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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Rural Women In Latin America Define Their Own Kind Of Feminism

A group of indigenous women participating in one of the debates at the Fifth Continent-wide Assembly of Rural Women during the sixth congress of the Latin American Coordinating Committee of Rural Organisations-Via Campesina, held in Ezeiza in Greater Buenos Aires. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS

Rural organisations in Latin America are working on defining their own concept of feminism, one that takes into account alternative economic models as well as their own concerns and viewpoints, which are not always in line with those of women in urban areas. Gregoria Chávez, an older farmer from the northwest Argentine province of Santiago del Estero, said feminism must include “the struggles and support of our fellow farmers in defending the land.” Until recently, feminism was an alien concept for her. But like so many other women farmers around Latin America, she is now a leader in the battles in her province against the spread of monoculture soy production and the displacement of small farmers. “I think women are important in the countryside because they are braver than men,” she told IPS. “I’m not afraid of anything. I always tell my compañeras that without courage we won’t gain a thing.”

‘Teach Philosophy In Primary Schools,’ Says Academic

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“If we leave questioning the models children have been taught until later in life, it could be too late,” warns Professor Angie Hobbs. “That is why we need to start teaching philosophy in primary school.” By this the professor means that children should be taught from a young age that there are other ways of seeing the world to the one they are exposed to by their family and social circle. It’s a pertinent and timely point to make, especially considering the current debate around the risk of ‘radicalisation’ facing young people. Hobbs is currently the only professor of public understanding of philosophy in the world. She believes that just one philosophy class a week could benefit children’s intellectual and social development. Her department at the University of Sheffield – along with organisations such as The Philosophy Foundation – are currently pioneering the teaching of ancient Greek philosophy in UK primary schools.

The Co-op Alternative To Uber

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Gebremariam isn’t just complaining about it. Instead, he and 644 other drivers are on a mission to form a new taxi company that will be both worker-owned and unionized. The new co-op, Green Taxi, will have a fleet of hybrid or high-efficiency vehicles, and will offer a ride-hailing app. The drivers aren’t going it alone. The Communications Workers of America Local 7777 union is playing a key role in helping them break into Denver’s heavily regulated taxi industry. The new cooperative faces many legal barriers before they can get taxis on the road. For example, the Public Utilities Commission, which oversees the industry, requires potential new companies to prove that they have a viable business plan, that more drivers are needed, and that the new company won’t put existing ones out of businesses.

Communities Can Take Back Power In City Planning

"[City Planning] approaches a community to do a zoning study, and many community board people say, okay, let's do a study. But the blueprint is already laid out; the formula is already clear," said Tom Angotti, director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development. (Photo: Condo Construction via Shutterstock)

Although low-to middle-income residents are most affected by zoning and land use decisions in their neighborhoods, they are rarely given real power in the city planning process. Instead, city planning departments and developers rig the process so that their interests are served, at the expense of local residents. The problem is, most times, residents don’t know they’re getting played. “Throughout the city, community groups tend to be seduced by what city planning claims is an open process,” said Tom Angotti, director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development. “The truth of the matter is, a lot of communities don’t know zoning. [Information] is filtered through planners who have a stake in the game, which is to get the zoning through.”

Connecticut Bill Would Fine Corporations For Low Wages

Connecticut lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal that could effectively raise the minimum wage of many of the state's low-wage workers to $15 an hour. (Shutterstock)

Connecticut lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal that could effectively raise the minimum wage of many of the state’s low-wage workers to $15 an hour. The bill, SB 1044, would subject for-profit companies with 500 or more employees to a fine for every employee who is paid less than $15 an hour, essentially forcing those companies to raise wages or pay if they refuse. The bill would be the first of its kind in the country. Connecticut has in the past few years enacted other first-of-its-kind laws to support low-wage workers in the state, among them a 2011 law mandating paid sick leave for the hundreds of thousands of service employees in the state.

Holding Companies That Use Sweatshop Labor Accountable

Textile workers at a sweatshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the same city where the Tazreen and Rana Plaza factory disasters occurred. (Flickr / Asian Development Bank)

We as labor activists must begin to think about how to build international labor solidarity by fighting for legislation that would create this accountability—specifically giving workers around the world the right to sue in American courts if companies or their subcontractors violated basic labor rights such as workplace violence, avoiding paying a nation’s minimum wage, or pollution discharges that sicken and kill people. Despite recent Supreme Court decisions reducing the power of international agencies to sue in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute of 1789, empowering workers to demand accountability through this law is our best bet to working toward better labor conditions worldwide. This law gives foreigners the right to sue if they have suffered from actions “in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”

In Midst Of Oil Spill, Vancouver To Go To 100% Renewables

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There’s some mixed news coming out of Vancouver, Canada this week. On the one hand, the city announced at an international sustainability summit that it would commit to using 100 percent renewable energy to power its electricity, transportation, heating and air conditioning within 20 years. On the other hand, Vancouver is also dealing with a fuel spill in the waters of English Bay that is washing up on beaches and threatening wildlife. On March 26, Vancouver’s city council voted unanimously to approve Mayor Gregor Robertson motion calling for a long-term commitment to deriving all of the city’s energy from renewable sources. At the ICLEI World Congress 2015 this week in Seoul, South Korea, the city went a step further, committing to reaching that goal of 100 percent renewable electricity, transportation, heating and air conditioning by 2030 or 2035.

Is Barcelona On The Verge Of A Feminist Revolution?

Ada Colau and the other women involved in the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú are showing how municipal politics can be feminized from the bottom up.   Photo: Ada Colau Presents Barcelona en Comu (by Aleix Moldes / ACN).

Something special is happening in Barcelona. At the local elections in May, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common) could snatch control of the city council. If it succeeds, the consequences for the women of Barcelona and, perhaps, cities all over the world, could be radical. A victory for Barcelona en Comú would catapult anti-eviction activist Ada Colauinto the mayoralty. The election of the city’s first female mayor would be a landmark event in itself, but in the case of Colau it would have special significance. After her rapid rise to national prominence in 2013, Colau turned down offers from traditional parties to stand on their tickets.

On the Lam With Bank Robber Enric Duran

CIC members often talk about their goal of autogestió, or self-sufficiency.

Being underground is not a condition Enric Duran always takes literally, but one night in late January he went from basement to basement. At a hackerspace under a tiny library just south of Paris, he met a group of activists from across France and then traveled with them by bus and Métro to another meeting place, in an old palace on the north end of the city. On the ground floor it felt like an art gallery, with white walls and sensitive acoustics, but the basement below was like a cave, full of costumes and scientific instruments and exposed masonry. There, Duran arranged chairs in a circle for the dozen or so people who’d made the journey. As they were settling in and discussing which language they’d speak, a woman from upstairs, attending an event about open licenses, peeked in through the doorway.

5 Reasons Why SF Needs To Use Public Lands For Public Benefit

Construction in San Francisco, September 2014. (Photo: Sharon Mollerus/Flickr)

A record number of students are homeless. Essential nonprofit organizations are being displaced from the communities they serve. Small, locally owned businesses can’t survive as rents soar. The angst that is swelling throughout San Francisco and pushing outward to other Bay Area cities is not because people are resisting change. The angst is over the largest growing inequality gap in the country. At the forefront of people’s concerns is how much people now have to spend on rent. Market-rate housing is catering to the region’s new wealth, while the government is rolling out policies to make the city a rich man’s playground.

A Seed To Save The World

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Kansas City, MO – In the shadows of Kansas City, shop carts rattle past an urban farm as ragged figures scurry away from the burnt shell of an apartment building. “You get a strut on this block,” said Jake, an intern on the farm who spent almost a year living homeless under a bridge. We watched the motley crowd with their carts full of metal. “You see? Head down and shoulders up.” The farm sprouted in a neighborhood forgotten by the twinkling skyline to the west, where old buildings are often burnt to expose the copper wiring within the walls. The wiring is then stripped by “scrappers” and sold to the local scrapyard for five cents per pound. With all of the nearby high schools discredited as educational institutions, scrapping metal is often the most viable means of income.

Chelsea Manning Joins Twitter, Gets 1,000+ Followers Before Posting

This drawing of Chelsea Manning is her profile picture on her Twitter page @xychelsea. Photograph: http://www.chelseamanning.org

Chelsea Manning, the US soldier serving 35 years in military prison for leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks, has joined the social media site Twitter. The army private has secured the handle @xychelsea and will begin posting tweets from noon ET on Friday. Given the conditions of her custody – which do not extend to internet access – she will dictate comments by phone to supporters who will then post on her behalf. The new Twitter feed had by 5.30pm ET on Thursday already attracted more than 1,000 followers, even before the soldier had uttered a word or followed any other accounts.

The Good Samaritan, A Catholic Worker On LA’s Skid Row

Inside the Los Angeles Catholic Worker kitchen (Madeline Wilson)

This new book is autobiographical for Dietrich and is again a collection of essays from Los Angeles Catholic Worker newspaper, Catholic Agitator. These reflect Dietrich’s untiring service of feeding and aiding the poor, and his unabated passion for speaking truth to power. As I write this review, I am listening to the news about the killing of another homeless person, a man on Skid Row, a 50-square-block section of downtown Los Angeles. No one knows his real name, but he was known by his street name, “Africa.” The Los Angeles Police Department’s long-standing crusade against the homeless, especially veterans, is well-documented in The Good Samaritan: Stories from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker on Skid Row, which details some of the court cases won by the homeless, with support of the American Civil Liberties Union. Dietrich describes the city’s uneasy and sometimes cruel relationship with the homeless and calls it “punitive policing.”

Co-ops Enable Low-Income Women To Work As Owners

At Cooperative Home Care Associates, in their state of the art training facilities, these workers in training are finding eachothers pulses with the help of their training instructor (seen to the right). (Photo: Jordanna Rosen)

Co-ops not only give low-income and immigrant women a way to enter an often unwelcoming – and in some cases, hostile – economy, but also give them a way to exert some control over their work lives and simultaneously support themselves and their families. They have consequently been some of the early adopters in the not-yet-critical-mass movement of worker-owned cooperative businesses that has begun to catch fire in towns and cities throughout the United States. Melissa Hoover, executive director of the Democracy at Work Institute, estimates that there are presently between 300 and 400 worker-owned businesses operating domestically.

A Climate Change Fix Both The Left & Right Can Embrace

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Studies abound linking the increase in extreme weather-related catastrophes in recent decades, like droughts, floods, hurricanes and blizzards, to global climate change. Some climate experts stress the urgency of addressing the problem now, predicting cascading economic and political, social and environmental upheavals worldwide if action is delayed. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, the CO2 content of earth’s atmosphere has shot up from 275 ppm to over 400 ppm, already well above the 350 ppmlimit some scientists believe is a safe level above which we risk triggering irreversible consequences out of human control.