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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Seattle Times Furious With FBI: Allegations That It Impersonated The Newspaper

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Seven years ago, the FBI used a kind of spyware known as a CIPAV to track down and arrest a 15-year-old hacker who was sending bomb threats to a high school near Olympia. Old news for privacy watchdogs. But today, ACLU analyst Christopher Soghoian trawled through an arcane set of the bureau’s records and came across something startling: in order to get the suspect’s computer infected with the spyware, the documents suggest that the FBI sent a message to him that masqueraded as an e-mail from The Seattle Times. “Here is the email link in the style of the Seattle Times,” wrote one FBI agent, whose name is redacted. “Below is the news article we would like to send containing the CIPAV,” wrote another. The e-mail includes a message, headline, link, and subscription information all purporting to represent an Associated Press article carried online by The Seattle Times.

10 Reasons To Turn Off An Idling Car

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It happens, we know. You’re picking up a friend, waiting for a food order or just trying to warm up your car on cold morning—and you leave it running for a little while. It’s easy to let those minutes tick by, but getting into the habit of turning your car off when you’ll be idle for more than 10 seconds can make a big difference. Here’s why: 1. It saves gas: If you idle for 5 minutes warming up your car in the morning, 3 minutes at the bank drive-thru and 4 minutes listening to the end of an NPR story in your driveway, you’ve burned enough gas to drive 24 miles. 2. It saves money: Americans spend a whopping $13 million every day on unnecessary idling. (That’s 3.8 million gallons of fuel, wasted!) Also, idling is actually illegal in some states, and violators can pay steep fines if caught. . .

Indian Journalist Offers Harsh Critique Of Globalization

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Sainath is pessimistic about India’s new government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with its combination of neoliberal economics and rightwing nationalism. He predicts that it will gut the social programs that the previous center-left government put into place, such as a rural job program that provides employment to a member of each rural family for 100 days a year. “The upper class, industry, and landlords hate the scheme, since it provides a floor wage,” he said. “Joseph Stiglitz [the Nobel Prize-winning economist] recently told me that Modi can’t hope to expand the economy while at the same time lowering wages.” Sainath says Modi intends to “reform” the financial sector, which would open up India to the very calamity that took down Wall Street.

Changing The World Without Taking Power

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John Holloway, a sociology professor in Mexico, recently gave an interview with Roar magazine suggesting how to introduce a new social and economic logic in the face of the mighty machine of neoliberal capitalism. Holloway’s idea, recapitulating themes from his previous book and 2002 thesis, is to build “cracks” in the system in which people can relate to each other and meet their needs in non-market ways: “We have to keep building cracks and finding ways of recognizing them, strengthening them, expanding them, connecting them; seeking confluence, or preferably, the commoning of cracks.” This strategic approach has immediate appeal to commoners, it seems to me — even though some engagement with state power is surely necessary at some point. Below, Holloway’s interview with by Amador Fernández-Savater. It was translated by Richard Mac Duinnsleibhe and edited by Arianne Sved of Guerrilla Translation.

Urban Farms Build Resilience Within Singapore's Fragile Food System

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At a local FairPrice Supermarket in central Singapore, you’ll find baby carrots grown in Bakersfield, Calif. — the same ones for sale at my local grocery store in Washington, D.C. Such well-traveled vegetables aren’t unusual in the tiny island state, which imports more than 90 percent of its food from some 35 countries. Singapore may be one of the most affluent countries in the world, but it depends heavily on others for basic foodstuffs. A new crop of farmers is trying to change that. Just as property developers build up when they can’t build out, so, too, are these agricultural pioneers. Vertical farming is taking hold across Singapore — not only in greenhouses in the vanishing countryside but also on rooftops in the heart of the city, amid soaring skyscrapers and housing blocks.

San Francisco Recognizes The Rights Of Whales And Dolphins

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In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a measure stating that cetaceans, or whales, dolphins and porpoises, have the right to be free from life in captivity. The resolution states that the animals deserve “to be free of captivity, and to remain unrestricted in their natural environment.” It was backed by both San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener and sponsored by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project. As its rationale, the Board cited the complex emotional and intellectual capacities of cetaceans, as well as the documented psychological stress and high mortality rates caused by captivity at marine parks like SeaWorld. The resolution is the first of its kind in the U.S. San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commissioner Russell Tenofsky first introduced the resolution to the Commission earlier this year.

The Farm of the Future: Green Sky Growers

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The farm of the future is growing today in an unlikely place– on the roof of a retail building in a sleepy suburb near Orlando, Florida. Green Sky Growers is a true technical marvel, a state of the art farm which is one part laboratory and one part organic garden. It raises thousands of pounds of fish and vegetables every year using a mutually-beneficial farming technique called aquaponics. Green Sky Growers raises everything from tilapia to perch, herbs to tomatoes, delivering them fresh to the public and a hungry group of local restaurateurs. If you enjoy a dish of striped bass and leafy greens at the restaurant below, you may have no idea that the ingredients were sourced from 50 feet above.

Meet The Man Who’s Building Robots For Political Resistance

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The remarkable story of Chris Csikszentmihalyi was recently chronicled by tech journalist Luke Yoquinto in an article that now appears at the longform journalism startup The Big Roundtable. In it, Yoquinto describes how Csikszentmihalyi became a professor at the MIT Media Lab back in 2001, and how last decade, as he observed drones take over warfare and military interests dominate robotics research, he decided to fight back. But rather than take the Luddite route, he used technology to his advantage; he started to build robots to empower the powerless. To that end, he developed a fabric-wing UAV built of household products (the idea was that it would be devoid of military DNA), a four-wheeled telepresence robot designed to observe wars being fought, and a robotic kayak designed to protest at Guantanamo.

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.