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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Cities Urged Not To Ignore Marginalized In Climate Change Plans

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

When Tropical Storm Irene hit in 2011, New York City took protective measures by ordering mandatory evacuations. What it didn’t consider, though, was how disabled residents would manage to leave their homes. As a result, the city was sued for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before the case was resolved, the city was struck by Hurricane Sandy, the most damaging storm in the region’s modern history. Residents with disabilities were stranded for days without power in high-rise apartment buildings unable to reach emergency service centers. While New York was eventually found guilty of “benign neglect” of city residents, the issue of inequity in preparation for climate change impacts — also known as climate adaptation — is not unique. That was at least according to multiple attendees at the National Adaptation Forum in St. Louis last week, who emphasized a greater need for inclusive climate adaptation work in cities across the country.

The Women’s Court: A Feminist Approach To Justice

The women’s march on May 7 through the streets of Sarajevo

Karima Bennoune: What is critical about the Women’s Court in Sarajevo was the way it was constructed for and with the full participation of women victims themselves. Women designed the court. Women testified. Women were the experts and judges. The process employed feminist pedagogy, with the organizers consulting extensively on the ground over a period of years, and providing support to victims before, during and after the court met. The Women’s Court was the first of its kind in the Europe region. This symbolic tribunal was jointly organized by women’s groups from every part of the Former Yugoslavia. As the Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie-Lucas, Founder of Secularism Is a Women’s Issue (SIAWI), who attended the hearings wrote, “This, in and by itself, is a huge achievement, at a time when Europe is plagued with the rise of nationalisms, of extreme right forces that divide peoples along ethnic and religious lines…”

Michael Brown Is Getting A Permanent Memorial In Ferguson

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Dozens of teddy bears that memorialized Michael Brown were removed from a site on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday afternoon. The memorial will be replaced by a permanent plaque honoring Brown, who was fatally shot by a police officer in August 2014. Michael Brown Sr., the slain teen’s father, appeared with Mayor James Knowles in the Ferguson Community Center to unveil the plaque. Brown Sr. acknowledged that the current memorial site has become a safety concern and that he is content with a new, permanent replacement. The announcement came on what would have been Brown’s 19th birthday, and followed a press conference announcing that Canfield Drive, the street where Brown was shot, would be repaved within the week.

Research Says Bike Share Has A Rosy (Digital) Future

CC BY 2.0 Sam Churchill SoBi

Eliot Fishman, a researcher formerly at Utrecht University and now at Australia’s Institute for Sensible Transport, reviewed the English-language bike share literature and found out what makes bike share systems around the globe popular. Published earlier this year in Transport Reviews, “Bikeshare: A Review of Recent Literature,” provides an overview of the state of research on bikeshare programs (BSPs). Fishman found that bike share usage peaks along with what we consider ‘rush hour’ – between 7 and 9 a.m. and 4 and 6 p.m. on weekdays. This is important for bike share’s future as cities become even more crowded. The top reason that users turn to bike share, according to Fishman’s look at a survey of Washington DC bike sharers, is convenience: 69% of surveyed users said getting around easily and conveniently was their top motivation for using bike share.

Current Solar Technology Good Enough For Clean Energy Future

‘Vast promise’: Solar panels in Los Angeles.

The authors say that large-scale solar installations are needed to curb our carbon emissions in the future, but the only way to get more and better solar is for it to be more cost effective and that will come down to better investments and government subsidies. Currently, solar receives far fewer subsidies than fossil fuels, but a shift in those policies could transform the energy mix of the U.S. Meanwhile, greater investments would help to develop technologies that cost less to produce and install like thin-film wafers. The other major hurdle is funding technologies that would ease the integration of solar power into the grid, like smart grid infrastructure and energy storage technologies that could provide clean energy during peak demand hours and at times when the sun wasn’t shining. The good news is that current solar resources dwarf current and projected future electricity demand. If we can remove the roadblocks, especially fossil-fuel-leaning government policies, solar is ready for prime time now.

It’s Time For A New Political & Economic System

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Our society’s institutions are in crisis — with looming ecological collapse, historic concentration of capital, incarceration rates far beyond those of any other country, the diminishing civil liberties that come along with a permanent “war on terror,” and a political process bought and paid for by the rich and powerful. The Next System Project, or NSP, hopes to explain how we arrived here, provide competing visions for where we can and should go, and detail specific proposals for how we can begin to go there. The project, which launched at the start of April, begins with the premise that our long-term political and economic problems require more than policy changes that alleviate symptoms — like those proposed in the newly released liberal agenda, “Rewriting the Rules,” backed by economist Joseph Stiglitz and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — without focusing on root causes.

Maya Schenwar: Stop Punishing People For Poverty, Abolish Bail

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How can we reduce the enormous populations of our country’s local jails? Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York unveiled a plan to decrease the population of the Rikers Island jail complex by reducing the backlog of cases in state courts. About 85 percent of those at Rikers haven’t been convicted of any offense; they’re just awaiting trial, sometimes for as long as hundreds of days. Mayor de Blasio’s plan is a positive step. Yet it ignores a deeper question: Why are so many people – particularly poor people of color – in jail awaiting trial in the first place? Usually, it is because they cannot afford bail. According to a 2011 report by the city’s Independent Budget Office, 79 percent of pretrial detainees were sent to Rikers because they couldn’t post bail right away.

Food Not Lawns: Interview With Water Activist Susana De Anda

Susana de Anda works to make sure all Californians have access to clean, safe water. (Photo courtesy of Bitch Media)

I come from a farmworker family and I went to school not to avoid working in the fields, but to ensure that we provide respect for those that do work in the fields. When I graduated, my first job was as a community organizer, which was life changing. I learned about social infrastructure and that people can actually create change once they organize. It’s not okay to live in fear of becoming sick if you drink tap water. It’s not okay that our children go to school with water fountains that don’t produce safe drinking water. When you realize that’s not okay and that it’s not happening in wealthier communities, you start to think, “How do we change it?” More than a million people in California are exposed to illegal and unsafe levels of contaminated tap water. There are studies that show that if you are low-income, a person of color, and you live in the Central Valley, you’re going to have higher chances of having polluted water.

We’re Building A Moral Commons, & We’re All In This Together

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Shared vulnerability is empowerment. This is a theme embraced by other activists around the country. It might be the key to an emerging thread: the ethical prerequisites to a consciousness of economic justice. In my work promoting cooperative economic structures and policies, I wanted to know more about the precise role played by consciousness. On the one hand, as Karl Marx wrote, “Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.” One doesn’t merely imagine oppression away, and the new age obsession with language and symbol change can often become a substitute for real material change. On the other hand, our values inform our behavior, and even the most scientific-minded revolutionaries like Leon Trotsky emphasized that consciousness must precede (and accompany) revolution.

LA City Council Recommends Patrol Of 'Wage Theft'

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The L.A. City Council’s Economic Development Committee approved a set of recommendations Tuesday to create a new city “Office of Labor Standards,” which would enforce local wage laws, including any future increases to the minimum wage. The office would be able to fine employers who engage in what’s become known as “wage theft,” or not paying workers what they were promised. As Los Angeles city leaders continue to debate raising the city’s minimum wage, many people have shown up to public hearings to say they support “raising it … with enforcement.” The enforcement part is important to activists who believe not only that the current minimum wage of $9 per hour isn’t enough to live on, but also that there are many low-wage workers whose employers aren’t paying them all that they’re owed.

Women Farmers In Chile Join Together To Create Economic Autonomy

From left to right: Nancy Millar, Blanca Molina and Patricia Mancilla on Molina’s small farm near the town of Valle Simpson in the southern Chilean region of Aysén. The three women belong to the only rural women’s association in the Patagonia wilderness, which has empowered them and helped them gain economic autonomy. Credit: Marianela Jarroud/IPS

More than 100 women small farmers from Chile’s southern Patagonia region have joined together in a new association aimed at achieving economic autonomy and empowerment, in an area where machismo and gender inequality are the norm. Patricia Mancilla, Nancy Millar and Blanca Molina spoke with IPS about the group’s history, and how the land, craft making and working together with other women helped them to overcome depression and situations of abuse, and to learn to trust again. “We have at last obtained recognition of rural women,” said Mancilla, president of the Association of Peasant Women of Patagonia. “Peasant women have learned to appreciate themselves. Each one of our members has a history of pain that she has managed to ease through working and talking together.”

Living The Indigenous Way, From The Jungles To The Mountains

This hunter is a member of the Waorani community, an Amazonian indigenous people who live in eastern Ecuador. Credit: Courtesy Nicolas Villaume, Land is Life

“Living well is all about keeping good relations with Mother Earth and not living by domination or extraction.” — Victoria Tauli Corpuz, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples But as the fingers of economic development reach into ever more distant corners of the globe, many of these communities find themselves – and their way of life – under threat. The march of progress means that efforts are being made both to extract the resources on which these communities rely and to ‘mainstream’ indigenous groups by introducing Western medical, educational and economic systems into traditional ways of life. “There are two uncontacted communities near my home but there is the threat of oil exploration. They don’t want this. For them, taking the oil out of the ground is like taking blood out of their bodies,” Moi Enomenga, a Waorani who was born into an uncontacted community, told IPS.

Rebel Diaz Remix 'Which Side Are You On?'

Rebel Diaz

The Chilean-born brothers of Rebel Diaz, a New-York-based hip hop duo, released a new video, which features a new remix of the labour movement classic “Which Side Are You On”, first written by in 1931 by Florence Reese, the wife of a mine worker. “The Which Side Are You On REMIX came out on our [2013] Radical Dilemma album, but the time is NOW for the song and the message it represents,” wrote Rebel Diaz on their YouTube page. “We are living historic moments of oppression, to which the people have the right to respond with historic moments of resistance.” The lyrics highlights various social ills within US society, including political conformism, the prison industrial complex and economic inequality, while the video-clip includes numerous references to the recent police killings of Black men in the United States, including the latest in Baltimore with the death of Freddie Gray. The song features hip-hop legends Dead Prez and Rakaa Iriscience from Dilated Peoples.

Cancel Nepal’s Debt To Aid Recovery From Earthquake

School children in Nepal’s Matatirtha village practice an earthquake drill in the event of a natural disaster. A 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on Apr. 25, 2015, has endangered the lives of close to a million children. Credit: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/CC-BY-2.0

The death toll has now passed 3,300, and there is no telling how much farther it will climb. Search and rescue operations in Nepal entered their third day Monday, as the government and international aid agencies scramble to cope with the aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck this South Asian nation on Apr. 25. Severe aftershocks have this land-locked country of 27.8 million people on edge, with scores missing and countless others feared dead, buried under the rubble. With its epicenter in Lamjung District, located northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, and south of the China border, the massive quake rippled out over the entire country, causing several avalanches in the Himalayas including one that killed over 15 people and injured dozens more at the base camp of Mt. Everest, 200 km away.

Jazz As A Force For Peace & Freedom

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock, the brains behind International Jazz Day, an event that aims to encourage and highlight the “power of jazz as a force for freedom and creativity”. Credit: A.D. McKenzie

Against the backdrop of civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland, the fourth annual International Jazz Day was celebrated with events around the world and appeals for peace, unity and dialogue. “Each of us is equal. All of us inhabit this place we call home,” said American jazz legend Herbie Hancock. “We must move mountains to find solutions to our incredible challenges.” “Each of us is equal. All of us inhabit this place we call home. We must move mountains to find solutions to our incredible challenges” – American jazz legend Herbie Hancock. Although the organisers of the event held on Apr. 30 did not refer directly to the protests that have followed the funeral of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, an African-American who died in police custody, Hancock told IPS in an exclusive interview that musicians were conscious of this and other cases.