The Third Reconstruction and Reverend Wm. Barber’s 14 Point Fusion Movement Strategies. The Third Reconstruction is a remarkable 135 page book that details Rev. Barber’s evolution from preacher to organizer (and preacher). It provides a summary of precisely how Rev. Barber developed his Fusion Movement approach to organizing, how he strategically formed alliances, how he used civil disobedience, how he used moral language to unify groups who previously had been splintered by the 1%, and how he organized, not around elections, but around issues, issues where people of all colors had common ground: the same force opposing justice. The last chapter of the book is a discussion of his 14 strategies.
# 1. Organize Locally & Engage in indigenously led grassroots organizing across the State. A sustained movement for the “long haul” requires local people who know and trust one another and equip these volunteers with tools and resources to effectively raise their voice at a state and local level.
#2. Use Moral Language. Claim the higher ground and expand your base by embedding your advocacy in moral and constitutional values shared by the majority.
#3. Incorporate Civil Disobedience. Civil disobedience conveys a willingness to sacrifice and has been integral to the first and second reconstructions. We are working with SURJ to offer a series of trainings culminating in one on civil disobedience.
#4. Use the Voices of Everyday People. We do not speak for those who can speak for themselves. Make the pain of the majority human, immediate and real by providing a place for these people to raise their voices. Retake Our Democracy has a developing strategy unfolding for videotaping individuals who can put a human face on injustice.
#5. Recognize the Centrality of Race. While both race and class are central to Barber’s approach, he asserts that class divisions cannot be understood apart from a society built on white supremacy.
#6. Build a Broad Diverse Coalition Including Moral & Religious Leaders. Retake has met with the Santa Fe Interfaith Leadership Allliance and will continue to develop relationships with religious leaders.
#7. Diversify the Base by Seeking Unlikely Allies. Part of Retake Our Democracy’s emerging community conversations strategy is to have neighborhood level conversations across party lines and to find common moral ground. At the same time, Roxanne went to the GOP Annual Meeting on Saturday and was very well received. We will be presenting to their membership soon.
#8. Build a Transformational Movement that doesn’t Measure Success Based upon Elections. Fusion politics is about forging sustained relationships based on common moral ground. This is not about making “transactional” alliances where I will support your issue, if you support mine. It is about forging common moral ground that is transformational to all involved.
#9. Make a Serious Commitment to Academic and Empirical Analysis of Policy. Retake has assembled over 50 experienced researchers who have a well-developed Research Resource Inventory and Protocol for developing Research Action Kits on a wide variety of issues. These will be available beginning in Feb.
#10. Coordinate Use of All Forms of Media and Social Media. Retake has a Media Team that is in the process of developing plans for maximizing our use of media and training Retake supporters in how to maximize their use of social media.
#11. Engage in Voter Registration and Education. A major strand of Retake’s approach is to Engage, Educate and Activate. Education will come in many forms: panels, trainings, book clubs, and community conversations.
#12. Pursue a Strong Legal Strategy. Here is an area where Retake is not strong. We need to recruit attorneys to explore ways in which we can go to the courts to seek redress and to confirm our constitutional grounds on specific issues.
#13. Engage the Cultural Arts. We are just beginning this process and will be announcing a musical and cultural celebration very soon. We are also supporting events like Writes Resist which was held yesterday at Counter Culture. But this is an area where we could do more.
#14. Resist the “One Moment” Mentality. This is a movement, not a campaign. No one victory will usher in justice and no single defeat can stop us. Justice is on our side.