Movement Organizing


26 March note: evidently April 10 in Fresno is off, and there’s talk about having a conference in LA instead April 17 or 24. The concerns about process and agenda – making this conference a productive one for the movement – stand.

Defendcapubliceducation (the “official” statewide March 4 blog) has finally posted official notice of the April 10 statewide conference in Fresno – a successor, I suppose, to the October 24 Conference, and a very important opportunity to talk about what’s next for the statewide movement after March 4.

The agenda:

Proposed structure of the conference

1) Demands
2) Action(s)
3) Breakouts
4) Reconvene
5) Open

See the rest of the motivation and structural proposal here.

Frankly – and this me speaking as an individual – I think this conference is incredibly important, and the structure proposed looks incredibly weak. Most importantly, there needs to be a structure for people to submit detailed proposals in advance for discussion. The thought of spending several hours listening to men trained in sectarian socialist modes of operation put forth more-radical-than-thou (or even more-intersectional-than-thou) proposals for demands brings me physical pain. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. It brings me intense psychic discomfort. And I say this as a socialist and as someone who thinks the term “sectarian” can be flung around in irresponsible ways. The problem is not socialists – organized socialists have played a vital, necessary role in this movement. The problem is sectarian, masculinist modes of communication that get amplified in a room full of 400 people and not-strong-enough facilitation. (more…)

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The key to the success of March 4 at UCSC was in the details–the details of organizing.  James Illingworth explains how we did it in “What we learned on March 4.”

(via Socialist Worker)

But the strike pledge campaign was by far the most important aspect of outreach for March 4. For six weeks leading up to the strike, members of the Strike Committee went out all day, every day, and asked students to sign on to a pledge in support of the action. This gave us the opportunity to convince people that a strike would be possible, necessary and effective.

By the eve of March 4, we had collected around 2,000 signatures on the strike pledge and had talked to thousands more students about the plan for the day. We started to get a sense that this was going to be one of the biggest protests in UCSC’s recent history.

Read the full article.