Monday, June 11, 2007

Call for Submission to Second Carnival of Radical Action

The wonderful Fire Fly will be hosting. Submit! Submit! Talk! Say it! Express!


There are still a couple of weeks to go before the second Carnival of Radical Action goes up! And it’ll be hosted right here at She Who Stumbles. The first one was so great that we want to do it all over again and bring you another… and another, and another… and many more to come!

Here are the guidelines from the first carnival:

The Carnival of Radical Action

Most of us are organizers or activists in our real lives. Or at the very least, we think about it an awful lot and wish we had the skills and/or knowledge to organize. But contrary to the images of protest that make front pages and cause our hearts to swell–actual organizing is not as easy as it looks–nor is it very glamorous.

More often than not, the process it takes to actually get to the glamorous protest part is boring, tedious, filled with infighting, or done by one or two overburdened people who haven’t quite figured out how to say no.

And yet, the organizing part is so vitally important to achieving liberation (whatever that may be). It was through tons and tons of grass roots organizing and hard work that the right managed to come to power in the U.S. the way it has. The Zapatistas and the U.S. based Civil Rights movement both also have a history of achieving goals towards liberation through grassroots organizing.

So how does one go about doing this grassroots organizing?

That’s what this carnival is all about. I will be accepting any posts/submissions that have anything to do with organizing on a grassroots level. Some topic ideas that you might feel inclined to think about:

How do you do radical leftist organizing in the Midwest [or wherever you are]? How do you confront racism/sexism/disableism/homophobia/classism etc within your group? How do you work with a community instead of on a community? How do you confront accessibility issues (that is, you’re all working class mothers and there’s rarely a time to meet or the site where you meet is not wheelchair accessible etc)? What’s been the major problem/setback your group has faced? How did it over come it? What has been a successful tactic in your organizing (for example, you found that taking pictures of violent cops and posting them online is more successful in stopping the abuse than reporting them to their superiors)? If you’re a life time activist, what are some problems you see today with organizing compared to when you first started? Or, if you’ve never organized before, write about why you never have.

This carnival will be about sharing strategies more than finding a “right” answer. In the world we face today where there are so many intersecting forms of oppression, one answer will not fit every community. But something that worked for one community might work for another if they alter it and adjust it to suit their own needs.

I’d like to add that we don’t have a fixed definition of “radical” here. By radical we don’t necessarily mean revolutionary, and we don’t exclude revolutionary action either. Rather, I would say that this carnival is about an emergent definition of radical that comes out of the organising and activism that people undertake, rather than a pre-existing definition that can be applied across contexts. This is about elaborating the process of change, and empowering people to take part in it through blogging. (In that sense, what I’m doing right now is radical too!)

Unfortunately this means we do have to exclude some things. There are fine lines to be drawn between individual action and collective action. One person can make a difference, but we’re talking about intervention into broad social processes that affect a whole range of people, especially oppressed people. Talking about those processes isn’t enough either — we want to know how to change them!

Moreover, this carnival was started by women of colour who have a strong commitment to empowering woc through blogging. This blog is a safe space for woc, and I have a responsibility to other woc to keep it that way. As such, anything that is implicitly or explicitly harmful to woc interests won’t be accepted.

The deadline for submissions is June 21st.

I live in Australia, which makes the time difference tricky. Sydney is 13-15 hours ahead of most places in North America. So the carnival deadline is June 21st, but the carnival will go up a day or two later, according to local time here.

I know quite a few people are going along to the Allied Media Conference, which is from June 22 to 24. I chose the date to give everyone who’s going a chance to submit something to the carnival before they leave. We’re hoping to organise a post-AMC edition of the carnival that rounds up all the live-blogging and conference reports that people write! (If you want to volunteer to host that edition of the carnival, let me know via email.)

You can email me with your submission or use the submission form.

Looking forward to seeing all your posts!

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