A Theory for Organizing Conversations: Combining Authenticity with Relatability

In much of the grassroots radical Left, there is heavy focus on authenticity: telling your story, getting in touch with your emotions (complex and deep), and telling truth to power. The idea is that, sure, if you go to City Council and scream at them during public comment about how they are white supremacist settler-colonial supporters of the patriarchy, the members of City Council may not understand what you’re saying, but what you’re saying is True; it’s not that reform through the “proper channels” can get you the demands you want anyway, and so really what you’re doing is trying … Continue reading A Theory for Organizing Conversations: Combining Authenticity with Relatability

The Organizing Conversation

Sadness is immobility. “What is wrong with me? I can’t do anything.” Turn that into Anger. Then Rage, which is the magical stuff of which organizing is made. Fuck the world. Fuck the systems that coerce our identities — both our personal and collective identities. Turn that Rage into Hope. Through a real Plan to Win. That’s the stuff collectives grow with and develop under — the stuff that will make the world crumble under our revolutionary boots. Organizing is thus: Sadness, to Anger, to Rage, to Hope, to Action, to the Heavenstuff — a puddle of mud turned into … Continue reading The Organizing Conversation

On Mastering All Organizing Styles

There is this mantra among professional organizers you’ll hear all the time. One way it’s often presented is: “You know, having some message discipline is important in an organizing drive. And you know, it’s important to really nail down your organizing/conversation fundamentals. But really! What is capital-i Important is that you find your own personal organizing style that works for you. Finding your personal organizing style is what will make you masterful.” Woah, what horseshit! Fuck that. The masterful organizer who has honed their craft is a chameleon, fluent in all organizing styles, and able to pull from whatever style … Continue reading On Mastering All Organizing Styles

From Activism to Organizing: The Difference

I think it took me three years to go from being an activist to being an organizer, by which I mean: it took me three years to have these two epiphanies. (1) People will take initial action if they become personally angry… seems sort of obvious, but when you’re in the heat of one of your first organizing attempts, it can feel a little like, “OF COURSE THE PRIVATIZATION of the University is a fucked up thing. I’m doing soooo much work. Why are the rest of these students not standing up and becoming ‘woke.’ Damn sheeple.” People won’t get … Continue reading From Activism to Organizing: The Difference

Golden Rule of Left Organizing

General rule of thumb: the more Left organizers want to talk with me about anything but politics and organizing, the more I trust them. They care about me as a person; naturally, that makes me care about them too. Yes, rapport building is important for organizing. But importantly, rapport building not for the sake of organizing. That’s the wrong frame. You give a shit about other people, period. Also then organic relationships help politics and organizing. The world is too dark for anything else. Continue reading Golden Rule of Left Organizing