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167 SIX Community organising: past, present and future Thus far, this book has explored new forms of neighbourhood- level civic organisation that have emerged – directly or permissively – through the actions of government. As outlined in the previous chapters, national legislation has opened up the space for people to organise around planning, and local authorities and other state-funded bodies have also developed new ways to engage with community partners at the neighbourhood scale. This chapter now looks in more detail at the issue of community

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Taking power, making change
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As the Arab Spring continues to work through changes, the Occupy Movement is agitating for change and many are looking for alternatives in the face of global financial and political challenges, community organising offers a realistic way forward for many communities: a tried and tested way of improving people’s lives. This book is the first to explore the diverse history of community organising, telling stories of how it developed, its successes and failures, and the lessons that can be applied today.

It analyses contemporary examples of practice from the USA, UK, India, South Africa, Cambodia and Australia against both wider theoretical frameworks and their ability to contribute to sustainable social change. It will be useful for a wide range of practitioners, students and researchers engaged in the struggle to develop new ways of doing community.

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139 SEVEN new models of community organising The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. (Eleanor Roosevelt) In the past few years new community organising networks have been created, the ideas and models of community organising have been widely disseminated, and more fundamental alternatives are being suggested and developed. In this chapter we look at the diversity of practice in the field from an international survey of workers defining themselves as community organisers. We then discuss the work of Gamaliel, a faith

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1 ONE the roots of community organising The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new. (Saul Alinsky) This chapter explores and analyses the roots of community organising as seen in the work of Saul Alinsky. Reference is made to Alinsky’s classic texts, Rules for radicals (1971) and

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Democracy (2015) Seeding justice: Revenue-generating membership and fundraising canvasses for community organizing: Lessons from the field, 21  October, Washington, DC: Center for Popular Democracy, https://populardemocracy.org/news/publications/ seeding-justice-revenue-generating-membership-and-fundraising- canvasses-community. Community Organisers Ltd (2017) Massive expansion of community organisers programme, 2 March, www.corganisers.org.uk/news/massive- expansion-community-organisers-programme. Craig, G., Mayo, M., Popple, K., Shaw, M. and Taylor, M. (2011) The

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177 TEN counter-hegemony, critical thinking and community organising Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategic situation in a particular society. (Michel Foucault) Our position is that community organising is a practice that is strong in terms of its tactics, identification of local issues and mobilising people for change. We think it is less strong in the development of critical thinking and reflection on the one hand, and citing its

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157 EIGHT comparing and contrasting current community organising models We have it in our power to begin the world over again. (Thomas Paine) This chapter briefly reviews the key features of the three streams of community organising that we have been considering. While we recognise a broad commonality across each, there are also key differences of emphasis that are key to how they operate and what impact they have at a local level and beyond. We go on to outline the key continuums of practice, and consider where each stream would sit and what the

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) (2010) Ten big questions about the Big Society: And ten ways to make the best of it, London: nef. NESTA and nef (new economics foundation) (2010) Right here, right now: Taking co- production into the mainstream, London: NESTA and nef. OPM (Office of the Prime Minister) (2010) The new ‘neighbourhood army’: The role of community organising in the Big Society, London: OPM. Richardson, L. (2011) Working in neighbourhoods in Bradford, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Smock, K. (2003) Democracy in action: Community organizing and urban change, New York, NY: Columbia

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179 Key words commuity-based learning • citizenship • community organising re se ar ch© The Policy Press • 2012 • ISSN 2040 8056 Voluntary Sector Review • vol 3 • no 2 • 2012 • 179–95 • http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/204080512X649351 Learning to take part as active citizens: emerging lessons for community organising in Britain Marjorie Mayo, Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek and Carol Packham Learning to take part in civil society as an active citizen has emerged as a topical policy commitment in the United Kingdom, with the present government’s controversial Big Society

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167 NINE What community organising does and doesn’t achieve It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow. (Robert H. Goddard) In this chapter we explore the contribution that community organising makes to improve the lives of people within poor communities. In doing so we consider the analysis of community organising discussed earlier. As this is only a snapshot of community organising activity, however, our conclusions should be seen as tentative and not definitive. In attempting to

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