Fifty Young Progressive Activists Who Are Changing America

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Peter Dreier: In the next decade, America will be transformed by a new wave of progressive activism, led primarily by organizers, thinkers, and politicians born after 1960.

Could the Western Sahara Blow Up?

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Bill Fletcher: Saharawi youth are increasingly dissatisfied with the stalemate and are tending to look for a renewal of the armed struggle.

Participatory Democracy: From the Port Huron Statement to Occupy Wall Street

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Tom Hayden: It is time for a participatory New Deal, to bring the banks and corporations under the regulations and reforms they have escaped through runaway globalization.

Will Occupy Spring Forward or Melt Down?

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Shamus Cooke: Most Occupiers have learned that raw enthusiasm alone cannot bring victory to a social movement; ideas matter too. Action divorced from strategy equals wasted energy, divisiveness, diversions and unnecessary mistakes. Not all tactics push the movement forward.

Reform vs. Revolution Within Occupy

Photo: Ted Fisher

Shamus Cooke: For Occupy to grow into a democratic revolutionary movement, the working majority of the population must join in, requiring that Occupy broadcast a message based on concrete working-class demands.

Occupy Should Stay Unattached to Political Parties

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Mark Nathan: We need grassroots social movements of such force that it will reinvent what is possible in mainstream American politics. The Occupy movements have started such a process.

Occupy Movement at the Crossroads

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Randy Shaw: Successful movements must be flexible enough to change tactics in the face of roadblocks, and activists’ camping in public spaces is not strategically necessary for the Occupy movement’s success.

The Occupy Movement Needs a Good Fight

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Shamus Cooke: If the national Occupy Movement fought for a massive public jobs program and against cuts to social programs by massively taxing the wealthy and corporations, the vast majority of working people would join the movement until it was capable of actually winning these demands.

Occupy Wall Street: “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”

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Joseph Palermo: Out in the real world people are showing a spirit that hasn’t been around since the 1930s; a genuine feeling of solidarity like we’re all in it together and to hell with the elites that stand in our way. The illegitimacy of a rigged economic system is beginning to sink in.

Occupy Portland Is Born with Ten Thousand Strong

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Shamus Cooke: It should be no surprise that a city dubbed “Little Beirut” by President Bush Senior — due to the large protests against him — began its “occupation” on a level on par with Wall Street.

Colombia: Women in the Crossfire

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Diane Lefer: Women are not the only ones to suffer in six decades of armed conflict in Colombia but they, along with the children, have borne the brunt of displacement as some five million Colombians have been violently driven from their homes.

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Author Spotlight: Diane Lefer

Diane visiting friend Duc Ta in prison.

Dick Price: Aside from writing nine published books, Diane Lefer has picked potatoes, typed autopsy reports, surveyed parolees and drug addicts about their sex lives, and taught creative writing to gang-bangers.

Is Social Media Useless for Change?

Malcolm Gladwell

Social networking websites can play and are playing an important role in finding and connecting people who are beginning to think and feel similar things. They can help participants deepen their understanding and form common perspectives. They can help inform those who use them of possible courses of action.

No, Higher Consciousness Won’t Save Us

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Norman Solomon: When social movements seem to be no match for a destructive status quo, people are apt to look around for alternative strategies. One of the big ones involves pursuing individual transformations as keys to social change.

What Obama Must Do, and Cannot

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Tom Hayden: Obama may succeed in withdrawing 100,000 American troops from Iraq this year, and the rest by 2012. But even this goal faces opposition from the Green Zone to the Beltway, and any peace dividend will be swallowed by Afghanistan and the Long War.

Weimar America

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Our democracy is under attack. Men in high public office and with control over our national airwaves are deliberately stoking a potentially violent movement opposed to our democratic process.