This post originally appeared at Waging Nonviolence.
By Will Meyer
Popular left magazines have recently published articles that pit campus organizing against labor organizing. The broad stroke thinking by Amber A’Lee Frost in The Baffler and Freddie DeBoer in Jacobin suggests campus politics isn’t going to win material gains and that serious leftists should wage strategic labor battles as opposed to organizing students. While DeBoer does concede that organizing “absolutely should” happen on campus, he lists the pitfalls of student organizing — summer vacation, graduation, how busy students are and their need to get jobs, among other problems — to argue that campus organizing “isn’t going to work” as a movement’s primary organizing strategy. Frost, on the other hand, warns of rhetorical battles without demands that lack strategy and power. Her piece, titled “All Worked Up and Nowhere to Go,” paints a picture of academic writer-types bickering on Twitter and showing up to rallies that raise morale “but little else.”
This approach marks a stark contrast to that of the radical right, which — over the last generation — has weaponized campuses to serve their ideological agenda, dismantling public education using very effective organizing techniques. Continue reading Why Labor and Campus Organizing Are Not a Zero Sum Game
Photo from the 15M anniversary march in Madrid last week. (Credit: Robert Pluma)
With contributions from a New York City social movement delegation currently in Spain ahead of the country’s local elections on May 24th, which includes JSMI Part-Time Staff Member Tamara Shapiro. You can follow their trip on Twitter at @NYCtoSpain, and NYC to Spain on Facebook. This article originally appeared on Medium.com.
“Do you hear the buzz? The buzz says: let’s defend the common good.” These are the lyrics of the campaign song of Barcelona en Comú — one of the new “confluence” platforms of “popular unity” running in the May 24th municipal elections in Spain, sung (with the help of autotune) to the rhythm of a popular Catalán rumba by its candidate, Ada Colau. According to the polls, Colau is poised to win the mayoral election in Barcelona this Sunday. These electoral insurgencies across Spain are reimagining the promise of radical democracy, one that draws from social movements to define a new participatory style of “governance by listening.” Four years ago, the May 15 movement appeared precisely during the campaign for municipal and regional elections. Despite its undeniable questioning of electoral politics and representation, previous election cycles were too soon to measure the movement’s impact. Then, the characterization of the movement by many politicians and mainstream media oscillated between patronizing and condescending overtones: “If these kids want to achieve anything, they should organize a party, and run for elections.” Continue reading Spain’s Municipal Elections and the Prospects for Radical Democracy