Monday, December 19, 2011

Something's Happening Here

Yesterday, I met with 150 OWS activists, not one of whom I recognized from any past organizing activity, who asked me to talk about the 1930's rent strikes and anti-eviction protests as models for anti-foreclosure actions OWS is spawning around the country.

The energy, idealism, and organizational savvy I saw in that room was simply electrifying. It was the same thing I experienced when Ira Shor and I spoke at Hollis Presbyterian Church in Queens a week ago, at the 99 Percent Club meeting we had at Fordham last Tuesday, and at the International Socialist Organization meeting in the Bronx I spoke to the week before. There is something stirring on the ground in this nation that is quite formidable. Some of it is connected to Obama Administration initiatives such as Promise Neighborhoods; but some of it is coming from people who feel the Obama Administration has completely abandoned them and that they have to carve their own path

How do you reconcile these two very different organizing perspectives? First, let's recognize that there is no "one size fits all" strategy Some progressives will work like hell to elect Obama; others will concentrate their energies on grass roots protests; some might choose to work for a third party.

The political climate is toxic, but we also have more opportunities to build a real left in this country than we have in a generation

I am taking that opportunity to the limit.

Let the chips fall where they may

Mark Naison
December 19, 2011

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