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Author: Ben Keating

Mike Gecan – Change Maker Chat

Mike Gecan – Change Maker Chat

Mike Gecan is a 45 year veteran organiser based in the United States. He is the former National Co-Director of the first, largest and oldest community organising network in the world – the Industrial Areas Foundation. He talks to us about what organising is, and what it is not. He shares stories about how he learnt about power, and explores some of the differences between social change traditions like mobilising and organising. He also gives us a fresh take on…

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Samuel Chu Change Maker Chat

Samuel Chu Change Maker Chat

ChangeMakers Podcast · Samuel Chu – Change Maker Chat Samuel Chu is a long time community organiser and the founder of the Hong Kong Democracy Council in the United States. In this Chat we explore how he has connected his identities as an organiser and a Hong Konger to create a radically different form of international solidarity in the US. His approach translated the energy of protest into politics, securing bipartisan support for multiple pieces of legislation in support of…

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Coalitions: We need to get better at working together

Coalitions: We need to get better at working together

Back in 2003, I was part of the movement that tried to stop the war in Iraq. In Sydney we built an enormous coalition of over 70 organisations. We met every week on Monday evenings on the third floor of an aging inner-city pub called the Spanish Club.  The coalition had lots of rules. Every organisation was allowed to bring two representatives to meetings, and both could vote. That rule was practical, in a variety of ways. The room struggled…

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Maurice Mitchell Change Maker Chat

Maurice Mitchell Change Maker Chat

ChangeMakers Podcast · Maurice Mitchell ChangeMaker Chat The Movement for Black Lives is realigning political life in the US in 2020. Maurice Mitchell has been a leader in this movement since Ferguson. This conversation moves from his own traumatic experiences of racism that shaped his early life, to his work as an organiser and his reflections on the kinds of political strategy required to win justice. We zero in on the protests that exploded following the police murder of George…

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Craig Reucassel Change Maker Chat

Craig Reucassel Change Maker Chat

Have you been enjoying Fight for Planet A: Our Climate Challenge – the show all about climate change? Then come and hear our ChangeMaker Chat with host Craig Reucassel where we go behind the scenes to find out about his story, and explore what he is trying to achieve in doing the show. Many change makers bemone the media for ignoring or underplaying real issues like climate change. But what happens when someone in the media decides to use their…

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So, what is Community Organising?

So, what is Community Organising?

This week ChangeMakers is launching the second season of our weekly organising broadcast – ChangeMakers Organising School. We thought this would be as good a time as any to step back and consider – what is this thing called organising? Before 1990 no one in Australia used the term organising. The word first emerged in the union movement in the mid-1990s when the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) Organising Works program started to talk about organising as a way…

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Hong Kongers in Crisis

Hong Kongers in Crisis

Every week the news coming out of Hong Kong is a little more alarming. It’s never quite as evocative as ‘tanks running through Tiananmen Square’. But every time, it represents another form of crackdown. On Saturday six Hong Kong democracy campaigners living overseas were issued arrest warrants. One of those was an American citizen called Samuel Chu. Samuel Chu. For some of you that name might be familiar. Last year ChangeMakers made a couple of episodes about Hong Kong produced…

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Five Strategies for People Power

Five Strategies for People Power

A few years ago, I decided to do some deep, sustained research that looked at the question of how we involve people in the process of making change. This week my colleague Kurt Iveson and I submitted our first journal article about our findings. Knowing that many of you aren’t likely to get your hands on the somewhat aloof International Journal of Housing Policy I thought I might pass on what we found. The article is on urban social movements….

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Police and protests – is something changing?

Police and protests – is something changing?

For the last 10 days in Portland Oregon, Federal law enforcement have been arresting protesters. After over 50 days of sustained #BlackLivesMatter protest, the Federal Attorney General called in law enforcements over the top of state authorities under the guise of protecting property and restoring order. Federal officials have used less-lethal munitions like tear gas and also conducted arrests, firstly at protest sites and more recently tracking down protesters at their homes and as they walked the streets. The move…

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Mental Health, Insight and the Corona Moment

Mental Health, Insight and the Corona Moment

This week a second CoronaVirus lockdown began in Melbourne, Australia, joining many global cities still in lockdown. It sparked greater focus on the mental health crises that are rising alongside the disease. To date, the standard response to mental health crises is more doctors, more clinicians. That may be needed for helping people in acute need, but is it sufficient for creating healthier minds long term? The greatest tool for living well with a mental illness is insight. Being able…

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