Playing bigger than you are: Lessons from US organising
I’m so excited to be doing my first international book tour, bringing my new book, Playing Bigger Than You Are: An Organizer’s Life, to Britain, and working to deliver training for the TUC’s Organising Academy. The book is all about the 40 years I’ve spent as a community and union organizer in America, mostly in the American South.
I’ve been blessed to be in the middle of several historic moments in America – the civil rights movement, new organizing in the South, taking on the Ku Klux Klan (and being threatened with being cut “from asshole to appetite” for my trouble), tackling America’s extreme right and being threatened by the rightwing militia with being stalked and assassinated.
As I travel around Britain next week, I will be focusing on the lessons of my work organizing on some of the most difficult turf there is – and the work of the British unions to organize in new sectors and new workplaces.
The most important reason for the economic crisis in America and one of the most important reasons for the global economic crisis is the lack of consumer demand created by the loss of union density and the consequent stagnant or declining wages.
We have a worldwide workers’ crisis. The TUC and Britain’s unions are leading the fight to grow the British labor movement – especially in new sectors and new worksites. I am deeply hopeful that my 40 years of experience organizing in Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, and other places could help provide lessons for British organizers, leaders, and activists.
I’d love to see you at one the events I’m doing next week:
- Tuesday 29 January, Durham – People’s Bookshop, 6pm
- Wednesday 30 January, Liverpool – News from Nowhere, 12.30pm
- Thursday 31 January, Whitstable, Whitstable Labour Club, 8pm