Join us in Boston on Nov. 6th to kick-off "10,000 for Democracy"!

November 6, 2015

Can the Democracy Movement Save Our Planet?

An Evening with the Liberty Tree Foundation's Ben Manski

ILSR: The growing energy democracy movement has huge potential

September 25, 2015
John Farrell
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The transformation taking place in the electricity system is enormous, but twofold. But most commentators – including the former FERC chair – miss half the opportunity when they fixate on the inevitable technological rather than the more fundamental economic transformation.

Pope speaks of "right of the environment" in address to Congress

September 25, 2015
Suzanne Goldenberg and Stephanie Kirchgaessner
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The Pope demanded justice for the weak and affirmed the rights of the environment on Friday in a forceful speech to the United Nations that admonished against “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity”.

NYC Participatory Budgeting Wins $100K Prize

September 21, 2015
Jenn Stanley
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Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation last week recognized New York’s participatory budgeting program with the Roy and Lila Ash Innovations Award for Public Engagement in Government. The nod comes with a $100,000 prize.

5 Steps to Turn Your Business Into a Worker-owned Co-op

September 9, 2015
Cat Johnson
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Worker cooperatives are a great way to bring democracy into the workplace. For retiring business owners and entrepreneurs, converting to a worker-owned co-op can also strengthen business and generate a return on investment.

Alperovitz and Hanna: Socialism, American-Style

September 1, 2015
Gar Alperovitz and Thomas Hanna
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The great 20th-century conservative economist Joseph Schumpeter thought the left had overlooked a major selling point in pressing the case for public — i.e., government — control over productive capital. “One of the most significant titles to superiority,” he suggested, was that public ownership produced profits, which means not having to depend on taxes to raise money.

Community activists in St. Louis win decade long fight to create civilian board to investigate police misconduct

May 6, 2015
Rebecca Rivas
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St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.

Community activists in St. Louis win decade long fight to create civilian board to investigate police misconduct

May 6, 2015
Rebecca Rivas
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St. Louis City Mayor Francis G. Slay signed the civilian oversight legislation into law today (Wednesday, May 6) in his office with Alderman Terry Kennedy (Ward 18), who fought for more than 10 years for the legislation. Slay vetoed Kennedy’s original legislation after it passed the Board of Aldermen in 2006, so Kennedy has waited almost a decade to shake the mayor’s hand at this bill-signing ceremony.

Why media mega-mergers are bad news for Latinos and communities of color in general

May 4, 2015
Arturo Carmona and Joe Torres

Comcast's decision to pull the plug on its $45 billion bid to buy Time Warner Cable is a huge victory for the Latino community and communities of color.

The cable giant announced the move on Friday after the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice informed the company that they were against the deal.

The merger would have combined the two largest cable providers in the country, giving Comcast unprecedented control over both pay-TV and high-speed Internet access markets. 

Maryland bill would restore voting rights to ex-felons

April 30, 2015
Ari Berman
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Freddie Gray’s neighborhood in Baltimore had the highest incarceration rate of anywhere in the city. More than 450 adults from Sandtown-Winchester are in state prison, and one in four juveniles were arrested from 2005 to 2009.

Participatory budgeting empowers communities of color in New York

April 10, 2015
Sondra Youdelman
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NEW YORK — Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and New York City Council Members kicked off the voting period for New York City’s 2014-2015 participatory budgeting cycle — now the largest such process in the nation. This year, 24 Council Districts will allocate nearly $30 million citywide for residents to collaboratively develop into local capital projects through a year-long process of neighborhood assemblies, delegate meetings, and project expositions.

Celebrate Earth Day with Cheri Honkala in Santa Barbara!

April 9, 2015
Join America’s leading anti-poverty activist in celebrating Earth Day, 2015:
with special guests, Hollywood film actors and supporters Mark Webber and Teresa Palmer.

Wisconsin Wave is hiring an outreach director!

April 1, 2015

Title: Public Outreach Director

Job Description

Wisconsin Wave, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization working to build the democracy movement in Wisconsin, is hiring a full-time Public Outreach Director. Responsibilities include grassroots campaign development and communications; door-to-door canvassing to recruit members and raise funds; managing general canvass operations (including hiring and training canvass staff); and outreaching to potential business and community partners.

The Democratic Turn of the Century: Learning from the U.S. Democracy Movement

March 18, 2015
Ben Manski

Originally published by the journal Socialism & Democracy. Contact the author for permission to reprint.

Democracy movements arose in most regions of the globe during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Students of social change have studied many of these movements, but, remarkably, have so far failed to look at that of the United States.

Glen Ford on what true black community control of the police would look like

February 13, 2015
Glen Ford
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A key activist in the early Sixties grassroots movement to overthrow American apartheid recently asked if the current Black Lives Matter campaign will be able to sustain itself. In the near term, the answer is almost certainly, yes. The momentum of the mobilization will be propelled forward by the dogged determination of a new generation of activists, building on the skills and experience of previously vetted organizers and the quickening, soul-wrenching drumbeat of police murder and repression.

Why Washington should fear the silence of the anti-war movement

December 8, 2014
Ben Manski
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On this 73rd anniversary of the last declaration of war by the United States, as the Pentagon escalates its military actions in Iraq and Syria, the silence of the U.S. peace movement carries an ominous warning for Washington, DC. The streets of major U.S. cities are not filled with anti-war demonstrations, yet the apparent quiet does not signify consent. A look at history shows why.

Locking Up Black Dissidents and Punishing the Poor: The Roots of Mass Incarceration in the US

December 6, 2014
Mumia Abu-Jamal and Johanna Fernandez

This volume is a leap into the abyss that is the American Gulag. Our purpose is to explore the origins of the current system of carceral punishment, which began to mass-incarcerate poor and working-class African Americans and Latinos living in urban centers beginning in the late 1970s. We link the new characteristics of imprisonment as it then emerged to the campaign of state repression unleashed against the civil rights and black power movements in the 1960s. Some of those imprisoned are veterans of these movements, and are political prisoners.

More Info: 

This essay appears in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Socialism and Democracy.  To read more click here.

Ben ManskI: Seattle WTO Uprising Still a Force in World Events, 15 Years Later

December 1, 2014
Ben Manski
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We live in an era in which it is increasingly normal for individuals not only to reject the power of corporations over their lives, but for some to even occupy public space and defy police and established authorities. Ben Manski discusses how this era was inaugurated on November 30th, 1999 in the streets of Seattle.

UK students take to the streets to demand 'free education'

November 19, 2014
Common Dreams
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Those are the calls being voiced in the streets of London on Wednesday as thousands of students marched for publicly-funded ("free") education nationwide. The protest was also billed as a direct challenge to austerity cuts to higher education imposed by the conservative government led by David Cameron.

Why doesn't the US observe Armistice Day?

November 11, 2014
Rory Fanning
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On Tuesday, the United States should be celebrating its 95th Armistice Day, pausing as a nation to think about the terrible costs of war – including the loss of so many lives. Unfortunately, we replaced it with a very different holiday.

Remembering the Christmas Truce of 1914

November 11, 2014
Veterans for Peace
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December 2014 will mark the 100 year anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914. During 2014 VFP National will plan activities to share with chapters to celebrate this memorable moment in history.

Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

RYDER and HAYDEN: Importance of the War Powers Resolution

November 10, 2014
Paul Ryder and Tom Hayden

[Research by Paul Ryder]

The nation needs a full public debate and a Congressional vote on whether to authorize the current American military interventions in Iraq and Syria and, if so, under what conditions. The past is prologue:

April 4, 1956: President Dwight Eisenhower’s news conference --

Q: Sarah McClendon, El Paso Times: Sir, would you order those Marines that were sent over to the Mediterranean and over in that area, would you order them to war, without asking the Congress first?

Tom Hayden: Letter to Congress on Escalation in Iraq & Syria

November 10, 2014
Tom Hayden

Dear Members of Congress,

The New War has escalated since we sent this letter November 3, 2014. President Obama has dispatched another 1,500 US troops and requested $5 billion in new funding. The president also has requested a congressional authorization. It is time for Congress to act and widen the public debate.

One of the bitter lessons of Vietnam, learned again in Iraq, is that it is relatively easy for Congress to authorize a war, but far more difficult to end one. Instead, there comes quagmire, suffering, cost, regret and political fallout.

IPS to host webinar on "U.S.-ISIS Crisis and Washington's New Wars" on 11/13/14

November 10, 2014
Institute for Policies Studies
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Join Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism project, for an in-depth discussion on the crisis. We will discuss:

  • Why is the Obama administration going back to war in Iraq and Syria?
  • What is ISIS and why are they considered such a threat?
  • Is this U.S. war helping the Syrian regime?
  • Who – AND IN what country – is next?

Please join us for this important discussion – and invite your friends!

How emergency management in Michigan subverts democracy

November 2, 2014
Jake Blumgart - Next City
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Originally published on July 3rd, 2013

If you haven’t been following the goings-on in Detroit, this should bring you up to speed: Its elected leadership has lost control of the city. In April a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, signed an order effectively relegating city officials to the sidelines and placing himself in full control of Detroit’s policy apparatus. Nothing can be enacted without his approval.

The struggle for democracy in D.C. moves forward

November 2, 2014
Scott McLarty - Firedoglake
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Originally published on September 16th, 2014

“The capital of the nation is the last plantation!” “Free D.C.!”

For decades, residents of “America’s last colony” have clamored for the same irrevocable rights as other citizens of the United States.

Chevron engaged in massive election spending to subvert local democracy in Santa Barbara

October 28, 2014
Colin Loustalot - Santa Barbara Independent
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The majority of oil wells in the county today do not use the high-intensity techniques (fracking, acidizing, and steam injection) banned by Measure P.

So why are oil companies spending millions of dollars to defeat it?