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Global News and Analysis

What We Can Learn From the LGBTQ Movement’s 50 Years of Achievement

Source: Waging Nonviolence

Despite pain, loss, disruption and grave threats, the LGBTQ movement — decade after decade — launched new campaigns for more advanced goals and won.

Now that the LGBTQ movement in the United States has reached the half-century mark, what can activists learn from its story of struggle? Since polarization continues to deepen, this might be a good time to learn from a movement whose enemies once felt so panicked that some suggested gays be put in concentration camps to protect society from AIDS.

As a young man living in Philadelphia in the late ‘60s, cautiously coming out to friends, I was aware of demonstrations for gay rights at Independence Hall led by Barbara Gittings and others. I was too scared to join them. By then I’d already risked in the civil rights and peace movements, even in a war zone in Vietnam, but publicly coming out as gay seemed even scarier than getting seriously injured. read more

Activism

How to Fight Fascism From a Position of Strength

The lesson is clear, whether learned by grassroots movements in Switzerland or elsewhere: Without a vision, the people perish. We don’t need to build our political identities around what we’re against. It’s time we align our tactics, strategies, and organizing approaches with a positive, common sense vision that inspires us.

Union demonstrators march outside the Fleetwood and Cadillac plan in Detroit and a General Motors strike in 1936. Credit: The Detroit News
Labor

Unions Have Been Down Before, History Shows How They Can Come Back

Two ways we can honor unions at this time of trial are to ask others to join union picket lines and to learn from their innovations and successes for whatever campaigns we are committed to today. According to labor historian Sidney Fine, the union breakthrough in Detroit and Flint, Michigan, was “the most significant American labor conflict in the twentieth century.” In some ways the struggle was more strategically sophisticated than many campaigns are today, which is why it offers important lessons on tactics, racism, using the spectrum of allies and sequencing the focus of organizing.

Protest signs at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. last year. (Wikimedia / Mark Dixon)
Global News and Analysis

Why the Resistance Can’t Win Without Vision

We’ve had our first year of tweets and leaks from the White House, complete with reactions and outrage in the United States and abroad. The tsunami of words and feelings about Trump has dominated the media and is likely to continue. The question is: Will reactivity to Trump continue among activists, or are we ready to channel our passion into more focused movement-building for change?