99% Spring (Nonviolent Direct Action Training for 100,000!)
by Joshua Kahn Russel
It’s been an active few months for 350.org. We’ve been part of a broad-based movement that has stopped the Keystone XL twice – and we had so much fun doing it, that we’re in the middle of round three after delivering 800,000 messages to congress in just 24 hours. Globally, we’ve been supporting movements fighting coal from Kosovo to Borneo, and supporting people in the Maldives fighting to restore democracy. But 2012 wouldn’t be such an engaged sprint for us if there wasn’t movement bursting from all around the globe – people are organizing and people-power is rising.
In the United States, we’re part of an exciting initiative to make sure that all the energy here reaches its potential – alongside a lot of our friends, we’re calling for a 99% Spring. Actually, we’re not calling for it. We’re organizing for it. The project is ambitious – we want to train 100,000 people in Nonviolent Direct Action (NVDA) over the next 8 weeks. I’m not kidding.
It’s increasingly clear that our country (and world) is at a historic crossroads – we can build a different economy that works for people and the planet – or we can continue to watch wealth get hoarded by the 1% while corporations trash our communities and climate. In order to win, we know we need millions of people working together across issues and movements, directly confronting corporate power with nonviolent action, from the boardrooms to the streets. The 99% Spring in an effort to help seed the ground for sustained ongoing action.
Its also an exercise in alignment between different movements – Labor, Environment, Racial Justice, Housing, and many others. We want environmentalists and union members in the same room, sharing strategies, getting skilled in direct action and civil disobedience, and cross-pollenating from the ground-up. Here are some of the organizations who are on board: Jobs With Justice, United Auto Workers, National Peoples Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance, MoveOn.org, New Organizing Institute, Movement Strategy Center, The Other 98%, Service Employees International Union, Rebuild the Dream, UNITE-HERE, Greenpeace, Institute for Policy Studies, PICO National Network, New Bottom Line, United Steel Workers, Working Families Party, Communications Workers of America, United States Student Association, Rainforest Action Network, American Federation of Teachers, Leadership Center for the Common Good, UNITY, National Guestworker Alliance, 350.org, The Ruckus Society, Citizen Engagement Lab, smartMeme Strategy & Training Project, Right to the City Alliance, Pushback Network, Progressive Democrats of America, Change to Win, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Campaign for America’s Future, Fuse Washington, Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Citizen Action of New York, Engage, United Electrical Workers Union, National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Alliance for a Just Society, The Partnership for Working Families, United Students Against Sweatshops. And the list is growing. Here’s a letter from these groups with more of the vision for the project.
Want to be a part of it? We’re hoping the 350 network will jump in with both feet. Maybe you’ve been waiting for an introduction to nonviolence, and this is the time for you. Maybe you just want to share strategies with people in other movement sectors. Maybe you got arrested at the Keystone XL sit-ins, and are hungry to take your action skills to the next level. Maybe you want to lead trainings yourself. Click here to sign up and get more info!
This post originally appeared on 35o.org.