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!

Cargo Bikes, Environmentally Friendly And Built For The Short Haul

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In Portland, Oregon, entrepreneur Franklin Jones has embraced the future of urban transport. Never mind that the future closely resembles early 20th-Century Britain. Jones, the owner of B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, uses the same technology relied on by postal carriers in Victorian England, or by Good Humor ice cream vendors in postwar America. Like so many fashion trends, the decidedly low-tech cargo bike – known to early 1900s peddlers and tradesmen as the “poor man’s nag” ­– is making an everything-old-is-new-again comeback. From Portland, Seattle and Vancouver to Toronto, Boston and New York and points in between, urban businesses and residents are discovering what European and Asian city-dwellers have known for years: cargo bikes make sense, whether used to deliver goods through traffic-choked streets, lug kids to a park or buy groceries. Point of fact: 25% of families with two or more children in Copenhagen, Denmark, own a cargo bike, according to the European Cycle Logistics Federation (ECLF). And why not? With its low initial cost of investment, zero carbon emissions, relative nimbleness and minimal operating costs, there is much to commend. Even DHL, the global parcel-delivery giant, recently hopped aboard. By replacing 33 trucks with 33 cargo bikes in the Netherlands, the company estimates it is saving about $575,000 annually and reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by 152 metric tonnes annually, the ECLF notes. Not to be outdone, rival UPS has begun testing its own electric-assisted delivery bikes – in brown, of course – in a few European cities.

Willie Nelson, Neil Young To Play Anti-Keystone XL Concert

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Music legends Neil Young and Willie Nelson will perform a benefit concert Saturday, Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh that is on the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and also crosses the historic Ponca Tribe Trail of Tears. It’s the first time the two have performed together in Nebraska since Sept. 19, 1987, when fans packed Memorial Stadium for Farm Aid III, the biggest concert in state history. That show, which also included performances by artists like John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson and John Denver, drew 29,000 people and raised about $1.6 million. Organizers hope the duo will bring a little of that magic with them to what is being called the “Harvest the Hope” concert. Proceeds from the Neligh event will go to Bold Nebraska and the Cowboy Indian Alliance to help pay for the ongoing fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, Bold Nebraska said in a news release. The daytime, outdoor concert will be in a field on a farm owned by the Tanderup family, part of a collective of Nebraska landowners refusing to sign an easement with TransCanada for the pipeline that would carry oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

12 Things White People Can Do After Ferguson

Michael Brown from Huffington Post.

Let’s talk about an active role for white people in the fight against racism because racism burdens all of us and is destroying our communities. And, quite frankly, because white people have a role in undoing racism because white people created and, for the most part, currently maintain (whether they want to or not) the racist system that benefits white people to the detriment of people of color. My white friends who’ve spoken out harshly against the murder of Michael Brown end with a similar refrain: What can I do that will matter in the fight against racism? White people who are sick and tired of racism should work hard to become white allies. In the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown, may he rest in power, here are some ways for white people to become white allies who are engaged thoughtfully and critically in examining the situation in Ferguson and standing on the side of justice and equity.

Proposal For A Monument To Huey Newton

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This article is from our associated project, CreativeResistance.org. This is a bronze sculpture of a wicker fan back chair that rests on a square steel base with a mirrored surface. The chair refers to a famous portrait of Huey Newton, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party. This picture shows Newton seated in a rattan chair that Sam Durant’s sculpture replicates. The title, “Monument for the Alameda County Courthouse” directly relates to the Oakland Museum’s proximity to this building across 12th Street where many of the Black Panther trials were conducted in the late 1960s. With this sculpture, the artist is proposing that there be a tangible recognition of the legacy of the Black power movement. This work is also interactive since it is intended to be used by the public. Viewers are encouraged to sit in the chair to metaphorically set themselves in and consider the history that the work alludes to. Visitors are allowed to sit in the chair.

Gallery: Water Writes Mural In Richmond, Ca

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This article is from our associated project, CreativeResistance.org. A Giant two-block mural about oil trains and climate change, cherishing water, and building community solidarity was dedicated in Richmond, CA, on August 9, 2014, during the final day of Richmond’s”Our Power” Convention. “Water Writes” is the first major initiative of the Estria Foundation, an Oakland-based non-profit that raises social consciousness for critical human and environmental issues through public art projects. From the Estria Foundation website: The theme of water connects participating communities [in ten cities around the planet] and documents current local and international water crises. Through our collective creative process, we engage youth, artists, organizers, and environmental activists to create imagery which reflects the relationship between the people and the water of each area. Community members are invited to a public paint day and able to participate in bringing these ideas into reality. The final murals are accessible to view by the public and also to communities across the world through video documentation and the Internet. We hope to spark discussions and cross collaboration between the participating cities and water warriors across the world.

New Work New Culture Conference

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From October 18-20 in Detroit, Michigan several hundred activists, organizers, theorists, farmers, culture creators, builders, inventors and entrepreneurs will meet to exchange ideas and experiences. A vendors and exhibitors area will feature new machines and new ways to use them. It will also include displays on global communication and community based production of food, energy, housing, transportation, education, recreation, art and durable goods. Featured presenters, facilitators and dialogue leaders include, but are not limited to, Frithjof Bergmann, Blair Evans, Emmanuel Pratt, Rebecca Solnit, Gar Alperovitz, Grace Lee Boggs, Kathi Weeks, Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty, Mischa Schaub, Frank Joyce, Kim Sherrobi, Michael Hardt, Judith Snow, Adrienne Marie Brown and Halima Cassells.

SOS! Alternatives To Capitalism Needed Please

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Richard Swift’s book, SOS: Alternatives to Capitalism, is a much needed antidote to the myriad of political clap trap that spouts from our daily newspapers and much of our “left” journalism which suggests that capitalism can be reformed and regulated in such a way that an ecological and economic disaster can be avoided. Right of the bat, Swift speaks of “species suicide” in reference to what we are doing to the planet, which sets a tone of urgency that is carried throughout the book. Swift says that we need alternatives to capitalism that go beyond economic change and points out that “When our best natures are not suppressed, we can be loving, funny, carefree, courageous, thoughtful and capable of wondrous acts of generosity.” The implication clearly is that under capitalism such traits as greed, selfishness, individualism and meanness are promoted. Capitalism thrives on them. The former, not the latter, traits, must drive alternatives to capitalism. Swift leads us on an exploration of our pre-capitalist roots pointing to the historical reality of different ways of living without falling into the idealistic trait of simply glorifies the past. Following Polanyi he points to an earlier time when the economy was embedded in, and thus in service to, the society. This is in contrast to the present day era of advanced capitalism where society is embedded in and thus in service to, the economy. “Advocates of an alternative to wasteful capitalism,” says Swift, “have their roots in past human experience.”

Letitia James To De Blasio: Chokehold Death Proves Need For Cop Body Cameras

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In response to the case of a Staten Island man who died in a cop’s chokehold, the New York City Public Advocate called Monday on Mayor de Blasio to curb bad police behavior by equipping officers with body cameras. Letitia James implored de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and the City Council to support her proposal for a body-cam pilot program, saying, “We need action today!” “Simply rewriting the rules is not enough,” said James, apparently referring to Bratton’s plan to retrain all officers in the use of force in the wake of Eric Garner’s death. Garner died July 17 when a plainclothes police officer put him in an NYPD-prohibited chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling bootleg cigarettes on a Staten Island street. A witness videotaped the incident in which Garner repeatedly pleaded “I can’t breathe” before going lifeless on the sidewalk. The city medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

Should Police Be Required To Have Liability Insurance?

POlice abuse, too many cops too little justice

Suppose police departments were required to have liability insurance policies on their police officers, so if they were sued by injured civilians there would be money available from a source other than taxpayers? One would think that political conservatives would welcome that result because it would lower the tax burden. But who should be paying for the insurance policy? The idea being advanced here is that such policies should be required, and individual policemen should have a deduction from their salaries to pay for the policies. This would provide financial protection for the policemen (they would all be insured) in the event they did something foolish, but it would also protect the taxpayers and provide an independent fund for the victims. For instance, the policies could provide for up to several million dollars towards the death or injury of a civilian victim. It might be recalled that local governments (e.g., Detroit) can go bankrupt, so the policies would provides assurance of compensation where needed.

Police Need To Be Remade as ‘Peace Officers’

1poli

The Ferguson Police Department, reportedly nearly all white (50 of 53 officers), patrols a St. Louis suburban community that is 70 percent African-American, a situation that is already a recipe for disaster in a nation that is drenched in racism–and all too typical in communities across the country. The Ferguson PD has also been reportedly employing the kind of aggressive policing — arresting people over minor infractions — that can quickly escalate into violent confrontations. In this case, it appears Brown’s offense was jay-walking and perhaps talking back to the police officer — the first being a citation offense, and the second not even illegal. When this shooting happened, instead of immediately attempting to calm things down, the Ferguson Police Department went all paramilitary, sending massive numbers of up-armed cops in military gear, backed by police dogs, into the community.

Eco-Friendly Agriculture Puts Down Roots In Spain

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José María Gómez squats and pulls up a bunch of carrots from the soil as well as a few leeks. This farmer from southern Spain believes organic farming is more than just not using pesticides and other chemicals – it’s a way of life, he says, which requires creativity and respect for nature. Gómez, 44, goes to organic food markets in Málaga to sell the vegetables and citrus fruits he grows on his three-hectare farm in the Valle del Guadalhorce, 40 km west of Málaga, a city in southern Spain, And every week Gómez, whose parents and grandparents were farmers, does home deliveries of several dozen baskets of fresh produce, “thus closing the circle from the field to the table,” he told Tierramérica on his farm. The economic crisis in Spain, where the unemployment rate stands at 25 percent, hasn’t put a curb on ecological farming. In 2012, organic farming covered 1.7 million hectares of land, compared to 988,323 in 2007, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment. Organic farming generated 913,610 euros (1.22 million dollars) in 2012, 9.6 percent more than in 2011.

How America's Largest Worker Owned Co-Op Lifts People Out Of Poverty

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Before Zaida Ramos joined Cooperative Home Care Associates, she was raising her daughter on public assistance, shuttling between dead-end office jobs, and not making ends meet. “I earned in a week what my family spent in a day,” she recalled. After 17 years as a home health aide at Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), the largest worker-owned co-op in the United States, Ramos recently celebrated her daughter’s college graduation. She’s paying half of her son’s tuition at a Catholic school, and she’s a worker-owner in a business where she enjoys flexible hours, steady earnings, health and dental insurance, plus an annual share in the profits. She’s not rich, she says, “but I’m financially independent. I belong to a union, and I have a chance to make a difference.” Can worker-owned businesses lift families out of poverty? “They did mine,” Ramos said. Should other low-income New Yorkers get involved in co-ops? She says, “Go for it.” New York City is going—in a big way—for worker-owned cooperatives. Inspired by the model of CHCA and prodded by a new network of co-op members and enthusiasts, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council allocated $1.2 million to support worker cooperatives in 2015’s budget. According to the Democracy at Work Institute, New York’s investment in co-ops is the largest by any U.S. city government to date.

Is Worker Ownership A Way Forward For Market Basket?

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The Market Basket situation is indeed, as many commentators have remarked, nearly unprecedented in the annals of American labor relations: When have we ever seen so many workers protest so vigorously for, rather than against, their boss! (For those new to the story, the New England supermarket chain has been wracked by massive employee protests, organized without any union involvement, after a faction of the family that owns the chain took control and ousted extremely popular CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. The mobilization in support of the former chief executive has resulted in nearly empty shelves and the mobilization of angry communities of formerly happy customers.) But beneath the surface of the singular job action, in which workers and community have banded together to demand the reinstatement of the former CEO, the conflict in New England points toward something much more fundamental: the need to build institutions that can sustain the kind of community- and worker-friendly business leadership that earned “good brother” Arthur T. such incredible loyalty. Happily, such institutions already exist, here in the United States. While undoubtedly not perfect as a form of workplace democracy, the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) offers a proven template for making the interest workers have in a thriving business part of the discussions about a company’s future.

Setting The Record Straight On The Legality Of Seed Libraries

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After the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture cracked down on a seed bank in the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, hundreds of seed libraries in the U.S. are suddenly wondering if they are breaking the law. According to Pennsylvania regulators, in order to give out member-donated seeds, the Simpson Seed Library would have to put around 400 seeds of each variety through impractical seed testing procedures in order to determine quality, germination rate, and so on. The result of the Pennsylvania crackdown is that the library will no longer give out seeds other than those which are commercially packaged. Ironically, this is in the name of “protecting and maintaining the food sources of America.” In this news article that went viral, regulators said that “agri-terrorism is a very, very real scenario.” In reality, seed libraries have emerged to protect our food sources and ensure access to locally adapted and heirloom varieties. The public’s access to seeds has been decreasing since a 1980 Supreme Court ruling that a life-form could be patented. Since then, big seed companies have shifted away from open-pollinated seeds to patented hybridized and genetically engineered varieties. The companies prohibit farmers from saving and replanting such seeds, requiring that they buy new seeds each year. Counter to this trend, seed libraries give members free seeds and request that members later harvest seed and give back to the library thereby growing the pool of seeds available to everyone.

Communal Lands: Theater Of Operations For The Counterinsurgency

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In 2006, a team of geographers from the University of Kansas carried out a series of mapping projects of communal lands in southern Mexico’s Northern Sierra Mountains. Coordinated by Peter Herlihy and Geoffrey B. Demarest, a US lieutenant colonel, the objective was to achieve strategic military and geopolitical goals of particular interest for the United States. The objective was to incorporate indigenous territories into the transnational corporate model of private property, either by force or through agreements. Demarest’s essential argument is that peace cannot exist without private property. “The Bowman Expeditions are taking places with the counterinsurgency logic of the United States, and we reported them in 2009. These expeditions were part of research regarding the geographic information that indigenous communities in the Sierra Juarez possess. The researchers hid the fact that they were being financed by the Pentagon. And we believe that this research was a type of pilot project to practice how they would undertake research in other parts of the world in relation to indigenous towns and their communal lands,” said Aldo Gonzales Rojas in an interview with Truthout. A director for the Secretary of Indigenous Affairs in the state of Oaxaca, Rojas ensures that indigenous laws are being instituted and applied correctly in the state.