Sunday, December 13, 2015

JULIE QUIROZ - Love versus fear: What does movement building look like in a time of terror?

As someone who believes another world is possible I ask myself: what do I do in this moment? What do we do? What does movement building look like in a time of terror? How do we develop strategy in a world that’s animated by fear?

I am grateful to come to these questions grounded in years of work by the Movement Strategy Center with political strategist and Zen teacher Norma Wong, and with dozens of inspiring leaders in what we call “Transitions Labs.” The Labs are designed to explore how we can transition from a world of domination, violence and extraction to a regenerative world of interdependence and resilience.

In the weeks that followed our most recent lab, white supremacists shot Black Lives Matter demonstrators in Minneapolis; the city of Chicago released the video of police murdering Laquan McDonald; an armed misogynist killed a mother, a war vet, and a police officer in Colorado Springs; an ISIS-inspired husband and wife gunned down co-workers at a holiday party; and the fascist campaign of Donald Trump accelerated its wave of violence and organized hate in visible political form

But the victims of violence have challenged racist reactions to terror in beautiful ways, like the Parisians who held off anti-Muslim disruptors , or in the words of the partner of Larry Daniel Kaufman who died saving others in San Bernardino. In ways filled with hope and possibility for change, the movement for Black lives has shined a spotlight on the daily terror of police in Black neighborhoods.

We sometimes speak of our movements engaging in the ‘battle of ideas,’ a violent concept with winners and losers armed with tools of analysis. We need to move beyond this. If it was ever true that ideas moved masses of people, it certainly isn’t now, as people grapple, individually and collectively, with the powerful emotion of fear.

Every single one of us needs to be healed enough and grounded enough to build and create with anyone, even people who don’t share our ideas. We can no longer seek to work only with those who are ‘like minded.’ We must, as Wong says, seek to build with those who are ‘like-hearted.’.. 

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