d like folks to bring to anti-racist activism. Racism looks different than it once did. We’ve come a long way from MLK’s dream of everyone being treated the same regardless of skin color. We’ve shifted from a paradigm of seeking legal rights, to having the right of self-actualizing. Simply, we’re not all the same. Our cultures, values, outlooks, experiences and dreams vary, and we believe that is worth acknowledging and building off of, rather than pretending to ignore our diversity. It’s critical to develop a shared vision (whether long-term or project based) within the context of these differences. Through this effort, the real project in antiracist work emerges: developing relationships and building trust around what we have in common, as well as taking space to learn from the roots of differences. This takes time and commitment. Speaking of major differences in political approaches, it’s important to be stated that our collective needs are frequently rooted deeper than public policy. One of the most beautiful things about OccupyDC has been the sheer range of political ideologies brought to the table, many of which emphasize changing public policy. However, our communities’ struggles existed before Citizen’s United, and getting it repealed isn’t suddenly going to solve them. It’s critical to also note that diversity is about more than race and/or ethnicity. Each of us comes to the movement with a multitude of identities—gender, sexuality, ability, class, language, geographic origin—the list could continue forever. Ignoring the multiple layers of identities who make us who we are is tokenism. We seek to value all forms of diversity in the movement we seek to build. That said, when comrades’ perceptions of us are limited solely on any one of our identities, we take issue. We seek to build and participate in movements where all forms of diversity are acknowledged and celebrated. If we expect to shed the shackles of all the forms of systematic oppression that shape our world, we need to be able to acknowledge our positions in this work; oppressions, privileges and all. Sometimes this means speaking up. Sometimes this means shutting up so that under-heard voices can speak. Anti-racism work is a life-long process, regardless of where you’re coming from. To continue down this path, check out WPC’s anti-oppression resources: www.washingtonpeacecenter.net/antioppressionresources. There’s no paved pathway to dismantling white supremacy. It’ll take practice, commitment, and intentionality for all of us. Forge on! Keep Loving. Keep Fighting. Keep Growing.
BUILD YOUR SkILLS!
DC Jobs With Justice: Washington, DC DC-JWJ is a local social justice coalition that offers monthly trainings to local activists in collaboration with EmpowerDC. www.dcjwj.org ; (202) 974-8224 Training for Change: Philadelphia, PA Training for Change provides skills-based trainings that help groups stand up more effectively for justice, peace and the environment. Their website also has many great resources and agendas for leading your own trainings on a variety of topics. www.trainingforchange.org ; (215) 776-8444 Wayside Center: Faber, VA A vibrant center where activists, organizers and other justice-loving folks come together for education, training, socializing, rest, renewal, healing, fun and whatever else it takes to grow and be nurtured into a movement powerful enough to create the world we want to live in. www.waysidecenter.org ; (434) 263-5115 Highlander Center: New Market, TN Highlander serves Appalachia and the South with programs designed to build strong and successful social-change activism and community organizing led by the people who suffer most from the injustices of society. www.highlandercenter.org ; (865) 933-3443
Building the Wheel Collaborative initiative supported by the Movement Strategy Center (MSC), to help strengthen community empowerment efforts across the country. Buildthewheel.org is designed as an online, interactive learning community that offers curricula and resources for trainers and activists. http:/ /www.buildthewheel.org Training for Change In addition to offering wonderful trainings, Training for Change offers training agendas across a wide array of topics, as well as resources for improving the content and facilitation of trainings. http:/ /www.trainingforchange.org (215) 776-8444 Organizing for Power An excellent collection of agendas and tools for trainings on everything related to power, strategy, and organizing for social change and liberation. Created by Lisa Fithian, long-time activist, former WPC Coordinator, and current WPC Advisory Council member. http:/ /organizingforpower.wordpress.com/
Find a Trainer:
Washington Peace Center, DC We have a network of trainers we can reach out to in the DC Metro area. www.washingtonpeacecenter.org ; (202)234-2000 The Peace Center's website has even more options listed for where to get trained and resources for doing trainings yourself. Check it out: www.washingtonpeacecenter.org/trainings
from "Reflections of an Occupier," page 1
issues, if others around them shot down what they had to say as unimportant, this frustrated people to the point of leaving. Another important point is that having a safe space doesn’t pertain only to meeting/discussion environments, but also to the direct actions we plan. We must understand and respect the fact that, due to people’s different experiences and identities, everyone might not be comfortable with situations such as intense police confrontation, as they may be more at risk than others. Another important lesson we’ve learned is the importance of outreach and focusing on local issues. Early on, there was a large variety of issues that had brought everyone together, but they were mostly national level issues. This is especially problematic for OccupyDC, in which, by virtue of being in DC, there exists a long history of people and organizations coming into town to protest whatever their issue is while ignoring locals and the problems they already face. What people fail to realize is that DC is home to hundreds of thousands of people. A number of us who are from out of town and/or new to activism: a) didn’t understand the importance of tying what we were fighting for into the local issues that people within the community are dealing with, and more importantly, b) didn’t know anything about the area and the problems people here are facing. Drawing connections between local and national issues makes it easier to engage the local community and get people to want to be involved. If you’re new to an area, YOU have to take the initiative to go out into the community, listen to the struggles people face and what they would like to see happen. You can’t expect people to come to you and inform you about what’s going on. It’s also critical that we do this from the beginning. We have to reach out to the people who are our natural allies and bring together a diverse group of people with whom we can then collectively come up with a strategy and vision for what is trying to be accomplished. When done in the beginning, people become central to the movement, and when people are invested in the movement, they’ll fight for it. You can’t have mostly homogeneous outsider group come up with a vision and strategy to take out into the community telling people, “Here’s what we’re doing and you should get on board.” One last important lesson that Occupy has had to learn is patience. Movements don’t succeed overnight. It takes time, energy and long-term commitment to have a successful movement. That being said, it’s also critical for people to be active in their own self-care to prevent burnout. People have to do what’s needed to take care of themselves so that they can continue contributing positively to the movement. So where does OccupyDC go from here? For starters: learn from our mistakes. We have to ensure that we’re making anti-oppression work a focus of what we’re doing. If we’re trying to change the world, we have to create the world we want to see along the way. If we go into the community for help and input and get a large, diverse group of people together, then perhaps we’ll be able to develop a vision of where we’re going from here. Figuring that out is something that we can’t, and shouldn’t, simply try to do ourselves. Lastly, when we have a vision for what we’re doing, we have to recapture the attention and imagination of the public. It cannot be stressed enough how important winning the support and sympathy of the public will be to our success. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but if we work together and support each other, anything is possible. See you in the streets.
Ricky Lehner is an intern at the Washington Peace Center and hails from St. Petersburg, Fl. He came to Washington, DC to join OccupyDC in October of 2011.
You need to figure out your goals, strategy and tactics and answer a few key questions. Here’s a simple worksheet that you can fill out to help with this process.
Campaigns are waged to win improvements in people’s lives by altering the relationship of power between people, the government, and other powerholders. Campaigns contain a number of steps that must be taken, and the art of the campaign lies in engaging your opponent at every step. It is necessary to repeat certain steps throughout the campaign, such as educating people and negotiating with your opponent.
How Do You Win A Campaign?
CONSTITUeNTS, allIeS OPPONeNTS
Who are the people/institutions who can give you what you want?
Who is directly affected?
What do you have?
Intermediate: Secondary: Long-Term:
Who are your potential Allies?
What do you need? Educational Tactics: Potential Problems?
Who has influence/ power over the decision makers?
Who are likely opponents?
Source: Midwest Academy; http://www.midwestacademy.
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Building a Stronger Movement
The Peace Center finished off 2011 with a bang with our largest, most vibrant Activist Awards yet. We had over 300 people gather at a wonderful party celebrating powerful local activists and our movement. After an inspirational fall of Occupying everything, it was great to get to celebrate with our community. We continue to work to build collaboration and communication within the DC activist community, particularly trying to bridge the gap between Occupy DC and longer-term local activists. We hosted a meeting with the DC Metro Social Forum in late February that brought together over, 100 local activists to check in about the many upcoming mobilizations and discuss where we are at as a movement. This March we marked the 9th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq with a forum discussing what was really happening on the ground now that “the war is over”, and providing a space for activists to reflect and share personal stories about what the last ten years of organizing has meant for them, their lives and their political work. Program Director Dany Sigwalt with Board member katherine Fuchs, interns It’s been an exceptionally vibrant few months in DC and Ricky Lehner & Lucia He at SOA Watch our resources were used for many of the recent exciting and Rally inspirational actions. Our sound systems and event equipment were used at: the Tarsands Oil Rally, Million Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin, Occupy Congress, Fair Budget Coalition and Housing for All rallies against DC budget cuts, Occupy Our Homes actions preventing unlawful evictions, Mt Pleasant Neighborhood Assembly, May Day DC, and the Occupy DC Festival of Resistance, celebrating six months of Occupy DC. Plus, of course, our online calendar remains the best place to find out everything that’s happening – we have dozens of new events posted each week. We continue to prioritize leadership development and the ongoing education of younger activists. We have been supporting the DC Learning Collective (DCLC), the training working group of OccupyDC, and cohosted a Nonviolent Direct Action training with them in honor of the 99% Spring. We’re happy that this issue of the Peace Letter advances that work of builfing strong activists as well.
What’re your favorite wellness tips & tricks? What would you want to share with a young activist? like . comment Paul Magno I've mutated Emma Goldman, "If I can't laugh, I don't want to be part of your revolution" also, rest, balance, rootedness and the actual lives of people you love and care about, even if they are not P.C. 2 hours ago Mike Isaacson Things can get done without you. Take a break if you need it. Also, play lots of games. 1 hour ago Dany Sigwalt A lot of people talk about saying “no”. That’s real, but what’s more important for me is knowing what I want to say “yes” to. Do what you love and have reasons for taking on the projects you take on. 55 minutes ago Max Uhlenbeck Hobbies/interests outside of “political work” so that you’re able to take mental breaks from that world and recharge while having fun and not just watching crappy reality television :) 50 minutes ago Windy Cooler Be a friend and have friends. Make peace with, love, and understand your family. Your relationships are your work and your bread. 30 minutes ago
Lilian Diallo Meditate. Make sure you meditate. And say no sometimes when people ask you for stuff.
25 minutes ago Monna ‘mong’ Wong don’t treat your body any worse than you would your best friend. Let go of shame and guilt. Naps are for the fabulous. 15 minutes ago Robby Diesu Being a good organizer and ally is realizing that you do not need to lead everything or come up with every great idea. You don’t need to be involved in everything, and the revolution is not going to start because you did this one action. Be a leader by not being scared to follow as well. Elizabeth Falcon Sometimes you need to get your pent up energy out: dance and bike! Sometimes you need to keep your energy in: get some sleep or watch TV! All the time you need a community. Surround yourself with people you love - who can talk to you about what’s hard, and who can just talk to you about you.. 30 seconds ago
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