Along with direct action and other forms of resistance, a successful movement must also build new institutions based on solidarity, justice and cooperation. From small, worker-owned cooperatives to national advocacy groups, hundreds of thousands of people around the country are working to create democratic and sustainable systems that meet the basic needs of all people. Below are some organizations, tools and other resources to help you get involved creating a new world.

Featured Video:The video to the right is the trailer for the new film, Fixing the Future, highlighting effective, local practices such as community banking, worker cooperatives, local currencies and more.

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World’s First Carbon Neutral Poo Power Plant

Anaergia is using biogas from anaerobic digesters to generate renewable energy and save millions for Victor Valley taxpayers. (Photo: Courtesy CNW Group/Anaergia Inc.)

How’s this for greening the desert: Officials in the California community of Victor Valley on Friday unveiled the United States’ first carbon-neutral wastewater treatment plant. Biogas produced from food waste and sewage powers the plant while keeping tons of garbage out of landfills. Officials at the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority expect the system to operate independent of the power grid by 2015, diverting more than 1,400 tons of waste from the trash heap. “Why would we not want to recover the inherent energy in our waste to power this facility so that we’re out of that Edison cycle of ‘Well, here’s your rate increase, here’s your rate increase’ every year?” Logan Olds, general manager of the high desert city, told the Daily Press.

MA Begins Commercial Food Waste Ban

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A great starting point for businesses and institutions trying to divert waste from landfills and save money is to reduce the total volume of food waste they generate. Some methods to accomplish this include reducing the number of items offered on menus, providing flexible portioning choices, discounting items close to expiration at supermarkets, ordering and scheduling food deliveries more efficiently and utilizing proper food storage techniques. Another option is to donate surplus food to local food banks or pantries. Not only does this keep valuable materials out of landfills, it also provides consistent sources of food to people in need throughout your community. Learn more about starting a food donation program at your business at recyclingworksma.com/donate

Seattle To Fine Residents For Not Composting

Seattle officials say that food waste makes up 30% of the city's trash.

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a new rule Monday governing what residents put in your garbage bin. The idea is to increase the amount of food scraps going to compost. Council member Sally Bagshaw said promoting this practice could reduce up to a third of Seattle’s waste ending up in landfills. “So if we just get ourselves into the mindset of, Ok, we’re going to recycle our bottles, our papers, our cans, just as we’ve been doing for the past 25 years, and now we’re going to compost the stuff in your kitchen, really easy to reduce the amount of stuff that’s going to a landfill,” she said. Under the new rule, garbage haulers can ticket bins that contain 10 percent or more of food waste.

If So Many People Support Mass Transit, Why Do So Few Ride?

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Every transit advocate knows this timeless Onion headline: “98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others.” But the underlying truth that makes this line so funny also makes it a little concerning: enthusiasm for public transportation far, far outweighs the actual use of it. Last week, for instance, the American Public Transportation Association reported that 74 percent of people support more mass transit spending. But only 5 percent of commuters travel by mass transit. This support, in other words, is largely for others. What’s more striking about the support-usage gap is that it doesn’t just exist on paper. In addition to saying they support transit funding, Americans back up that support with their own pocketbooks. Time and again at the polls, people are willing to raise local taxes to maintain or expand the transit service that so few of them actually use. According to the Center for Transportation Excellence, there were 62 transportation measures on ballots across the country in 2012—many with a considerable transit component—and nearly 80 percent of them succeeded.

National Call: Save Civilian Public Education

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The national call introduction states: Over the last several decades, the Pentagon, conservative forces, and corporations have been systematically working to expand their presence in the K-12 learning environment and in public universities. The combined impact of the military, conservative think tanks and foundations, and of corporatization of our public educational systems has eroded the basic democratic concept of civilian public education. It is a trend that, if allowed to continue, will weaken the primacy of civilian rule and, ultimately, our country’s commitment to democratic ideals. The National Call suggests actions for foundations, organizations and individuals to take to implement the call.

Albuquerque Creates Citizen Police Oversight Agency

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During a five-hour special meeting on Thursday, September 18, the Albuquerque City Council abolished the existing Police Oversight Commission and unanimously passed an ordinance creating the Civilian Police Oversight Agency. Since 2010 the Albuquerque Police Department has killed 27 people. An April 2014 Department of Justice report of APD’s use of force concluded that APD routinely engages in unconstitutional policing and that a majority of recent fatal shootings were unjustified. Days after the release of the DOJ report three members of the existing Police Oversight Commission—Jonathan Siegel, Richard Shine and Jennifer Barela—resigned in protest.

People’s Climate: A Canastoria

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The People’s Climate Canastoria is a traveling, downloadable, power-point-meets-puppet-show, performable by anyone (including you!) It is currently in rotation in 9 cities across the USA and Canada (and online)! See it on Peoples Climate Arts. BUS PASSENGERS/CAPTAINS, CARPOOLS & TRAIN RIDERS: This is perfect to engage and inspire your fellow passengers or the public on your trip to NYC. Simply print out the cantastoria art and one of the the scripts to read aloud while showing the art: perfect for bus or car rides to the mobilization.

Scots In Their Own Words On Independence

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The people of Scotland head to the polls on Thursday to vote on whether to get independence from the United Kingdom. Scotland has been part of the U.K. for the past three centuries but has its own local parliament. Some Scots, who make up about 8 percent of U.K.’s population, want more local governance and freedom from London, who often vote in more right-wing governments than Scotland does. Prime Minister David Cameron, a Tory, is a staunch opponent of independence, and his government has embraced neoliberal policies and austerity at the cost of the social safety net.

Socialism And Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises

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A tiny minority of persons (directors and major shareholders) makes all the key economic decisions in capitalist enterprises. The mass of workers who must live with those decisions and their effects are excluded from making them. Capitalist enterprise organization is thus the opposite and enemy of the democratic enterprise organization that socialism affirms. In socialism redefined along these lines, all the workers in an enterprise collectively and democratically make all the key economic decisions: what, how, and where to produce and what to do with the enterprise’s surplus or profits. Such a socialism would advocate social ownership, planning, and the democratization of enterprises, i.e. their transition from capitalist to workers’ self-directed enterprises (WSDEs).

100% Of Power For Vermont City Now Renewable

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BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont’s largest city has a new success to add to its list of socially conscious achievements: 100 percent of its electricity now comes from renewable sources such as wind, water, and biomass. With little fanfare, the Burlington Electric Department crossed the threshold this month with the purchase of the 7.4-megawatt Winooski 1 hydroelectric project on the Winooski River at the city’s edge. When it did, Burlington joined the Washington Electric Co-operative, which has about 11,000 customers across central and northern Vermont and which reached 100 percent earlier this year. ‘‘It shows that we’re able to do it, and we’re able to do it cost effectively in a way that makes Vermonters really positioned well for the future,’’ said Christopher Recchia, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service.

Radical Librarianship: Ensuring Patrons' Electronic Privacy

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Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications — and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity. It’s no secret that libraries are among our most democratic institutions. Libraries provide access to information and protect patrons’ right to explore new ideas, no matter how controversial or subversive. Libraries are where all should be free to satisfy any information need, be it for tax and legal documents, health information, how-to guides, historical documents, children’s books, or poetry.

‘Yes’ To Scotland Independence

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In 1707 a shaky union was set up that made Scotland a part of the United Kingdom. Scottish parliamentarians were bribed with vast sums of money and lucrative pension schemes to move their seats to Westminster, London. It was a sell out of the Scottish electorate that would later prompt its country’s best-loved poet, Robert Burns, to claim about Scottish politicians: We’re bought and sold for English gold. Such a parcel of rogues in a nation. It was colonial expansionism by other means than the barrel of a gun. Empires come and go, and now there is a real chance Scotland will regain its independence. Dennis Canavan, chairman of “Yes Scotland,” is calling for a referendum on who should rule the country. On September 18, 2014, the voting electorate will decide whether they want to remain part of the union or manage their own economy. There is division now, as there was in 1707, but this time Scottish voters have a unique opportunity to express their wishes through the ballot box.

Workers In Maine Buy Out Their Jobs

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On remote Deer Isle, Maine, the movement for a more just and democratic economy won a major victory this summer. More than 60 employees of three retail businesses – Burnt Cove Market, V&S Variety and Pharmacy, and The Galley – banded together to buy the stores and create the largest worker cooperative in Maine and the second largest in New England. Now the workers own and run the businesses together under one banner, known as the Island Employee Cooperative (IEC). This is the first time that multiple businesses of this size and scope have been merged and converted into one worker cooperative – making this a particularly groundbreaking achievement in advancing economic democracy.

XM24: Survival & Inspiration Against All Odds

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XM24 is a self-managed social center and public space in Bologna, Italy. It was first occupied in 2002, but its origins go back to the 1990s, to the social centers and the anti-globalization movement of that decade. It is heterogeneous and non-hegemonic, but it holds anti-fascism, anti-sexism and anti-racism to be the three common points that hold the space, its collectives and its individuals together in a revolutionary and pluralistic identification with the broader anti-capitalist movement. The object of this article, written by two militants of the space, is to give a sense of our story and daily practice that, we hope, will be useful to comrades outside of the Italian context.

Tesla’s Net Zero Factory To Power 500,000 Vehicles

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As predicted yesterday, Tesla and the Neveda governor have confirmed that the gigantic battery Gigafactory that will make enough battery cells to power 500,000 electric vehicles per year will be located in Nevada. Governor Brian Sandoval and Elon Musk made the joint announcement, with the Governor saying that this investment in his state represents “nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years” and that he called Tesla and Musk “21st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire” (how poetic). Musk, in turn, said that the “Gigafactory is an important step in advancing the cause of sustainable transportation and will enable the mass production of compelling electric vehicles for decades to come.”