Justice is Global September 2019 News
“I'm thrilled to build this movement so that we can be that alternative and have the power to truly make justice global.”
This is our first ever Justice is Global Newsletter! We're excited to test out a new way to stay connected across time zones and borders.
We launched at People's Action in June and we've learned these past few months from organizing to bring labor activists to People's Action's Iowa Forum and bring organizers to weeklong training from as far away as Berlin, that there is tremendous potential to bring a new voice on global society to the political conversation. People are hungry for an alternative to Trump's trade war that is threatening to push us into recession and to decades of corporate led globalization that has pitted working people against each other across the world.
I'm thrilled to build this movement so that we can be that alternative and have the power to truly make justice global.
Justice is Global
Notes from The Field
I’m an old dog. After 33 years as a community organizing professional, I have learned a lot of tricks. But more than ever, new tricks abound. Momentum theory, emergent strategies, a wealth of training pedagogies, political education, narrative work. The field of community organizing gets richer every year, with new thinking and new strategies and new challenges.
I participated in leading my first Webinar barely two months ago. Molly Abbattista and I, both volunteer leaders with Justice Is Global, created a webinar on campaigns for European May, a collective of progressive organizers throughout Europe who are partners with Justice Is Global in fighting the corporate 1% and their neoliberal strategies to disempower the rest of us.
European May and their allies, until recently, have focused on electorally increasing the share of power of leftist political parties. Europeans have representative democracies,and as a result have a parties that represent a much broader range of views than does the dominant two-party system in America. Under Sören Brandes’s leadership, European May has been exploring a new model – the creation of a community organization outside of the parties, that can build power and put pressure on the system through organizing. This is the model that American organizers on both the right and the left have used for decades. Build an organization and a base. Cut issues. Develop strategies. Run campaigns. Evaluate, and do it again.
We know that the source of all power is relationships. The source of building global power for the 99% is global relationships. It’s not rocket science. . . it’s just work. Please let Justice Is Global know if YOU have friends and relatives in other countries who might be interested in organizing to fight global corporatism!
American Factory in A Global Economy
Recently, our Illinois Justice Is Global base had a viewing party of the brand new Oscar-nominated documentary American Factory which tells the story of a Chinese glass company that purchased a closed GM factory in Dayton, OH and the political and cultural struggles that ensued. The New York Times called it "complex, stirring, timely and beautifully shaped, spanning continents as it surveys the past, present and possible future of American labor" and we wanted to see it for ourselves and brainstorm popular education ideas related to the film.
In watching this documentary, we were reminded of why we do this work—the day-to-day hopes and struggles of working people in our interconnected global economy and the opportunities for solidarity and organizing—as well as the pressing need to answer the threat of nationalism which threaten to and often do divide people on the factory floor, in the halls of power, and in the audiences viewing this film. Our local work to organize towards the progressive internationalist future we need continues—join us at the next Chicago Justice Is Global Monthly Meeting on Sep. 17 and check out the film on Netflix and let us know what you think!
Confronting Right Wing Violence Everywhere
Following the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Odessa, and Dayton, Ohio, I watched the media bemoan the lack of gun control and the dangers of far right ideology. These are of course, important points. But one point people consistently miss is why far-right ideologies are on the rise and how to stop it.
What drives these shootings is a massively unequal society that can’t address people’s basic needs. One of the key ways people are coping with this alienation is by turning to the far right. We see this happening all around the world from Brazil to Sweden to right here in the US.
Since it is so easy for right-wing extremists to buy weapons, the violence instilled in converts is easy to act on in horrific ways.The favorite solution among center-left politicians and media personalities (gun control) is a good start, but it won’t address this source of the violence.
For lasting and meaningful change, What we need is to build a society that addresses the basic needs of all people, and that encourages them to lead productive and fulfilling lives without the need to turn to extremism. I’ve been so excited about Justice is Global because we’re committed to fighting for a world that works for all people, and to transform the systems that are causing people to turn to far-right extremism in the first place.