We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Is Professional Activism Getting in the Way of Real Change?

Click here to access article by Henia Belalia from Deep Roots United Front

The author's subtitle for the article summarizes her answer to the question posed by the title:
With budgets and voices so loud, professionals’ messages overshadow the call for uprisings coming from the trenches.
I have not been familiar with this organization, but I offer this article, some links, and other information to get us acquainted with it. My impression is that it is well-connected with some of the most vulnerable grassroots people across the US who are fighting for their lives in the war waged against them by the One Percent ruling class. They are also well-connected to the Seattle-based tech-collective called Riseup

AlterNet's website provides this information on the author, Henia Belalia:
Hénia Belalia is on the National Coordinating Committee of Deep Roots United Front, and the former director of Peaceful Uprising. She identifies as a climate justice defender, theatre director and day dreamer of collective liberation. Her work is rooted in a constantly evolving practice of allyship to frontlines of struggle, with a focus on the intersections of environmental and social justice.
Non-profit organizations are largely funded by One Percent donors who want to restrain grassroots organizations from doing any harm to their interests. They do this through co-opting young professionals using nice offices and salaries as bait. It's very difficult for these people to resist such temptations; and once they are hired, to resist their bosses directives is often at the risk of losing such jobs. Hence, it is up to the rest of us to support organizations well grounded in the grassroots, not in the charities or the non-profit activist organizations of the One Percent.