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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Recent Articles in Create!

Housing The Homeless In Baltimore’s Vacants

Sleeping in a doorway a block from City Hall last winter.
Photo by: Fern Shen

Housing the homeless of Baltimore in the city’s vacant rowhouses is being floated again by local affordable housing activists whose idea forms the core of an article in the current Atlantic. Their idea is “to create a community land trust – a non-profit that will hold the title to the land in order to make it permanently affordable.” according totoday’s piece by Alana Semuels. “Structures on the land can be bought and sold, but the trust owns the land forever,” she writes about the proposal by Housing Is A Human Right Roundtable, a coalition of labor activists and homeless people affiliated with the United Workers. “A community land trust essentially takes the ‘market’ part out of the housing market, allowing people to buy homes but restricting their resale value in order to make them affordable for the next buyer.”

Proving Power of Renewables In Northern Europe

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The wind power boom in Nordic countries is making fossil fuel-fired power plants obsolete and is pushing electricity prices down, according to reporting by Reuters published Friday. Power prices in Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have dropped sharply as renewable energy floods the market, efficiency measures lower energy use overall, and growth remains stagnant, reporter Nerijus Adomaitis writes. This, in turn, will lead to the “mothballing” of 2,000 megawatts (MW) of coal capacity in Denmark and Finland over the next 15 years, a Norway-based consultant tells Adomaitis. According to the article, “Pushing fossil-fueled power stations out of the Nordic generation park is part of government plans across the region.”

#GazaRebirth: New Paradigm For Recovery Activism

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Besides the aid to Gazans, there are two outcomes we would love to achieve: One, establish a new way of providing emergency assistance which bypasses the NGO empires and paternalistic controls on people who need aid. People are not products, aid should be a human relationship not a corporate one. If we can set up one trust relationship for Gaza, we hope we can use it as a proof of concept to expand across Gaza and in other places like Syria, Myanmar and everywhere really. The trust networks we set up for direct global communication to bypass corporate media can be used in the same way to provide direct aid and bypass corporate NGOs. Two, we want to start a dialogue about this cycle of destruction and ‘rebuilding’ where corporate empires are feeding off real human torment as a growth industry to enrich themselves.

How Public Art Builds Safer, Stronger Neighborhoods

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Art that merges with the landscape brings human presence, safety, and physical activity into the city’s spaces. This kind of art triggers more than one sense: it is something you move in, touch, and, in some cases, even eat. In Detroit, a spread-out city of single-family homes that is difficult to traverse and pockmarked by vacancy, these artistic interventions are an uncommonly powerful nexus of community life. They create welcoming traffic, as well as opportunities for neighbors to interact and work together. And rather than being a temporary show, in the style of a traveling exhibition or ephemeral installation, this is art for the long-term. It is for a city with a future.

St. Louis University Responds To Occupation

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This week has been a challenge for many of us, including me. Unlike some with whom I spoke, I have never been followed by security throughout a department store, had taxicab drivers refuse to pick me up, or been seated by the bathrooms of a half-empty restaurant. But those indignities — and far worse — are not uncommon to people of color, including our students, faculty and staff. Many of their life experiences, described to me in stark and painful terms, have weighed on me as peaceful demonstrations and teach-ins have played out this week. Also weighing on me has been the concern expressed by some students and parents who were worried about a non-peaceful outcome to this demonstration.

Sustainable Communities: Creating A Durable Economy

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In the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Communities & Banking Journal, localist Bruce Seifer presents an excerpt from his new book that describes the shift in Burlington, Vermont’s economic development strategy from one that seeks corporate subsidies to one based on building local entrepreneurship. Seifer gives an overview of the city’s long-term economic vision and describes the city’s efforts to convert business into employee-owned companies and to provide technical assistance to locally owned firms. Burlington is the largest municipality in the state of Vermont by far. Situated on the edge of Lake Champlain, the city boasts a hospital, five colleges, and quality-of-life amenities that include a bike path, a boat house, historic architecture, a marina, and parks. But it wasn’t always so ideal.

Beyond Police, Chicago Residents Band Together To Curb Street Violence

Members of the New Beginnings Church of Chicago, which has organized community-led anti-violence programs on the South Side of Chicago, gathered in August. (New Beginnings Church of Chicago.)

As a highly segregated and economically unequal city, Chicago has long had high rates of violence, particularly in the neighborhoods with the most poverty and least access to resources. While the city government has responded to the violence by increasing the presence of police, many community members like Brooks have sought ways to deescalate the violence without involving the police or the criminal justice system. Earlier this year, Brooks spoke with other Chicago residents on his radio station and quickly realized he was not the only one that desired change in Chicago. Thus, the community-led initiative was born as part of the church’s broader Project Help Others Obtain Destiny campaign, known as Project HOOD. By the beginning of the summer, the initiative had accumulated 150 core volunteers. Male volunteers walk the blocks of the south, east and west side neighborhoods during three-hour shifts every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to midnight. Female volunteers work as mentors on the streets Saturday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m.

Building Bridges Between Ancient Wisdom And Modern Science

The Powerhouse Science Center is one of three science museums in the country, along with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, to participate in Native Universe, whose goal is to build bridges between the two diverse approaches to understanding our world, particularly in evaluating and dealing with climate change. It is the successor to a previous four-year project, Cosmic Serpent, that began the collaborative process.

“This is so beneficial to us,” said Sarah Margoles, director of education at the Powerhouse. “We serve such a diverse community with so many Native American neighbors. How can we say we serve the whole Four Corners region when we only use this one specific way of learning, this one specific way of teaching, which is from the perspective of Western science?”

The Powerhouse Science Center is one of three science museums in the country, along with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, to participate in Native Universe, whose goal is to build bridges between the two diverse approaches to understanding our world, particularly in evaluating and dealing with climate change. It is the successor to a previous four-year project, Cosmic Serpent, that began the collaborative process. “This is so beneficial to us,” said Sarah Margoles, director of education at the Powerhouse. “We serve such a diverse community with so many Native American neighbors. How can we say we serve the whole Four Corners region when we only use this one specific way of learning, this one specific way of teaching, which is from the perspective of Western science?”

How To Protect Communities From Climate Change

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After disasters like Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy, groups like Common Ground and the Red Hook Initiative received national media attention for offering more effective support to victims than large groups like the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the Red Cross. This was possible because grassroots groups relied on pre-existing community ties while also embracing new technologies like social media, as in the case of groups like Occupy Sandy, a community that was built and organized to help the victims of this storm to recover. And while Wall Street reopened two days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, millions of residents spent much longer in the dark. Even climate change researchers were victims of the power outage.

Newcastle Muslim Association Thanks Skaters For Standing Up To Bigotry

Skaters who made a stand against racism meet people from the Newcastle Muslim Association people at Newcastle Mosque in Wallsend. From left, Patrick Burgess, Sheikh Mohamed Khamis and Justin Lanz. Picture Ryan Osland

THE men who took a stand against an alleged act of bigotry last week in Newcastle have been formally thanked by members of the city’s Muslim association. Patrick Burgess and Justin Lanz visited Newcastle Mosque on Saturday where they were also invited to a community open day that will be held at the mosque, which is located in Wallsend, this upcoming Sunday from 10am to 3pm. The men were skating with four other friends last Monday when they came to the aid of a Muslim mother and daughter who were being attacked in an alleged bigoted tirade on Smith Street, in Newcastle West. The incident occurred at a time of increasing community unrest and concern Australia’s mission against Islamic State in Iraq is fuelling attacks on Muslims in Australia.

The Long Road From C.J. Peete To Harmony Oaks

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By the time her organization landed a contract to do work in New Orleans, Sandra Moore had felt the city’s tug for more than a year. Moore is president of Urban Strategies, a nonprofit community development company that often partners with developer McCormack Baron Salazar, which specializes in mixed-income and affordable redevelopments. Urban Strategies got a contract in early 2007 to provide services for residents from C.J. Peete, a shuttered New Orleans public-housing complex. When she thought of New Orleans, Moore vividly recalled images broadcast during the wake of Hurricane Katrina: New Orleanians were pleading for water, medical help, and long-delayed buses to take them out of the devastated city.

The Other Spotlights On Fighting Hunger

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The World Food Prize is being awarded this week at a glitzy event that draws international dignitaries to Iowa and showcases Norman Borlaug, the Iowa native who founded the Green Revolution. Also being awarded are the Food Sovereignty Prize and Strong Feisty Woman Award, which honor grassroots efforts to fight hunger. These other awards also challenge the premise of the World Food Prize, with its reliance on high-yield, genetically modified seeds. These groups, which include Occupy the World Food Prize, say the GMO model can actually increase hunger, and the goal should be to make it easier for people to produce food. The difference in approaches is well illustrated by the people being honored.

Latvian Bicyclists' Demonstration Of How Bikes Reduce Traffic Jams

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In Latvia, as part of International Car Free Day, some cyclists went to a lot of trouble to tangibly demonstrate one huge difference between bikes and cars: the amount of space they take up on the road. These photos, which the European cycling group Let’s Bike It posted to the social network Vk.com, show a group of bikers in Riga that strapped rickety car-sized constructions to their bikes to show how much space they’d take up if they were actually driving one. The implication here is pretty obvious: if those cyclists actually were in cars, they’d dramatically increase traffic congestion. On the other hand, getting people out of cars and onto bikes is one way of cutting it. The photos also call to mind a particularly well-known demonstration of the road space people in cars take up, in comparison to both bikes and buses.

Solar Getting Less Expensive & Easier To Install

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Seven years ago we first covered the Magic Box That Does Everything, the Ecos LifeLink. I titled the post It Generates. It Internets. It Cools and Refreshes. And now, apparently, It Exists. It doesn’t appear to cool and refresh with the water purification anymore, but it does still generate and internet, with up to 15 Kilowatts of power. Director and intellectual property strategist Dean Becker gushes in a press release: This innovative patented solar technology has the potential to be one of the most important solar patented innovations of our generation. Did I mention it is patented? Indeed, it is covered by US patent US 8593102. I looked it up to try and figure out what was in fact patentable in covering a shipping container with solar panels and filling it with batteries and routers; it seems pretty obvious to me. And indeed, inventor Dennis McGuire notes in the application that “there exist a multitude of mobile and portable power stations that supply electricity to field hospitals, emergency aid units, and water filtration systems.”

City Council To Vote On Changing Columbus Day

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The second Monday in October has historically served as Columbus Day in the United States. However, several states don’t honor this holiday, including Washington State. While so many celebrate Christopher Columbus, the era of colonization and the genocidal actions of Christopher Columbus have also led to historical trauma within various cultures and people, namely Coast Salish populations. Additionally, research has shown that Coast Salish Tribes, including the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation, have lived, worked and played in Bellingham since time immemorial. Thus, the goal of this proposal is to establish Coast Salish Day on the second Monday in October, a day other parts of the country still celebrate Columbus Day. Now is a time where we can start to help set historical records straight, and create a holiday that celebrates both the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation.