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Activism guide

With Bush II in office, it’s more crucial than ever that progressives join in and work for change. If you want to get involved, here’s our fourth installment on organizations doing important activist work.

Critical Resistance
Critical Resistance is building a national campaign to challenge systemic injustices in courts, police departments, and prisons by bringing together groups engaged in legislative, legal, educational, and direct-action activities. Its goal is to change the policies and attitudes that have allowed the U.S. prison population to surpass all others.

“It’s tough bringing together prison issues, death penalty issues, and labor issues. For example, a lot of problems in prisons are acted out by the guards, who are unionized, and so how do you work with that? Of course you try to be pro-labor and pro-union. This is why we need a dialogue between activists and people they wouldn’t normally end up in the same room with.”
-Linda M. Thurston, Critical Resistance East

WEST
1212 Broadway, Ste. 1400
Oakland, Calif. 94612
(510) 444-0484/Fax: (510) 444-2177
E-mail: critresist@aol.com

EAST
Box 4053
341 Lafayette St.
New York, N.Y. 10012
(212) 561-0912
Fax: (212) 656-1410
E-mail: critresisteast@aol.com
www.criticalresistance.org

The Continental Direct Action Network
This organization is comprised of several working groups, from legal to labor, that engage in creative and diverse actions to effect change. DAN Labor works to protect the rights of all workers while focusing on labor strikes and struggles.

“If you have a situation where a restaurant is sending its tablecloths to be laundered at a place where the workers are being mistreated, we can leaflet and conduct an informational picket outside the restaurant. We’re in the process of drafting a resolution stating that a retail store cannot carry goods produced by workers who are now on strike. The customer should know that the store is carrying them. In any struggle, you have to look at what’s going on to decide what action to take. A pure heart is good, but you need more than that to win these battles. We look into the situation and figure out what part of it, or what place, we can target to make it easy for them to do the right thing. No retailer should be making money off of struck goods.”
-George dePue, DAN Labor

P.O. Box 1485
Asheville, N.C. 28802
www.cdan.org

Amnesty International
Amnesty International is the largest grassroots human rights organization in the world. It coordinates international actions to shine light on torture and abuse around the globe.

“In fighting the death penalty in the U.S., we use different strategies for different states because that’s where executions happen. We select cases where we think we can mobilize, from demonstrations outside the prison during an execution, to working with the attorney of the condemned, to seeking meetings with governors if there’s a chance for clemency. Some state legislatures are considering suspending the death penalty to see if it’s being fairly administered. We, of course, don’t believe that it can be fairly administered.”
-Bill Schulz, executive director

322 8th Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10001
(212) 807-8400
Fax: (212) 627-1451
www.amnesty.org

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
An alliance of more than 200 immigrant, civil rights, faith, and labor organizations, NNIRR members learn how to get involved in campaigns challenging racism, sexism, and homophobia in immigration and refugee policy. The national office provides a list of local affiliates and specific c

Sources:

MsMagazine

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