Organizing Upgrade

2020’s Top Twelve Posts on Organizing Upgrade

2020’s Top Twelve Posts on Organizing Upgrade
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The past year has tested us at every turn. Organizing Upgrade’s contributors have pushed the left to meet these challenges, emphasized the centrality of anti-racism to our struggles, debated innovative strategies for building our power, and shared lessons from the fight.

2021 will take just as much reflection and strategic focus. As we send off this year and prepare for the next, we’re sharing an OrgUp “best of” list from our most popular 2020 articles and live shows.

Calvin Cheung-Miaw: The Pivot of U.S. Politics — Racial Justice and Democracy

“The United States will be a multiracial democracy — a democracy in which people of color have full democratic rights — or it won’t be a democracy at all,” Cheung-Miaw writes. Post-Trump, “racial justice will be the pivot around which U.S. politics turns.” Read

This Is Not a Drill: Rebellions, Repression, and Elections

As the summer uprising in defense of Black life unfolded, Nelini Stamp, Jennifer Epps-Addison, Tami Sawyer, and Max Elbaum explored the immense opening the uprising created and discussed the electoral power of Black and Brown communities. Watch

Whitney Maxey: Notes on the Right and the Long Fight Ahead

Assessing the post-election landscape, Maxey concludes that “we are in a protracted struggle against the New Confederacy” – a “fight for democratic rights and a progressive re-organization of our society.” Read

Frontline Dispatches: Dawn Phillips on the Eviction Crisis

Global capital has amassed trillion-dollar profits by financializing our need for homes, Phillips says, but now is the moment for renters to organize, negotiate collectively, strike, and “fundamentally reimagine housing and land as a human right and a human need.” Watch

Tobita Chow: We Can’t Stop Coronavirus without Confronting Right-Wing Nationalism

With the right leveraging Covid for anti-China xenophobia, Chow calls on progressives to go beyond race-neutral demands focused on domestic policy and embrace anti-racism and internationalism in response to coronavirus. Read

Stephanie Luce: From Resolutions to Transformation – How Unions Are Organizing for Racial Justice

Luce speaks with members and staff of three unions to learn how they’re going beyond statements in support of anti-police violence protests and taking the fight for racial justice to new levels, from participating in the Walkout for Black Lives to running internal political education on institutional racism. Read

This Is Not a Drill: Toward a New Majority

Visionary organizers NTanya Lee, Thenjiwe McHarris, Maurice Mitchell, and Cindy Wiesner dive into what it will take to forge a new majoritarian coalition for racial justice and radical economic democracy. Watch

Carl Davidson & Bill Fletcher, Jr.: Post-Election Reckoning – New Hypotheses for the Road Ahead

In a series of provocative post-election hypotheses, Davidson and Fletcher touch on everything from the Democratic Party and the power of right-wing populism to tactical alliances with high-road capital and the persistence of racialized hierarchies. Read  (This article is also available in Spanish here.)

Max Elbaum: Socialist Strategy & the Biden Debate

Urging the left to join the fight against Trump, Elbaum writes, “The 2020 election will determine which force will hold governing power: a reactionary bloc anchored in white supremacy or an administration that can be influenced by a progressive current powered by the fight for racial justice.” Read

Harmony Goldberg & the Grassroots Policy Project: Stepping into the Moment – The Corona Crisis

Harmony Goldberg and GPP offer insights for making meaning of the coronavirus crisis, demanding structural reform, and building power and alliances, noting that “this is a moment for us to decide if we want to focus solely on attending to the needs of our specific constituencies or if we are aspiring to lead society as a whole.” Read

People Take Power, Co-Hosted by OrgUp & the Left Inside/Outside Project

In a conversation co-hosted by Whitney Maxey and Rishi Awatramani, radical electoral organizers Sendolo Diaminah, Kristian Hernandez, and Sochie Nnaemeka take stock of the rapidly shifting political terrain and its implications for electoral strategy. Watch

Van Gosse: An “Illiberal Democracy” If Trump Wins Again

Gosse argues that a Trump win could push the U.S. into illiberal democracy — authoritarian governance with democratic facade — effected through court-packing, embedding loyalists in the state apparatus, and other steps. Read

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