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The Hilltop

NEWS

COLUMN: Seize The Time, Let’s Organize

By Jason Ajiake, News Editor
Posted 3:30 PM EST, Sat., Feb. 18, 2017

Since the election of President Donald Trump, protests have been at an all time high. Millions of people who had been politically inactive all their lives are now finding themselves willing to march for hours, occupy intersections, face excessive force from law enforcement, and more. While the sudden burst of political fervor is quite an extraordinary phenomenon, mobilizing must also transition into organizing if the energy is to be sustained.

In many ways, the masses have been trapped within a socially applicable version of Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Each time Donald Trump does something that is antithetical to our values, we protest for a few hours and then go home and wait until the next thing happens, creating a cycle.

The protest cycle has certain limitations, however. First, demonstrations require energy, and energy runs out. Therefore, in order to sustain the cycle, energy must be renewed. Although symbolic, protest often fails to produce immediate substance, which creates a situation in which more energy is being used than renewed, causing mobilization efforts to eventually lose stamina. Secondly, to solely react is to be in a constant state of dependency. It takes a defensive approach to fascism, training us to believe that something has to happen before we can act.

Radical social change is a process, not an event. It is the strategic unification of a million puzzle pieces. In the same way that soil quality impacts plant quality, certain preconditions must exist within a society in order to bring about growth. The duty of an organizer is to create the conditions necessary to sustain that growth.

As Kwame Ture once famously said, “One of the characteristics of mobilization is that it is temporary. Organization is permanent and eternal. Clear differences must be made because the unconscious can usually be captured easily around one issue items around mobilization items. It is hard to organize them around mobilization. But these unconscious must be brought to organization. We must transform mobilization to organization. We say the enemy will use mobilization to demobilize us.”

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Mobilization is not inherently counterintuitive. In fact, it plays a crucial role in resistance efforts. However, it simply cannot exist on its own. Resistance efforts must also focus on attacking the problem before its wrath even has a chance to effect the masses. In this sense, organizing takes an offensive approach to fascism. When combined with organizing, mobilizing is able to maintain its stamina much longer.

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