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Reclaiming a segregated city – a day in Cape Town with Reclaim the City

On the western side of Cape Town’s downtown are a string of what looks like unused buildings. From the outside they appear like they must be empty. Broken windows, damaged roofs. If you were a tourist here you wouldn’t “see” them – just a haze as you enter the city on one of the major highways. But today my 9 year old son and I came to find one of those buildings because we were there for a meeting about…

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S1 EPISODE 6 – PROTESTING IN PUTIN’S RUSSIA

What would you do if someone wanted to illegally concrete over your local park, and build an apartment block on it? And what would you do if the authorities supported the illegal construction? Today episode looks at how to organise genuine opposition in a place where the one thing they hate is genuine opposition. How a small protest against destruction of a local park turned into a mass movement that’s sweeping Russia. Click the play button above to stream it…

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Episode 4 – “When Anger Works – Part One”

When a growing movement of young people places itself in harms way to stop injustice, it can be powerful and unpredictable.  Often it is fueled by the white-hot anger of knowing that you’re on the side of justice when those in power have failed to make the change you need. We can see this with the powerful #FeesMustFall student movement in South Africa. This is a two part episode about times when direct action was used to confront an overwhelming…

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Episode 3 – When women lead

Sometimes when you need radical change it helps to not know how things are ‘meant to be done’ In both of the stories in the third episode of ChangeMakers, we see women who had very little experience, entering male-dominated spaces and smashing it. By disrupting the business-as-usual approach, their innovations have had lasting impact. The first story is about mothers who are standing up to the gun lobby in the USA, and the second is about the women on the…

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After Florida – can America change its gun laws?

On 14 February 2018 at about 2pm in the afternoon, a 19 year old former student, armed with a duffle bag packed with loaded weapons, entered Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. In a rampage that lasted 6 minutes he killed 17 people – 14 students and 3 teachers. Like so many, tragic, brutal school gun massacres before, there has been an immediate widespread outpouring of anger, and a desperate plea for tighter gun controls. Powerfully, this clarion call has…

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In the heat of #FeesMustFall some reflections

  The #FeesMustFall movement was very diverse and rich with dialogue and conflict. This is a letter written by a student leader in the heat of the movement from Wits University. He gives a live account of some of the tensions that divided the movement. It talks of the centrality of intersectionality as a core value of #FeesMustFall. He identifies potential ‘saboteurs’ who came into the space seeking to lead the movement in directions that created tension and conflict. And…

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Grow your movement by working with complexity: lessons from Gasfield Free Northern Rivers

By Annie Kia, Gasfield Free Northern Rivers When it comes to winning campaigns, nothing beats getting an understanding of how social movements work…there are some great resources that people can dip into[1]. As episode 2 of ChangeMakers explains, in the Northern Rivers, a bunch of us were familiar with social movement theory, especially with Bill Moyer and his work[2], and had on-ground experience in campaigns. This was invaluable. But there’s another type of knowledge that’s useful in growing social movements…

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How decades of fast food worker organising lead to “The Fight for 15”

By Keith Kelleher, Founder and Former President of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. The First Spark “…On Thursday, May 28, 1981, at or about 11:30 am, a number of off-duty employees, in the company of union organizer, Keith Kelleher,…entered Restaurant 768, …moved toward the back of the kitchen in the direction of the manager’s office. Kelleher asked employees…to join them, and a few, including discriminatee Cynthia Diane Williams …did so. Williams and… employee Luther…

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Episode One – Out Now!

We are very excited to release Episode One of our new Series the ChangeMakers. You can download this episode from Podcast One in Australia or from Itunes here. The first two episodes of a new original podcast, ChangeMakers hits PodcastOne Monday 9 October. Hosted by co-founder of GetUp, Amanda Tattersall, ChangeMakers is the first podcast of its kind to mix the story-telling form of This American Life with the topic of social change. “This represents a new era of big-budget…

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Reading & Resources

There are almost limitless interesting readings and resources on ChangeMaking. Here are a few of our favourite readings and tools that you might find useful. We are keen to promote and share interesting resources – so if you have readings you would suggest we share, send us an email to [email protected] or add ideas and suggestions in the comments section below. THINKING ABOUT ACTION Rules for Radicals – Chptr 7 – Tactics – Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals is the most…

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