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We Have Power
There are many ways to fight the system and win.
It’s easy (and understandable) to get dejected in the face of interminable oppression and injustice. But we are not powerless. We can draw strength from the courageous activists who came before us, and we can get inspiration from those around us who refuse to give up or give in.
One example is Kshama Sawant. Jordan Bollag writes:
On November 15, 2013, a socialist economist named Kshama Sawant was elected to the Seattle City Council not as a Democrat but as a member of the Marxist party Socialist Alternative. Having operated under a very different political strategy than progressives in D.C., Kshama Sawant and the Socialist Alternative movement represent exactly how the left can effectively use elected office to deliver substantive results for the working class.
When Sawant was elected on the promise of passing a $15 minimum wage, every other member of the City Council opposed it. Instead of writing a polite letter to her colleagues pleading with them to support it and then giving up when that failed, Sawant and Socialist Alternative created a campaign called 15 Now.
Essentially, “Sawant used her position as a city councilmember and the big media spotlight on her to build a powerful grassroots movement from below.” It was this grassroots mass mobilization—and its credible threat of a ballot initiative that would have passed an even more progressive minimum wage law—that led the Seattle City Council to reverse its opposition and pass the $15 minimum wage, the first of its kind in any major U.S. city, which quickly spread to other cities and even states and changed the national debate.
From direct action to strikes to mutual aid to protesting, we have an array of tools at our disposal. I posted a question on Twitter about actions we can take to bring about positive change.
Here are some of the many interesting replies:
If you’re a Twitter user, feel free to share your ideas in the thread, or you can reply to this post. Thank you for making a difference!