- in indigenously led grassroots organizing across the state. There is no end run around the relational work of building trust and empowering local people.
- Use moral language
- to frame and critique public policy, regardless of who is in power. A moral movement claims higher ground.
- "Demonstrate a commitment to civil disobedience"
- that follows the steps of nonviolent action and is designed to change the public conversation and consciousness. A moral movement draws power not from its ability to overwhelm opposition but from its willingness to suffer.
- Build a stage
- from which to lift the voices of everyday people impacted by immoral policies.
- Recognize the centrality of race.
- America’s First and Second Reconstructions sought to heal the wound of race-based slavery, America’s original sin.
- Build a broad, diverse coalition
- including moral and religious leaders of all faiths.
- Intentionally diversify the movement
- with the goal of winning unlikely allies. Often the groups most impacted by injustice have been convinced that they are enemies. Fusion politics is about helping those who have suffered injustice and have been divided by extremism to see what we have in common.
- Build transformative, long-term coalition relationships
- rooted in a clear agenda that doesn’t measure success only by electoral outcomes.
- Make a serious commitment to academic and empirical analysis of policy.
- Coordinate use of all forms of social media:
- video, text, Twitter, Facebook, and so forth.
- Engage in voter registration and education.
- The political power of fusion coalitions is based upon a diversified electorate that recognizes common interests.
- Pursue a strong legal strategy.
- A moral movement rooted in constitutional values needs a strong legal team and a commitment to mobilizing in the courtroom.
- Engage the cultural arts.
- A moral movement is only as strong as the songs we sing together.
- Resist the “one moment” mentality;
- we are building a movement! No one victory will usher in beloved community; no single setback can stop us.
- Source: "Fourteen Steps Forward Together For America's Third Reconstruction"
The List For Change
We need Movement!
Better than an incoherent revolution is a movement. If you want to "have a [successful] revolution" you have to organize people into a movement. If you want your movement to be successful it must gradually be institutionalized. That means it has to become established, and thus part of the establishment.
"know what your revolution aims at accomplishing and you have to be clear about what you are trying to change. You need a movement. We have lots of examples of successful movements from which we can mine what to do. And lots of examples of failed movements from which to mine lessons on what not to do. Movements, revolutions, political campaigns; all depend on people."
Making Common Cause!
- When people;
- share a common cause,
- the cause is right,
- They enlist others in that cause
- And they have specific targets for compliance with the change they want
The Real Challenge!
WE can accomplish great things. Even when they face determined opposition from folks who don't share their ideation. That is where a real challenge is. Movements facing a determined opposition have a harder task. But there are principles for defeating or winning over opponents. And great victories can be accomplished in the face of opposition - if the cause and activists in the cause are just.
The Best example of a successful movement and movement leader is that of the the Civil Rights movement before Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. If people want to have a successful revolution they need to study that movement.
What To Do and what Not to Do
Failed revolutions are common because the moment you start moving without any idea where you are going you are on the point of getting lost. We have lots of failed movement leaders too. Some people don't learn from failure. Movements more often failed due to conflictive and divisive leaders than they do for failed ideas. Every group needs leaders. Ideally everyone in the group is some kind of leader. But the guys (mostly guys) you have to watch out for are the ones with big egos. Such folks can be full of bombast, fear-mongerors and spend more time fighting rivals on the same side as they do fighting their ostensible enemies. They often prefer the rhetoric of conflict and war over the work of making a movement work. Such people have no trouble waging war "against war." Or ejecting allies from their organizations for flimsy reasons. It is rare to find leaders who can both have the strong and thick skinned ego necessary to be a leader and be selfless enough to keep everyone focused on a high mission. The Civil Rights movement was as successful as it was because of leaders like Martin Luther King Junior. Movements have foundered since then, in part, because leaders since then have tended to be of a lesser caliber and more interested in turf battles and ego displays than accomplishing change.
WE CAN DO IT
Americans have been up to the challenge of fixing things before. We can do it again. When I wrote this I was sure we'd be electing people who would be on the side of the Moral Monday Movement. I'm still sure we can make the changes we want. It's going to take us recognizing we have an oppressive election system. We need to make change a movement. We need to give young people hope. We need to do this in a way that is honest and tells them about the duties and sacrifices necessary to make it a reality. Dr. Barber is one of my heros!
- We need to implement a Second Bill of Rights!
Sources and Further Reading
- Third Reconstruction