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A Polycentric U.S. Social Forum in Summer, 2015  8/11/2014 
Shamako Noble: Article  To form a new People’s Movement for justice, equality, human rights and democracy forums will be held in Philadelphia, Pa., Jackson, Ms., and San Jose, Ca.

When the Pillars Fall: How Social Movements Can Win More Victories Like Same-Sex Marriage  7/10/2014 
Mark Engler: Article  Insider politics often fails. A transformational approach can turn the impossible into the inevitable. Consider the theories of Gene Sharp and Robert Helvey.

Dan McKanan on the Religious Left: Radicals and Institutional Liberals  3/26/2014 
Garrett FitzGerald: Article  Radical faith is committed to liberty, equality, and solidarity first and foremost. Institutional liberals put order first, are afraid of dramatic change. The radicals have generated the core ideas.

Resistance: The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies  1/27/2014 
Chris Hedges: Article  In this significant piece, the author speaks of human resistance to a consumer culture based on corporate profit, limitless exploitation, and continued extraction of fossil fuels.

Rich People's Movements: How They Dupe Tea Party Followers  9/26/2013 
David Cay Johnston: Article  It is important for pastors to understand the history of political organizing around taxes and wealth inequality, matters of life and death in a complex economy.

The Democratic Socialists Who Made the March on Washington  8/23/2013 
Harold Meyerson: Article  A. Philip Randolf, Bayard Rustin, Michael Harrington, Martin Luther King, these are figures who organized the march on Washington fifty years ago. They wanted more than racial justice.

A Black Liberation Mayor is Elected in Jackson, Mississippi  8/3/2013 
Amy Goodman: Article  On July 1, 2013, Chokwe Lumumba took over as mayor of a major southern city. He wants to organize people's assemblies to give black people a major say in what happens in their communities.

The Surprising Mass Protests in Brazil  7/26/2013 
Alfredo Saad Filho: Article  Three lessons are discussed concerning the millions of people recently protesting in Brazil, along with four political implications.

Moral Monday: A Joint Statement by Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and United Methodist Leaders in North Carolina  6/18/2013 
Article  Over 500 clergy and others have been arrested in North Carolina protests, and thousands have supported them. Tea Party, Southern Republicans are going too far in their attacks on the poor.

Summer Heat: We Are All Needed, Now More Than Ever  5/15/2013 
Bill McKibben: Article  Things will really heat up the last two weeks of July this year. To address climate change, people are organizing multiple action events, some leading to arrest. Join this effort now!

A Religious Call to Civil Disobedience on Thursday, March 21, 2013  3/12/2013 
Arthur Waskow: Article  Action on climate change is heating up this spring. Announced here is a very important event coming up. It is time for civil disobedience around climate change.

The 2012 Election: Setting the Stage for a True Political Force on the Left  11/17/2012 
Bill Fletcher, Jr.: Article  Public theology needs partners in the world and this article describes new possibilities for organizing a real political option on the left.

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt  7/27/2012 
Chris Hedges: Article  An interview by Bill Moyers of Chris Hedges about his new book with Joe Sacco. Concrete examples of how corporate power is killing communities and democracy.

From Politics to Movement Organizing  6/11/2012 
Andy Kroll: Article  Electoral politics failed Wisconsin but it's not all over. Real change can happen through solid organizing.

Congregation Action Network Organizes in Indianapolis  3/7/2012 
Article  More than thirty congregations decide to work together to deal with the economic recession. This should happen in cities across the nation.

Poor, White and Pissed: A Guide to the White Trash Planet for Urban Liberals  1/28/2012 
Joe Bageant: Article  The middle class church, educated professionals, and liberal politicians look down on these folks. But what's needed is to pay some respect and organize them

Police Oppression at Seattle Port Protest in Support of Port Truckers  12/15/2011 
John Helmiere: Article  A Methodist minister is brutally beaten by Seattle Police as he demonstrated with Occupy the Ports on the west coast.

A Stunning Triumph for the Occupy Movement  11/21/2011 
Andy Kroll: Article  Changing the terms of public debate from austerity to inequality has already had many broad effects, including victory in Ohio for opposition to Governor John Kasich's anti-union bill.

Goldman Sachs is Exposed by Wall Street Protesters  11/4/2011 
Chris Hedges: Article  The author is arrested outside the bank's headquarters where he conducted a People's Hearing with Cornel West.

Encouraging Solidarity with the Occupy Movement  10/21/2011 
Mark Engler: Article  Co-optation is not the problem within the movement, it is solidarity. Movement theorist Frances Fox Piven offers a strategy for continued success.

The Spirit of Rebellion: Zizek Speaks at Occupy Wall Street  10/17/2011 
Slavoj Zizek: Article  A famed philosopher offers his views of what is happening in the Occupy movement. The Spirit is at work in strange places.

National Gathering, American Dream Movement, You are Invited  9/20/2011 
Van Jones: Article  On October 3-5, 2011, political activists with hope and vision will gather in Washington D.C. Help make history by your participation in this event.

Help Rebuild the American Dream  8/17/2011 
Aaron Krager: Article  A new movement led by Van Jones is bringing together major progressive organizations to fight the Tea Party and elect new leaders. New people are needed to run for office!!!

Justice Movement or Economic Terrorism  3/23/2011 
Ed Knudson: Article  Stephen Lerner proposes a mortgage strike and Glenn Beck goes nuts, calling it economic terrorism, but in the process gives the idea broad coverage.

Corporate Power Will Concede Nothing Without a Strong People's Movement  3/15/2011 
Chris Hedges: Article  Liberals have been blind-sided by corporate power for three decades now and have not been able to act. Here are reasons to support Wisconsin and Michigan workers. Act Now!

Religious Leaders Speak Up for Wisconsin Workers  2/24/2011 
Kim Bobo: Article  This is what religion looks like, seventy-five faith leaders marching in Madison against a governor trying to destroy unions with false arguments.

Wisconsin Hope: The Moral Basis of American Democracy  2/20/2011 
George Lakoff: Article  The use of deficits to attack unions and public services is a false framing of current issues. Democratic leaders must reframe issues according to a fundamental moral and democratic commitment.

Organizing the Egyptian Rebellion  2/9/2011 
Mark Engler: Article  What is going on in Egypt is not spontaneous and leaderless but represents the art of unarmed uprising. Here are some notes on movement theory.

The Nuclear Freeze Campaign: The Largest Political Demonstration in American History  2/9/2011 
Tad Daley: Article  Mass organizing kept Ronald Reagan from bringing the world to the brink of nuclear destruction.

It's Time for Action Against Obama Policies  12/10/2010 
Ed Knudson: Article  Extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is only one of the many ways Obama has betrayed the visions and expectations of his campaign for president. It is time now to actively protest.

Congregations Organize the Jobless  12/7/2010 
Art Levine: Article  Employment Support Committees are being organized in 1000 congregations not only for charity but to fight for major federal jobs programs, assisted by three senators.

Join a World in Revolt: The Global Backlash Against Budget Cuts  9/26/2010 
Anthony DiMaggio: Article  On October 2, 2010, Americans can join the One Nation march in Washington D.C. in solidarity with millions of others in other countries.

Guidelines for Political Organizing in Lousy Times  9/13/2010 
Sam Smith: Article  The editor at Proreview's Undernews has some pithy comments about the temper of the times for those trying to do something.

Another U.S. is Necessary Now  6/26/2010 
Mark Engler: Article  Activists from across the United States have gathered in Detroit to craft a new policy agenda.

Tea Party Organizers Adopt Methods of Saul Alinksy  5/16/2010 
Sanford D. Horwitt: Article  Tea Party leaders like Michael Patrick Leahy call Alinsky a Marxist, Communist, Socialist, which he was not, but they are using his tactics against his beliefs.

Agitation and Rebellion: The Populist Battle with Corporate Power  5/3/2010 
Bill Moyers: Article  Church basements across the country should be full of people meeting to organize against plutocracy, the rule of the rich. This article provides some inspiration.

Arizona Immigrant Hysteria is But Another Symptom of a Racist Political Virus  5/2/2010 
Frank Rich: Article  Arizona Republicans are an expression of the birther movement and Tea Party nativism as they attack undocumented workers, or 'illegal immigrants'. Race is central to right wing rhetoric.

A Political Strategy for Our Times: Progressive Populism  4/12/2010 
Sam Smith: Article  Economic improvement, treating voters decently, and respect for the small in government. Just three good principles to help get a new politics going. And a lot of it has to do with style and tone.

Empowering the Poor through Community Organization  1/25/2010 
Jim Hightower: Article  Here is a defense of ACORN, which Fox News and Republican right wingers have been attacking so mercilessly. Learn more here about community organizing.

March, 2009: Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Enough for All Creation  3/10/2009 
Article  Come to Washington D.C. to learn and organize and visit members of congress. Includes list of sponsors.

Re-Wiring the Future of Community Organizing   2/28/2005 
Article  An article at the Digital Divide Network about Zack Rosen and CivicSpace Labs describes how the Internet can be used to organize.

Funding the Culture Wars  2/16/2005 
Article  A new report is released on where the religious right gets its money.

Democrats Must Give Voters a Real Choice  1/31/2005 
Article  Sam Smith explains some facts of Democratic history to show why Democrats should stop echoing Republican policies.

We Need a Moral Prophetic Minority   1/14/2005 
Article  Cornell West speaks of hope.

Taking Over the Republican Party  12/13/2004 
Article  This is a county action plan of the Christian Coalition to take over local Republican politics.

A Winning Values Strategy for Liberals  11/29/2004 
Article  George Lakoff summarizes his book on Moral Politics in this brief article. The book can also be helpful to parents in how to raise their children.

Promoting a Religious Left  11/22/2004 
Byron Williams: Article  Progressive Christians must be leery of duplicating the evangelical right by becoming aligned with one political party.

Retro vs. Metro: New Democratic Strategy for Electoral Success  9/30/2004 
Comment  The Great Divide, a book promoted by John Sperling and written by economists, provides a conceptual framework for emerging victory for Democratic politics.

Another World is Possible: World Social Forum Meets in January, 2005   9/9/2004 
Article  The World Social Forum will meet in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from January 26 to 31, 2005.

Moderate Republicans Seek to Organize  9/9/2004 
Ed Knudson: Article  Can moderate Republicans find a candidate to vote for? Some Republican public officials seek to change the Republican Party.

Liberals are Called to Organize   9/5/2004 
Ed Knudson: Article  Robert B. Reich in his recent book, 'Reason', calls on religious progressives to get involved in politics.

The Yurica Report - Tracking the Religious Right   3/17/2004 
Article  Two older women organize a website to tell the real truth about politics today.

Parliament of the World's Religions Meets in Barcelona   2/19/2004 
Comment  Join 10,000 people of faith, spirit, and goodwill at the 2004 Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain July 7-13, 2004.

The Consciousness of Middle Income Working People: Implications for Organizing  4/4/2003 
Michael Lerner: Article  A two-tier strategy for post-Iraq political organizing, reasons for the right turn in politics.

How the Faithful Voted: A Conversation with John C. Green and John DiIulio   4/3/2003 
Article  A seminar held at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in late January featured two well-known commentators on American religion and public life.

Five Guidelines for Organizing Anti-War Protests   4/1/2003 
Reprint  Cynthia Peters offers suggestions for organizers.

The Democratic City of the Future   2/21/2003 
Article  A new Democratic majority is emerging uniting city and suburb against still Republican rural areas according to authors John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira.

How to Talk to Middle America   2/5/2003 
Comment  Douglas Orbaker on his pastoral experience.

A Progressive Middle Position on the Iraq War   10/22/2002 
Article  Tikkun Magazine editor Michael Lerner shares a very thoughtful organizing proposal.

A Time for Talk   7/12/2002 
Article  When people are hurting it's time to talk. Put together your own little group to start.

The Moment has Come To Organize   7/11/2002 
Note  Large numbers of people are now seriously questioning corporate and political leaders.

Campaign to End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine   6/7/2002 
Comment  Ecumenical effort to create a just peace in Palestine.

Who Will Tell the People?   6/6/2002 
Reprint  William Grieder writes about cost benefit analysis and other technical tools.

World Social Forum Draws 60,000   2/15/2002 
Comment  A gathering in Porto Alegre, Brazil

organize.jpg
Organize Section

In this section the focus is on the call to "organize", to create and support action groups and networks of citizens at both the community and global levels to address critical issues and influence the behavior of both business and government. This includes:
  • Community Organizing on the local level which can be an important outreach and mission strategy for local congregations.
  • Political Organizing from local to world levels both through partisan politics and through advocacy groups.
  • Union Organizing bringing together workers in various industries to advocate for justice in the ways the fruits and benefits of enterprise are distributed.
  • Issue Organizing on key issues such as world trade, economic justice, environmental preservation, etc.
If you are involved in any form of organizing please tell us something about it. We would like to assist in any way we can.
    Online Resources

  • Waging Nonviolence. A source for original news and analysis about struggles for justice and peace around the globe.
  • Left Movement Directory. One of the most complete directories of all sorts of groups oriented to the political "left" maintained by the Brecht Forum.

  • Organizing Upgrade. Organizing Upgrade is an attempt to engage left leaders and innovators in the field of community organizing in a strategic dialogue. We hope that this project can bring the kind of inspiration, vision and strategic clarity we need to strengthen our political impact, both in our immediate fight and in our longer-term efforts to build the social justice movement and to revitalize a movement-rooted left in the United States. We hope that, by encouraging some of the leading innovators and leaders from the sphere of community organizing to put pen to paper and to speak their mind, we can develop unity and clarity about the key demands on left organizers in these times.
Online Networking can be a way to connect with others. Here are some places to do so:
  • DailyKos. Very popular, lots of daily talk on practical politics and strategy from the moderate left, run by Markos Moulitsas and involves peer moderation.
  • Smirking Chimp. Very active, go here to vent, get after Bush, see what's making people mad.
  • MyDD. A political blog by Jerome Armstrong and Chris Bowers who write articles and others comment on them.
  • Eschaton. A personal site of Duncan Black, a 32 year old recovering economist living in Center City Philadelphia. It has been online since April, 2002, and currently gets an average of over 100,000 visits per day.
  • Democratic Underground. One of the premier left-wing websites on the Internet, publishing original content six days a week, and hosting one of the web's most active left-wing discussion boards.
  • MoveOn. Not a discussion board, but you can get on their mailing list.
  • Free Republic. This is a popular discussion site for the righteous right. To read news from the right and read columns by Jerry Falwell, Limbaugh, and Weyrich, go to Newsmax funded by conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.
  • Townhall.com. Portal site to conservative commentators, columnists, and discussion.


The heart of organizing is real conversation in one on one relationships. Cesar Chavez once said, "First you talk to one person, then you talk to another person, then you talk to another person..." So organizing begins where people talk, and talk honestly with one another. Be ready to hear "the pain of the other", be ready to be able to see where the other person is hurting, and try to be real, that is, to identify the real powers that are causing the pain. Then join with others to resist those powers. This is the essence of organizing, one on one relationships, doing what Jesus did, loving the neighbor in the specific circumstances in which you meet him or her, building new communities of peace and justice.

For online organizing, we encourage you to check out the website of Faithful Democracy, a project of the Interfaith Alliance which focuses on key legislative issues.

Another key aspect of organizing is good research. Among the many politically-oriented research organizations today we especially recommend the Center for American Progress. Public Agenda is a good place to start for research on public issues.

Polling Report. Summaries of polling data by the Pew Center.

It is worth noting here that two formal institutional structures dominate public life today: business corporations and government. People of faith work within these structures and the Center for Public Theology wants to be a resource for them and also ask them to help us find the best ways and means to influence these institutions.

And there is a third type of institutional structure also very important at this time in history, sometimes called Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) on the world level or non-profit organizations at the community level. Church organizations fall within this definition which are the focus in the Church section of this website. It is often through such groups that organizing is done and in the various pages of this section we will present organizing opportunities through these groups.






















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