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Analysis

A pivotal moment in Charlottesville

The centuries-old battle against white supremacy in the United States claimed another life, another hero, this weekend. On Saturday, August 12, James Alex Fields murdered Heather D. Heyer as part of his participation in the white “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Fields smashed his car into a peaceful crowd of anti-racists, […]

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LeftRoots hangOut on the MST and ENFF

In the fall of 2016, three LeftRoots cadres—Alex, Paige, and Ying-sun—got to spend seven weeks studying at the Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes (ENFF), the national school of Brazil’s Movement of Landless Peasants (MST—Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra). On April 6, 2017, the three of them hosted a national LeftRoots hangOut to talk about their experience. This […]

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LeftRoots Strongly Condemns the Rightwing Attack and Police Raid on the Movimento Sem Terra (MST) School

On the morning on November 4, 2016 police and military forces raided the National School Florestan Fernandes (ENFF), which is the leadership development school of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), where social movement leaders from around the world are currently gathered to study and build together. Three community organizers who are members of LeftRoots […]

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‘Ideas for the Struggle’: required reading for activists in these challenging times

By Steve Williams, co-founder and National Secretary of LeftRoots. Ideas for the Struggle should be required reading for all organizers, political activists and would-be revolutionaries in these troubling and challenging times. Knocking on doors of people we don’t know. Facilitating meetings where strangers gather to share their problems and find solutions together. Crafting campaigns and […]

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Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Dallas

by Linda Burnham July 11, 2016 A thick strand in the history of U.S. policing is rooted back in the slave patrols of the 19th century. Patty rollers were authorized to stop, question, search, harass and summarily punish any Black person they encountered. The five- and six-pointed badges many of them wore to symbolize their […]

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Five Things Leftists Should Know About Bernie Sanders

LeftRoots member, Jonathan Kissam, from Vermont, weighs in on the Bernie Sanders debate. The Bernie Sanders campaign has provoked widespread interest and debate on the U.S. Left, such as it is. This article is a contribution to that debate from the perspective of a left organizer who has been active in trade union and community […]

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Fighting Class War While ‘Walking on Two Legs’

by Cynthia Peters, LeftRoots Cadre Member Much of the organizing in the U.S. is guilty of focusing on short-term outcomes, not thinking about how the work is developing the people who are doing it. There’s an apartment building in Dorchester that used to be a safe and affordable place to live for working-class families in […]

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Revolutionary Black Nationalism for the Twenty-First Century: Interview with Kali Akuno

by Riad Azar and Saulo Colón Originally published in New Politics, summer of 2015. Kali Akuno served as the coordinator of special projects and external funding for Jackson Mississippi’s late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. He is co-founder and director of Cooperation Jackson as well as an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. He was interviewed […]

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Organizing Transformation: Best Practices in the Transformative Organizing Model

By Steve Williams. Published by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, May 2015. Download the PDF here » With corporate profits rising along with the number of children living in poverty, the state-sanctioned killings of Black civilians, the record-number of deportations of undocumented immigrants and the irrefutable evidence coming crisis caused by capitalism’s addiction […]

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Towards a Transformational Strategy

by N’Tanya Lee, Cinthya Muñoz, Maria Poblet, Josh Warren-White, and Steve Williams on behalf of the LeftRoots Coordinating Committee We are living in times of great instability and crisis. Everywhere there are troubling signs of collapse: mass shootings; widespread unemployment; potentially irreversible ecological devastation; and the consolidation of wealth into fewer and fewer hands. The […]

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As Ferguson ‘Weekend of Resistance’ Begins, Organizers Weigh How to Turn a Moment into a Movement

With thousands descending on Ferguson today to demand justice for Michael Brown, a creator of #BlackLivesMatter thinks now may be the time to win long-term victories. BY JULIA WONG Originally published in In These Times Thousands of activists are expected to converge on Ferguson, Missouri starting Friday, October 10, for a “Weekend of Resistance” to […]

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Why LeftRoots?

We need a radical and grounded Left LeftRoots is a national formation of social movement organizers and activists who want to connect grassroots struggles to a strategy that can win liberation for all people and the planet. Mass organizations must be central features of strong and vibrant social movements, and Left cadre formations are as well. […]

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Socialism Is… Video from the Rosa Luxemburg Institute’s Mapping Socialist Strategies Conference

In August 2014, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office brought together 100 leaders of the Left from across the United States, Canada, and Europe for an “un-conference” on Mapping Socialist Strategies. A number of LeftRoots members were there, sharing our ideas and learning from the amazing comrades in attendance, and are featured in this video.

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No Shortcuts: We Need Strategy

By N’Tanya Lee and Steve Williams The need to develop a strategy that can cohere the different parts of our movement has never been clearer. Both of us have been shaped by years of organizing the young, homeless people, and working-class African Americans and Latinas. After each spending more than a decade building different organizations […]

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More than We Imagined: Activists’ Assessments of the Moment and the Way Forward

By N’Tanya Lee & Steve Williams More Than We Imagined is the final report of a year-long project called Ear to the Ground, co-directed by Steve Williams and NTanya Lee. Over nine months, more than 150 social justice organizers in 30 communities across the country were asked to reflect on the nature of this moment […]

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Gramsci Comes Home

by Spencer Resnick & Jonathan Bix Originally published in Jacobin Magazine, August 2013 Our long march through the institutions is not to reform them, but to transform the common sense they uphold. With the 2008 financial crisis, the supposedly sturdy foundation of finance capital shook and nearly crumbled. Millions of working-class Americans saw their wealth, […]

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Demand Everything: Lessons of the Transformative Organizing Model

By Steve Williams Published by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office, March 2013. Download PDF in English here » Download PDF en Espanol here » When protesters around the world took to the squares and streets beginning in late 2010 from Tunisia to Chile, from Egypt to Spain, from Greece to the United States, leftists […]

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Puno en Alto! Libro Abrierto! / Fists, up! Books, open! On Anti-Intellectualism, Literacy Brigades, and Revolutionary Consciousness

By Maria Poblet Originally published by Organizing Upgrade, July 2012. I’m pretty sure the first time I heard the word “Anti-Intellectualism,” I said “that word is so elitist!” Luckily, I was in the company of one of my greatest teachers, June Jordan. After giggling uncontrollably (her giggle-fests were legendary), she asked me what I thought […]

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From the Base: Revolutionary Left Community Organizing in the U.S.

By Josh Warren-White, September 2006 This paper, written in 2006, studies what was then a relatively new model of community organizing that is Left and revolutionary. The study looks at what the main tenants of this organizing model are; what historical organizing traditions and models it evolved out of or drew from; and what this model’s implications […]

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Lessons from Amílcar Cabral: Revolutionary Democracy, Class-Consciousness, and Cross-Class Movement Building

By Maria Poblet As a Left community organizer in the United States, working with oppressed and exploited people in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, I have benefitted greatly from Amílcar Cabral’s work and thought. I am part of a broader growing political tendency that is building a working class base for the Left […]

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