urban social movements

Grassroots Community Struggles for Social Justice in the City

This panel will feature two amazing organizations that have both been fighting for the right to the city for decades, and are both appropriately enough members of the new Right to the City Alliance. CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, founded in 1986, has been recently at the forefront of anti-gentrification struggles in NYC's Chinatown, and City Life/Vida Urbana has been active since 1973 in Boston, continuously agitating around housing and displacement issues.

Baltimore's Human Rights Zone: Geography of Development and Resistance

A set of workshops and testimonials led by workers and participants covering the transformative power of human rights values, the role of one's place in the narrative, the Battle of Stories Framework, and tactics and strategies for the Human Rights Zone campaign in Baltimore. Through in-depth discussion and first-hand accounts, participants will analyze the strategies used by the United Workers in advancing the cause of Baltimore's low-wage workers.

Tuesday March 10th @ 2640: "A Place in the City" and "5 1/2 Roofs"

Friday March 20th @ The Contemporary Museum: "The Garden"

$5 suggested donation for each night, proceeds to benefit The City From Below.

Read on for descriptions and more info.....

Living Collectively in the City

Urban collective living offers an affordable,
sustainable way to live in a city, as well as
challenge the notion of property ownership.

The Red Clover Collective formed an urban intentional
community in the Better Waverly neighborhood of
Baltimore in 2004 and is now six members. Participants will tell of
their experiences with group dynamics, consensus decision making,
creating policies, working through stressful times
and conflict, buying property, and incorporation.

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Occupy and resist! Examining the European Social Center tradition

Recent research describes the European network of squatted social centers, their intentions, politics and operations and the current wave of repression. Americans visit and tour these places and bring back tales. As the new wave of European social centers strive to strengthen their ties, what lessons does this major underground movement have for activists in the U.S.?

Organizing Models for Social Justice in the City

A comparative look at different models of grassroots organizing in the city, with a focus on organization led by poor people and people of color, facilitated by veteran Baltimore community organizer Betty Robinson.

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History of Urban Justice Organizing in Baltimore

Private property and the right to housing: a brief and recent history - the rent control campaign, alternative community development, and fair housing.

With Michael Mazepink on The People's Homesteading Group and alternatives to development (sweat equity, squatting, etc...) plus Barbara Samuels (Maryland ACLU) on the sordid history of housing discrimination in Baltimore.

Conceived as a strategic reflection on the state of social movements in the US in the context of the presidential election and the counter-protests against the conventions, In the Middle of a Whirlwind, an online project of Team Colors published by the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, is a great collection of essays from a variety of activist strata and theoretical backgrounds.

There's 4 essays in the collection that are directly relevant to the "City from Below":

This a 2005 conversation that took place as part of (Re)living Democracy, which many of the City From Below organizers help put together, and highlights many of the issues around inequities in urban development we're going to be talking about in March. Read the transcript here.

For an update on the ongoing struggle of SMEAC against inequitable development and dispossession in East Baltimore, see the latest issue of the Indypendent Reader, one of the City From Below sponsoring organizations.

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