Taking the revolution forward

    My friend Vanessa recently sent me a spirited reflection on her experience of the people’s assembly that has been taking place in the streets of Athens, Greece over the last 25 days.

    She describes how the larger vision for direct democracy and healthy communities wasn’t simply a slogan to be shouted, but a vision that the thousands of people gathered started living out right then in there in the streets, together. In it she quotes her friend Maria Scordialos, who has been part of the organizing efforts:

    “…this is a story of the resurgence of Hellenic Democracy – with a new collective consciousness – that everyone knows is bigger than any one of us.  Those that called this and are giving shape to this democratic architecture know that it is running ahead of them – there is no holding it back.  A new democratic governance pattern is being practiced – a new constitution is being birthed – we are becoming the democracy we want.”

    Warren and I heard a very similar description from a friend we met at the Learning Societies gathering in India who was at the front-lines of the Egyptian revolution and so we thought we’d spend some time digging into these experiences for what they can teach us about how to live the longer journey of social change.

    To get the conversation started, we are curating an on-line Gallery of Reflections on the following question:

    What are the possibilities and challenges for taking the powerful, living experience of community and democracy that is happening at the front-lines of revolutions and carrying that experience forward into the process of creating new structures, practices, forms of governance?

    We envision this gallery containing many different kinds of reflections (personal thoughts/experiences, interviews, group dialogues, etc.) and using various forms of expression (writings, video clips, audio recordings, photos, drawings, etc.).

    If you are interested in contributing or know someone who might be, drop us an email at tana@organizationunbound.org. We are particularly interested in connecting to people who have experienced or are experiencing the birth of a revolution first-hand and who are grappling with this question in very practical ways. Given the time constraints for those in the thick of this organizing, we are happy to edit raw footage that is sent our way or to host conference call dialogues or interviews via skype. 

    Submissions in languages other than English are welcome.

    For more grassroots accounts of what’s happening in Greece as it unfolds, click here.

    Photo by Sarah Whiteley


    June 23rd, 2011 | Tana Paddock | 4 Comments

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4 Responses and Counting...

  • Eleanor Brossoie 06.23.2011

    Thank you for sending on the first hand reflections from your friend Vanessa in Greece. Your question is fantastic as the answers and implementation will be necessary to move forward from demonstrations and general ideas. I look forward to hearing from people who are having first hand experiences in their countries. It is valuable to hear directly from individuals rather than just from public news sources.

  • Hi Eleanor. Yes, the experience on the ground is so different from what you read in the mainstream media. I don’t know if you saw the link that I just added at the bottom of the post. http://www.walkoutwalkon.net/blog/. It has more first-hand experiences of what’s happening in Greece in the blog posts: “Scaled Out Walk Out Walk On” and “Dancing the Space Open”.

  • i was thinking, too, about how the “shaking up” of human systems is not just happening in response to years of debilitating and inhumane governance structures. we are also now re-organizing in Japan and New Zealand, for example, due to how the Earth is going about her own evolution. the on-going earthquakes and the multiple levels of impact that earthquakes and tsunamis are having is forcing the human community to come back to some fundamental ways of organizing as a wider, system. a community of life!

    it feels like we are re-membering how to be in communion, in community, IN relation to our most life-giving relation, the Earth.

    it is a new level of resourcefulness and resilience that i think we are being asked to remember – and i think that this kind of re-membering of ourselves as humans as part of a much wider eco-system is where our future systems lie! we had forgotten how to create structures that bring us into a membership with all of life. and that is what these revolutions, to me, seem to be about. how to be members of Life together.

    the stories from Japan (www.resilientjapan.org) are extraordinary!

  • Hi Vanessa, I hadn’t thought of how closely linked these two kinds of re-organizing are (three if you include the earth itself). Very interesting initiative that Bob has embarked on…I’d definitely like to connect with him. (P.S. Can you reply to this if you receive it in your email inbox so that I know that the new more interactive comment system I’ve installed works? thanx!)

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