At the Table
community organizers today are fond of saying that they are now ‘at the
negotiating table’ and no longer need to use the tactics that got them
there. But nothing is worse than co-optation that isn’t recognized by
the co-opted. Being at the table means having the continuing opportunity
to present proposals that ever more fundamentally address inequalities of
wealth and power that undermine American democracy. When such proposals
are presented, ‘the other side’ will resist. Organizations will have
to demonstrate that large numbers of people support the more radical
proposals – ‘radical’ in the sense of the Merriam-Webster’s
Dictionary definition ‘of or relating to the origin; fundamental.’ And
this support will have to manifest itself in demonstrations, lobbying,
voting, boycotts, strikes, or nonviolent disruptive mass action.
Organizers who have convinced themselves that they are now ‘equals’ at
the bargaining table need to read the Frederick Douglass quotation that
opens the book.” (pp. 84-5)
COMMUNITY ORGANIZER'S TALE by Mike Miller, Berkeley:Heyday Books, 2009.
CSCO believes this is the best book on organizing. Miller has been with
CSCO for many years.